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Do I have ROCD or possibly genuine problem.

A

AK91

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Surrey
Hi there

Im new to the forum and appreciate anyones insight in advance - I am not looking for reassurance. Just wanted to share that i have been a long term pure ocd sufferer before i delve into the details. Ive had various themes throughout the years but this time i really am stumped as to whether this is OCD or not.



The latest thing that plagues my mind more often than id like is in regards to my relationship. I have been with my partner in a happy relationship for two years and recently moved in together last year.

While we get along very well and id say have a healthy relationship- I have this nagging feeling that it is not what I want and that i would be happier with someone else. My fear is that i do not find my girlfriend attractive- now i know this sounds silly considering i must have in order to be drawn to her in the first place. But recently i have noticed i compare her looks and personality to other girls – granted yes some of them are very attractive but this still bothers me nonetheless. Because no one can really explain attraction or ‘sparks’ i often wonder if thats why im so obsessed with it.

I have been through the ROCD theme before with an ex but for some reason this time it feels different- and worries me that there is a genuine lack of attraction. I made the mistake of googling signs of this which has made things worse and i got sucked into a rabbit hole of reddit posts and articles of people with similar stories. The ones that got to me most were that sometimes attraction just dies and that usually when it does it doesn’t come back and is the reason why men often have affairs or date women younger than them. This added to more confusion and then wondering if i ever was attracted to her in the first place.

So now i am super sensitive to my girlfriends appearance (and obviously she isnt going to look amazing 24/7!) but then think to myself maybe i should think she does. Then often pick up on features of my girlfriend that i dont find that attractive – the irony is I actually had genuine turn offs with my ex gf straight away that i knew I really disliked.
This is nearly always triggered by seeing a girl who id consider to be more attractive in real life and whether id be happier with them.

Im also overly alert as to whether we are a good match and often ruminate of being with people who could be. Id say i do this enough to be classed as an obsession but at the same time i have noticed my mood being pretty low and feeling depressed/frustrated (which could potentially be signs of being with the wrong person). And sometimes think the only way ill get out of this is if i find someone new – usually followed by analysing my feelings if i were to decide to.

I feel this is very unfair on my girlfriend to have these feelings/thoughts behind her back but i am finding it very hard to determine if these are genuine thoughts or feelings or not and have come to the point where i cannot ignore it anymore.

Would really appreciate hearing from anyone who has dealt with something similar.
 
B

BlueWater

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Jul 29, 2021
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Earth
It's easy to say that if you love her you'll always be attracted to something about her both internally and externally. Do you have activities that you enjoy doing with her to take your mind off these thoughts that are pestering you? Activities that give you a thrill when you touch her or kiss her? Swimming with my husband is a thrill for me. Just for an hour or two, it's like being on our honeymoon again. The water, the sun, the heat, bodies that look tanned and healthy and make us want to touch each other and kiss....what's not to love about that? Have you ever had anything thrilling like that with a gf? Are you intellectually compatible? I could never live with a man who doesn't share my political beliefs and general worldview and who doesn't read. It'd be too stressful. Do you know what those physical and intellectual traits are that you need in a gf? Can you refocus on what will make you feel in love with her til death do you part?
 
A

Archipelago

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Jul 30, 2021
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USA
Relationships are highly complex, and it can be tough to know what is the "driving force" behind your thoughts (OCD vs. something that is important for you to address). OCD is a hungry beast and it doesn't have much of a preference for its prey, so it is possible it has "locked on" to your relationship for the time being. But perhaps not!

I've dated women who were conventionally physically attractive, and there is a certain satisfaction that comes with being with someone that others find very attractive. I've dated women who were less conventionally attractive, but who were much more genuine & caring people, so the relationship was better on most levels (sexually, conversationally, emotional intimacy). These other components of relationship, when strong, can increase attraction.

That being said, it's still very important for me to be with someone I find very physically attractive, which doesn't necessarily mean other people find my partner to be that way.

Moving in with someone can dilute physical attraction. You're with them so much more of the time. They are much more familiar. You get used to them, you can get in habits and patterns. It's kind of like if you drive the same road every day for years, you barely even take notice of the road and its surroundings. It may be helpful to introduce some novelty into the relationship. Go on a little trip, do something new together, ask them different kinds of questions to learn more about them, go on a solo trip somewhere.

Sometimes it helps to write out all the things you appreciate about someone, and what you don't like about them. You can be 100% honest if it's in your own journal. I'm not sure how old you are, but in my experience, it gets easier to recognize compatibly when you've dated more people and know what is important to you.

You may find the books Attached and Sex at Dawn helpful for navigating the feelings you're having.
 
A

AK91

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Surrey
Relationships are highly complex, and it can be tough to know what is the "driving force" behind your thoughts (OCD vs. something that is important for you to address). OCD is a hungry beast and it doesn't have much of a preference for its prey, so it is possible it has "locked on" to your relationship for the time being. But perhaps not!

