How to Handle Obsessive and Unrequited Love: An Interview with Dr. Jeanne Safer

Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen talks love, hope, obsession, and more with Dr. Jeanne Safer, author of The Golden Condom and Other Essays on Love Lost and Found.

Ellen Hendriksen, PhD
2-minute read
Episode #111

By request from listener Annie in Singapore, this week we’ll talk about obsessive and unrequited love. And Annie’s not alone! A paper in the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that only 2 percent of people have not found themselves on one side or the other of unrequited love.

Today to talk about this topic, we have with us psychotherapist Dr. Jeanne Safer—she’s the author of five books, and is just out with her sixth, which may win the contest for best book title ever: it’s called The Golden Condom and Other Essays on Love Lost and Found.  You might recognize Dr. Safer from The Daily Show, Good Morning America, NPR, The New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal.  She’s been described as “a best friend, a gifted therapist, and an enchanting storyteller rolled into one.”  

In conversation with Savvy Psychologist Ellen Hendriksen, Jeanne reveals:

  • When obsessive love can be normal and healthy, and when it crosses the line into unhealthy
  • Why we stay mired in the “relentless hope” of unrequited love, and why we can’t see the truth
  • How to know when you’ve found your true love

Listen to the full interview with Jeanne and Ellen in the top right hand player, or on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

For more from Jeanne, check out The Golden Condom, available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Booksamillion, and Apple.

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All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ellen Hendriksen, PhD

Dr. Ellen Hendriksen was the host of the Savvy Psychologist podcast from 2014 to 2019. She is a clinical psychologist at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CARD). She earned her Ph.D. at UCLA and completed her training at Harvard Medical School. Her scientifically-based, zero-judgment approach is regularly featured in Psychology Today, Scientific American, The Huffington Post, and many other media outlets. Her debut book, HOW TO BE YOURSELF: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety, was published in March 2018.