It’s normal for every relationship to have doubts and imperfect moments. But if you find yourself constantly stressed out and neurotic about your relationship, even if it seems ideal, you have those nagging doubts. This can present itself in different ways. For instance, if you have a loving and supportive partner but can only think about what’s wrong in the situation rather than appreciating what’s right, this might be a sign of relationship OCD.
Relationship OCD is a dangerous and constant quest that isn’t productive, and will instead make you feel anxious, tired, and frustrated. Here are the most common situations to watch out for that can trigger ROCD.
1. Finding someone else attractive
It’s normal to find people outside of your significant other attractive — as long as you don’t act on it or envision a future with that person. However, this situation can cause you to wonder if you truly are attracted to your partner. Consider factors that might improve this feeling, such as asking for more physical affection, and make requests rather than staying quiet.
2. Constantly finding flaws in relationship
If you are always nitpicking your relationship and searching things on the internet in hopes to solve your problems, this can trigger relationship OCD. Especially if, no matter how much you scroll, you just can’t seem to be satisfied or find the certainty that you’re looking for.
3. Stressful events
If you’re experiencing a time of change or a transition, your relationship OCD may be heightened during this time. Try to ground yourself with breathing exercises and logic, but be aware that if a majorly stressful event or change in your life is going down, it can be a trigger.
4. Social situations with or without your partner
Surprisingly, just the act of being with or without your partner in social situations can trigger OCD. At a party or restaurant, if you’re without your partner, you may be looking for reassurance in the form of other attractive people, or you might fantasize about what it would be like to be single in that scenario. With your partner, it may trigger feelings that they’re not perfect, or that the two of you aren’t a good match when there are so many other fish in the sea.
5. Sexual intimacy
It’s no secret — being paranoid about your relationship isn’t great for your sex life. Getting in your own head can get in the way in bed, and even prevent you from experiencing pleasure. It can also cause you to wonder if you’re even attracted to your partner at all. However, someone with ROCD may be tempted to place the blame on their partner, when they should really be exploring their own mental health state. As always with ROCD, communication is key in working through this.
6. Fighting with bae
Always fighting isn’t healthy, but we all need to express ourselves once in a while, and hopefully grow as a couple in the process. However, those with ROCD blow these fights out of proportions. They make a big deal out of these normal arguments, or hold it all in until an inevitable blow up occurs, forcing you to question your entire relationship. Instead, try to learn about nonviolent communication with your partner.
7. Being around “happy couples”
Being around happy people should generally make you happy, right? Not when you have relationship OCD, and it makes you judge your own partnership and create feelings of jealousy. This can come in the form of social media posts where people can “filter” their lives, or seeing friends pass milestones that you haven’t passed yet.
8. Not liking their friends or family
We can’t all be best friends with our partner’s support network, but we can tolerate them on the occasions we need to see them. However, not getting along with them can trigger ROCD and lead you to ask questions to yourself like, “How can I see myself forever with this person when I don’t enjoy spending time with their loved ones?”. Instead, remind yourself that you love your partner, who is the only person you’re in a relationship with. Their friends shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
9. Being irritated with your partner’s flaws
By loving someone, you have to learn to accept and even embrace their flaws. None of us is perfect, but with relationship OCD, remembering that can be kind of hard. If every little thing is getting on your nerves, think of all the things that you appreciate about your partner instead — don’t be afraid to get specific.