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(54 Posts)
RivieraKid Tue 31-May-16 18:19:20

Okay, I've heard of this as a vague phenomena before, and it's only because a friend of mine is having an affair that I know a bit more about it. The affair is out in the open but obvs won't post any identifyable things, but I wanted the opinions of people here who may have experienced this? from either end?

She says she experienced this thing called limerance and it's basically a psychological disorder or at least a manifestation of irrational behaviour; completely soul destroying and has ruined her life and marriage, pretty much everyone else says it's just unrequited love and she's being a selfish drama queen. But she very very f*ucked up I can tell you that. Not sleeping, eating - dangerously thin now and utterly obsessed with this guy. Long story short, he doesn't want to know, says she's mental.

I vaguely remember someone talking about limerance on a thread a while back don't know which one it was...But how serious is it? Does she need therapy or something? Any other kind of help?

Oddsocksgalore Tue 31-May-16 18:24:24

She defo needs therapy if she's losing her shit like this over a man.

RivieraKid Tue 31-May-16 18:33:57

I did search through Limerance as a thread topic and it does sound like her and what she's going through - does anyone have any suggestions for how we, as onlookers/friends, might be able to help her?

Summerwalking16 Tue 31-May-16 18:35:48

Tell her what men say 'to get over someone you need to get under someone'. Get her out more and on tinder that will sort her out.

LateNightEveningProstitute Tue 31-May-16 20:04:35

'Limerance' is a load of nonsense favoured by the sort of women who bleat, "but I love him" when an appalling specimen is treating them shockingly and they haven't got the gumption to leave.


Summerwalking16 Tue 31-May-16 20:09:55

Latenight I agree a player has probably messed with her head. Women need to toughen up. Men just don't care as much, end of.

AddToBasket Tue 31-May-16 20:43:44

Sorry, I agree that 'limerance' is just a bucket for putting all sorts of human emotion into. You won't find any answers. But if you google it you will find lots of 'features' of it that you can nod your head to. I

Your poor friend has old fashioned lovesickness. It'll be confused with obsessive upset about being turned down to make a pretty miserable brew. But yeah, she needs to date other people.

Yeahthatwasme Tue 31-May-16 21:21:55

'Limerance' is a load of nonsense favoured by the sort of women who bleat, "but I love him"

I really disagree with this I'm afraid. I've suffered limerance and it's nothing like this. If you've never been through it you wouldn't understand it - any more than someone who has never been psychotic would really understand how you could actually believe that your neighbour is possessed by the devil and wants to kill you. It's kind of like saying anorexia is just dreamt up by women who want an excuse not to eat because they want to look good in clothes. Way off the mark. Way off.

I'm sure you are right and there are women who have just had a crush on a bast*rd and wrap it up in a limerance wrapper - but real limerance is much more than this. The only way to describe it is an overwhelming mental obsession. It transcends rational thought.

It's very very unpleasant and causes all kinds of life altering behaviour - of the sort you mention OP - like loss of appetite, intrusive thinking that is so intrusive that you can't work or concentrate on anything else. It is not fun. It is not just "a crush". It is a horrible mental condition that probably should be classed a a form of psychiatric disorder IMHO.

There is a good and very long thread here somewhere about limerance that has lots of useful info.

As a friend - I'd say:
- it's only cured by finding a replacement limerant object (a new love interest)
- getting to know the limerant object better so real life intrudes
- a shed load of therapy to find out what triggered it.

From my experience, to start with it seems all lovely and a manifestation of your true love. No one has ever felt like this. It's all Romeo, Juliet, Byron and burning passion. You don't want help to start with. Over time it becomes so disturbing to your life and so clearly irrational you start to want help - or at least I did.

Not fun but please don't dismiss it as a load of rubbish and just a crush. If she has true limerance, it's a bad way to live -you don't really live you are just existing until the next contact with the limerant object.

