Is Your Relationship Making You Doubtful Or Uncomfortable? Learn About Relationship OCD

Last Update on November 7, 2022 : Published on November 5, 2022

According to Hollywood, the idea of cinematizing a romantic relationship is different. While in real life, a romantic relationship is not only limited to love, intimacy, or infatuation. It revolves around happiness and health as well. You might not be aware but the fact is that romantic relationships are also the major key to boosting your immune system and protecting yourself from mental health conditions.

Our relationship with our partner is important to be caressed because it provides meaning to our lives and it also involves emotional closeness. When our relationship starts becoming uncomfortable or doubtful, it does not only start impacting the relationship negatively but in some cases, it can also develop into a relationship OCD.

You might be wondering now, what is relationship OCD? Well, let’s understand that in the next section!

What is Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (ROCD)?

Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (ROCD) is a type of OCD wherein people constantly experience compulsive behavior and intrusive thoughts which can impact their romantic relationship negatively. The condition is generally characterized by repetitive thoughts wherein a partner has fears or doubts related to the relationship.

It can also revolve around uncertainty about the relationship. Such thoughts and behavior are directly related to the constant need for reassurance. This pattern is the major identification factor of someone experiencing symptoms related to ROCD. Generally, this type of OCD puts a lot of stress on the relationship.

There are other types of OCD as well, but symptoms of ROCD pose serious challenges to someone’s love life.

What are the Types of Relationship OCD?

Per psychology, there are two types of Relationship OCD. It is quite normal to experience one or the other or experience both at the same time.

1. Partner-focused

Symptoms of partner-focused relationship OCD are centred on the individualities of the partner. A person experiencing ROCD may love their partner but still keeps on questioning the other partner’s intelligence, personality, and characteristics.

2. Relationship-focused

Relationship-focused ROCD is centred on the relationship only. A person experiencing relationship-focused ROCD may keep on questioning the love, affection, trust, and other important factors of a deep relationship.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Relationship OCD?

Below are some of the common signs and symptoms of relationship OCD:

  • Always focusing or pinpointing flaws of the partner
  • Constant need for reassurance from the partner
  • Constant worrying about the love
  • Extremely distressing about the happiness or well-being of the partner
  • Intrusive thinking about the relationship or partner
  • Thinking to find a better or different partner
  • Unable to focus or constant distraction related to establishing the relationship stronger

What are the Causes of Relationship OCD?

Causes of relationship OCD are still unclear because they totally depend on a number of factors like

  • Changes in brain activities
  • Changes in serotonin levels in the brain
  • Difficulty forming close relationships
  • Past-related to abuse
  • Sudden loss of a loved one
  • Sudden life changes like getting married or moving to a different place
  • Trauma

What are the Impacts of Relationship OCD?

There are various ways wherein relationship OCD impacts the romantic relationship in a negative way. Such as, you may start feeling difficulty maintaining your self-esteem which can also lead to social anxiety or loneliness. As relationship OCD is also about seeking constant reassurance, it can also lead to confusion or frustration which can later develop into anxiety or stress.

Moreover, your partner may also start feeling that you are disrespecting their personal boundaries. Moreover, after some time it can also lead to compulsions or obsessions related to rejections. Consecutively, the impacts of relationship OCD on a romantic relationship totally depend on the nature of symptoms and personality types of the partner. Symptoms of ROCD can also impact sexual intimacy.

What are the Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Relationship OCD?

As of now, relationship OCD does not have any official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). However, the good part is that we can still look for its diagnosis by a certified and experienced mental health professional.

Diagnosis of ROCD may revolve around ruling out the related underlying mental health conditions like other types of OCD, depression, anxiety disorders, and more. Moreover, you can always connect with a therapist to cope with or manage your symptoms. Psychotherapy can be used for managing your symptoms.

Psychotherapy provides a framework to work on challenging areas like poor social skills, assertiveness, low self-esteem, relationship issues, and more. To learn more about psychotherapy, click here.

Quick Self-Help Tips for Coping with Relationship OCD

Below are some of the self-help tips which may help you in maintaining a happy and positive relationship with your partner:

  • Involve your partner and learn about your triggers and symptoms
  • Always maintain open and honest conversations with your partner
  • Seek couples therapy together
  • Join a support group and work on your challenges

That’s it, folks! I hope this blog helps you understand and cope with relationship OCD (ROCD). For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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