I penned this in mid 2015 - with time and more deep work things are shifting at a great pace internally. Old corrupted scripts ingested from my early life and deeply encoded on my hard drive are being replaced by healthier beliefs. Its slow work as the grooves are so deeply etched.

If we want to deal with our limerence, we need to deal with their early life attachment wounds. The limerence is only a symptom. Limerence and romantic love is a reenactment of the Parental Rescue Fantasy (PRF). 

What i suggest below is radical in the extreme and i would urge caution if you are going to attempt some or all of this rapid cure programme. You will need a lot of non judging support from friends that can hold you emotionally and give you unconditional love . 

Everything i'm suggesting is stuff i've either done myself or am doing. Most of its been learnt since my own LE. It just took me 55 years to work all this out. As ever YMMV

  • Go total No Contact with your LO. enough written here and elsewhere as to why. Our LO's are often high on the narcissistic trait scale and use us for their own narcissistic supply. They are literally toxic for us.

  • Understand the dynamics at play in your Family of Origin (FOO). If they are highly dysfunctional (and when we have limerence, they often are) consider a break from them too.  We need to break away not just physically but also emotionally. Many people do the former but not the latter. Emotionally separating away from parents will need great support from friends and others such as a 12 step group. I suggest you read Alice Miller and Daniel Mackler on this subject.

  • Go celibate, no sex, no sex with yourself. Most sex is a reenactment of the PRF.  Id suggest 6 months and see how this alters your perception on your parents and siblings. Its certainly helped me see things in a different light.

  • Read, read, read everything around the subject. 

  • If you're a man, join a men's circle or get yourself on the ManKind New Warrior Adventure training weekend.

  • If you're a woman there are woman equivalents - Woman Within and Woman in Power.

  • Find a guide or therapist that can support you with the grief work you need to do. Going NC with your family of origin.  may be even more painful and scary then going NC with your LO.  Many therapists will side with your parents as opposed to being 100% on your inner child's side. This is because they haven't fully dealt with their own PRF and so act out their own unresolved traumas on your inner child. 

  • If your parent/s are no longer here, chances are you are still enmeshed with them at an emotional level. Find a gifted person to help you with the grief work that's necessary. Not the grief of losing your parent, but the grief of not having the parent/s you deserved and grieving the pain your inner child suffered.

  • If you are not in a romantic relationship (in most cases both sides are not very conscious so its just another reenactment of the PRF) then stop looking to be in relationship. The magical other is not going to fix you and being in a new relationship is going to trigger you at the deepest level. Is going to confuse the work you need to do on yourself. 

  • If you are in a romantic relationships have some radically honest conversations with your partner including disclosure and why you need some space to work through your own issues. I highly recommend you find a competent relationship coach / couples counsellor to support you and your partner through this process.  Again ask the therapist what work they have done on their own relational trauma and PRF issues.  I am saddened at how many therapists know so little about romantic relationships and as for limerence, most have never heard of it.

  • Do the necessary grief work. Let the feelings of your denial, anger, rage, sadness, depression, guilt, loneliness flow.  My belief is that the only way we are going to heal and recover from limerence and our poor attachments that gives us low self esteem is to go into our grief.  Its painful heavy work. You will need a lot of caring support during this phase. There are no shortcuts from this work and its where i see most people bolt. 

As ever YMMV - the above comes with a grade A health warning. And when i mention fast track cure, im still talking of years and not months. I wish i could be more optimistic but i dont think a couple of decades of "abuse" in our early lives when our brains are highly plastic gets undone in a few weeks or months. 

