Difference: when the’love becomes obsessive
Ah love… What a wonderful feeling when two people love each other in unison. Except that sometimes, love can turn into an obsession and become a real suffering. We then talk about limerence and behind this term hides a disease: the love disease..
What is limerence ?
Limerence is a term created by the American psychologist Dorothy Tennov. She defines limerence as an involuntary state that involves intrusive, obsessive and compulsive thoughts.
When one falls in love, the early stages of the relationship are intense and the partners are fused. We like to spend time together, the desire for contact is strong, we isolate ourselves from others… in short, we live in a love bubble. Then the lovers get to know each other, deeper and more serene feelings develop.
The couple is then formed with a desire of reciprocal commitment.
But falling in love with someone who is inferior is something else entirely. L’love becomes obsessive and is characterized by a strong desire for reciprocity of love. People suffering from limerence will try by all means to be loved by the one they are obsessed with, to the detriment of their well-being and sometimes of their mental and physical health.
So, if you think you’ve found that special someone on the best dating site and this person asks you for love and attention all the time, if he or she never contradicts you, if he or she is anxious as soon as you leave him or her, even for a brief moment… Beware, limerence is an anxiety disorder with serious consequences.
What are the causes and consequences ?
This love disorder usually has its roots in childhood when the child has suffered from abandonment and has lost self-esteem. When the person becomes an adult, he or she will constantly look for love to fill the gap, to the point of obsession and emotional dependence..
Limerence, which can be considered as an obsessive neurosis, is similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder (the OCD).
The person suffering from this excessive love is often unaware of his condition and the consequences on his life and that of his partner can be very heavy:
- People suffering from limerence develop anxiety and psychiatric disorders: anxieties, sick jealousy, depression..
- They tend to attract manipulators who will play on their obsessions.
- The affected person usually has excessive mental ruminations and parasitic thoughts. She will then try to control her partner and sometimes end up persecuting him.
- This obsessive-compulsive disorder can have an impact on his daily life. Social isolation and social phobia are frequent in this pathology. Work, friends and sometimes children are put aside in favor of the other.
Limerence is, let’s remember, an illness. It leads to serious suffering and mental disorders. But fortunately, it is a disease that can be cured, provided that patients suffering from limerence become aware of their obsessive behaviors.
How to cure limerence ?
If your partner is suffering from limerence, try to make him/her feel better become aware of your pathology. Through concrete examples, explain to her that her permanent obsession is not normal and that you suffer from it.
If he doesn’t want to hear about it, you will have no choice but to put an end to this love affair to preserve your mental health.
But, if your partner becomes aware of his compulsive behavior, then the first step to get better is to treat the root of the problem with a psychological support.
To cure these obsessive symptoms, the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most indicated.
At first, behavioral therapy is accompanied by the use of antidepressants, and then, little by little, as the sessions progress, the patient abandons the drug treatment and gets rid of his neurotic symptoms.
Take the time to choose your therapist and prefer a psychotherapist to a psychiatrist. The psychotherapist is the specialist in behavioral therapies and it will be more efficient and faster.
To conclude Love is a beautiful feeling, but when it turns into an obsession, it causes suffering. If you think you are suffering from limerence, don’t stay alone and get help. One day you will really know how to love and you will realize that love has nothing to do with an obsession..