AddToBasket Tue 31-May-16 21:26:22

Isn't that just obsession, though?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 31-May-16 21:30:30

Yes, it's obsession imo.

MardleBum Tue 31-May-16 21:33:01

Yes Add of course, but it's an obsession with an ex lover specifically, or someone you can't have for some reason.

MardleBum Tue 31-May-16 21:36:56

And it's more than just the usual and expected emotional reaction to unrequited love or to the trauma of being dumped. It reaches another level entirely, one that causes you to behave in ways that make you question your sanity and makes no rational sense, least of all to the person suffering from it.

AddToBasket Tue 31-May-16 22:06:51

Yeah, as in an obsession. Exactly as obsession has always been.

And limerence is used all over this site as a descriptor for OW/MM relationships - nothing to do with unrequited or rejected. Like I say, it's a catch all.

Yeahthatwasme Tue 31-May-16 22:09:16

Isn't that just obsession, though?

Loving the use of the word "just" there! Yes, anorexia is "just an obsession" with not eating; trichotillomania is "just an obsession" with pulling your hair out; OCD (can be) "just an obsession" with cleaning/washing your hands/turning off light switches.

Sorry but do you get it yet? An obsession is an unhealthy and "non-normally" functioning mental state.

Because most people have fallen in love and had a bit of a crush, there is a tendency to dismiss limerance as exaggerated "normal" feelings everyone has. It really isn't. It is an obsessional disorder.

It has a specific set of features that vary but typically it occurs not in an "ex-lover" context but where there has been some preliminary interest shown and it is still in an embryonic state - but very on/off and uncertainy. He loves me/he loves me not.

Most people will have felt intense attraction when they are falling in love or have had a bit of a crush. That is normal, short lived and passes quickly. Limerance is nothing like that.

It's really really shit. In the way that any life disrupting obsession is.

RivieraKid Tue 31-May-16 22:27:49

Thank you yeah that does sounds like her, she is dangerously obsessed imo - she's stopped eating anything except cereal because she's throwing real food up, I honestly don't know what to do, I mean, I've been in hospital for mania and I know what it's like to literally think you're the messiah, but this? I've got no experience with this - it hurts to see her hurt so badly.

I honestly can't blame the guy (even though I personally know and don't like him) for running a mile though. Interesting to see the contrasting opinions here, it's basically what's going on in our RL friend group. I just wish there was a way of getting her to wake up - the guy she's obsessed with is an absolute loser.

He doesn't look like it on the surface - glamorous job, lots of sexual partners, handsome, witty and super-charming. In reality he's majorly messed up and basically just out to see what he can get away with b/c of the lack of any real relationships in his life and mega drug abuse. The whole situation is just awfully sad.

AddToBasket Tue 31-May-16 22:42:41

Can she sleep? Sleep, distance, distraction, time. All the usual stuff but it is awful when someone is going through it.

Yeah, sorry but this isn't some new, special disease. It's heartbreak, it's obsession, its love mania. Limerence is a catch all way of sweeping this stuff up ('limerant object' does equal 'love interest', it just sounds more wanky).

FluffleFloffle Tue 31-May-16 23:00:25

Yeahthatwasme are you now over the guy? Sorry to be so nosy!

MyLimerance Tue 31-May-16 23:28:42

Name changed for this. My limerance is in its 29th year now, even though I have been blissfully happily married to someone else for 23 years. My limerance was an affair I had when I had been married to my first husband for only a year. He is still the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last think I think of when I go to sleep. I live with him constantly, daily, he has never left my side. It's hard to explain but it's like living with an enormous physical growth, or a giant tattoo of him on me or something that is part of me now, it never goes away but only I can see or feel it and know it's there. Weirdly, it's a comfort, like an OCD routine that soothes me. I am otherwise perfectly sane. confused

There hasn't been a day since I last saw him in 1989 where I haven't had a fantasy meeting/dialogue in my head with him. I play out endless scenarios about what I will say when we meet again and I've been planning and plotting this meeting for years and I do actually believe it might happen one day. I know how to make it happen and look like a chance meeting, when I am ready. I know so much about his life and his job and his family it's scary.

