What is Limerent Attachment?
Limerence is considered as a cognitive and emotional state
of being emotionally attached to or
even obsessed with another person.
Limerent Attachement is typically experienced involuntarily
and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of
one's feelings—a near-obsessive form of romantic love.
Some call it Love Addiction.
As in an addiction of any kind, this attachment style is when the object of your infatuation to another person becomes central to your life at all costs.
- Can you become pleasantly fixed in thoughts of the other person much of your day making them the object of your day. Often in longing or craving.
- Can you also be haunted by the other person in fixed thoughts of doubt and trust, seeking clarity which interferes with your day.
- Does this add to your life or distract from your life.
- Do you “own” your life?
Or does it give me narrow focus and attention much of the time on them?
Does it interfere with my relationship with friends?
Does it interfere in developing new friendships and my own interests?
Does it interfere with my pursing what I am interested in and my own personal goals?
Or have I made the relationship more about them, their needs, their interests, their goals and I get lost? Do I get lost in waiting?
Limererent attachment is part of a tie to another person;
it adds an enormous intensity to the attachment “hunger”- which is the dependency feelings that come from an early memory, a memory that is largely forgotten.
Just like the alcoholic in the strong denial, of justification, minimization, rationalization and avoidance of keeping that person in one's life, when it disrupts important social, occupational, or recreational activities and a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home. Remembering only the intensity of the fantasy of the good parts of what the relationship has provided and denying or allowing the pain of the distress, craving and unmet needs.
Understanding the development of this attachment style is important in breaking the "craving"
and addiction to that person. So difficult since the denial system is engaged and keeps the relationship intact as in the sub categories of denial mentioned above. The feeling of being needy, vulnerable from a traumatic time or from a time of an emotionally deprived childhood. “A deposit in our earlier memory bank” and gets us in the “throes of those primitive feelings.”
Actually this position activates needs for caring, closeness, skin against skin and eye to eye.
Almost needing another person to survive and feel safe and whole.
This attachment style arouses strong emotions from a more fragile time.
It is important to define that Limerence attachment can be one of life’s greatest emotional delights.
Yet can you manage the high cost for the emotional benefits these feelings give you
and the ability differentiate yourself? The ability to have a self. Most cannot.
The ecstasy of limerence is difficult to go against, the limerence feelings then can develop idealizing and enmeshment with another person. Some justify this position by the old beliefs that "we are one" the many stories shared with us about "the perfect love" - However these beliefs are just that, stories.
We cannot have a healthy relationship without having a self.
More so to define a healthy relationship as "interdependent, not codependent or fused."
Note these hazards:
- To the extent that Limerence makes you idealize the other person, it also blinds you to their faults, it can make you feel unworthy relative to them, and you may be tempted therefore, to settle for crumbs and great unhappiness within the relationship.
- Your fear of chasing away this marvelous person may lead you to avoid the kind of confronting and engaging that is usually necessary to the development of a mutual and truly satisfying relationship.
- You may tend to forget, if you ever knew, that in the asking and sustaining of a good healthy relationship, limerence is not nearly enough. Do not lose yourself in someone else.
A new focus: I am substantial as a human being to have an impact on another human being. I am special and significant and I really exist in this world. I can connect with another with love without loosing who I am today. I have meaning and worth and I am lovable.
I am complete now. I can have a self and a relationship and I do not have to be fused and dependent,
I can be interdependent and support my partner at times of need and they can support me in those times as well, however I do not loose myself in someone else.
You can make your way through and recover yourself by loving and developing you.
If you survived unmet needs of loss early on, you can survive it now.