Skip to main content

Relationship OCD (ROCD): Symptoms, Causes, Effects, Treatment

Relationship OCD (ROCD)

Relationship OCD, otherwise known as ROCD (Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), is more often than not, a situation or multiple situations where you can start to feel anxiety about whether or not you love your partner, or in fact whether or not your partner loves you. The line that is crossed for this behavior to be considered compulsive is when you find that these thoughts are with you all the time.

Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

What could be worse than constantly worrying or living in fear about what your partner is doing, who they are with, and does he or she love you? And of course, then there is the other side of the coin, where you are continually questioning your devotion to your partner.

This has to affect the relationship, even if it isn’t immediately recognizable, the signs will show eventually. This doubt about commitment or love is often something that can be felt by your partner, particularly if the behavior you are showing is typically out of character for you.

All of this worry and stress have a huge impact on your anxiety level, and this is not good for your health.

It is something that can easily be spread, the mood that is, to those people close to you. If you have children, the chances are they will pick up on it as well, and children are not equipped to deal with such things. This is something that can be damaging to many indirect relationships. The very indication of an obsessive compulsive pattern of behavior should be addressed as soon as you can.

Generally speaking, the main problem is personal fear. This is a fear that you may not be good enough, that your partner may not be good enough for you, or that he or she may be too good for you. This fear leads to doubt, self-doubt, and doubt that your partner feels the way they say they do. You can see the pattern building until ultimately that fear and doubt, lead to a lack of trust, both in yourself and in your partner.

This is when big issues can arise, and it can often spell the end of something healthy. Relationship OCD can present symptoms that are typically received as something other than what they are, and this is where it gets dangerous for any relationship.

Symptoms of relationship OCD

Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (ROCD), is a subtype of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that centers around doubts and uncertainties within romantic relationships. People affected by ROCD experience persistent doubts about their feelings for their partner or their partner's feelings for them, leading to a cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

Symptoms of relationship OCD can affect a person's ability to have a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

Relationship OCD can involve a person feeling anxious or worried about specific aspects of their relationship, such as the frequency of communication, the level of trust, or the level of intimacy.

ROCD can also involve a person feeling compelled to check their relationship constantly, to make sure that everything is still okay.

Relationship OCD can also lead to a person feeling excessively jealous or insecure and can impact a person's ability to feel connected to their partner.

ROCD Causes and Triggers

Some experts believe that several possible factors may contribute to relationship OCD. Some of these factors may include:
  • Genetics: Some people may be more prone to developing relationship OCD because of their genes.
  • Stress: Relationship OCD can be a result of a high level of stress in a relationship.
  • Anxiety: People who have anxiety may be more likely to experience relationship OCD.
  • Relationship History: If a person has had a difficult or traumatic relationship in the past, they may be more likely to experience relationship OCD in the future.
  • Fear of abandonment: Some people may be afraid of abandonment and may experience relationship OCD as a way to avoid being left alone.
  • Fear of intimacy: Some people may be afraid of intimacy and may experience relationship OCD as a way to avoid being close to others.
Triggers for ROCD episodes can come from sources that are inside or outside the individual.

The ROCD sufferer constantly compares their relationships with the relationships of others around them and finds theirs somehow lacking. This is a common internal trigger for ROCD episodes.

And, for other ROCD victims, intrusive fantasy images and/or rumination, about a partner being involved with another can create irrational jealousy.

Outside sources that can trigger episodes can come from images seen in movies, television, or social media, or taken from popular music. The ROCD victim compares their relationships with the unreal, unrealistic, glamorized, and idealized images taken from media and feels that their relationships are somehow lacking. This tendency to compare reality with “fantasy” can serve as a trigger for a ROCD-fueled bout of self-doubt that leads to breaking up a relationship that doesn’t measure up to an “ideal” of a relationship.

Treatment for Relationship OCD

You may be familiar with the old saying “time heals all wounds” but this is not necessarily the case with relationship OCD. The thing is that with plenty of idle time, your mind is left to further develop the fears that you have, allowing them to become stronger.

