Limerence, When Love Becomes Invasive And Obsessive...

Last updated by Lauren Hart

Everyone falls in love. It’s a wonderful feeling in most cases, but sometimes it can overwhelm us and turn into an obsession. In fact, it has a psychological state linked to love which causes much suffering. It’s called limerence! So what exactly is it? What causes it? Can it be cured? When love becomes an obsession... Let us explain.

Limerence, When Love Becomes Invasive And Obsessive...

What is limerence?

Limerence is a term developed in the 1970s by the American psychologist Dorothy Tennov. It’s a condition in which the person develops an obsession with love. It’s the result of being romantically attracted to someone, but anxiety will interfere with the feeling of love. Limerence therefore belongs to the family of obsessive-compulsive disorders, in the sense that it’s an involuntary state where the person suffering has intrusive thoughts 😥.

The difference between limerence and erotomania

It’s true that there’s a notion of obsession in both cases 🤔. However, erotomania is more associated with psychosis, whereas limerence is a state of neurosis. The sufferer isn’t aware of being an erotomaniac, whereas in the case of limerence, there’s real suffering. The erotomaniac makes up their own love, but the passionate lover suffers it.

An obsessive love

Limerence is therefore added to love, and this disorder can appear just as easily in a long-distance relationship, where the two people have never seen each other, as in a couple, and just as easily in platonic love as in carnal love. Limerence can start with a crush, a sexual attraction, or a strong state of affection and then become an obsession.

At the beginning of a relationship, everyone has the feeling of being in a state of obsession, as the feeling of love is so strong. However, intense feelings will stabilize and adapt over time, leading to a stable, committed, and healthy relationship, which isn’t the case with limerence, which will remain an obsession with the other person.

The causes of limerence

Limerence can have several origins, which differ from person to person. It can be rooted in a wound of abandonment that occurred during childhood. The individual will develop an emotional dependence and will need to love and be loved excessively. Obsessive love can also be the result of one or more very positive experiences. For example, in the case of an online relationship, if the meet goes perfectly well, the individual will develop an idealization of physical beauty and a potential future together.

In general, the state of limerence occurs more in people who tend to develop obsessions quickly and desire what they want to the point where their personal life is disrupted.

👋 You may be interested in this article: Behavioral disorders: The list & their definitions

The symptoms of an obsession with love

When you develop a state of limerence, you may experience both physical and psychological symptoms. The latter manifest themselves in different ways, starting with mental ruminations in which attention is focused exclusively on the loved one. Limerence can also produce great emotional instability, ranging from outbursts of joy to fits of tears and anger. It’s also possible to develop a great fear of rejection, which contributes to the obsession, but can also cause depression 😞.

👉 Limerence is characterized by its intensity, the person experiences excessive love. They’re particularly sensitive to jealousy and have great difficulty communicating. This often leads to a toxic relationship. As the emotional state varies enormously, the physical symptoms are quite strong. There may therefore be:

  • Tachycardia,
  • Stomach aches,
  • Eating disorders (problems with appetite, nausea, etc.),
  • Sleep disorders (insomnia, nightmares, paralysis, etc.),
  • Stuttering (in the presence of the loved one),
  • Shaking and sweating,
  • Red patches,
  • Anxiety attacks (even if this is a psychological result, there are physical consequences).

How can limerence be cured?

Limerence can’t be treated without the individual becoming aware of their suffering. The trigger needs to come from them, from seeing an imbalance in their relationships. That’s the first step, and from there you need to understand why the obsession with love is taking hold. It’s possible to take a step back from your behavior, but this won’t completely soothe the intrusive thoughts.

The best way to overcome this condition is therefore to seek psychological support from a psychologist or psychiatrist specializing in obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD). They’ll be able to suggest the type of therapy best suited to the patient, but one that’s particularly suitable for limerence is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Indeed, this enables the therapist to work on the patient’s thoughts in order to “reprogramme” them. As such, the behavior will be appeased and the obsession reduced.

👉 As long as the person affected by limerence isn’t aware of it, this state may persist over time and materialize in every relationship 😔.

Editor’s note: Vital follow-up care

As Lauren explains, limerence is a source of great suffering, so don’t wait to make an appointment with a psychologist and set up some appropriate treatment. If you know someone who’s suffering from limerence, the first step is to make them aware of the problem, and you can help them gradually along the way.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!

#BornToBeMe

Be sure to check out these articles too;

Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

Read our latest articles here:

Are Narcissists Born Or Made? - Let's Settle The Debate

There you have it, the nature vs nurture debate is back, only this time I want to focus it on those deviously manipulative personalities we refer to as narcissists. Now, evidently these folks get bad press and rightly so because they are often at the root of plenty of harm, but is it really their fault? Can they really be blamed for their terrifying and perhaps inherent traits, or are they simply just products and in this case victims of their environments? Let’s settle this debate once and for all and figure out how and when this disorder becomes apparent. So, are you born a narcissist or is it developed?

