Limerence is an acute onset, unexpected, obsessive attachment to one person, the Limerent Object, which is rarely reported in scientific literature. Presented here is an interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the livedexperience of six international Limerent respondents. The condition's unique and common journey is conceptualised in a Limerence Trajectory, which is characterized by generally sequential yet overlapping super-ordinate themes. The themes primarily regard experiences of ruminative thinking, free floating anxiety and depression temporarily fixated and the disintegration of the self. These themes are further linked to an inclination to reintegrate unresolved past life(s) experiences and to progress to a state of greater authenticity (i.e., being truer to one's inner self). A paradigm shift is identified in the realization that both a real and idealized Limerent Object are involved which may relate to attachment anxieties. Symptomology relating to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, addiction, separation anxiety and depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, disassociated states and maladaptive fantasy are discussed. The study authors and respondents collective aim is to promote awareness, research and resources for Limerent Experiencers and those who seek to support them.
Limerence, Obsession, Attachment, Anxiety, Depression
The authors extend their thanks to all the study respondents and to Dr. Theresa Mitchell, University of the West of England, United Kingdom for methodology consultation and to Dr. Rodney Swanborough, Wilson Memorial Hospital, Australia for thematic consultation regarding philosophical authenticity.
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Recommended APA Citation
Willmott, L., & Bentley, E. (2015). Exploring the Lived-Experience of Limerence: A Journey toward Authenticity. The Qualitative Report, 20(1), 20-38. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2015.1420