This question comes courtesy of a client I’ve been working with.
Susan* (not real name) has been limerent almost her entire life. And now, in her 40s, she worries that she will never find the Love of her Life. She writes,
“Hi Sonia, I’ve been limerent since I was a very young girl. It started with boybands in the 80s and 90s.I was always obsessed with the guitarist.. don’t know why! When I hit puberty and later on in college… I had several very intense crushes, where nothing came out of it. Those episodes were intense, I was very happy seeing or interacting with them one day, and the next I’d be absolutely devastated if I went an entire day without spotting them in the school gym or something. College was dreadful.. everyone was dating, falling in love and so on but I couldn’t bring myself to open up to anyone. This has carried on in my adult life and now in my 40s I’m deathly afraid that I will end up alone forever. Help”
My process for working with someone who has limerence
Whenever someone comes to me with any issue, I’m usually more interested in finding out what led them to where they are now. What happened last year? Ten years ago? In Childhood?
It helps me to form a better picture of the person, it’s important data – something I’m always interested in being a researcher, and it helps me understand what led them to their current state of limerence.
Here’s the Re.Live Model that I use with my clients.
Step #1: Diagnosis – Why are you limerent?
Here is where the bulk of the work is done. We go through previous experiences with romantic relationships, friendships, interactions with others in general and what were the key feelings and takeaways from all of that.
There’s also a lot of talk about the individual’s childhood, teenage years and how they have used coping mechanisms to deal with stress in their lives. Many themes can come forward here, but it’s only when a fuller picture of the individual is painted that the causes for limerence could be identified, and follow-up solutions included.
Are you still limerent? Find out in the quiz below!
Step #2 Healing your SELF
I am a firm believer of having a strong sense of SELF. Everything about life goes back to how you perceive things, how you feel things, how you react etc and these things are informed by how we see ourselves. For example, if you lack self-awareness, you may not even know that you are limerent at all. If you lack self-trust, you may find it hard to make good decisions and trusting your judgment on things. If you lack self-esteem, you may find yourself in relationships that continue to chip away at your self-esteem.
Healing your SELF and taking back your power is the fastest way to dealing with anything that is not going well in your life. From not being able to plan your time to being a people-pleaser to have poor relationships with others.
Self-Knowledge is Everything.
Step #3 Living (and loving) the way you want
Once you’ve gotten out of your limerent habits, and healed yourself, you will find yourself starting to be attracted to and also attracting, people who are healthy. People who want a loving relationship just like you.
This is where you start to learn the tools to figuring out what you want in romantic relationships and what red flags to look out for.
Things that were keeping Susan limerent
So, Susan and I had several sessions together, spending alot of time in Steps #1 and #2, and in so doing, several things were revealed about her childhood, youth and life experiences growing up. You may find that some of these things feel familiar to you:
- Poor role models for love when she was a child
- Emotional neglect from her caregivers, rejection in school -> doesn’t feel wanted
- Emotional unavailability and difficulty opening up to others
- Certain resistance to breaking patterns in her life
- Pattern of procrastination
- Avoidant attachment style in relationships
- Hooked on a certain emotional ‘high’ in relationships
- Hooked on ‘fantasy’ relationships/ideals, can be resistant to reality
- Attracted to men who weren’t a good fit, impulsive in love
If you’ve read my book, you will know that limerence doesn’t just come up out of nowhere, it is usually an accumulation of experiences and lessons that were “learnt” and the emotions associated with certain memories.
Want all the strategies on how to cure your limerence? Grab a copy of my book now!
What we did together
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the solutions I ended up tailoring for Susan because of her “path” to limerence. We are all unique and will have different areas to work on that may differ from Susan. We agreed that she would:
- Re-write her beliefs and ideas about love
- Extinguish some ‘bad’ habits and reinforced others
- Looked into remoulding her attachment styles
- Healing her inner child + inner teen
- Worked on Susan’s Sacred Self
Let’s look at these 5 solutions individually.
#1 Re-writing her beliefs and ideas about love
We all have beliefs, ideas, stories that we have formed in life and these can hinder us if they aren’t updated and the old ones, discarded. Because of your experiences, you may be carrying around beliefs like “men suck”, “no one will like me”, “There are no good women around”. These will go on to define your reality and your experiences.
What are your beliefs about love? How do you think it has affected your romantic life?
#2 Extinguish some ‘bad’ habits and reinforced others
In this part, Susan identified the ‘bad’ habits that were keeping her in a limerent loop and keeping love out of her life. Two of the things she constantly did was to stay at home constantly with little to no interaction with other people which brought about a certain feeling of loneliness that can lead to obsessive thoughts over a crush or limerent object.
Another habit she had was stalking her crushes on social media and making up “stories” about them in her head. This is called fantasy feeding which is very hard to break out of and very addictive.
The key here is to unlearn these habits, form new ones and then continue to reinforce them.
#3 Looking into remoulding attachment styles
Attachment styles stem from childhood in our relationship with our caregivers. Many limerent individuals came away from childhood with anxious or avoidant attachment styles due to how our caregivers interacted with us.
However, the great thing is, attachment styles aren’t fixed and can be changed. They key is to start looking at the patterns and identifiers of your current attachment style and what can you start doing to make yourself feel more secure in relationships.
#4 Healing your Inner child + Teen
Many of us didn’t grow up having caregivers who could sooth our pain, and our experiences back when we were children/teens were not updated when we hit adulthood. So alot of our triggers in adulthood is actually because much of our wounds from when we were younger have not been healed.
We may not have a choice back then, but as an adult, we are now fully capable to learn to let go of beliefs that no longer serve as and to rewire our thoughts patterns.
Many limerents tend to have a history of feeling small and invisible as they grew up, which feeds into feelings of unworthiness, of not being worthy of someone else’s love. It’s now time to switch that out.
#5 Working on your Sacred Self
One of the biggest cures to limerence is to work on healing and building up your sacred Self. Working on your inner core, taking back your power, knowing yourself inside-out and spending the time and energy to get to know who you truly are.
Much of the pain and challenges we encounter in life is due to the fact that we truly do not know who we are. Our SELVES are the foundation to everything in life, it determines everything from what kind of person we fall in love with, to whether we achieve our goals, to identifying our emotions and so much more.
In alot of my work, I would walk clients through the Self7 Model to identify various aspects of the Self that the client needs to work on. Everything begins with self-awareness, without that – we will just be living in a bubble that isn’t very representative of true reality.
Once self-awareness is in place, then we can start to work on the various aspects of the self. We are all different, so whilst someone may struggle more with self-beliefs, another may struggle with self-love and self-trust – different combinations.
If you are ready to go the next step of healing from limerence totally…
Check out my limerence coaching sessions, I’m now open for email coaching! Or, if you are keen to learn more about yourself, join the Sacred7 Workshop below. If you are late to the live, you will get to watch the replay – yours for lifetime access.
All the help you need is here! Reach out if you need to talk 🙂