Fig. 3.5 “Woman Refusing Apologies from her Boyfriend” by David Castillo Dominici (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Love stalking is one of the most unhealthy types of romantic love. It is often associated with mental or psychological disorder. In one of the most comprehensive studies of stalking, Rosemary Purcell, Michele Pathé and Paul Mullen from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health and Monash University, in Australia, surveyed 3700 adult men and women and found almost one in four had been stalked.
A study published in the ‘Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry’ found that women were twice as likely as men to report having been stalked at some time in their lives. As younger people were significantly more likely than older to report having been stalked, the authors wondered if this was evidence that stalking was significantly increasing in modern times ”.
Love obsession stalking is done by people who develop a love obsession or fixation on another person with whom they have no personal relationship. The target may be only a casual acquaintance or even a complete stranger. The stalker begins to make contact with the victim in a variety of ways that may initially seem harmless, but their continued presence generates fear and terror for the victim. “Peeping Toms” should not be taken lightly, and can pose a very real threat to their victims. This category represents about 20-25 percent (20-25%) of all stalking cases. Stalkers in this category include those who develop fixations on regular, ordinary people- including classmates, their instructors, casual acquaintances or people they pass on campus.
The vast majority of love obsession stalkers suffer from a mental disorder. Regardless of the specific disorder, nearly all display some delusional thought patterns and behaviors. Since most are unable to develop normal personal relationships through conventional means, they have a life of fantasy relationships with persons they hardly know, if at all. They then attempt to act out their fictional plots in the real world.
Love obsession stalkers can be treated if the person afflicted by it, realizes what he or she is doing is wrong and needs help. “Help can be found in a good friend or a good counsellor, who can bring them back to their senses and put them back on track. However, they can only show you the way. It is you who must realize the futility of the obsession and let go from within .
“Before you can overcome a love obsession you first have to recognize that you are indeed obsessed with the person who you believe you love. Love is engaging and gratifying, while obsession is overwhelming and draining. Love allows you to be seen for who you are and still be accepted, obsession causes you to see character traits that are not there and makes you think you have found perfection. Love allows a relationship to grow and strengthen, obsession creates an intense feeling to form a premature commitment. When you love you become a lover, when you obsess you can become a stalker” .
 “What Motives a Stalker” in http://www.wgac.colostate.edu/types-of-stalkers.