Mania love is an intense, obsessive form of affection that often results in possessiveness and erratic behavior.

We often use the word ‘love’ to describe our feelings for everything from family to TV shows to romantic partners.

Yet ancient cultures, like the Greeks, recognized that love isn’t a one-size-fits-all emotion. They had different words for different kinds of love, such as ‘Eros’ for romantic love and ‘Philos’ for love between friends, showing the depth and variety of human emotions.

One distinct type of love is mania love, characterized by intense, obsessive feelings and behaviors toward a romantic partner. Modern psychology sees mania love as unhealthy, as it’s often driven by insecurity, fear, and possessiveness.

Mania love, also known as obsessive love, is characterized by intense and often irrational feelings of attachment, possessiveness, and jealousy toward a romantic partner.

Mania love isn’t a clinical term. It’s derived from the concept of love styles, which suggests there are six styles of love. Mania, which is described as being possessive or dependent, is a type of love style.

People experiencing mania love may become overly dependent on their partner and exhibit controlling behaviors. This type of love is often marked by highs and lows, with extreme emotions and a rollercoaster-like relationship dynamic.

Signs of mania love can include:

  • a constant need for reassurance and validation from the partner
  • fear of abandonment and desperate attempts to avoid or prevent it
  • rapidly fluctuating emotions, from intense love and devotion to anger or despair
  • jealousy and possessiveness, including monitoring the partner’s activities or contacts
  • controlling behavior, such as dictating the partner’s actions or isolating them from loved ones
  • obsessive thoughts about the partner, often to the detriment of other responsibilities or interests

Examples of mania love could include someone:

  • constantly checking their partner’s phone or social media accounts
  • becoming upset or angry when the partner spends time with others
  • feeling extremely anxious or insecure when not in constant contact with the partner

Other types of love

In addition to mania love, there are several other types of love that are often discussed in the context of relationships and emotions. These include:

  • Agape: An unconditional love often associated with altruism, compassion, and selfless concern for others.
  • Eros: Romantic or passionate love that’s characterized by physical attraction and desire.
  • Ludus: Playful love is characterized by a lighthearted and flirtatious approach to relationships.
  • Philia: A love between friends that’s characterized by affection, loyalty, and a deep bond.
  • Pragma: Pragmatic or practical love is based on compatibility, mutual respect, and shared goals.
  • Storge: Familial love, such as the love among siblings, is based on familiarity and instinctual affection.

What’s the difference between love and mania love?

True love is often driven by genuine care, respect, and a deep emotional connection with another person.

It involves a balanced mix of affection, trust, and understanding, with a focus on the well-being and happiness of both individuals.

In contrast, mania love is often driven by intense, obsessive feelings and a desire for possession and control over the partner.

It can be characterized by emotional highs and lows, jealousy, and a sense of urgency or desperation in the relationship.

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Mania love can have various causes, including psychological, biological, and environmental factors. Some possible causes include:

  • Attachment styles: Individuals with insecure attachment styles may be more prone to developing obsessive love patterns. A large study found that preoccupied and fearful attachment styles were associated with love addiction.
  • Past experiences: Traumatic or unresolved experiences in past relationships can contribute to the development of obsessive love behaviors.
  • Personality traits: Certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem or neuroticism, may increase the likelihood of developing pathological love tendencies.
  • Biological factors: There may be genetic or neurobiological factors that predispose some individuals to develop obsessive love.
  • Environmental influences: Factors such as cultural norms, societal pressures, or exposure to unhealthy relationship models may contribute to the development of obsessive love behaviors.
  • Mental health conditions: Obsessive love can be associated with mental health conditions such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) or other mood disorders. One study from 2022 found that individuals with BPD form intense and insecure attachments to their ‘favorite person,’ leading to suffering for both parties.

Here are some common therapies for mania love:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. It helps individuals develop healthier attitudes and coping strategies.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: This therapy explores unconscious thoughts and feelings to gain insight into the root causes of mania love. It aims to uncover and resolve underlying conflicts.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness practices. It helps individuals regulate emotions, improve interpersonal skills, and tolerate distress.
  • Support groups: Joining a support group for individuals experiencing similar issues can provide a sense of community and understanding, which can be beneficial in managing mania love.
  • Lifestyle changes: Engaging in stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, yoga, or exercise, can help manage symptoms of mania love. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular sleep, a nutritious diet, and avoiding substances like alcohol or drugs can also be beneficial.
  • Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage symptoms associated with mania love, such as anxiety or depression. Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may be used, but this depends on the individual’s specific symptoms and needs.

Mania love is characterized by intense, obsessive feelings and behaviors toward a romantic partner. Individuals experiencing mania love may:

  • experience extreme jealousy
  • exhibit possessive behavior
  • experience fear of abandonment
  • have an overwhelming desire to always be with their partner

If you suspect you have mania love, consider seeking professional help. Therapy can be effective in addressing the underlying issues contributing to mania love and help you develop healthier relationship patterns.

In addition, support groups or self-help resources may also be beneficial in managing symptoms and promoting recovery.