Updated: Sep 21
At some point in life, most people have experienced being in love. We may have felt a strong connection with someone or had a crush that gradually developed into something more. However, these emotions can sometimes become overwhelming and become an unhealthy fixation.
Limerence is the state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire to reciprocate one's feelings... This term was named by Dorothy Tennov, an American Psychologist, in 1977.
For the record, limerence is not as uncommon as you may think. And it is something that you can overcome over time.
The Root Of Limerence
Some childhood experiences have set the stage for many things adults sort through today. And many people have developed coping behaviors that include checking out, numbing themselves, and using substances to soothe the pain.
When life overwhelms you, seeking an escape from reality is natural. For some individuals, this may mean immersing themselves in a fantasy world. This escape could be scrolling through social media, playing video games, or becoming fixated on someone else. Limerence - the fantasy of being with a specific person- can be all-consuming and profoundly affect how you interact with the world around you. It's been suggested that limerence may be associated with pleasure-seeking behaviors that trigger the release of dopamine, the "feel-good" chemical in the brain. As someone here to assist, I cannot offer medical advice. However, I understand the challenges of limerence and have seen many individuals work through it successfully.
Anyone can experience limerence; however, some people are more likely than others, such as:
People who were seeking acceptance
People with insecure or anxious attachment styles
People who have experienced neglect by one or more parents/caregivers
People who have experienced a challenging or traumatic childhood
Although I am not a medical professional, I have come across some useful information that I believe could be beneficial to you. It is possible that you may have already been informed about this, but it can take some time for the information to sink in. I sincerely hope that this information can be of assistance to you in some way.
Signs of Limerence
Again, limerence is a fantasy. It is the opposite of what a real union is. Some signs of limerence may be:
Looking for confirmation. Do you try to read between the lines for subtle cues? In a genuine connection, there will be clear communication. You will know if someone wants you or if the feelings are mutual. A clear sign is holding on to the slightest indication that there may be something or anything more.
You dream of the other person more than you interact with them. No one should live in your head rent-free. Non-stop thoughts are a sign that you are not in your power
The feelings last a very long time with no indication of progression. If there is any indication that being with this person is highly unlikely, then you owe it to both of you to sever ties emotionally, physically, and energetically. This is a necessary step for you to call your energy back to you
You watch their social media more than they are aware. In this day and age, people put their life on social media daily. But other than social media, if you are seeking more information about them that they didn't willingly give you, that is an invasion of privacy.
Breaking Free From Limerence
Redirecting your attention to yourself is key to overcoming limerence. It's possible that the person you are infatuated with filled a void in your life. You'll need to discover what that void was and find ways to fulfill it yourself.
Here are some things that helped me in the past.
Stop thinking of the other person. As soon as the thought of them comes up, think of something else or do something else. The goal is to interrupt the pattern of behavior that encourages limerence
Improve your self-care. When you prioritize yourself you attract available like-minded people
Get clear on what you want. Then reject everything that doesn't align with your desires
Take time to understand the core of your attraction towards this person. Is there something about them that reminds you of someone from your childhood? Does the relationship dynamic resemble a past experience? For instance, maybe you had to maintain distance from a parent, which made you believe that distance or coldness equates to love or that you cannot find someone better, which is not necessarily true.
A Few Things To Consider
Don't forget to show yourself some kindness. It's only natural to long for connection and acceptance, as humans have always sought a sense of belonging and security. Throughout history, we've strived to avoid being ostracized and left to fend for ourselves. Even though times have changed, safety, stability, love, and care are still essential for our well-being. If we don't receive these things as children, it could impact how we seek them as adults. But with newfound awareness, we can approach our relationships in a healthier way.don't
You are not alone. You can do this.