When Falling in Love Hurts
Online Limerence Therapy & Coaching for USA + International
Has the love you feel for someone changed from beautiful daydreams to disruptive obsession?
Maybe you are happily committed in a long-term relationship, when suddenly you find yourself developing a crush on a coworker. Next thing you know, the crush has progressed from innocent daytime fantasies to hours of intrusive thoughts and painful longing. You want it to stop, but at the same time…you don’t.
Or maybe you just got out of a recent painful breakup and you’re starting to see a pattern of going from relationship to relationship, falling in love easily, but then getting stuck in a seesaw of exhilarating highs and excruciating lows, never able to commit to relationships long-term.
Or perhaps, you are unable to move forward in your life because you’re madly in love with someone who is unavailable (such as an ex, or a friend, or someone who is married) and although you know it’s not logical, you can’t imagine a future without them. They are everything you want and without them, life feels meaningless.
You may be struggling to focus on your day-to-day activities, or simply wondering if there is something wrong with you. Perhaps you’re feeling shame around not being able to get them out of your head or let go, guilt about the impact on the people in your life, and yet, also excitement any time you think about them.
If you resonate with this, you may be experiencing a phenomenon called “limerence.”
“The sudden recognition of the ideal other, who holds the promise of happily ever after, assures us that all of it is true, this bedrock of stories with which we have grown up with. That we belong in it. And that we have found the person that can make our own personal story into an epic myth.” -Dr. L
Many of today’s solutions for relationships are about how to maintain or deepen a relationship after you’re already in one, but as a limerence therapist, I’m more interested in the stage that no one talks about- the infatuation stage of love and relationships. Because limerence feels like it “hijacks the mind” and can lead to feelings of dependency, emotional instability, and shame, a lot of people don’t talk about these private experiences.
However, you don’t deserve to be alone in one of the most excruciatingly painful and confusing events a human can experience.
You deserve not only support, but a path forward.
“Ultimately, there comes the realization that the Limerent Object is detrimental to your life, but you also know that you can’t give them up without significant emotional pain. Heads you lose. Tails you really lose.”
Ways Limerence Can Show Up
Infatuation When in a Committed Relationship or Married
Limerence can happen at any time in your life, even if you’ve never experienced it before, and often it is completely unexpected. You may have been content in a long-term relationship or marriage, only to one day lock eyes with someone at work and feel the whole world change.
You may be experiencing obsessive thoughts, fantasies, and a deep longing for this person. At first, you may have felt “alive” again, a type of euphoria that gave you more energy, more creativity, and more motivation. But then, you might have noticed that the good feelings only lasted if you sought out this person or daydreamed about this person – suddenly, the thoughts began taking over your life. Perhaps you’re feeling shocked that something like this could have happened or fear about whether or not you should be honest with your partner – you hate the idea of hurting them. You feel stuck and don’t know how to make a choice.
Limerence or new relationship energy Chasing
Limerence can also become more of a pattern- especially for people who experience limerence easily. If you struggle to feel secure, happy, and confident on your own, you might begin to notice that the times that you feel your best are during the beginning of relationships. The rush of feeling like you may have found “the one” and the idea that you won’t have to be alone anymore can feel intoxicating. You rely on the extra energy, creativity, and mood boost to make your days meaningful and you may enjoy the intimate process of getting to know each new person. Problem is…the good feelings don’t last forever. And you’re getting sick and tired of the cycle of painful breakups, starting over, feeling hope, and then being right back to where you started. Why can’t you make love work? What are you doing wrong?
stuck in Unrequited Love
Let’s be honest, addiction to a person who is unavailable or who doesn’t return those feelings is its own type of hell. You may be unable to move forward or see a future for yourself because you can’t stop thinking about them. Maybe it’s an ex who continues to give you mixed signals or who you can’t get closure from, or perhaps it’s someone you’re dating that is emotionally unavailable. If you could just do or say the right thing, maybe they would feel what you feel and everything would be perfect. Sometimes you tell yourself you can see them as only a friend or maybe you try and limit your contact with them, but it doesn’t work. You still spend hours fantasizing, dreaming, and thinking about them. You feel such intense longing that your chest aches and you wonder if you will ever feel normal again.
“Either consummation or direct rejection can lead to the cooling of limerent feelings, but uncertainty seems to inflame them.”
Whatever it is that you’re experiencing, you’re beginning to notice it take over other areas of your life:
- Your productivity and other relationships are suffering
- You constantly seek out this person to find relief
- You’re trapped in obsessive thought loops
- You experience intense craving that distracts you from long-term goals
- You start prioritizing this new person over everyone else in your life
- You turn towards destructive behaviors to cope with painful lows
- You fear ending up alone or losing “the one”
- You switch from feeling pleasure to needing the obsession just to feel normal
Limerence therapy can help.
It may feel impossible now, but you can find freedom again. You can find closure. You can let go. You can take steps to build a life of purpose and joy.
The path to psychological freedom and purposeful living
Limerence therapy helps…
- You understand the neuroscience behind why love can turn obsessive and feel out of control
- You identify the root of your specific triggers and how to work with them
- You reduce intrusive thoughts and compulsive habits that cause you pain
- You develop the clarity that allows you to make intentional choices around when to trust, pursue, or avoid romantic relationships
- You rewrite your relationship narrative from a place of empowerment
- You attain emotional balance, fulfilling relationships, and a life of purpose
I’ll be there with you every step of the way. My approach to relationships comes from a place of respect and appreciation: our wounds often show us exactly what we need to heal.
“The goal, then, is not to stop being a limerent- the goal is to integrate limerence into your life in a healthy way. To accept it as an aspect of yourself, but to develop the self-awareness and resilience needed to regulate it when it’s unwanted.” -Dr. L
It’s time to take back your life.
Standard session rate is $175 and full program lasts 2.5 months.
For more information on why falling in love hurts, check out my limerence page.