Serial breakups? It may be due to limerence or “love sickness”

Serial breakups?  It may be due to limerence or "love sickness"

When the feeling of love turns to obsession, it can result in suffering and relationship failure in the majority of cases. A psychological state that has a name: limerence. You know ?

Oh, love ! It falls on us, lifts us up, makes our heads spin… But it can happen, in some cases, that it turns into an obsession that becomes harmful to our mental health. A disorder that an American psychologist, Dorothy Teniv called limerence as early as 1979. This involuntary interpersonal state involves intrusive, obsessive and compulsive thoughts, and desires feelings of reciprocity.

An obsession for the other that grows over time

When we fall in love, of course, everything seems more intense and fragile at the same time. The loved one appears to us as a priority and questions torment us: “Does he love me too? Is this the right person? What is our future together?…“. Nothing could be more normal… when the meeting has just happened!

But in case of limerence, these thoughts and feelings do not pass. On the contrary, they intensify until they become pervasive and obsessive. The coveted person monopolizes the mind and makes the lover lose control, who must know everything, constantly interpret everything.

Overall, the affected person experiences anxiety, and remains in constant rumination, obsessed with this relationship which takes precedence over everything else, as in an obsessive compulsive disorder.

Limerence responds to a wound of abandonment

For Marie-Estelle Dupont, a psychologist consulted on the subject, this obsessive state is not uncommon but only occurs in certain cases.

There are types of personalities that are more apt to develop these amorous obsessions: these are people who had insecure attachments in their childhood, who have profiles of dependent people, with a strong abandonment wound. They will thus tend to project onto a person for months, even years, the desired ideal, the one without which they “cannot live”.

Can we “cure” this obsession?

If the person realizes their suffering, then all is not lost. Moving towards a more balanced and reciprocal relationship can be considered.

“In general, the fact of being able to clarify and explain during psychotherapy sessions that the loved one cannot fill our gaps (no one can!), and will only be able to disappoint us because he is not the projected ideal, allows you to take a little distance. The person can thus realize that they have a feeling of emptiness inside themselves and that they project it onto their relationships. The goal is for her to manage to give herself attention, recognition, so that she no longer needs to go through the other to feel she exists. But since the wound often comes from early childhood, from an attachment bond that could not be built well, work is usually necessary.

If you recognize yourself in this obsessive state with each crush, consulting a psychologist may be able to help you achieve a great and beautiful story this time.