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    Relationship OCD

    When you think about OCD, you may think about someone cleaning the same surface over and over or having to organize items in a certain way. This can be one symptom of OCD, but it often looks very different from that. Relationship OCD (ROCD) is considered one subtype, or theme, of OCD.

    With ROCD, you have recurrent, intrusive and unwanted thoughts about your intimate relationship. While all relationships come with some periods of doubt or frustration, ROCD causes you to focus on the doubts and uncertainties with such intensity that it can cause significant distress. Your obsessions may be relationship-focused: “Are we right for each other?” “Do I feel enough for him?” “Is she really The One, or am I just settling?” They can also be partner-focused: “What if he doesn’t make me laugh enough” “What if this annoying habit becomes too annoying to handle?” “What if she annoys me all the time?”

    ROCD can create intense anxiety and guilt to the point where it interrupts sleep, and creates difficulty concentrating at work or school. Inevitably, ROCD impacts intimate relationships in that you can feel very anxious around your partner while still knowing you care for them. This can lead to distancing, increased arguments, increased hypervigilance around your partner, and reassurance seeking.

    Common compulsions for ROCD include:

    -Checking your feelings around your partner (“Do I feel loving toward her right now?”)

    -Comparing your relationships with others’ such as friends, siblings, or even characters on TV.

    -Trying to recall “good” experiences with your partner of times when they felt sure about them.

    -Consulting friends, family, or even fortune-tellers and psychics about the relationship.