Hollywood syndrome


Hi everyone,

I have slowly started the book on rOCD and am still corresponding with some rOCD sufferers. I had a very interesting discussion with one of them. I will call this person P.

I have asked P to write a list of (misplaced) expectations in regards to her relationship and send it to me. She also kindly agreed to share them on this blog as our discussion might benefit other people. By the way, P did a great job recognising where some of the issues might lie!

I call these the “Hollywood syndrome” – where we set unrealistic expectations based on fairy tale type of relationships only seen in movies. This was one of the things that I had to learn as well!

My replies are in blue (by no means perfect either!).

  • I should feel in love with my boyfriend 24/7. Impossible thing – you can’t feel these hormones all the time. Even if you could, you would start getting immune to it. And wanting a higher kick. 
  • When I have a boyfriend whom I consider to be in love with, hence I should not feel attracted to other guys or find them good looking.Impossible. You can’t switch this off. It is like saying “I do not want to feel hunger anymore.”
  • If we are having fights over small issues that means we’re not meant to be. A right couple do not fight.Don’t know of any relationship that does not fight from time to time. The issue is how we do it, not that it happens.
  • If he is not doing enough things for me, then that means he doesn’t love me as much as I do. I probably should be with someone who does things for me more than I do. This is a communication issue and male/female thing. The important thing is that BOTH are willing to put on the effort to address this.
  • I shouldn’t feel bored of him if I love him. If I feel like getting out on my own spending a little time away from him than that must mean I’m bored of him. You don’t stop being an individual when you get into a relationship. You can become more flexible like watching action movies with boyfriend but you still like your chick flicks…
  • I shouldn’t marry him ’cause I already know him so much so after marriage it’ll be all same and boring. (spike given by a friend) – you make the relationship exciting if it needs be. When things tail off – the infatuation feeling – you need to make things kind of happen again. I had a really great time with my wife, playing bowling last week. You have to find the solutions. And you cannot feel excitement all the time, it is not healthy.
  • If I move in with him, I’ll get bored cause of living with the same person all the time. Our love might fade away. Yes, or it might grow to a deeper level. It does not grow deeper when people are apart. But it will require work.
  • If I find some other guy hot then that must means I’m not in love with my boyfriend 100%. Or it just means that you find the other guy hot.
  • If my boyfriend is a bit immature or isn’t upto the level of understanding about life and love and other things then we can’t work out. Every relationship is a compromise. You are not perfect either. But this is the point of love – growing together by means of compromise.
  • if I’m looking for signs then that must mean he is not the right one for me. How do I know this is the one for me?

    Or Is this Mr. Right or Mr. Right-now?!” Maybe I should keep looking for signs. Ultimately, no one knows. No one. Our best bet is to become Mr and Mrs. Right through a lot of work, patience and service. Becoming is reality. Being is fiction.

LOVE IS HARD WORK. By putting two imperfect people together, we can’t expect perfection to happen!


  1. Thanks a lot!My discovered that reading that made me realize that its totally obvious for me what Blip you replied! I am definetely improving. Thank you for this blog!!!

  2. It might also be important to mention that when we’re anxious about these things you often try to recall a memory of a time you knew you were in love. This is obviously the checking side of the disorder.
    However, part of this doubting disorder causes us to lack confidence in that memory and doesn’t end up making us feel better. Again this is why the person who compulsively cleans their hands looks back into their memory to “check” they have done it but still goes back to wash their hands again. It’s not that the person with OCD has a bad memory only that they lack confidence in that memory.
    I’m certainly not saying you should ruminate. But I think it’s a good explanation as to why drawing on a memory doesn’t always work.
    I’m a big believer in mindfulness as an alternative option to this ruminating for hours.
    Hope this helps 🙂

    1. I would just like to say that, along with the rest of this blog, this is a fantastic observation, and one that I am certainly going to take to heart. I have been having trouble with this aspect of rOCD for a while now, and just hearing that it isn’t just me takes a lot of weight off of my shoulders. I know that I just have to keep on working on myself, but I am very happy I stumbled upon this. Thank you!

  3. What about worrying about being attracted to your partner? Questioning their looks. I find it comes and goes, mindfulness diffently helps. Is there any thing else that you could suggest that helps ?

