Mania has many meanings depending on what you are researching or looking into. You probably relate this word to manic disorders like manic bipolar disorder. But, did you know that mania is also used to describe a type of love style?
In 1973 a sociologist by the name of John Alan Lee wrote a book called Colors of Love in which he described six types of love that people can experience in different relationships. One of those types was Mania which is described as a possessive or obsessive love that can lead to extreme jealousy and codependency.
What causes Mania
Mania is caused by an imbalance of love between the two people and insecurities that either might be experiencing but not taking care of. Experts who study Lee’s six types of love say that Mania happens when there is an imbalance between the Eros style of love (passionate love displayed through physical affection) and the Lududs style of love (a playful and flirtatious love often found at the beginning stages of a relationship).
It is pertinent to emphasize that even if you find yourself in one of the styles of love that Lee describes, you won’t stay there forever. People ebb and flow in and out of these styles of love depending on the relationship and stages they might find themselves in.
Although Lee describes six styles of love, in this article, we explore the style of love called Mania and how to know whether or not you are experiencing this type of love.
Before we begin, this article is not meant to diagnose or cure anything. It is only meant for informational and educational purposes only. If you need advice or help in any way contact a mental or relationship and marriage professional near you.
Now, let’s explore 6 signs you might be experiencing Mania.
1- Lack of Focus & Concentration
Have you ever found yourself losing focus on your tasks because you are constantly thinking about your partner? This could be a sign that you are experiencing Mania.
When it comes to Mania, the person experiencing this type of love often concentrates all of their time and energy on that other person due to different reasons. These reasons can include but are not limited to feeling lost without them, feeling like part of you has been ripped apart, feeling like you can’t be yourself without them, etc.
According to researchers in the field of sociology and psychology, who have researched these types of love, the above feelings could be related to codependency.
“If your mood, happiness, and identity is defined by another person, then you could be in a codependent relationship”, states an Everyday Health article about codependency.
According to the article if you find it difficult to make decisions in a relationship, find it difficult identifying your feelings, communicating, you have fears of abandonment, an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others, have an unhealthy dependence on relationships, you lack trust in yourself, you have poor self-esteem, and you value the approval of others over your own, you are codependent.
In a codependent relationship usually, there is one partner that can’t make decisions, and the other partner revels in making the decisions for them. A big problem with codependency arrives when one partner takes advantage of the other.
Codependency is part of the Mania love dynamic, if you are experiencing this in a relationship you may be experiencing Mania.
3- You Don’t Feel Good When You Don’t Get Attention From Your Partner
How do you feel when your partner is not interacting with you? Normal, worried, angsty, void? If you get extreme negative emotions, that are related to attention, when you are not in contact with your partner, this may be a sign of Mania.
These feelings can be manifested in wanting to talk or text with your partner all of the time, getting sad, feeling desperate, or worried if they don’t respond right away. Texting them almost all day just to feel like they are close to you.
Thinking that they are ignoring you, don’t love you anymore, or are avoiding you if a few hours or a day goes by without them answering you. You may also feel a void or emptiness when you know that you can’t communicate with them anymore, for example when they go to sleep (especially if you don’t live together).
These are part of the extreme emotions and reactions that characterize the love style of Mania, according to J.A. Lee.
4- Extreme Jealousy
Extreme jealousy can come in many forms from just being insecure for the duration of your relationship or becoming aggressive and getting physical like taking a bat to someone’s car.
One of the things that extreme jealousy causes are the inability to relax due to the fact that you are often thinking about whether or not your partner is cheating on you. It can also create problems in the relationship like lack of trust, shouting, abuse. Jealousy that is taken too far will sever the chords and damage the relationship completely.
According to an article on VeryWell Mind, unhealthy jealousy is rooted more in fear of abandonment and a worry about not being truly loved.
This is why the person acts out by being excessively questioning their partner, feeling paranoid, following or stalking the partner, trying to control their partner, violating personal space and privacy, among others.
If you are dealing with feelings of extreme jealousy and can’t seem to solve them on your own, we advise that you contact a mental or relationship and marriage counselor near you.
5- Extreme possessiveness
Oftentimes, extreme jealousy leads to extreme possessiveness in an attempt to control and keep your partner close.
Possessiveness can look like breaking the partner’s boundaries, intruding in their personal space, trying to control who they see or talk to, trying to control how they dress, their outings, what they eat, breaking into their phones or computers, blaming, guilt-tripping, manipulating them emotionally, mentally, and physically, not letting them go out without you, among others.
In a blog for Psychology Today, Lisa Firestone, a clinical psychologist, states that acting possessive will not help you keep your partner close, instead it will work to cut ties with them.
“Attempts to exercise power over our partners actually serve to reduce and diminish our own attraction to them”, said Firestone, “When we try to control someone close to us, we limit them in ways that make them less themselves”.
Firestone continued, “We take the air and life out of the relationship. It’s no surprise studies have shown that jealousy and surveillance behaviors we often associate with possessiveness lead to relationship dissatisfaction and destructive behavior”.
In the end, if the behavior is not stopped, it will culminate at the end of the relationship and two wounded people.
6- Desperately needing your partner
Have you ever felt overly needy or desperate to be with your partner? It can feel like a constant grappling or different sensations on your chest that sometimes lead to panic or anxiety attacks.
Experts in the field of psychology relate this mainly to abandonment and loss wounds, that make you feel the need for your partner for every little thing. From going out to do simple errands to needing them near you in order to fall asleep.
Research suggests that besides the abandonment wounds, people also do this to find a sense of value that they cannot find within themselves. They need to be valued by the other person in order to feel good about themselves.
But demanding too much of your partner because of your “need” for them can leave both of you drained and strain your relationship.
How to avoid it
FTD, a site that covers relationship styles, says that the best ways to avoid Mania are to recognize obsessive or possessive behavior before acting it out, learn how to focus on yourself and your goals more than on another person, and learn how to build and put trust in your relationships.
It is not easy doing this all on your own, sometimes you might not even know that you are doing something only after it is done or has become a pattern. In that case, it is always a good idea to reach out to a mental or relationship and marriage professional if you think you need help or suspect that something is harming your relationship but you can’t seem to fix it yourself or figure it out.
Did you relate to the points given above? Want to share your experiences with this type of love style? Comment below. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel for more about love styles and relationships.
Dewey, R. (2018). Six Types of Love in Chapter 16: Sex, Friendship, and Love. Psych Web. https://www.psywww.com/intropsych/ch16-sfl/six-types-of-love.html
Firestone, L. (2017, February 14). Be Mine: Dealing with Possessiveness in a Relationship. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compassion-matters/201702/be-mine-dealing-possessiveness-in-relationship
Fresh, F. (2021, March 26). The 8 Different Types of Love + the Perfect Combo for You | FTD. FTD.Com. https://www.ftd.com/blog/give/types-of-love
Gilbert, B., & Young, A., MD. (2020, July 16). Do You Have a Codependent Personality? EverydayHealth.Com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/do-you-have-a-codependent-personality.aspx
Grieve, R. (2021, September 21). The Six Styles Of Love. Lifehacker Australia. https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2021/09/there-are-six-styles-of-love-which-one-best-describes-you/
Psytoolkit. (2021, November 14). Love Attitudes Scale (Short Form). https://www.psytoolkit.org/survey-library/love-styles-hendrick-sf.html
Stritof, S., & Snyder, C. (2021, April 8). Dealing With Jealousy in Marriage. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/overcome-jealousy-in-your-marriage-2303979