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You’re on top of the world…emotional fireworks all the time…feelings of rapture…life is wonderful…everything seems so vibrant and alive…and you obsess about that wonderful someone. (S)he interrupts your thoughts when you are trying to read or sleep. You can barely wait to see him/her again when you separate. His/her voice is beautiful music. You make every effort to be with him/her. You try hard to get his/her attention.

This is great if you’re woman. The man’s interest in you won’t be harmed by try-hard behavior unless it gets in the way of his other interests. His interest is based on your beauty and femininity primarily. If he’s thinking about a LTR, then warmth, sweetness, and loyalty also play major roles in his decision.

If you’re a man, however, then you are communicating neediness. This is very unattractive to women. It will seem like you lack options, which undercuts preselection. (“Preselection” is the state where other women find you attractive and this makes you more attractive to individual women.) Hence, you, the man, will seem less attractive to the woman about whom you’re obsessing. So, men need to avoid falling in love. It is bad for the woman’s attraction and weakens your relationship. But you don’t decide to fall in love…it just happens, right?

Actually, there are a few circumstances that lead to “falling in love.” One is sex, for a woman. A woman’s body releases oxytocin when she orgasms. Oxytocin produces the “falling in love” feeling. A woman’s body also releases oxytocin when she goes through childbirth and promotes bonding with her baby. If you engage in deep rapport with another person in a short time, that can also cause oxytocin-mediated bonding and “falling in love.” Yet another way is to dance a lot with one person for whom you feel some (it doesn’t take a lot) romantic feelings. You don’t even have to find that person very sexy.

I recently experienced bonding with a dance partner with whom I have flirted. It was awful. I knew what was going on, yet I had a hard time going to sleep because I kept thinking about her. I texted her once about where she was. (I had cover because I wanted to find out if there were many dance partners there for me, but she never responded.) I was a little too eager when asking her to dance. Needy. A little creepy. Horrible!

I got out from under the oxytocin addiction. “How?” you ask. First, I avoided being around her. I changed my routine. I went on trips so I’d be out of town. Whenever I started to think about her, I deliberately got angry. I changed where I went dancing. I didn’t text her. I thought about how she had disrespected me and got angry about it. I thought about how I had been needy and a little creepy and how disgusting that was; my mind associated the disgusting, shameful behavior with her. So now, the thought of her brings up these feelings of disgust and I remember my shameful behavior. I don’t want to dance with her…in fact, I don’t even want to see her face. The notion of being around her makes me feel a little queasy.

If you are in a relationship with a woman, you can’t do these things. What you have to do is limit your time with your obsession and distract yourself with other things. Go on trips. Change your routine so that you see less of her. Spend more time with friends. Flirt with other women and think about them. Distract, distract, distract. When you think about your obsession, make yourself angry at being obsessed–you want freedom. Don’t call her or text her.

Freedom is what we men get when we avoid falling in love. Love women, but don’t fall in love with them.