Welcome to limerence.net. A website and support forum for those impacted by limerence, unrequited love, love-addiction, obsessive love, romantic infatuation, and affair recovery. Its also a place for those wanting to build healthier relationships and seeking to find themselves.
I set up this site after grappling with my own episode of limerence. Since that time, and having worked through my own healing i came to realise that limerence, whilst debilitating, was more a catalyst for a period of much needed psychological growth.
My knowledge is also informed by my qualifications as a counsellor and psychotherapist. It is also based on working with many people in my relationship counselling practice (www.loverelations.co.uk) that I run with my wife, who is also a qualified therapist.
With that healing came an awareness that limerence touches many aspects of relationships, be it romantic, with friends, family or work colleagues. And since then, this website and forum has expanded to cover more than just healing from limerence. It has evolved into helping others understand more about themselves and relationships.
The limerence.net forum (click here to go the forum) offers a safe place that offers non-judgemental mutual support. You will find genuine and sincere advice for those impacted and seeking recovery. We request you show mutual respect as this site contains people at all stages of limerence, love-addiction and affair recovery.
We have all been there and know that in the early stages many of us are left feeling overwhelmed, fragile and vulnerable.
What is limerence?
The original definition of limerence, a term coined by Dorothy Tenov, a psychologist in the 1970's as an involuntary state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated. It is characterised by the following: Intrusive and obsessive thinking about the object of our infatuation - referred to as the Limerent Object (LO) - Replaying and rehearsal of our interactions with the LO - Anxiety and self-consciousness around the LO and an Emotional dependence on our LO. Impaired functioning around our LO.
Some commentators use the term limerence to describe the early stages of that infatuated addictive energy of love that most of us feel in early relationships - so called New Relationship Energy (NRE). With time and with reciprocation, this often transforms into a more secure and enduring love. Where the progression of a romantic relationship is hindered (often by marriage or other long term relationship) and where the uncertainty remains, enduring limerence often ensues.
For a more detailed explanation of the symptoms - see here http://www.limerence.net/limerence-faq/limerence-symptoms.html
What is love addiction?
A love addict’s core fantasy is the expectation that someone else can solve their problems, provide unconditional love, and take care of them. When this unrealistic need isn’t met, love addicts may find themselves feeling resentful, and may create conflict in their relationships with others.
Some love addicts find that when not involved in a love-addicted relationship, they are able to care for themselves quite adequately. However, when they become involved, the love addict quickly finds that their self-care capacity steadily declines.
What is the relationship between limerence and love addiction?
My own belief is limerence is a subset of love addiction. All those that grapple with limerence are at their core, love addicts, although not all love addicts develop limerence. I describe limerence as love addiction on steroids. I personally believe a combination of love addiction, traits of OCD and an addictive personality sets us up for enduring limerence.
I also see romantic infatuation, unrequited love and obsessive love as all parts of the same condition. Whilst the symptoms may vary, the origins and treatment differ little.
Why do we get limerence / love addiction?
People generally become love addicts due to a past history of abandonment from their primary caregivers. Adult love addicts usually recognized as children that their most precious needs for validation, love and connection with one or both parents were not met. This affects their self-esteem dramatically in adult life. It results in a fear of abandonment and an underlying fear of intimacy. To a love addict, intensity in a relationship is often mistaken for intimacy.
Building healthier relationships and finding ourselves.
With time, many of the members on the forum here come to realise that limerence is all about them. Their object of desire was just a catalyst. As the saying goes, when we are ready, the teacher will appear. When we have moved beyond the obsessive addictive energy, we realise we are the one with the issues and that we are the ones that have to do the heavy lifting to heal ourselves. The reality is there is no magical other. We are the ones that have to learn how to fill that hole in our soul. With time, we desire moving to healthier more conscious relationships, with ourselves and others.