One of the misconceptions about limerence that many people have is that it is merely a feeling, a crush, that will eventually go away.
But yes, that is a big misconception.
Limerence though is a very different thing altogether and has very different triggers and plays out quite differently emotionally, from a crush and a mutually romantic relationship.
Let’s explore three key reasons why it can feel so painful when you are limerent.
Here are 3 reasons why limerence feels painful
#1 It has neurochemical links
Yes, everything that we do – our emotions, what triggers thought patterns etc are all linked to specific neurochemicals in our brains, so limerence isn’t alone in this.
For instance, dopamine is linked to the “high”, happiness and euphoria we experience when we are…happy! Dopamine are like the reward centres in our brains and is secreted when we come experience a high in our day-to-day. This is why social media is so addictive – those likes translate to dopamine secretions which floods our body and we experience a high.
The high is what keeps us coming back for more likes and more dopamine-secreting behaviour.
Curious how limerent you are and on which part of the healing journey you are on?
On the other hand, depression is usually a mix of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Anytime these neurochemicals are out of balance, our moods will be affected.
Neurochemical links are hard to detect because well, it all goes on in our bodies and brains, out of sight and out of mind. I sometimes think of it as the puppet master (our hormones) controlling the puppet (us).
Not saying we are puppets, not at all, but that we can sometimes feel and do things without explanation or feel a pull towards repeating an action (though it isn’t any good for us) that we cannot really put our finger on why.
I talk at length about the different neurotransmitters/neurochemicals in my book, How to Break up with Limerence.
#2 It is fuelled by fantasies, rumination and an obsessive loop
I’ve said this often enough, but limerence usually has the limerent individual in such a chokehold because it is ultimately a thought cycle and a habit that is reinforced by ruminations – both passive and active.
The limerent individual fantasises about their limerent object often and frequently enough that it becomes a habit. Combined with the feel-good neurotransmitters being released when the limerent individual engages in their fantasies, it becomes an addiction. A cycle they cannot get out of.
Addiction requires reinforcement and further fantasising is the reinforcer; so it’s a cycle that feeds itself.
#3 It is dependent on how you lead your life too
Having no purpose or direction in life, with feelings of emptiness, loneliness and social isolation can make someone more susceptible to limerence.
Throw in low self-esteem and a desire to be loved but afraid of being vulnerable and seen by others and you get a complex mix of feelings and lifestyle choices that can make someone more susceptible to limerence.
Some people can become limerent for others when they are in a relationship with someone else. This can be complex but requires one to examine the reasons why limerence can happen in the first place, especially when you are supposedly in a committed relationship with someone else.
So will I be able to cure form limerence?
You absolutely can! I have and you can read my story here. You first have to want to let go and start choosing to live differently. You first need to be aware and recognise that what you are going through is limerence – that it is an unhealthy pattern and want to make the effort to break free of it.
Next, it helps to explore the various triggers that are keeping you limerent and learn to break these patterns or completely remove them from your life. It helps to learn how to switch your attention when your LO resurfaces.
The next would be to take a look at your life again and rethink your purpose. These strategies may help.