The Nature of Obsession
When talking about impoverished love I also wanted to mention the nature of obsession. Having been obsessed myself on quite a few occasions and for quite a length of time, I mentioned this to my female friends and much to my surprise I found that obsession has often been part of women’s lives and maybe men’s too.
I have spent a long time thinking about obsession (when I am not being obsessed myself) and the conclusion I came up with is that if you got insufficient attention as a child, when someone you like gives you some attention you tend to think that this means something more than it actually does. This reaction could also be the result of projection which we talked about earlier.
Or to put it another way:
I believe that a healthy person who has been sufficiently loved would know the difference between regular contact which is positive and builds the more they meet each other and the fleeting occasional contact which stimulates hope – or illusion.
Although this ‘game’ looks and feels one sided, it is possible, that it is actually played, by both parties. One side of the pair becomes obsessed whilst the other is in a state of constant advance/withdrawal. In other words both parties are experiencing an impoverished form of love with the people who are obsessed and the people that become the object of their obsession. It is likely that both are deficient in their approach to relationships. This outcome is probably due to a lack of attachment or bonding in their childhood years.
The more I thought about the nature of obsession, the more I realised that a sufficiently bonded or attached person would not dream of staying in such a frustrating and painful situation. In contrast an insufficiently attached person, would stay in the hope that the ‘crumbs off the table’, would turn into something more than casual and infrequent. Probably in some way replicating their experience in childhood when they had to accept any of the attention that was on offer.
If this is the case it might take very few actions or words on the part of the focus of obsession to become the focus of your thoughts. The main underlying problem here is that you are so well trained in the behaviour of accepting what little that was on offer that it does not occur to you that you are worth more than this.
It is my belief and experience, that once you develop yourself along the lines of the ideas in the book, that you will be less likely to be affected by the completely illusory and impoverished love that is obsession.
Now I want to talk about another twenty first century phenomenon that relates to impoverished love and that is internet dating scams which can affect both men and women.
With thanks to Jo Grant and Stella Pitman for permission to use their beautiful photographs
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