June 2015 – Its now been 4.5 years since my limerence started started. Im pretty much over my only experience of this grief inducing experience. In that time i’ve completed my 4 year psychotherapy training. Ive come out the other end pretty cynical about the way we were trained and even more cynical about the number of practising therapists that seem to not have healed their own attachment wounds.

I’ll be using the skills and insights i learned and will see a few clients, but its not going to be by main line of work. Anyhow, here is the place i’m at as far as my thoughts on limerence and also romantic love.

I now see limerence as an extreme form of romantic love. My list is based on my own journey through limerence, a ton of reading (books and forums) , a lot of self therapy, 7 years of personal therapy, my own training, many hours of intimate conversations with  close friends who are peers and both love addicted, working with love addicted clients, group therapy etc.

  • Romantic love including limerence is a projection of our internalised infant needs onto a “magical other”.
  • We fall in romantic love / limerence to heal our early life traumas
  • We are most sensitised to these traumas from the day we are conceived to 2 years old. It sets us up for our attachment style in our adult relationships.
  • We all carry early life attachment trauma wounds – for some its more than others. Its impossible to have the perfect upbringing with no traumas.
  • We don’t remember most of our woundings as they are pre-verbal, the feelings are as so overwhelming as we have no language to make meaning of the experience. Same goes for the feelings we feel in our love for our romantic objects – its triggering early life preverbal stuff.
  • Transgenerational trauma is rarely mentioned but i think way more significant than appreciated – that goes for most of us. We end up re-enacting our parents traumas and so it goes on until we decide to break the chain.
  • We need to build an authentic conscious relationship with ourselves before we are able to fully connect with others.
  • Sexualising relationships too soon complicates and distorts our feelings and creates deeper enmeshment.
  • Most sex is acting out – we are acting out our “parental rescue fantasies”.
  • Limerence creates one almighty distraction / disassociation to defend us from having to deal with our psychological pain.
  • There are no such things as soul mates or twin flames, just people that share similar unconscious wounds that we resonate strongly with.
  • Grief work (which is what we need to do) is so intense, so painful that it becomes the biggest obstacle for the work we need to do if we are to grow and heal.

Many understandably opt the spiritual bypass route, sadly there is no bypass from doing this work. I wish there was. Had i read that list 4.5 years ago i would have thought WTF. I had to go through my grief to get to this place. I still have more grieving to do. Maybe by posting my reflections can help others struggling with the madness of limerence. More likely im still acting out my “parental rescue fantasies” Oh well, at least im sort of conscious of that. And so my work continues.


David qualified as a Medical Doctor (GMC number 2941565) in 1984 from St. Thomas’ hospital, London. He obtained his GP and family planning certification. In 1999 he left medicine to set up docleaf, a leading Crisis Management and Trauma Psychology Consultancy. He has experience as a hypnotherapist and holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy and counselling from the Centre of Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in London and is currently studying for an advance diploma in executive coaching.

David spends part of his time as an executive coach and running docleaf leadership which works with CEO’s and other C suite leaders in helping them develop and grow.

David has written extensively about limerence, sex and love addiction as well as trauma and PTSD. His interest in romantic relationships led him to set up www.limerence.net, a support forum to help those impacted by this debilitating condition.

David is passionate about men’s work and his mission in life is to help people become more conscious by teaching and helping others and continuing his own self-development. He is actively involved in volunteering with the ManKind Project charity which helps men live their lives with more integrity, honesty and taking more personal responsibility.

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