How to Break Free of Limerence and Regain Your Emotional Independence

How to Break Free of Limerence and Regain Your Emotional Independence

Are you crazy for someone, lovesick, head over heels? This feeling can signal a harmless crush, or it can be a symptom of limerence, an obsessive, unhealthy infatuation. You can usually tell the difference between a crush and limerence by the degree of intensity: a crush tends to be pleasantly exciting but doesn't take over your life, while limerence hijacks your brain, re-routing all your thoughts back to the person you like. Limerence messes with your mind, making you analyze everything the person you like does in an attempt to figure out if they like you back. Limerence can interfere with your productivity, existing relationships, and happiness. So how can you get rid of it?

The first step in getting rid of limerence is crucial: you've got to truly want to get over it. If you're not completely committed to getting over your limerence, none of the following ideas will work. It sounds easy enough, but strengthening your resolve is the most difficult part of the process. Viewed objectively, from the outside, it's a good idea to want to get over a case of limerence; after all, it can have all kinds of negative effects on your life. Many people resist letting go of their limerence because they become addicted to the giddy highs they get from interacting with the person they like. Limerence can bring a lot of unhappiness into a person's life, but when things are going well with the object of affection, it can also be intensely enjoyable -- temporarily. If you can truly commit to giving up the false happiness limerence brings, the hardest part is behind you.

Unfortunately, even if you're determined to get over limerence, there's no single guaranteed way to make it happen. When you're limerent, your brain is wired to loop through repetitive, compulsive thought patterns centered on the person you like. The only true cures for this habit are time and conscious, repeated efforts to redirect your thoughts when they stray to the person you're limerent for. However, there are three strategies that can hasten the process: cutting off contact with the person you like, confessing your feelings, or transferring your limerence to another person.

Cutting contact with the person you're limerent for is probably the most effective strategy of the three because it starves the limerence to death. To grow, limerence needs proximity and hope. If you're not seeing the person you like, you can't analyze everything they do for covert signals that they like you back, and your mind gets relief and breathing space. Limerence doesn't usually end immediately with no contact; it can take up to a year or two to go away completely. In most cases, however, it will end eventually.

The biggest challenge you face after cutting off contact with the person you like is staying away from them. No matter how determined you might be at the outset, eventually you're going to miss them. You'll feel tempted to text them, go places you know they might be, or otherwise seek them out. Don't scratch the itch. If you give in to these feelings, you will undo all the work you've done. Seeing or speaking to the person you've been limerent for is usually enough to bring the limerence back in full force, so resist the urge.

Bringing your limerence out into the open is another way of banishing it. This means you've got to work up your nerve and confess your feelings to the person you like. By removing all the ambiguity between you and the person you're limerent for, you take away your feelings' fuel. If you use this strategy, you'll either be rejected, in which case you won't be able to continue nursing your hope, or the person you like will be interested in you too, which opens the door to a relationship. Relationships, oddly enough, also tend to get rid of limerence, since the former secrecy of your feelings is gone and you can't idealize the other person so much anymore.

The third way of getting rid of limerence is not to get rid of it at all, but to redirect it toward another person. It's usually only possible to be limerent toward one person at a time, so by transferring your focus, you'll lose your initial case of limerence. This method can work if you're limerent toward an inappropriate person, such as your boss, and you want to end it as quickly as possible. However, this doesn't solve the root problem of the negative effect limerence has on your mind and your life. It can also be difficult to put this strategy into practice since limerence occurs involuntarily most of the time.

If you want to stop being limerent, these strategies will help you diminish the intensity of your feelings and regain a healthier mindset. However, none of them will work unless you put in the effort to re-route your thoughts away from the person you're limerent for. Time, patience, and a genuine desire to get over your feelings are the surest cures for limerence.

Comments (3)

Why use an obscure word like limerence ... why not use simpler language to engage with more people?

You mean INFATUATION ... just say so ?

In my humble opinion, there's merit in your writings, but sadly, you only skirt around the most crucial personal delopmental trait. The reaon so many are stuck on the pain mandela can best be described as various stages of denial, which are often vastly stronger than the striving toward near thorough self awareness. Yes, those apples rarely do find their way far ffrom the tree. And, sort of hard to get on one's own. Gladly, there are a number of cost effective places to find it. I always felt I was way over paid for these service. But then.....
Guess it would lead to total disaster if both parties were limerent at a distance not letting the other party know of his/her feeling.
Or would that be called 'head over heels' in love?dunno laugh

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