Originally published October 22, 2019.


Limerence, a complex emotional and mental state marked by obsessive attachment, often leads individuals into a tumultuous journey of intense romantic feelings. This distinct state, not quite synonymous with falling in love, engulfs those experiencing it in an all-encompassing desire to share these emotions with a specific person. However, this depth of attachment can have profound implications, especially when it leads to affairs, leaving individuals grappling with the aftermath of these obsessive feelings. Understanding the nuances of limerence, its symptoms, and the intricacies of its impact becomes vital in navigating its complexities.

Understanding Limerence: A Deep Dive into Obsessive Attachment

Introduction:Limerence encapsulates an intense, obsessive attachment to another individual. It differs from falling in love, manifesting in intrusive thoughts and an overwhelming desire to share these feelings with the beloved. Within affairs, an Involved Partner often grapples with the aftermath of limerence, seeking to rescue their marriage while grieving the lost romantic attachment.

The Complications of Limerence

The Neuroscientific Lens:Neuroscience provides insights into the disorienting nature of limerence. It unveils the brain’s unique chemistry during this state, akin to low serotonin levels in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Recognizing these red flags becomes crucial in identifying when limerence turns problematic.

The Need for a Limerence Cure:While individuals in the throes of limerence may not recognize the term, they often scour the internet using related terms like “love addiction” or “obsessive love.” Many perceive their limerent state negatively, feeling cognitively impaired or drawn to unsuitable objects of limerence.

Understanding Limerence Symptoms

Insights from Research:Psychologist Dorothy Tennov’s pioneering work on limerence highlights its intrusive, obsessive, and compulsive nature. Distinguishing between love and limerence rests on the degree of intensity and a key factor: reciprocation.

Defining Limerence:Healthy attachment values mutuality, while limerence subordinates the Limerent Object’s well-being to satisfy the Limerence Experiencer’s obsession. It craves reciprocal intensity rather than shared enjoyment, differing significantly from genuine love.

The Telltale Signs:Limerence symptoms comprise a series of intrusive and intense behaviors, encapsulating everything from idealization to intense fear of rejection, often overshadowing other life responsibilities and interests.

Unpacking the Limerent Mind

Crystallization and Neuroscience:The process of crystallization marks the intense focus on attractive traits, dismissing less desirable aspects—a perfect bubble unaffected by reality. Understanding this phase helps in seeking therapy early.

From Despair to Obsession:Intense emotional engagement with the Limerent Object pushes limerence to dominate nearly every waking thought. Neurochemicals play a significant role, influencing dopamine and other neurotransmitters, contributing to the brain’s addiction-like state.

Limerence Turned Hostile

Unreciprocated Limerence:Non-reciprocation often intensifies limerence, leading to bitter feelings, rumination on perceived unfairness, and an overwhelming desire for revenge or compensation from the Limerent Object.

Navigating Hostility:Instances of extreme behavior, although a minority, include soft stalking or creating websites to provoke the Limerent Object. Redirecting bitterness becomes essential to avoid such extremes.

Seeking a Cure for Limerence

Recovery Strategies:Recognizing the need for a limerence cure involves various strategies, including self-care rituals, recognizing signs of recovery, and maintaining boundaries to avoid obsessive behaviors.

Science-Based Approaches:SSRIs, diet adjustments, and practicing no contact form part of a limerence cure. Understanding brain recovery timelines, limiting eye contact, and disclosing symptoms help curb limerence intensity.

Resources for Recovery:Support forums and therapy resources like Limerence.net offer avenues for individuals grappling with limerence. While not a substitute for therapy, these platforms provide crucial support and acknowledgment for those navigating limerence post-affair.


Navigating limerence’s labyrinthine pathways demands a multifaceted approach that includes awareness, self-care, and professional guidance. While the journey toward a limerence cure may vary for each individual, acknowledging the symptoms, employing evidence-based strategies, and seeking support from relevant resources remain essential. By recognizing the distinct attributes of limerence and undertaking steps toward recovery, individuals can gradually regain control, fostering a path toward emotional stability and healing.