How to Cure Oneitis: Things That Pickup Artists Won’t Tell You

how to cure oneitis

It has been weeks since she hugged you goodbye and said she hoped you could remain friends. Yet your heart is still aching, and your head is spinning. You want to stop texting her but just can’t get her out of your mind. Memories of her seem to only get stronger as each day goes by. Your friends say you’ve got oneitis. Is this some sort of disease? And if so, will you ever know how to cure oneitis and get over that girl?

Do you suffer from oneitis?

You can’t stop thinking about her. You keep replaying your time together over and over. Her intoxicating smile. Her sweet voice. Her beautiful hair and long legs. “She is the perfect girl for me! I will never get another woman as sexy as her again!”, you keep thinking to yourself. You go through the entire history of your text messages again, looking for signs that she might still have feelings for you.

You have no interest in meeting new women. None of them seem to match up to her. Even when you sleep with other women you meet, you end up feeling worse afterward as if you had cheated on the girl of your dreams and blown your chance of ever getting her back. She seems to be the only woman with the magic key to your happiness.

Every day, she is at the back of your mind wherever you go. At the gym. In the pub. At work. It is almost unbearable. You are surprised that you could get anything done at all. You feel furious with her for taking the joy out of your life. Without her, life feels so meaningless.

All these symptoms are often labeled as oneitis. So what is oneitis and why does it occur?

What is oneitis

Oneitis refers to an unhealthy obsession for or fixation on one girl. The keyword here is ‘unhealthy.’ Because oneitis only occurs when you obsess over a girl who does not reciprocate your feelings or even mistreats you. Most likely, a girl whom you used to be intimate with but are no longer dating. Yet you cannot seem to get enough of this girl, even if it means lowering your self-esteem to please her.

The term ‘oneitis’ was invented by the pickup artist community to tell guys that they have a mental ‘disease’ that requires a cure. This is much too strong a classification that does not empower you. ‘Disease’ suggests that there is something wrong with you and your intense feelings. But is there really? Should you not experience these feelings just because you are a man?

Search back in your memory. Have you ever been fascinated by something that you gave up your meal and sleeping time for it? A video game, perhaps? Or an excellent book? Or if you were the teenage Bill Gates, computers. Sometimes the fascination is so intense that you spend all day and night being immersed in it. Now, this girl is like that video game or that computer you were obsessed with, apart from that she is much more autonomous and unpredictable than an object. She stimulates much more of your emotions and subconscious beliefs, especially those that determine how you relate to women. The obsession, therefore, feels much scarier and more complicated. But it can certainly be understood and resolved if you take the right steps.

Also, calling your feelings a ‘disease’ is like giving you a medical diagnosis. It is much more meaningful to the doctor than it is helpful to the patient. It takes the control out of your hands and puts it right into the domain of the ‘professionals’ who invented the term and want to get you to follow their advice.

The truth is that you can take control. Oneitis is not a disease. It is a natural emotional state that all human beings go through. And you can learn to manage it effectively so that you can function well even under its influence, just like how all of us deal with anger and sadness from time to time.

Oneitis refers to an unhealthy obsession for or fixation on one girl. Click To Tweet

What causes oneitis?

The occurrence of oneitis is linked mainly to your attachment style as well as that of your ex. According to the Attachment Theory established by the British Psychologist John Bowlby, both of you would have developed a particular way of connecting with other people as you grew up. This developmental process was very much influenced by your primary caretakers. When you think about it, the first meaningful relationship you have formed was the one with your mother or father. As babies absorb everything around them like a sponge, you learned what a ‘relationship’ was through interacting with your parents. Let’s say your mum was the one who spent the most time with you when you were a baby. Her temperament, likes and dislikes, whether rational or not, became part of your cognition of and beliefs about relationships and women. For example, if she often responded to your cry slowly with little affection and attentiveness, you are likely to develop an anxious or distant attachment style. You then subconsciously replicate that relationship pattern in your dating life as an adult.

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If you are suffering from oneitis, your attachment style is likely of an anxious nature. Meanwhile, if your ex is also the anxious type or the distant type, it makes the situation worse. Both of you can be very fearful of getting attached, even though you long for the romantic connection. Strangely but honestly, her fear could drive her further away from you, the more she feels connected to you. You are likely to either get the cold shoulder or go on a roller coaster ride switching between intimacy and rejection as she struggles to make up her mind about having a relationship. That can make you extremely confused and anxious.