I've dated women who were conventionally physically attractive, and there is a certain satisfaction that comes with being with someone that others find very attractive. I've dated women who were less conventionally attractive, but who were much more genuine & caring people, so the relationship was better on most levels (sexually, conversationally, emotional intimacy). These other components of relationship, when strong, can increase attraction.

That being said, it's still very important for me to be with someone I find very physically attractive, which doesn't necessarily mean other people find my partner to be that way.

Moving in with someone can dilute physical attraction. You're with them so much more of the time. They are much more familiar. You get used to them, you can get in habits and patterns. It's kind of like if you drive the same road every day for years, you barely even take notice of the road and its surroundings. It may be helpful to introduce some novelty into the relationship. Go on a little trip, do something new together, ask them different kinds of questions to learn more about them, go on a solo trip somewhere.

Sometimes it helps to write out all the things you appreciate about someone, and what you don't like about them. You can be 100% honest if it's in your own journal. I'm not sure how old you are, but in my experience, it gets easier to recognize compatibly when you've dated more people and know what is important to you.

You may find the books Attached and Sex at Dawn helpful for navigating the feelings you're having.

Sorry for late response its been very busy my end but greatly appreciate the replies.

As you mentioned yes it is very hard to work out what the driving force is. Unfortunately I am a person who festers on thoughts and emotions before I realise something which is what bothers however equally I do have a long history of OCD thoughts and anxiety.

I do find writing these things down does help and even replying to comments helps clear my head.

I find it very hard to relax often as my brain is always alert to whatever theme I am experience and is always looking for ways to bother me even though I don't have a lot to be bothered about. I do seem to be my own worst enemy.

Re the attraction side things I will admit that my own self confidence with myself is quiet low (and for some reason very low as of late) I hate my own voice, looks and mannerisms and sometimes wonder if I met "me" from another perspective that id find "me" annoying. I think possibly this relates back to ROCD because I have given myself low self worth.

Whether this means I think I have low self worth so I cannot attract an attractive partner or I have low self worth so I want attention from very attractive girls to make me feel better, I do not know but do think possibly its one of those.

What I am having difficulty with is the triggers. They say exposure helps but when I am out on my own or with my partner, there are of course attractive girls in most places. It feels like I am noticing pretty much every attractive girl and analysing her looks. And then start the ruminating/fantasising - to the point its maddening. But it also feels like 90% of women im noticing are more attractive than my gf (then the guilt starts). I know ill never find an answer most likely but I just keep taking it for some sort of warning sign that this is because id rather be with them or someone more compatible.

Just as a final point I do often notice that I also get bored easily (more often than not when im anxious and my head is cluttered). Could it just be that seeing someone younger and prettier, when like you said - moving in with someone can dilute attraction - just sparks of the feelings of someone new and exciting that gives off a fix of sorts. Like how some people just enjoy the chase of a new partner.
 
A

AK91

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Surrey
Back to this again and really seem to be struggling at the moment more than ever. To the point I am considering getting help for it even though I have had help for OCD and anxiety in the past. At the moment everything feels very flat kind of like a depressive episode and nothing seems to excite me - again not sure if spurred by this or other way around.

I would be interest to hear how others have dealt with this as it is so frustrating and exhausting. It sits in my head 24/7.

I will admit I have had some outside stressors possibly make this worse but I have had anxiety over this for some time now. There have been other thoughts on top of this that make me wonder if I am going through a quarter life crises of sorts, analysing my career, relationships, purpose in life. I often get thoughts that I should make some drastic changes to get any satisfaction.

What concerns me a lot when other discuss ROCD in posts they usually say they love their partner so much but don't feel like they feel it but I can't even work that out which makes me wonder if I have serious doubts.

The thoughts usually go something like this..
-If im having to ask myself then that is not a good sign
-Being with someone else would solve my problems and make me happy
-Im only noticing all these other women because im not happy
-Im not attracted to my partner
-That we are not a good match and that I should find someone who is a better match
-That I should find someone im absolutely head over heels and besotted with
-I need to date more people to find someone who is a perfect match

I keep testing my emotions to imagined scenarios (breaking up, running away, finding a new partner) and I always seem to end up with like this happy feeling towards finding someone new that makes me feel even worse.

Sorry if this sounds rant-like but I need to try and snap out of this constant analysing and low mood before I end doing something drastic or end doing something ill regret later on, so would greatly appreciate any insight.
 
L

lucyb

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Spain
Back to this again and really seem to be struggling at the moment more than ever. To the point I am considering getting help for it even though I have had help for OCD and anxiety in the past. At the moment everything feels very flat kind of like a depressive episode and nothing seems to excite me - again not sure if spurred by this or other way around.

I would be interest to hear how others have dealt with this as it is so frustrating and exhausting. It sits in my head 24/7.

I will admit I have had some outside stressors possibly make this worse but I have had anxiety over this for some time now. There have been other thoughts on top of this that make me wonder if I am going through a quarter life crises of sorts, analysing my career, relationships, purpose in life. I often get thoughts that I should make some drastic changes to get any satisfaction.

