Limerence is an emotional state where a person experiences intense and often obsessive feelings of infatuation towards someone else. It's a romantic attraction that goes beyond typical, healthy attraction and often becomes obsessive and all-consuming.

Limerence often happens before, during, and immediately after infidelity.  When someone is experiencing limerence, they may be more likely to act on their impulses and take risks, which can make them more vulnerable to an affair. Limerence can be an intense and all-consuming experience, causing some people to feel a sense of urgency to act on their feelings. When someone is experiencing limerence, they can become fixated on a specific person and start to feel dissatisfied with their current relationship.

It's important to note that not everyone who experiences limerence will engage in infidelity, and not everyone who engages in infidelity does so because of limerence. However, there is a connection between the two, and understanding this connection can be helpful for people who are trying to heal from the effects of an affair.

Think you or your partner could be experiencing limerence? The symptoms of limerence include:
  • Persistent thoughts and fantasies about the object of your infatuation
  • Intense emotions of euphoria when thinking about or being around the person
  • Difficulty concentrating on anything other than the person
  • Fear of rejection or fear of not being able to be with the person
  • Idealization of the person, seeing them as perfect or flawless
  • Heightened sensitivity to the person's actions and feelings

Limerence is often mistaken for love, but there are some key differences. While limerence is based on infatuation and a fantasy, love is based on a deep emotional connection and caring for the other person's well-being. Limerence is often intense and short-lived, while love can last a lifetime. Additionally, limerence is often focused on the physical aspects of a person or how the other person makes you feel, while love encompasses all aspects of a person's personality and character.

If you are dealing with limerence yourself, here are some ways to break free:
  • Acknowledge and accept your feelings.
  • Limit contact with the person you're infatuated with, as much as possible.
  • Actively remind yourself about the positive things you love about your partner, while reminding yourself about the negative aspects of the other person/relationship.
  • Focus on other areas of your life, such as work, exercise, meditation, hobbies.
  • Talk to a trusted friend or therapist about your feelings
  • Practice self-care and prioritize your mental health

Many people who experience limerence also experience withdrawal when they stop interacting with their affair partner. Limerence often produces intense fantasies and euphoria, which trigger the release of dopamine and other feel-good chemicals in the brain. These chemicals create a sense of reward and reinforce the person’s desire to continue seeking out their affair partner. When the intense feelings of limerence start to fade, it can be a difficult adjustment.

If you're hurting from your partner's affair and trying to help them heal from limerence at the same time, it can be a challenging and emotionally difficult process. Here are some tips that may be helpful:
  1. Take care of yourself first: It's important to prioritize your own emotional wellbeing and take care of yourself before trying to support your partner. This may mean seeking the help of a therapist or counselor to work through your own feelings and emotions.
  2. Communicate openly: It's important to have open and honest communication with your partner about how their actions have affected you. Be honest about your feelings and try to approach the conversation in a constructive, non-judgmental way.
  3. Set boundaries: It's important to set clear boundaries with your partner to protect your own emotional wellbeing. This may mean limiting contact or taking a break from the relationship while you work through your own emotions.
  4. Encourage therapy: Encourage your partner to seek help to work through their feelings of limerence and any underlying emotional issues that may have contributed to their affair.
  5. Focus on rebuilding trust: Rebuilding trust is an important part of healing from an affair. Work with your partner to develop a plan for rebuilding trust, which may include increased transparency, communication, and accountability.

Remember that healing from an affair and limerence is a complex and often difficult process, and it's okay to take things slow and seek outside support as needed. If I can do anything to support you, please reach out.




Dr. K's NEW Book on Infidelity Recovery

The Courage to Stay - How To Heal From an Affair & Save Your Marriage


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