Photo courtesy of Getty via Forbes.

Mental Health — we all have it, and now we should all strive to be more open and vulnerable about it. 

TheraPieces* is a Slice of Culture monthly column by Mendez, who has a Master of Social Work degree in clinical/medical social work.

With the season of love just being last month,  I thought to write about a related topic. 

Love can be an addictive energy unlike no other, as we have heard from songs from Ke$ha, love can be as addictive as a drug.

We’re all exposed to experiencing it at least once in our lifetime. When we fall in love, we tend to become feverish about it. Always talking about the excitement, the newfound thrill, and adoration of this new person in our life. This usually tends to occur during the early stages of a relationship. 

Now as time moves on, things change and feelings  begin to fade. What happens when the fear, anxieties, and worries begin to grow and transform that love into an all-consuming longing and infatuation?

Limerence is a psychological term used to describe having an intense longing for another person even when they don’t fully reciprocate (The Attachment Project). It exposes unhealthy behavioral patterns of the person struggling to think about anything else but constantly thinking about their crush or someone they were once intimate with that no longer shares those feelings. It becomes unhealthy when priorities are neglected to the point where it becomes completely out of control. 

Because it’s known to cause significant issues in one’s life, the treatment for limerence has been on the rise amongst psychologists and researchers. Here are some ways to identify the symptoms of Limerence, distinguishing unhealthy attachment patterns with healthy ones, and ways to overcome it. 


The symptoms of Limerence are:

  • Infatuated, romantic, or unreciprocated feelings towards another
  • Obsessive thoughts or idealizations about the person one is infatuated with
  • Strong desire for reciprocation of those feelings
  • Out of control with one’s overwhelming emotions (dysregulated) 
  • Lack of interests in and out of touch with other tasks, responsibilities, or priorities

Limerence can cause overwhelming amounts of distress and anxiety if not brought into self-awareness. It is essentially “a state of being stuck between uncertainty and hope” (The Attachment Project). 

(andrea_evgeniou / Instagram)

Unhealthy attachment patterns that usually indicate signs of limerence are shown through insecure or anxious attachment styles. Unhealthy behavioral patterns that stem from each style are being emotionally and physically codependent from one’s partner  as well as having low-self esteem. One can become too reliant on their partner for internal needs and conflicts that were unmet from childhood or throughout development. Obtaining healthy attachment patterns starts with one’s own self awareness of their unhealthy patterns and being able to overcome them through emotional regulation skills, effective communication and boundary setting, ability to trust others, and being vulnerable to allow deeper connections in.

In order to overcome limerence, recognizing one’s attachment style and unhealthy behavioral patterns is the first step. From there, reducing or limiting contact with the person you are experiencing limerence with will help break the cycle of obsessive thoughts. 

From there, engaging in activities of enjoyment or that will help increase positive reinforcement can be very helpful towards clearing the person off your mind

The practice of mindfulness and meditation will also help with regaining back control of one’s thoughts and emotions without judgment. Overtime, limerent feelings will naturally fade the more one becomes invested in themselves. 

If you feel you struggle with limerence or limerent feelings, seeking professional help from a therapist or psychologist can help to explore these feelings in a safe space and vulnerable setting.  

If you want a specific topic related to mental health covered, Daniella Mendez may be reached at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

This will close in 26 seconds

Verified by MonsterInsights