8 Signs your partner could be unhealthily obsessed with you
If you're the kind of person who races through every Netflix original series as soon as it's released, there's a strong chance you've already watched YOU: a show about a creepy guy who will stop at nothing in order to get the woman he wants. Millie Bobby Brown drew attention to it recently after defending the show's main character, a literal stalker, before backtracking once she realised that what he felt for his girlfriend wasn't "love", but rather an extreme obsession.
But Brown wasn't the only one to express sympathy (or even attraction) to Joe, the central character. In fact, Penn Badgely, the actor who plays the role, has taken to Twitter to convince people not to fawn after his character on account of him being a seriously messed-up person.
So what is it about overly-obsessive partners that some people find attractive? Well, it could just be that they're mistaking the attention for love - and that's perhaps easy to do when you're wearing the rose-tinted spectacles of a seemingly perfect relationship. There is a difference between love and dangerous infatuation, though, and these are the signs you ought to look out for...
1. They get attached really quickly
When you first meet someone you connect with, it's fun to relish in the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives you. But if it seems more than just a feeling to them, and instead becomes something very intense very quickly (and I'm talking marriage proposals within a matter of days/weeks), that isn't exactly normal.
2. They're always seeking reassurance
Having a certain level of co-dependence is normal and healthy in a relationship, but having someone constantly rely on you to validate them is not. If your other half is always asking, "but do you really love me?" or making quips like, "I bet you'd leave me for someone else", that's not a sign of affection, that's paranoia and obsession.
3. They make you feel bad about yourself
Does your significant other criticise you? Do they tell you what you should wear, how you should act, and what you're apparently doing wrong in life? And do they paint themselves as the only solution to whatever problems you have? Because that certainly isn't love, that's emotional abuse.
4. They try to influence all aspects of your life
In a good relationship, your partner will want to see you and spend time with you. In a bad one, they'll want you all to themselves all the time. They'll try to take you away from your friends, get you to cancel your plans, and come between you and any "distractions" they might think will stop you from seeing them.
5. They know your routine back-to-front and inside out
It's totally normal for your significant other to know what time you go to work or get home in the evening, and it's definitely not weird to have an idea of what sort of time you like to head to bed or wake up. What is strange, however, is knowing where you get their coffee every morning, what time you take a shower, how long it takes you to walk home at night, where you'll be meeting their friends tomorrow, etc. etc. That's way more than caring: that's controlling.
6. They never take responsibility for their wrongdoings
We all make excuses for our actions from time to time, but if your other half has a problem taking blame, it could be part of a bigger issue.
7. They're in constant contact with you
Sure, we all like a good morning text or a "how are you?" check-up when your partner knows you're having a tough day, but if your bae demands constant contact with you - even when you're out with friends or trying to have some alone time - that's when it's gone too far.
8. They show up uninvited
Romantic surprise with chocolates and flowers on Valentine's Day? Cool. 11 o'clock at night with no explanation other than, "I wanted to see you"? Not cool.
Of course, everyone's relationships are different, and some people like to keep their distance more than others. But if the person you're dating ticks a lot of these boxes, you may want to reconsider how comfortable you really feel with them.