Comments   

+5 # Beth 2015-07-09 22:57
This is interesting, and may be true for many, but my LO is not a narcissist and neither are my parents, although I agree my first LO may have fit the description. I think there must be other paths that lead to limerence. I do agree that no contact is the only way to cure.
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+2 # Sara Jane 2016-04-14 11:19
Ive had no contact for 9 years and it hasnt helped me, I feel I'm sinking into a grief he is on my mind every single day I cant concentrate on anything and am so irritable. Going to stupid CBT hasnt helped at all, the problems they discuss are nothing like the thoughts I have.
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+1 # Jade 2017-03-15 00:25
I've often wondered if electroconvulsive therapy could help someone in your dire straits. IF ECT can "shock" the brain out of depression, perhaps it can do something similar for someone trapped in unrelenting, chronic limerence.
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0 # David 2017-03-15 06:35
Quoting Jade:
I've often wondered if electroconvulsive therapy could help someone in your dire straits. IF ECT can "shock" the brain out of depression, perhaps it can do something similar for someone trapped in unrelenting, chronic limerence.


Interesting question. Feels a kind of extreme treatment -then again chronic limerence is also extremely
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+2 # Anonymous 2015-07-16 02:50
Yeah, no offense but this is highly biased. I suspect your own problems with limerence may possibly be generalized to limerence in general, when limerence takes many forms. While you write a lot of good stuff, you sometimes attempt to apply certain aspects of limerence you may be familiar with to all forms of limerence. A few examples:

1) My LO was NOT a narcissist. Anything but. She may have been cold and heartless toward me, but she never took advantage of my feelings.

2) My parents have nothing to do with limerence.

I blame my limerence, first and foremost, on my former religious beliefs. I was a fundamentalist Christian in high school, and this led me to having unrealistic expectations of relationships and life. Just think of the whole "god's match for you" mindset combined with the general sexual repression christianity imposes and you get the idea. Quite frankly, failure with limerence caused an existential crisis and turned me into an atheist.
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0 # Jade 2017-03-15 00:27
Yes, Anonymous of 7/15. The most horrifying limerent experience of my life led me into the darkest existential crisis I've ever experienced. It transformed me from dutiful Catholic to Unitarian agnostic with Buddhist leanings.
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+1 # David 2015-07-16 05:40
No offence taken anonymous, good to have contrary views. Yep, agree the term limerence has been hijacked to mean many things. The original work by Tenov implies what we grapple with here, a condition that turns into an enduring obsession by the uncertainty of reciprocation.

I would argue that parents imposing their strong religious beliefs is abusive. In effect you have become narcissistic extensions for your parents beliefs. The codependent symptoms seen in Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoA) are very similar to those raised in a strongly religious environment.

As for your LO being "cold and heartless" I would suggest possible narcissistic traits here. Narcissistic people project out a false self image as they have little to no sense of their inner True self.

Its common for us limerence suffers to initially want to protect our parents and LO's. Its culturally driven into us.
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0 # Anonymous 2015-07-16 23:10
It's not a defense mechanism as much as it's simply being objective. I mean, I've lost my religion, if I can turn around and see past all the excuses religions make for their petty abusive deities, I can analyze and see the flaws in people too. But I do like to be objective and fair about it.

My LO totally does not fit the signs of narcissism at all. Heck, I wish I could say more to condemn my LO since that would make it way easier to not feel this way about her, but I'm afraid I've come up empty. But yeah, for all the theories I have for her behavior, she's definitely not full of herself and wanting attention. Total opposite actually.

My parents were way less extreme than my school was, which is where I picked up my fundamentalist beliefs. I have no problems with condemning the religion itself as narcissistic, particularly my former school's form, because there's certainly a lot of narcissism there, but my parents really aren't at fault in any knowing way.
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+11 # Jennifer 2015-08-10 23:47
I stumbled across this website searching for a cure for limerence. I have serial limerent episodes with only a few months respite between. Finally understanding what limerence is, I caught myself this time within a month of beginning and I am determined to get over this completely irrational behavior. This is what I'm doing:

