Love Yourself To Beat Relationship OCD

As part of a relationship OCD project I'm undertaking, I've been reading a lot of academic journal papers on the subject. It's not all boring. The below snippet was taken from one specific ROCD paper:

"...Hyper-attention to one's own perceived flaws in appearance ad catastrophic misinterpretation of such flaws may reflect a general predisposition to detect perceived deficits and overestimate their consequences, not only in the self, but also in relationship partners" *Pg 74

This really stuck out for me. It suggests (to me) that the harsher critic you are on yourself, be that critical of yourself physically or mentally, you are more likely to obsess over certain perceived flaws in your partner. be that physical or mental.

This rung true for me. Ever since I was 17 and stumbled upon personal development books, I went on a continuous improvement quest. I expected the best from myself, and was my harshest critic. After doing talking therapy I realised this was to make up for the fact I didn't feel worthy, as a result of bullying, poor academic grades and a strenuous relationship with my brother. When I first started noticing ROCD in myself, I would be critical and really obsess on my partners flaws.

These obsessions would lead me to not pursue dates, break it off with women and generally freak out. The tough criteria for acceptance I applied on myself, I also applied on my dates. Most of the time, the flaws I perceived as threats weren't actually flaws, just over amplified perceptions.

The take away here is if you suffer from ROCD and focus on the perceived flaws of your partner, pause for a second and see if you are hard on yourself? If you are tough on yourself, and judge yourself often. Stop it. Start to love yourself, unconditionally. And soon you will apply this same love and non-judgement to your partner, thus stopping the ROCD cycle.



*Here is the full paper by Guy Doron et al. http://rocd.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Relationship-related-OC-phenomena-tha-case-of-relationship-centered-and-partner-focused-OC-symptoms.pdf 

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3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Love Yourself To Beat Relationship OCD”

  1. David January 23, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Hi Stuart

    I have pretty intense ROCD and would love to talk it through with you. It should only take a couple of emails I think, I’m close to understanding it but could do with the help of your expertise. If you’re busy I understand!

    Either way, your work has helped me greatly. Thank you


    • Stuart July 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Hi David,

      You can reach me through the email contact form on this site.


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