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.
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.