Fear of abandonment is another cause of oneitis. If you felt neglected when you were little, for example, through your parents’ divorce or illness, you are prone to react strongly to what feels like abandonment. Human beings have the tendency to seek what resembles the relationship we had with our parents. This tendency can exist at a subconscious level, so you may not be aware of it unless adequately explored.

If you didn’t have a very healthy relationship with your parents, then you are likely to seek out unhealthy or even abusive relationships as an adult too. For example, say your mum used to punish you for making mistakes in your homework. You are then likely to believe that mistakes make you imperfect and unlovable. You are, therefore, terrified of making a mistake. When you do make one, you will do anything to hide it or rectify it. Or it would feel like the end of the world. Because for that little child inside you, not getting mum’s approval is such a catastrophic thing.

How does this link to your oneitis? If you see unreciprocated feelings as punishment for any mistakes you could have made, then your inner child will want to do anything to rectify them and earn the love of your ex back.

via Giphy

Oneitis vs. love

Oneitis is different from love, even though it is often mixed with love-like feelings. Lust, infatuation, sexual attraction, fear of abandonment can all feel like love, just to name a few. But if you want to get a relationship that empowers and nourishes you, then oneitis is quite the opposite.

Since oneitis arises from unreciprocated feelings, it is unlikely to make you feel strong and secure – the very thing that you would be seeking from love. Oneitis is a subconscious longing for something that you believe you need but is not what you actually want. Why would you want something that makes you miserable? The only reason for that must be you’ve somehow been conditioned to believe that you need it.

Pure love does not inflict the kind of pain that oneitis does. When in love, you feel safe and calm, not obsessed, and anxious. While love feels secure, oneitis feels threatening. Whole love makes you strong, oneitis makes you weak. Love sets you free, and oneitis paralyzes you. Your obsessive feelings indicate that it is not real love.

Oneitis is different from love, even though it is often mixed with love-like feelings. Click To Tweet

6 steps to get over oneitis

1. Identify what is special about this girl

Is it her looks? Is it sex with her? Or does the tone of her voice remind you of your mum?

When you think about it, try to shift your focus from her to what she represents. Because it will help you find the cause and the cure for oneitis. What is it about this one girl that matters to you so much?

If it’s her looks, then it could suggest two kinds of mindset. One, you believe external validation is more important than your inner peace. Two, you have a distorted self-image, which makes you see yourself as unattractive. Both beliefs make you obsess over how your relationship looks on the outside, rather than how it makes you feel inside. Your sense of confidence and purpose is dependent on the woman you are with.

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If you are dealing with oneitis, then something about this girl clearly seems irresistible to you. It does not mean that it is really her that you cannot resist. It is more likely to be something you had projected onto her. Human beings are naturally drawn to people and experiences that make them feel happy. If you are chasing after someone who does not make you happy, then it is highly likely that you are not drawn to the actual person, but to the person in your imagination. Identifying what you see as uniquely desirable about this girl is the first step towards finding an oneitis cure. Because by doing so, you will be able to examine your perception of her versus the reality and eventually learn to let her go.

2. Look into your attachment style

As mentioned earlier, your attachment style and hers have a strong influence on the relationship dynamic between you. For example, if you tend to develop attachment anxiously, and the girl happens to be the dismissive type, her need for emotional distance and reluctance to acknowledge your importance can trigger your fear quite severely.

People with the dismissive attachment style often run away as they start feeling attached or when things get serious. If this is the case, then she is precisely the type of girl who would trigger your separation anxiety, which often leads to obsessive feelings experienced with oneitis.

Understanding the dynamics between your attachment style and hers helps you see and address the real underlying issue of oneitis. It’s not because she is the perfect girl for you. It’s not because being with her brings you happiness. The reason for your oneitis is more likely that your attachment styles clash in a way that triggers your negative thinking patterns and toxic relationship habits, which are often deeply rooted in your upbringing and your relationship with parents.

3. Learn to deal with rejection

Have you found your ex more irresistible after she rejected you? The human brain works that way. Sometimes, the more you get rejected by a girl, the more you believe that you need her. It feels as if she holds the key to the ultimate validation that you’ve been craving.

This goes hand in hand with low self-esteem. When you don’t think much of yourself, you are likely to believe that only the women you cannot have are worth pursuing. People with low self-esteem have a hard time seeing themselves as attractive. They typically think that whatever they can get must be the lowest of the low.