Of course, there are ways to deal with your relationship OCD, one being therapy, but you should consult with your doctor before any avenue of recovery. A general health checkup would be a good idea initially, to ensure that the symptoms have not been able to create any issues that you can’t see.

Coping with OCD in an intimate relationship is very challenging. In addition to the standard treatments of psychotherapy and medication that help the victim to recognize and manage their symptoms, it is helpful to get the partner involved in the management of the disease.

Through couples’ counseling, and an emphasis on honest and open communication between partners, misunderstandings can be avoided (for example an OCD partner might fear “contamination” through being intimate while the non-OCD partner might react by feeling “I’m not attractive.”).

As with other types of mental health problems, it is also very helpful to join a support group as a means of sharing and discussing feelings of embarrassment or isolation that come from these problems.


Q: Is ROCD a common disorder?

A: ROCD is more common than often believed, affecting a significant portion of the population.

Q: Can ROCD be mistaken for genuine doubts?

A: Yes, ROCD symptoms can mimic regular relationship doubts, but the intensity and distress set it apart.

Q: Is ROCD a sign of a failing relationship?

A: No, ROCD is a disorder that can impact even healthy relationships; seeking help is crucial.

Q: Can ROCD only affect romantic relationships?

A: While it often centers around romantic relationships, ROCD can extend to other areas of life involving close connections.

Q: Can therapy help in managing ROCD?

A: Absolutely, therapies like CBT have shown promising results in managing ROCD symptoms.

Q: Can someone with ROCD have a healthy relationship?

A: Yes. With proper treatment and effort, individuals with ROCD can build and maintain healthy, fulfilling relationships.

Q: How long does recovery from ROCD take?

A: The duration varies, but recovery is a gradual process that requires time, commitment, and professional guidance.


Other Posts

The Mystery of Edith Bouvier Beale's Mental Health

Edith Bouvier Beale , commonly known as " Little Edie ," was an American socialite and cousin of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In this article, we explore the life of Edith Bouvier Beale, an enigmatic figure whose struggles with mental health captivated public attention. From her affluent upbringing to her seclusion in " Grey Gardens ," we delve into the complexities of Edith Bouvier Beale's mental health journey. Edith Bouvier Beale's Mental Health: What We Know (and Don't Know) In the realm of intriguing personalities, Edith Bouvier Beale stands out as a complex figure whose life was marked by both glamour and obscurity. While her name might not ring a bell for everyone, her captivating journey, marred by mental health struggles, has left an indelible mark. Let us delve into the life of Edith Bouvier Beale, exploring her early days, her rise to stardom, her decline into isolation, and the profound impact of mental health challenges on

OCD: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment, Help, Cure

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder , more commonly known as  OCD , is a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder and is characterized by way of persistent, undesired thought processes (obsessions) and/or repeating actions (compulsions). Obsession, in this case, is highly unpleasant as the individual is compelled to repeat certain behaviors again and again. The condition, most of the time, is anxiety-related and the  thoughts are unwanted and intrusive . Sufferers often understand that these thoughts are irrational, but by performing compulsive behavior, they believe they will be cured or will be relieved. Recurring actions such as hand washing (to avoid catching germs), counting numbers, checking things over, or cleaning are frequently carried out with the anticipation of avoiding compulsive thoughts or making them disappear altogether. This is to avoid their obsession turning into reality. OCD is a common mental condition that affects 2.5 million adults or

Health Anxiety Is Ruining My Life: How to Get Over It

Do you have a fear of diseases? Have you ever thought of a simple headache to be a brain tumor, or a slight stomach ache as an intestinal blockage? Have people ever called you crazy because of your obsession with health and hygiene? Are you gripped by a constant fear of being terminally ill? Have you ever self-diagnosed yourself by checking the symptoms online? Are you aware of the symptoms of various diseases because you constantly look them up online? Do you keep getting tests done (often by different doctors)? Is no reassurance enough to prove that you are not sick? You know that but are never satisfied. Is that you? If the answer to most of these questions is yes, you probably are a hypochondriac. But if " Health anxiety is ruining my life " is something you can relate to, this article will help you overcome it. Health Anxiety Is Ruining My Life If you're constantly worried about their health and always convinced that you are sick, then you may