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  • Writer's pictureDanny Derby

A Brief introduction to Relationship obsessions (ROCD)

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ROCD) a subtype of OCD

Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ROCD) is a subset of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that focuses on intimate relationships. This disorder is characterized by obsessive doubts and preoccupations regarding romantic relationships and compulsive behaviors performed to alleviate the distress associated with these obsessions.

What is ROCD?

ROCD is manifested in obsessive doubts and preoccupations about romantic relationships. These obsessions often come in the form of thoughts, images, or urges related to one's partner or the relationship itself. For instance, individuals may constantly question their feelings for their partner, their partner's feelings for them, or the overall "rightness" of the relationship. These obsessions can be distressing and often contradict the individual's actual feelings or values about the relationship.

Main Manifestations of ROCD:

Relationship-centered Obsessions: These involve doubts about one's feelings towards a partner, the partner's feelings, or the overall suitability of the relationship. Examples include questioning if one truly loves their partner or if the relationship is the right one.

Partner-focused Obsessions: These involve preoccupations with perceived flaws of the partner. This could be related to their physical appearance, personality, intelligence, emotional stability, humor or other characteristics. Individuals may become fixated on certain aspects of their partner that they perceive as inadequate.

A women worried about her relationship OCD

Doubting one's love for their partner.

Questioning the partner's love or commitment.

Continuously reassessing the relationship's "rightness."

Preoccupation with a partner's perceived flaws, such as their appearance or intelligence.

Common Compulsions:

Repeatedly checking one's feelings or thoughts towards one's partner.

.Comparing the partner or relationship to exes or others

Avoiding triggers that fuel relationship doubts

Checking or evaluating the partner for flaws

Searching for signs the relationship is "right"

Endlessly researching relationship advice

Avoiding commitment in the relationship

ROCD can be particularly distressing because it targets one of the most intimate and personal aspects of an individual's life: their romantic relationships. The disorder can lead to significant personal and relational distress and can impact various areas of life, including social and occupational functioning.

In summary, ROCD is a form of OCD involving distressing obsessions revolving around one's romantic relationship. Sufferers engage in compulsions to alleviate anxiety related to the obsessions. ROCD commonly involves obsessions about the "rightness" of the relationship, feelings for the partner, and the partner's perceived flaws. Compulsions frequently include reassurance seeking, mental reviewing of the relationship, and avoidance. ROCD symptoms cause significant distress and impairment in functioning.

I recommend that if you or someone you love suffers from ROCD to seek professional advice!

You can contact me and I will see if I could help!

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