This one isn’t based on a question from a specific person, but it’s about something that’s come up many many many many many times with the people have worked with.
The term oneitis actually comes from the pickup artist community and is a reference to somebody who’s basically developed an adult crush.
You know, the kind of crush you have when you’re a kid. You become obsessed with one girl or one boy, and you just love them to bits.
Even though you’ve never really spoken to them or know anything about them you just gotta deep burning yearning love for them.
Adults do this too, except it’s a lot more kind of toxic and fucked up than the kid version, and it’s something that people have come to call oneitis.
Nice Guy Syndrome
Oneitis it particularly occurs to guys with Nice Guy Syndrome.
It’s an obsession over one person – specifically one person that you’re not actually romantically engaged with in any way. Anyone who’s heard the “let’s just be friends” speech knows about this one.
There is no sex. You’re not in a relationship. There’s probably not even a direct expression of attraction.
In fact, most likely no expression of attraction has occurred at all.
You may be in a “friendship” with the person, or they may barely know you, either way oneitis is an obsession.
What I want to talk about today is getting over oneitis.
I used to be a chronic repetitive oneitis offender.
I would go from one obsession to another, one crush to another.
All throughout my 20s there was at least one girl a year whom I was majorly crushing on and nothing was ever going to come of it.
For the longest time I just couldn’t understand why this occurred. It never went well for me.
I’d fall in love, essentially, in a fucked up way, with these girls – who showed no interest in me in that way and never reciprocated my desire. It was endless suffering.
I wasn’t realizing that because of my obsession with them, I was making no real effort and putting no energy into creating connections with any other girls – this is oneitis.
And what I want to talk about today is how to notice when it’s happening and how to overcome it.
Have you got Oneitis?
Noticing it happening is easy: you think somebody is special.
You place somebody up on a pedestal – they became royalty in your world. They are “the best”, they are uniquely above all the rest – you can’t imagine yourself being with anyone else.
This person’s just so fucking fantastic and you worship them like a goddess. (I’m speaking specifically of guys here but girls do this too.)
So you’ve got this person who you worship as a goddess, even though you might not really know them that well personally, or you think you know them really well personally but because you see them as so goddess-like it’s obvious that you don’t really know them on an intimate level.
You’re just seeing what you want to see in them, which is something we’ll talk about today.
It’s an adult crush. It’s a love that’s unrequited. Whatever you want to call it, oneitis is an obsession with one person; thinking that they’re better than other humans.
First thing you need to do is notice it’s not healthy to view someone this way.
Having an obsession with somebody who’s got no interest in you and is never going to reciprocate the way you feel, and to have completely lost interest in pursuing a connection with anybody else, is a sickness. It is not a healthy state of mind to be in.
This is not true love, where the two of you are bonded together and you fight for each other. This is you essentially borderline-stalking somebody because you’re so obsessed with them (even if they seem to like the attention).
The second thing is to recognize that you are not in love with the real person. You can’t be, because a real human being is not worthy of worship. They never have been and they never will be. Humans are far too flawed and weak to be worthy of someone’s worship.
Worthy of love, certainly, but worship? No.
You can’t worship a real person, but you can worship an image of a person; a fantasy.
You can worship the poster of Britney Spears that you had on your wall when you were a teenage boy without knowing that she was loopy in the head, right?
You can worship what you want the person to be, and then you project that fantasy onto the actual person and end up worshiping the person themselves.
One of the things that you’ll see with somebody who has oneitis is a pattern of it.
The Demon and the Hosts
There will be maybe one or two different girls per year – maybe it’s that kind of frequency – where this obsession moves from one host-body to another. I call it the demon: moving from one host to another.
In 2014 I have oneitis over some girl, 2015 there’s a different girl. When the first girl becomes unavailable (e.g. gets a boyfriend) that’s usually a deal breaker and I move on. I keep developing a new obsession for a new crush, for a new girl, but it’s the same old obsession.
It’s just the same demon, but in a different host body. My neediness for some ideal girl is getting projected onto one girl at a time.
The real girl remains a complete mystery to me. I don’t know what she’s really like. Other people question my obsession with her, they say “Oh but she treats you like shit” or “She’s not that great I mean, she’s pretty or whatever but she’s not that awesome a person, why do you worship her?”
They don’t see what I see because they’re seeing her and I’m seeing my demon. I’m seeing my obsession projected onto her; my idealized woman projected onto her.
The Halo Effect
You’ll notice with oneitis that you will minimise the faults of the person. You’ll ignore the blatant disrespect and other forms of malicious behavior or just downright average behavior you’re seeing from the person, and you’ll really over-emphasize and highlight their strengths.