What concerns me a lot when other discuss ROCD in posts they usually say they love their partner so much but don't feel like they feel it but I can't even work that out which makes me wonder if I have serious doubts.

The thoughts usually go something like this..
-If im having to ask myself then that is not a good sign
-Being with someone else would solve my problems and make me happy
-Im only noticing all these other women because im not happy
-Im not attracted to my partner
-That we are not a good match and that I should find someone who is a better match
-That I should find someone im absolutely head over heels and besotted with
-I need to date more people to find someone who is a perfect match

I keep testing my emotions to imagined scenarios (breaking up, running away, finding a new partner) and I always seem to end up with like this happy feeling towards finding someone new that makes me feel even worse.

Sorry if this sounds rant-like but I need to try and snap out of this constant analysing and low mood before I end doing something drastic or end doing something ill regret later on, so would greatly appreciate any insight.
Hi AK,

I'm just going to give you a testimony of what happened to me and I hope that somehow it helps you.

I know you're looking for the right answers but I can't give or influence you.

I've also suffered from ROCD for about 10 years or more, I haven't always recognized it as ROCD so I'm not sure how long I will have this problem.

What is certain is that I was in a relationship where I was not happy and it was in this relationship that I started to have the most obvious symptoms of ROCD and OCD.

what I can tell you is that if you fall in love with someone outside your relationship you will know that you are really in love and that it is not ROCD.

At least from my experience, the ROCD brings mixed feelings, intrusive thoughts, anxiety and above all guilt.

When I fell in love with my current boyfriend (at the time I was still dating my ex boyfriend and had ROCD issues) I knew right away that it wasn't ROCD but real love because I didn't think twice about breaking free from that relationship and I felt happier than ever, no guilt at all!

today I still suffer from ROCD, I have intrusive thoughts like I love someone else and I'm with my boyfriend because I'm a coward or i'am in denial or something... but I know it's ROCD because deep down I know what I want, and I want my boyfriend, I feel the anxiety and the guilt of my thoughts because I love him.

everyday i feel like it would be so nice to be a normal person and not have crap thoughts.

after 10 years I get tired of it sometimes but I have acquired some techniques like being able to ignore thoughts and spontaneously do just what makes me happy because ROCD is not happiness.

Just try your best to feel happy, its the best advice i give it to you because ROCD passes from one relationship to other so its a fight every time :/
 
A

AK91

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Surrey
Hi AK,

I'm just going to give you a testimony of what happened to me and I hope that somehow it helps you.

I know you're looking for the right answers but I can't give or influence you.

I've also suffered from ROCD for about 10 years or more, I haven't always recognized it as ROCD so I'm not sure how long I will have this problem.

What is certain is that I was in a relationship where I was not happy and it was in this relationship that I started to have the most obvious symptoms of ROCD and OCD.

what I can tell you is that if you fall in love with someone outside your relationship you will know that you are really in love and that it is not ROCD.

At least from my experience, the ROCD brings mixed feelings, intrusive thoughts, anxiety and above all guilt.

When I fell in love with my current boyfriend (at the time I was still dating my ex boyfriend and had ROCD issues) I knew right away that it wasn't ROCD but real love because I didn't think twice about breaking free from that relationship and I felt happier than ever, no guilt at all!

today I still suffer from ROCD, I have intrusive thoughts like I love someone else and I'm with my boyfriend because I'm a coward or i'am in denial or something... but I know it's ROCD because deep down I know what I want, and I want my boyfriend, I feel the anxiety and the guilt of my thoughts because I love him.

everyday i feel like it would be so nice to be a normal person and not have crap thoughts.

after 10 years I get tired of it sometimes but I have acquired some techniques like being able to ignore thoughts and spontaneously do just what makes me happy because ROCD is not happiness.

Just try your best to feel happy, its the best advice i give it to you because ROCD passes from one relationship to other so its a fight every time :/
Thank you @lucyb i much appreciate the reply!

It sounds like you were pretty certain its what you wanted. Were you in a bad relationship as such? Sorry to hear you’ve struggled for so long.

See i have had past relationships too that i know its time to end it but for some reason this time around I know that i am in a good relationship but scared that i dont find her attractive. Sometimes i worry that i dont feel guilty enough when I notice more attractive people.
I have this horrible nagging feeling that the grass is greener elsewhere but i dont want to destroy a good thing. I just seem to test my feelings all the time and right now its like somethings telling me id be happier with someone else if that makes sense.

But yes like you said it would most likely latch onto something else if i did.Unfortunately i think i have read into relationship and attraction issues too much to determine if its actually rocd.
 
A

AK91

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Surrey
Just to add it also makes me feel incredibly shallow and mean. But despite that whenever i think that i counter argue that saying its even worse to lead her on if you’re having such doubts and that I wouldn’t really mind if i ended things.
I know a cbt therapist would likely say expose yourself with the thought of the uncertainty of whether the relationship is right but its the urge of finding someone new I struggle with this i feel like i want it. So now i am worrying that im in denial. Unfortunately i have a vivid imagination where i can vision myself with an other SO which is very triggering. Does any of this resonate?
 
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