    1. There is no easy or quick way of tackling this. Yes, it is frequent to question our partners looks. Like in EVERY “normal” relationship. You might have married a top model but in 40 years from now she will not look the same way as the same day you got married.

  4. Hi guys,

    I’ve kind of gone through various stages with my ROCD as far as worrying about certain things ranging from does my girlfriend love me? Am I really in love with my girlfriend? etc… anyways as of late I notice if I look at another girl and find her attractive I start having thoughts about how this is wrong and unfair to my girlfriend because early on in the relationship (before I had ROCD symptoms) I never paid attention or put any thought into other girls. I feel as if I shouldn’t be checking out other girls, and the worst part is once I realize I think a girl is attractive my head goes into a spin just examining how bad I feel this is and I suddenly feel sad. I have intrusive thoughts enter my head that make me ask myself do you want to have sex with this person or something? I can’t stand the thought and I would never ever cheat on my girlfriend or anything. I was just hoping for some support and looking to connect and hear from other people that may experience these types of thoughts. Does anyone else deal with this? Do you feel like a terrible person for looking at other members of the opposite sex and finding them attractive?

    1. This is exactly what happens to me. I was actually looking through this blog to find something similar to this to comment on. Whenever I find another guy attractive, I worry myself sick that it must mean I don’t love my boyfriend or that I must want to be with that other person more; thus why I found them attractive. I worry that it’s I brain telling me I need to date around more.

      Blip do you have any advice?

      1. Attraction is part of human nature. You can’t switch this off. It would be the same as saying “from now on, I will not feel anymore hunger”…

    2. This is exactly what happens to me. I was actually searching through this blog hoping that I would be able to find someone who can relate to what I am going through. When I find myself attracted to another guy my anxiety goes from 1 to 100. I worry that it means I don’t really love my boyfriend. Worse yet, I worry that it means that my brain is telling me that I should be dating around; otherwise why would I be finding myself attracted to another guy. It’s so awful and I spend so much time worrying and crying over it. I can completely relate to what you mean; I feel extremely guilty when I am attracted to someone else. I love my boyfriend and I want to be happy with him, I just wish I could stop worrying about every other guy. I don’t understand if I know what I want, why can’t I feel it.

      I was hoping Blip would have some advice on if this is normal for an ROCD person and maybe some tips on dealing with it.

  5. This is not a comment on content but rather on form–I hope you plan to edit or paraphrase P’s quotes for readability before publishing them!

  6. This post really opened my eyes this morning. I have all the same fears as P. I get overly emotional and upset when my boyfriend does things that I don’t necessarily agree with and I freak out thinking “we aren’t meant to be. I don’t love him if he does this or that.” And I mean it’s over stupid little things. I don’t know how to control these thoughts yet, but I know that knowing that other people have the same issues helps me feel a little better.

  7. I think I also have ROCD. I’m with my boyfriend now for 6 months. I love him very much. I love being with him, we always have lots of fun and all of the above things I also think. I have one moment where I think I should break up with him, because i don’t love him anymore. But at the exact same moment I am thinking I DO LOVE HIM, I WANT TO BE WITH HIM. Because I actually don’t want to break up with him and I want to build a live with him. Those thoughts really scare me, because I’m not exactly old, I’m pretty young. I just get so crazy. lately I actually have been suffering also from other anxiety problems. Is this ROCD? I can tell you, i’m already seeing progress (have had the problems for 3 months, with my ex-boyfriends also, dumped them…), and I’m not thinking about it anymore every minute of the day, but only one hour. I just sometimes need someone to tell me that I do love him.

  8. Someimes I get the feeling like I really find out that I don t love my partner. I know that finding zhat out is not what I want, but then my brain tells me: Now you know, you have to leave him, …but then I start thinking how I loved him 6 months ago and how happy I was. When he tells me: break up if you don t love me, I am confused, scared. I start thinking: well you need to break up, you are just not brave enough, and then again, I don t want that to be the truth. I feel 2 days fine, when I stop giving importance to my thoughts, but then they come as if they are real and as if I just need to admit that it is over…How can I know that this is OCD

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