Do You Suffer From Oneitis?

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Do you suffer from an unrealized crush?

Do you have a break-up you haven’t been able to recover from, even though it’s been months? Years?

Have you ever felt like nobody else could ever possibly mean as much to you as she does/did?

Do you feel as though this is your one chance at true love?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be suffering from oneitis. oneitis is a common affliction, especially amongst geeks, affecting millions of men and women daily. Symptoms can include feelings of hopelessness, heart palpitations, dry mouth, depression, anxiety and an inability to seek out other romantic or sexual relationships. Left untreated, oneitis can lead to complete sexual dysfunction, weight loss, weight gain, impotence, alcoholism, stress-induced smoking, loss of friends and restraining orders.

But don’t worry; oneitis is a completely curable disease. When caught in the early stages, oneitis easily treated. Even the most chronic cases can be treated, and sufferers of oneitis can go on to lead normal, fully functional lives.

"Man, this is even better than that time I caught herpes and went on Valtrex!"


But before we get to the cure, let’s look a little closer at oneitis.

What Is Oneitis?

Oneitis is a common affliction amongst nerds, especially nerds who are relatively inexperienced with relationships. Unlike many similar afflictions, oneitis can be found equally amongst men and women, among homosexuals and heterosexuals. And much to the dismay of everyone around the victim, cases of oneitis can linger for years. 

oneitis, put bluntly, is a crush gone out of control and turned into something that’s a borderline obsession. Sufferers from oneitis become fixated on one person and believe that nobody else in the world could possibly measure up to how perfect they are. In it’s earliest stages, oneitis feels almost exactly like the honeymoon period of a new relationship. Everything they do is fascinating and you just can’t stop staring at them when you think they aren’t looking. You do surreptitious deep-breathing exercises in their vicinity just so that you can properly appreciate how good they smell. The way the sunlight glints in their hair is hypnotic. You look their name up in the phonebook just so you can see it in print. You find yourself imagining all those happily ever afters that you know are coming; sometimes you have the 2.5 kids, the 1.8 cars and the house in the suburbs. Sometimes you’re the arty bohemian couple that’s at the center of the cultural life in the big city and sometimes – not often but sometimes – it’s just the two of you in a chalet in the Swiss in a dream montage that looks suspiciously like the Nestlé White Chocolate commercials from the ’80s.

There may only be five of you who remember this commercial but now the song's stuck in your head. You're welcome.

Unfortunately… this glorious honeymoon period is also entirely one-sided.

Yup. Your crush is utterly unrequited. It’s like being back in junior high again and you can’t stop thinking about the cute girl who sat three seats down from you in Geometry, but she doesn’t know you exist.

But this isn’t any chaste school-boy crush. Oh no. Not by any stretch of the imagination. You may protest that your love is pure but your gonads tell a different story. You have strained your eyes trying desperately to develop x-ray vision in the hopes of seeing her naked. You know exactly how his ass looks when he’s walking versus when he’s running and you can’t help but imagine the quarters you could bounce off of it. You have, frankly, wanked yourself half-blind over a veritable cornucopia of sexual fantasies, including that one involving a Slip-and-Slide, four hula-hoops, an industrial sized tub of lubricant and a copy of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart video.

Unlike your typical crush, oneitis becomes an all-consuming obsession. At least with typical crushes, you’re still interested in other people. Not with oneitis. When you’re suffering from oneitis, you haven’t just put them up on a pedestal, you’ve elevated them to the state of being The One. She’s no longer just Angie, the hot chick who lives in your dorm, she is your destiny. Your One True Love. She is the one whom all others shall be judged against and found wanting. You have no room in your heart or your genitals for anybody but her.

What makes oneitis interesting is how it overlaps with the Friend Zone without necessarily being a symptom of it. You see, while oneitis frequently affects nerds trapped in the Friend Zone, it can just as easily affect nerds who’ve actually had a relationship with the object of their obsession. Oneitis can frequently be caused by being dumped in the first place.

The Symptoms of Oneitis

Oneitis symptoms can vary from person to person and the severity of the case. However, there are certain commonalities that can be found in every case.

You spend all your energy trying to figure out how to win them over.