If you have low self-esteem, then your automatic thought pattern is probably something like “I am a piece of sh*t. Therefore, if somebody shows that they want to be with me, they must be a piece of sh*t too.” This is why girls who reject you, become more attractive to you. From the distorted vision of your low self-esteem, the women who reject you are the only ones you believe can prove your self-worth. This makes them irresistible but, at the same time, creates one of life’s greatest paradoxes. It is destined to be a fruitless pursuit.

If this applies to you, the key is not to keep chasing after the girl. The key is to work on your self-esteem so that you know you are worthy of a good woman who wants to be with you.

4. Appy GFTOW with caution

If you have done any research online for curing oneitis, you would have come across the number one tip ‘GFTOW.’ It stands for ‘go f*ck ten other women.’ Tempting huh? Well, it won’t work.

It may be an ego boost for five minutes, but sleeping with new women is not going to make you less obsessed about your ex. Because it won’t give you a cure for the underlying cause for your obsession, which is what oneitis is all about.

Oneitis is an obsessive behavior caused by your mindset. And therefore, the problem needs to be dealt with within yourself rather than being covered up with external validations. The real confidence of a man does not come from women’s approval. You don’t switch from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset by sleeping with as many women as possible. You do that by building a healthy belief that you are good enough for a meaningful, lasting relationship.

I’m not saying that you cannot seek some temporary comfort by wooing other girls. You might find some relief and stop thinking about her for a bit. But don’t expect the obsession to go away completely without changing the mindset that caused it in the first place.

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5. Treat yourself well

Whenever you are suffering from the symptoms of oneitis, such as negative self-talk and anxious feelings, always remember to be kind to yourself. Let yourself be upset and express your feelings. It is healthy to do so. Talk to a friend or a therapist who can help you make sense of your emotions and mental struggles. It will do wonders for your self-esteem by adequately understanding what causes you so much agony.

What underlies oneitis is often a huge sense of inadequacy. You subconsciously believe that without that girl, you are not worthy. This is precisely the time to remind yourself of all your attractive qualities. It may help to make a list of these on a piece of paper. Also, try looking into the mirror and telling yourself that you are worthy of love, no matter what happens. The key is to create a positive self-image.

Men are not always encouraged to express their feelings softly and profoundly. The societal expectation of masculinity is getting healthier, but there is still some way to go. Try not to be held captive by such inhibitions. Tapping into your feelings is a great way to honor yourself and become a stronger man.

6. Think of her kindly but realistically

Despite what you might think, this girl is not perfect. When you describe her as a goddess, try to pause for a moment and recognize what is real, and what is your projection.

Be honest with yourself. Does she make you happy? Probably not as you are in agony from oneitis because of her. Is she the most attractive woman on earth? Unlikely, because attractiveness is so subjective and there are a lot of beautiful women out there. Could she have any guy she wants? Most certainly not, because the idea itself is a mere fantasy.

When you are suffering from oneitis, you are likely to overvalue her qualities. And you do that because you are undervaluing yourself. Putting things into perspective really helps. It may be challenging to do this on your own because your subconscious mind is convinced of her perfect, projected image. So talking it through with someone kind and objective is the best way to see her for who she really is – an imperfect human being with her own struggles and fears.

You don't switch from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset by sleeping with as many women as possible. Click To Tweet

Despite what some online sources may suggest, oneitis is not an illness. You are not sick. You just need to work through your thoughts and understand them. When you suffer from repeated negative feelings, there is always a psychological reason that can be identified and addressed. And all the solutions are within yourself. You don’t need that girl to feel better. Nor do you need those ten other women. You have all the power to stop oneitis and grow into a stronger, healthier man.

When it comes to true love, you do not have to do anything extra to earn it. The most nourishing love is one that allows you to be yourself. It makes you feel so secure that you know you are good enough just by being you for better or for worse. And if being with her makes you feel inadequate or requires you to change yourself, then she is not the right girl for you. Honor yourself by moving on and wait for someone worthy of your time. When you tap into the kindest part of yourself and tell your inner child that he is loved no matter what, you will see that your ex’s approval and reciprocation are not necessary. Your life is better when you are valued. And the only kind of valuation that counts always comes from within.

Ellen is the founder of Ellen Tang Coaching, a practice dedicated to empowering deep thinkers around the world in relationships, work, and play through one-on-one life coaching. She believes that peace and actualization are the natural results of unconditional self-acceptance. Drawing from ten years of training in coaching and a lifetime of experience in personal development, Ellen’s mission is to form strong partnerships with those on the path towards self-discovery, growth, and fulfillment so that they can find their authentic power and voice. Ellen is a certified life coach and counselor in both China and the UK. 


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