Objet Petit (A)utre literally translates to “tiny object of otherness”. It is not generally the person themselves that you desire (although it is perceived as such) but a quality that you perceive that person to possess which you find lacking or absent within yourself. You feel that you need them. You feel like you can’t function without them. You are obsessed. In order to acquire the desired quality for yourself you must possess and control the other person. In practice though this doesn’t work because you can’t possess a person much less their qualities (qualities you assign to them). What you really need to do is identify those qualities so that you can nurture them within yourself.
I prefer this term to infatuation when describing the unhealthy addictive nature of certain connections because I think it is quite normal to feel strong emotions at the onset of a new relationship and I don’t think all infatuations turn into obsessions/addictions. I also think this term really puts it into perspective, the sooner you can disconnect the obsessive feelings from the person the better. It is not really about the other person anyways.
I wrote a post a few days ago(?) stating that I was emotionally invested in someone but if it were only love (pure and sweet) I wouldn’t be in this chronic state of neediness.
I haven’t quite identified the specific quality that I wish to possess. I suspect it is the combination of extroversion and eccentricity. The courage to stand for something, to state one’s own opinions even at the risk of causing others some discomfort.
It’s odd because I never saw this man as perfect. The “illusion” it seems is not one of “perfection”. For me the imperfections have always been more compelling anyhow. For me I guess the illusion is in the desire to be everything to one person and vice versa.
In reading about how to recover from an unhealthy infatuation I learned something
It’s not the other person who gives us good feelings, a sense of purpose, or self-worth. We give these things to ourselves. We assign people “specialness” and in order to be special we must get the attention of a special person but they are human same as us and that specialness again is a designation which we have created and assigned to them. Even when a person is no longer present in our life all the good bits you experienced from the connection are still very much alive within you. You are that which you seek, in other words.