People with oneitis will go to incredible lengths on the vague hope of earning the affection of their crush. Most cases involve some variation of performing the Platonic Friend Backdoor Maneuver, deliberately putting themselves in the Friend Zone in hopes that they can slowly worm their way into the woman’s affections. This is especially true if the victim of oneitis had been in a long-term relationship with his crush. He will frequently lie about being over her and being completely cool with her wanting to date other people, just so long as he’s able to hang around her.  Sometimes the sufferer becomes an Orbiter, only there to be used by their crush. In other cases, there is a genuine feeling of friendship and affection on the part of their crush.

This actually makes it worse.

“No, it’s cool. I’m totally down with the burning pit of despair writhing in my gut while you’re busy making out with him.

Others will try more esoteric methods of winning the love of their crush. Many members of the pick-up community got their start due to oneitis, hoping that some magic formula of pre-scripted routines and emotional progression models could move them from Friend to Lover. Still more will make increasingly grand (and ultimately, embarassing) romantic gestures ranging from ordering thousands of dollars in flowers to purchasing romantic getaways for the two of them in the hopes that material demonstrations of their love might work where dogged patience and wishful thinking have failed.

You obsess over her to the point of neglecting other women.

Sufferers of oneitis have elevated their crush to mythic proportions. Oneitis is a particularly pernicious disease because it perpetuates it’s own existence. Many people afflicted with oneitis will romanticize their own pain; to them, their unrequited love is something to be celebrated. Not only does it make them the hero of their own tragic love story, but they rationalize that their pain will either eventually win over their crush’s heart or else make the “inevitable” victory all the sweeter.

Sufferers of oneitis are frequently members of Team Jacob.

This symptom is especially bad in sufferers who have been dumped by their crushes. These poor men feel as though their one chance at love has been ruined and that they will never be happy again. They will frequently self-edit their relationship with her, remaining willfully  all of the bad parts and changing the high points to glorious fantasies usually only seen by Disney heroines.

Because their crush has been elevated to such levels of perfection, no other woman can possibly compare in the mind of a oneitis patient. To this end they miss out on other opportunities for sex and romantic relationships with people who are not only better for them but might actually love them back.

You read meaning into everything she does.

Also known as reading the tea leaves, chronic sufferers of oneitis will assign meaning to everything that their crush does. Does she twirl her hair while she’s talking to you? This means something. Did she agree to go to an impromptu dinner with you? That means something. Did she leave her hand on your shoulder for just a microsecond longer than she normally would? Clearly it’s a sign that she’s weakening! Stay on target… stay on target… 

Sufferers of oneitis frequently have a self-inflicted case of apohenia, desperately seeing patterns and meanings where none exist. Ultimately, everything that she does will be seen as proof that he is making progress. Incremental progress, to be sure, but progress none the less.

These little clues that they see in every movement, choice of words and life choices are part of the self-justification that oneitis victims use to maintain the illusion that they may actually have a chance. You see, deep down the sufferers of oneitis understand that they have no chance. But rather than face up to that harsh reality, they prefer the comforting fantasy that with a little more patience, a little more effort, they can still make that magical fairy tale ending happen.

How To Cure Oneitis

The treatment of oneitis is twofold. To start with, the victim must be brought to realize that the world is full of beautiful women and that by focusing on that one person, they’ve cut themselves off from the love and sex that they could be having otherwise.

A dramatic recreation of this realization.

Some believe in the FTOW theory; that is, Fuck Two (or Ten) Other Women. The idea being that once one has had that much sex they will start to accumulate an abundance mentality and realize just what the world has to offer them, leaving their crush behind.

While I can see merit in this method, it can be difficult to accomplish – especially when the sufferer has little to no experience with women or sex. In my experience, I have found that treating oneitis and break-ups are similar enough that treating them the same way produces desirable results in a shorter period of time. Thus, if you or someone you know is suffering from oneitis, I highly recommend that they follow my prescription for surviving the break-up. Pulling the nuclear option can be the most difficult part of this recovery; it may be that well meaning friends will have to enforce the no-contact rule, removing all means of contacting her themselves. Following this, keeping the sufferer so busy that he doesn’t have time to think of her will aid in the separation necessary, giving them a window into which other women can be introduced.

Oneitis is a terrible disease. But it can be treated my friends. There is always hope and in time, you too will come to realize that while some things aren’t meant to be, there is better to be had out there.

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