1. Logically go through why a relationship isn't possible.
2. Exercise like crazy.
3. Read articles about limerence to reaffirm the idea that this is not a pleasant thing, its a pathology.
4. Assess the logic behind the attachment. Older, powerful men in positions of authority over me. See: Daddy issues
That is all I got so far. I'm in the initial all-consuming phase and I am desperately trying to keep my head above water here. I find the online support forums very useful. Just sharing the experience is cathartic, and takes some of its power away.
Wish me luck!
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0 # Marianne 2016-07-16 04:33
You go girl. I wish you lots of luck.
I struggle also and while I see it for what it is, I have this overwhelming need to speak with this person and hear it come from them that don't value me as their friend.
I am just beginning my journey and find posts here and on Quora resonate with me.
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+2 # Barbara Val 2015-10-02 11:57
My LO is not a narcissist but I do blame both my narcissistic parents and my father was an alcoholic (catholic religious background). My mother very much a narcissist as well. Both my sister and myself were neglected. My younger sister is the golden child (my mother's favourite although my father didn't have a favourite one but he didn't live with us anyway). Bottom line, many limerent episodes in my life time (I'm now 45). I can now see why I fall for younger men (my coworker who is sitting right opposite me is 34 yrs old and a highly capable and professional man). This is in contrast to my father (15 years my mother's senior and an utter disaster, never worked, from a rich family, you get the picture). He was ill all of my life since he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease while I was still a toddler. So I'm reenacting an unhealthy attachment to this type of men --PRF.
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0 # Philip 2015-12-28 01:28
This is my second or third comment. First of all, this site is the best out of dozens I've looked at. It's the most helpful.
Secondly, there are a couple of things I disagree with:
1. I'm over 60; sex with myself is a must.
2. My narcissist mother is 85 and ailing. I can't walk away.
3. I separated from my wife. She was not my LO, but she
created the conditions.
4. The worst limerence I've ever had was when I was 23.
At that time, my therapist prescribed ORAP and it worked like a charm. 6 months later i was free. I think
that young doctor was especially gifted. He said nothing
for 6 months and then staged a fight with me that brought out all my latent, hidden conflicts. Wow!
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0 # Jade 2017-03-15 00:30
Philip: What's ORAP?
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0 # David 2015-12-28 07:50
Philip, appreciate the feedback. theres a lot more support on the main forum. To respond

Sex with yourself is not a must, you will not die without it!
Letting go of the narc mother is not easy but necessary. when she dies unless you've done the work, you will still be enmeshed with her.
I wonder if the conditions for your limerence were there before you separated from your wife. With most of us, the conditions were set up in childhood.
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0 # Valkyri 2016-12-15 15:07
My situation is a little different here. First of all, I'm not the LE, my partner is and after 4 definite "episodes" which we might or might not call affairs, I stumbled across the word "limerance" - which replaced what I thought he was, "pathological liar" and I think I'm more likely to help with limerance, so it's a good thing. It's funny that you talk about attachment, because I am aware of my RAD and I have been working through it, especially recently, when all this brought it to the surface. I think you ought to be careful making wide sweeping statements about people in relationships, not all partners are unaware of their issues. And his parents (nor mine) were narcissists, though the LO most certainly was one. He came from a large family (12 kids) and I can see how AD would develop in that environment. All stories are not the same. Please keep that in mind, because the things you've said here are not helpful.
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0 # Ahri22 2017-03-02 09:30
Umm well no? My LO is not a narcissist, by any means. In fact, he's just lovely (which is the reason he's my LO!!!!) My parents weren't narcissists either. At all.

But I am a serial limerent... I don't think I realised how abnormal it was for a loooong time, or I was in denial.

I will add my last LO probably WAS a narcissist, and my obsession for him lasted all of about 4 months, and ended when I realised what sort of person he was (not to mention a "fuck boy" which was a huge turn off). So, for me, finding out my LO is not the person I imagine, actually works to my advantage! What is harder is when I know he's actually a wonderful person.
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+1 # Kendall 2017-03-08 18:56
What does it mean to work through your grief? Grief that you can't be with your LO? Grief for the abandonment issues? Grief for the pain you have caused others. I am trying to understand my wife's behavior and have appreciated this site.
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