Limerence: why am I obsessed with someone who doesn’t care about me?

You may be in the group of TikTok users who have heard the discourse around ‘limerence’, or you may be on the other side of TikTok where your timeline is full of live videos of hamsters taking part in a 3am rave.

Whether you’ve heard of it or not, Messy wants to do a deep dive into this attachment style, because when we label it, we can recognise it.

Limerence has been described by Psychology today as “a state of involuntary obsession with another person”.

It doesn’t necessarily lead to stalking or even to someone making their ‘crush’ known to other people, but it can be quite a painful feeling.

Saba Harouni Lurie, licensed marriage and family therapist and founder of Take Root Therapy says “Limerence can seem very similar to love on the outside, but the most significant defining factor is that the feeling is unrequited or one-sided. 

“People experiencing limerence may find themselves overly focused on the object of their affection, thinking about them obsessively and trying to ascertain how the other party feels. 

“Their thoughts and behaviours may seem irrational and intrusive, and they may believe that if the individual they are focused on felt the same way about them, it would solve many or all of their problems.”

But the question is, why do people experience limerence? And how does one heal their pattern of falling into limerence?

Saba acknowledges that there is a correlation between neurodivergence, substance abuse and limerence, but again, it’s also about a person’s attachment style. 

 With their permission, Messy has pulled quotes from Dr David and Ruth, who run a TikTok account called @TheMarriedTherapists, to explain what limerence is and how it can be treated. 

Why Messy thinks it’s important to talk about it:

Despite the term ‘limerence’ being coined in the 1970’s, a lot of people experience it without knowing what it actually is.

People can experience a lot of shame, feelings of low self esteem, and insecurity when in the depths of limerence with no way of communicating what they are feeling with others. 

By raising awareness, we can help people recognise that what they feel has been felt by others. Not only that, but there is an explanation, and there are ways we can lessen the emotional turbulence caused by experiencing limerence. 


@TheMarriedTherapists Dr David and Ruth.

Dr David: “Limerence is when you’re addicted to another person. I describe it as like an infatuation on steroids.

“You start reading into every single detail and sign when you’re interacting with that person.

“When we experience it, the question for me is what are we avoiding dealing with when we have limerence? There’s some deeper pain within us are we are not addressing.”


Limerence is a little understood condition which very few therapists have ever heard of. For those that have had it, they will immediately recognise the symptoms. I describe here.#limerence #infatuation #relationship #relationshipadvice #personaddiction #therapytiktok #stalking #therapytok #menswork

♬ original sound – The Married Therapists

“The number one bit of advice I would give is you have to go no contact… I don’t think it makes much difference what we are addicted to, I’m more interested in why we are addicted. The best thing for addiction is abstinence. I know there are cases where it can be a coworker or relative, I don’t have an easy answer for that.

“I would also recommend disclosing your limerence with your significant other, if you’re in a relationship that can withstand that level of honesty.

“It would also be great to seek out a therapist who can help you with that process. It’s really hard to do this on your own. I set up a forum called to help people with this.”

“Significant loss, what better way to avoid dealing with it than to escape into a fantasy. The dips in limerence is where there is a loss of escapism.”


Here I discuss the number one reason why I believe people get Limerence. Was there are many factors. I think this is one of the main reasons why. #limerence #infatuation #obsession #obsessivelove #marriedtherapists #relationships #datingadvice #dating #communication #therapy

♬ original sound – The Married Therapists

“Attachment issues early in life, on the spectrum, escaping from a life issue. A lot of people, just before they get limerence, go through a significant loss in life”.


David talks about some of the reasons that may be influential in somebody developing Limerence. The reality is we don’t know why about 5% of the population get this and there is still a dire lack of research into this debilitating condition which very few people including 99% of therapists having not heard of it. #limerence #obsessivelove #obsession #infatuation #addictivelove #loveaddiction #addiction #narcissism

♬ original sound – The Married Therapists

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