Limerence — Compulsive Obsession over Someone

4 min readJun 3, 2024


You are not in love with the person, you are in love with the feeling of being in love.

This write-up was born out of a prayer I’d prayed recently: “Lord please help me to stop liking him, I can’t help myself”. I have prayed this prayer more than 5 times in my lifetime, and God was faithful to help me understand the root of my problems this time, not just taking the feelings away.

At this point, I don’t even know what love is. There’s crush, infatuation, “best friend”, lust, and just when I thought I understood love, here we are. Limerence.

— Youtube comment

Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

Limerence can be a bit difficult to explain to people who have never experienced it, but I’ll try. Limerence describes the experience of having an uncontrollable affection for someone. It’s like having a crush or being infatuated but much stronger, and it comes with an obsession that consumes the limerent person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Have you ever had a “crush” on someone for years, this person fills your thinking all day, and life feels empty when you aren’t obsessing over this ideal person. You’ve never spoken to this person before or you guys barely talk but you’ve already fantasized how beautiful the relationship would be when they eventually reciprocate your feelings.

If you unintentionally cross paths or have brief interactions, you closely analyze their behavior and body language to look for signs of reciprocation. You may also ruminate about past encounters with the L.O (limerent object) and fantasize about what might happen between yourselves in the future.

If you’ve never experienced this, bless God for your mental health but I’ve only had this kind of mentality for most of my life.

Throughout my first and probably second year at the university, I obsessed over this particular guy that I probably never spoke to. The days when we had classes together were very elating and I thought about him every day, not a hypothetical every day but a literal one.

I felt down whenever I thought this “person” did not like me. Heck!!! He didn’t even know me.

How did I stop my obsession? I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to take away the feelings. Eventually, the person didn’t return to school for the third year and my feelings fizzled out but I quickly found another person to obsess about. What a life!

When Solomon said, “Love is as strong as death”, Limerence can be compared to death but by delusion.

Some signs that it might be limerence and not your normal crush are:

. Intrusive thinking about the object of your passionate affection (the limerent object or “LO”),

. Acute longing for reciprocation

. Dependency of mood on LO’s actions or, more accurately, your interpretation of LO’s actions with respect to the probability of reciprocation

. Inability to react limerently to more than one person at a time (exceptions occur only when limerence is at a low ebb — early on or in the last fading)

. Some fleeting and transient relief from unrequited limerent passion through the vivid imagination of action by LO that means reciprocation

. Fear of rejection and sometimes incapacitating but always unsettling shyness in LO’s presence, especially in the beginning and whenever uncertainty strikes

. Intensification through adversity (at least, up to a point)

. Acute sensitivity to any act, thought or condition that can be interpreted favorably, and an extraordinary ability to devise or invent “reasonable” explanations for why the neutrality that the disinterested observer might see is, in fact, a sign of hidden passion in the LO

. An aching of the “heart” (a region in the center front of the chest) when uncertainty is strong

. Buoyancy (a feeling of walking on air) when reciprocation seems evident

. A general intensity of feeling that leaves other concerns in the background

. A remarkable ability to emphasize what is truly admirable in LO and to avoid dwelling on the negative, even to respond with compassion for the negative and render it, emotionally if not perceptually, into another positive attribute.

. Idealization of the LO e.g. “they are perfect.”

. Constantly being reminded of the LO by places, people, objects, and situations

If there’s something I know, it’s that you are never alone. I know I’m not the only person who goes through this. Guess what?? There’s help for you and your way to a secure mindset and attachment is to first identify the problem.

Next time, I’ll talk about how to heal.

But till then,

Love and Light.

If you’re interested, you can read more:

What is Limerence and how to overcome it


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