You’ll take the things you like about them and blow them up in your mind, and say “See? She’s The One, she’s a princess!”
If you got objective feedback from anyone else, they’re not going to have that same kind of idealized image. They’re gonna say “Yeah she’s alright” or “Actually she’s a bit of a bitch” or “I don’t know why you like you” or “Yeah I can see why you’d like her but she’s not the best thing in the world.”
They’re not going to see her the same way because they’re more objective than you are.
Open Your Eyes
Start seeing them the way they are rather than trying to convince yourself they are perfect.
Focus on their behaviour. What do they do? How is that significantly better than other human beings? Separate fact from fiction.
How does she treat you with when you’re around her? Do you feel safe to open up and be yourself, or do you feel like you must try to please her?
Do you feel like she reciprocates? Do you feel like you’re both putting the same amount of investment into this connection? Do you feel like she really is genuine and authentic with you, and reciprocates your affection?
Or do you feel like you don’t want to see what she really is, because then you would lose what you want her to be??
Start having a look at that idealized image that you’re bringing to this thing and realize it’s the same idealized image that you brought every one of your oneitis recipients.
Every one of those host-bodies has carried the same disease.
You Don’t Even Want Her!
The really dark truth about this disease is that it’s not even an ideal woman you’re looking for! That’s not what this oneitis is about..
You’re looking for a reason to not have to find a woman!
With your oneitis you know there’s no chance. While you fantasize about your ideal life together, you know that you’re not actually going to do anything to make that life come true. You are purposefully living in a fantasy world.
You’re not going to initiate and push this thing forward most of the time, because you don’t actually want it to come true. You just want the fantasy.
As long as she’s a “maybe” you get to live with that fantasy. As long as she’s neither a no nor a yes, just living in that maybe, you’re off the hook from making anything happen. You’ve abdicated responsibility.
Not only do you not have to be direct with her about the way you feel, but you no longer need to pursue other women in any way.
You’ve actually removed yourself from the dating pool with this obsession, this misplaced loyalty that is not reciprocated. This, I believe, is the true purpose of oneitis. It frees you from romantic risk.
The real reason oneitis exists is to prevent you from having to engage in creating a real, vulnerable, and what you might think of as dangerous connection, with a genuine human being.
The Cure to Oneitis
Pickup Artists say that the cure to oneitis is to go out a fuck a bunch of girls. I don’t believe in that because I think one of those new girls will just take over the host-body duties (and it’s a psychopathic view of women).
The real cure to oneitis is curiosity. It’s getting to know people as people.
It’s understanding that your neediness for an idealized woman is merely an escape route. You’re trying to avoid connecting with woman at all because you’re scared of doing it.
If you want to cure yourself of oneitis, start focusing on making genuine connections with people. I don’t necessarily mean romantic connections either, but I mean getting to know people for who they really are – their dark side and sharing your own in return – letting them see who you really are, letting go of your idealized image of a perfect person.
That’s what I did.
For me it really started when I was living with a bunch of attractive girls, the kind of girls that I could have easily gone oneitis on.
I had to smell the toilet after they’d been there. I had to see them complain about things that annoyed me. I had to see them leave hair in the sink plughole.
…and I started to see that they are real people; that they weren’t perfect goddesses or princesses – they were just humans like me.
Some of their shit annoyed me, some of their shit I loved, and everything in between.
People are just People
I started to see all people like this, and I realized there was no person worthy of a pedestal.
The only time I can put someone on a pedestal was when I’m creating a fantasy vision of them that doesn’t exist, and it’s based on a template that came long before they even arrived. I’ve just projected that onto them.
I started to let go of that because I started to let go of the idea that I have to be perfect too! I let go of the fantasy that I’ll find someone who will save me from having to be vulnerable and raw and authentic.
I realised that I’m going to have to do that – I’m going to have to be an imperfect person for someone else, and they’ll be an imperfect person for me, and that’s how we’ll connect.
Just understand that if you’re obsessed with one person there’s nothing healthy about that – it’s not natural (well in a sense it’s natural because there’s a lot of people do it but it’s not really that person that you’re obsessed with).
You’re obsessed with your idealized image so that you can avoid having to connect with a real person – it’s like porn instead of real sex.
Get out there and start having some “real sex” – have some real connections with people, see them for what they really are, and this oneitis thing will cure itself.
If you want more on seeing the truth about people check out my book Nothing to Lose – it’s all about letting go of these fantasies and these stories and illusions that we live by, and living in real reality!
And of course send your questions through firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to go on a rant about your particular issue.
Thanks for reading.