Do Narcissists Regret Hurting People?

From their lack of empathy to their scarily manipulative and controlling streak, narcissists arguably display despicable behavior that simply can’t be condoned. Once these people get their claws into a victim, they become ruthless and have absolutely no regard for the effects their behavior may have on their mental health. Now, as with many syndromes, nothing is black and white with these types of personality disorders. In fact, there are certainly many inaccurate theories regarding their relationship with remorse regarding their actions, and that’s why I’m here to set the record straight.

A Guide On How To Deal With Narcissist Silent Treatment Guide📕

If you've ever been involved with a narcissist, you'll know exactly how dangerous and vindictive they can be. Now, they won't use physical violence to break their victims down, although the tactics they use are just as painful and debilitating. These slippery characters operate under the shadow of darkness and use subtle mind games and tactics in order to exert a maximum amount of control and manipulation over their prey. You have no doubt already guessed it, but in case you haven't yet, the silent treatment is a narcissist's go-to tactic when it comes to punishing their victims and taking control of them. Find out here why these abusers use this method and how to deal with it.

8 Reasons Why Ghosters Always Come Back 👻

If you’ve ever given online dating a whirl, the chances are you’ve been ghosted by someone. Now, for those of you who are unaware of this practice, it involves putting a sudden end to a relationship without offering any form of explanation. If I had to estimate how many times this has happened to me, I’d say there are definitely over 10 guys out there who owe me an explanation as to why they suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth… However, all the confusion and short-lived heartbreak has taught me that ghosters always seem to reappear at one time or another.

Should You Really Confess Your Feelings?

Who hasn’t had a crush in their life? You know, it’s when you fall for someone and have feelings for them even though you don’t really know them. I’m one of those people who have had lots of crushes, and sometimes I’ve even admitted my feelings. In fact, a recent example was just before I started my relationship with my current partner. I offloaded what I was feeling all of a sudden… I’ll tell you why I did it and how to go about it.

How To Get Revenge On A Narcissist?

Narcissistic abuse is one of the most horrific challenges anyone can ever go through in life, but that’s not to say that their reign of terror will last forever. Evidently, breaking the cycle of abuse isn’t exactly straightforward, however, once the discard phase has been activated and victims realize that they can walk away with their heads held high, the revenge phase can commence 😈. Unsurprisingly, getting even with a raging egocentric narcissist needs to be carefully planned, but ironically, their self-centered personalities expose to many axes of revenge, which will evidently really get to them…

Are Narcissists Lonely?

Loneliness is one of society’s biggest enemies, and none of us are exempt from it, not even the most devilish of narcissists out there. In fact, throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, 36% of Americans claimed that they have never felt lonelier, which sets a scary benchmark for the wider population 😔. Now, lots of us would no doubt immediately assume that narcissists are too independent and strong-willed to feel alone, however, the truth is they are often the biggest victims of loneliness, yet simply have trouble expressing their inner malaise.

"Nobody Likes Me"

Never invited to parties, never listened to or solicited... It feels like you're just an ordinary person, who is pushed aside and has no value. If this is the case, we often end up coming to the sad conclusion that "nobody likes us! But, why do we think this? Now, this thought does not reflect reality, it hides deeper issues that need to be worked on to detach ourselves from this heavy feeling. Everyone deserves to be loved, including us!

6 Reasons Why Narcissists Never Apologize - They Hate Saying Sorry

I’ll be the first to admit that my stubbornness means I’m not exactly the most willing person when it comes to uttering the words ‘I’m sorry’, but I always push through my pride; although unfortunately, the same can’t be said for narcissists... Indeed, people who suffer from this personality disorder will simply never hold their hands up and accept responsibility for their actions, despite how deeply they’ve hurt your feelings. 😱 You know the idiom getting blood from a stone, right? Well, when it comes to apologies from these toxic personalities, nothing is more appropriate, and here are 6 reasons why!

Why Do I Feel Bad When People Don’t Message Me Back?

Friday night rolls around and after a hard week you were expecting to have a drink with a girlfriend, but she seems to have left you hanging on read... To make matters worse (and the humiliation?) you even saw the little typing sign appear, yet you never received a reply. Well, if that’s the case, obviously you or your "how about a drink tonight?" didn’t deserve an answer. Let’s take a look at why some people don't reply to messages, and why when someone doesn't reply to your text, this makes us feel so bad.



Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist

wengood

  1. Only LoveBen Howard
    4:08
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
    4:55
  4. Beautiful DayU2
    4:08
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
    4:41
  6. White FlagDido
    4:00
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
    4:13
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
    3:17
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
    3:35
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
    4:24
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
    3:07
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
    4:37
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
    3:46
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
    2:17
  15. With Or Without YouU2
    4:56
  16. HelloAdele
    4:55
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
    3:29
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
    3:21
  19. WingsBirdy
    4:12
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar
    3:41

How to detect a narcissist

How to detect a narcissist

How to soothe an anxiety attack

How to soothe an anxiety attack