I was only actually dating this man for a few weeks, I left my husband for him and he freaked out at the intensity of it all and dropped me like a hot brick. Then there was a gap of about a year after which he inexplicably got back in touch and the whole thing started again (I had been single for a while by then) and I saw him for another few weeks before I had an epiphany moment of acceptance I was never going to be anything more than a casual plaything to him and for the sake of my sanity and dignity I needed to walk away, so I did. That was it. The biggest non-event ever, as relationships go. I probably shagged him only six or seven times in total, over two years.

But through all that time I felt so insanely and obsessively in love with him that is was like an illness. I can rationalize this now by saying that he caught me at a time when I was vulnerable and mixed up for for various reasons and I placed an excessive importance on wanting to be with him, as a way of running away from some other stuff that I was struggling to deal with.

I also realise logically now that his constantly blowing hot and cold and my never knowing where I stood, always waiting for him to contact me, triggered some deep emotional response in me about having very patchy contact with my emotionally distant father as a small child. But realizing that and coming to terms with it hasn't made my limerance go away and to be honest after all this time I don't think I want it to. I think it will go with me to the grave.

LateNightEveningProstitute Tue 31-May-16 23:55:29

Funny though how you never hear men experiencing 'limerance' though, isn't it.

It's all very 19th century, where women would take to their beds with a 'touch of the vapours' for a whole season and then expire.

It's just women buying into the sexist discourse of women being weak and slaves to their emotions.

And it's funny how I've never heard of anyone experiencing it outside of t'internet.

LateNightEveningProstitute Wed 01-Jun-16 00:00:28

You are aware, MyLimerance, that what you are describing is a habit, aren't you?

If you just caught yourself and said, "What am I doing?" and started singing It's Not Easy Being Green in Kermit's voice, then your 'Limerance' would eventually fade.

LovePGtipsMonkey Wed 01-Jun-16 00:00:57

Funny though how you never hear men experiencing 'limerance' though, isn't it.
exactly! they do have mad crushes but it's never long-lasting and they seem to move on much easier!
MyLimerance, I think though yours is not that unhealthy (even though it's very unusual) because you've managed to marry someone and be happy. The worst cases are of course those where a woman just withers away or goes into a deep depression etc.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 01-Jun-16 00:21:16

My limerance - have you ever had CBT?

YabuDabbaDoo Wed 01-Jun-16 00:24:59

To give the OP some practical advice I've found that Natalie Lue's "Baggage Reclaim" has some great resources for people (people, not women) who are caught up in unrequited love of various sorts, I think she even offers a sort of "detox" programme that guides you step-by-step through identifying and disconnecting from unhealthy non-relationships.

Hope your friend finds herself again.

Cuntymccuntface Wed 01-Jun-16 00:32:24

my your post totally rings a bell with me.

Openup41 Wed 01-Jun-16 00:40:36

My limerance - I had the same experience.
A guy chased me when I was a teen. At first I was not physically attracted to him but enjoyed the chase. He was attentive and I began to fall for him. As soon as this happened he blew hot and cold. I was never sure whether we were a couple as we did not date as such just visited him at home. We were intimate on most occasions and it was intense - never experienced anything like it and I never will.

He stood me up a number of times, did not answer my calls and treated me rather badly. I allowed it.

Eventually we cut contact. I have not seen him in over two decades. I doubt I ever come to his mind yet every now and then I wonder who he settled down with, how many children he has, where he lives.

It is so bizarre that he got to me in this way. I hate the way he got to me. I was completely obsessed. I did nothing deranged like scream at him, turn up at his house, scratch his car, contact his girlfriend etc etc. Thoughts churned around in my head for years and years. I have even played out scenes of us meeting...........

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