What Happens When Limerence Fades?

If your partner is having an affair, chances are you have noticed the signs of limerence. Limerence is best defined as an unhealthy, obsessive infatuation that often feels like real love to those involved. But what happens when limerence fades?

When limerence fades, the partner who was cheating becomes less erratic. They may also return to their habits and start re-prioritizing their life. They may also express regret over what they gave up for the limerent affair.

Limerence is a strong feeling that can cause someone to become addicted to another person, and when limerence fades, there will be a significant change in a person’s character. I feel your pain and I know firsthand what it’s like being in a troubled relationship.

But that’s just a quick snapshot.

After all, the experience of being in limerence can cause physical symptoms, intense feelings, and even withdrawal symptoms. It can be a powerful emotional state.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what limerence is, whether it is the same as love, the stages of limerence, and what happens when limerence fades.

Let’s get started.

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What is limerence and is it the same as love?

Limerence is a term that is relatively new. Limerence is a term coined by the American psychologist Dorothy Tennov in the 1970s and is a temporary feeling experienced in the early stages of a romantic relationship.

Limerence is a feeling of obsession and infatuation.

It is where the person you are in a relationship with means the world to you, and you are constantly thinking about them and worrying about their well-being and whether they feel the same way about you or not.

When you are in a state of limerence, you desire your partner intensely, and you really want them to desire you too. If you are in limerence and your partner does not reciprocate your feelings, it leaves you feeling devastated and desiring them even more.

It is a very strange feeling, and you kind of lose control of your emotions.

When someone is in limerence, they think about their partner all the time. They are the first thing they think about in the morning when they wake up and the last thing they think about before going to sleep. So, what’s the difference between limerence and love?

Limerence is kind of like love, but limerence is a “shallow” feeling, and love is a “deep” feeling. Allow me to explain.

When you are in limerence, you fall victim to something called the halo effect. This is where you see one thing you like about a person, and then you use that single positive characteristic to paint an overall picture of that person in your mind.

A limerent person does not fully know their partner and doesn’t want to know about their partner’s shortcomings.

When a person is in love, they know the shortcomings of the person they are in a relationship with and are willing to overlook them. Notice I said when you are in love, you “overlook” your partner’s shortcomings, and you are not “blind” to them like you are in a limerent relationship.

Real love is where you want a long-term relationship and is where the feelings are mutual. With limerence, it is common for one person to feel infatuated towards their limerent object, but the limerent object does not reciprocate that. Limerence that is not mutual tends to last longer than mutual limerence.

There are two major indicators your wife is in a limerent relationship.

One is when she stops prioritizing her normal habits, such as her career, education, and looking after the children. The second is when she starts to do things to seek the attention of her partner.

She may do this by adopting new positive habits that are not typical for her, such as wearing make-up more often or working out and posting on social media.

What causes limerence?

Limerence is usually caused by some sort of positive feeling that you get from the person you have feelings for – who is sometimes referred to as the “limerent object”.

When in limerence, your body increases its levels of dopamine – which is the hormone that dictates feelings of pleasure and happiness.

Limerence can also be caused by being in the company of a person that reduces your stress. The people most susceptible to falling into a limerent relationship are those that have never been in love or a relationship before and those who are dissatisfied with their current relationship.

Sometimes limerence is caused by an interaction where you receive appreciation or attention from your dream partner.

If someone falls into a limerent relationship, it’s not good, but it is natural.

From a young age, people are exposed to movies and other media that make being in a relationship look great. This leads to people wanting to feel the same thing. Limerence is caused by the natural human desire to be in love.

This is why limerence is common among those who are not in a relationship and those dissatisfied in their current relationship.

Limerence is very common among people who have had failed marriages.

Their dissatisfaction causes them to seek pleasure and validation from others, and they fall into the early stages of limerence quite quickly.

And sometimes, that can lead to multiple marriages, which some see as a red flag.

Check out this recent article on my site where I talk about whether you should consider marrying someone that has been divorced multiple times already.

I’ll talk more about the stages of limerence later in this article.

How long does limerence last?

Limerence lasts on average between three months and three years, however, it can last longer. Limerence lasts a shorter period of time among couples that see each other regularly as the “honeymoon phase” wears off based on the amount of contact.

Limerence lasts longer among those who have infrequent contact with one another and in relationships where the partners have something special. For example, if your wife finds a millionaire, and you aren’t one, then the wealth of that man could blow her mind, causing her to fall into limerence.

Similarly, if the man is a big, muscular guy and is more shredded than 99% of other people, your wife will fall into limerence again because that is not something she can find elsewhere.

The reason limerence lasts longer among couples that have infrequent contact is that they take longer to discover each other’s shortcomings. Remember we talked about the halo effect earlier?

Well, the halo effect lasts longer the less you talk to the person you are in a limerent relationship with.

What are the stages of limerence?

There are three stages of limerence: infatuation stage, crystallization stage, and deterioration stage.

Infatuation stage

The infatuation stage is the first stage of a limerent relationship, and it usually lasts no longer than a month or two.

This is where you suddenly become intrigued by the limerent object and want to spend a lot of time with them and learn more about them. This is also the stage where you may reveal some personal things about yourself.

A key sign your wife is in a limerent relationship is that she shows signs of guilt.

Chances are she has shared something with the limerent object about you, and it is likely something you would like kept secret. Some wives complain about their husband’s low income, their past with other women, affairs, and even matters such as erectile dysfunction.

It’s things like this that are divulged during infatuation.

During the infatuation stage, it is common for your partner to have mood swings. This is because they are not in the mood for anything that distracts them from their limerent object, as they are the only thing they care about.

Crystallization stage

After that, there is the crystallization stage, and as the name suggests, this is where the limerent object becomes precious to you.

This is the stage where you will notice your wife slacking with her priorities and leaving things that are important to her in order to please the guy she is with.

During the crystallization stage, it is common for your partner to seem distant from you. They will start spending less time with you and won’t show gratitude and acknowledgment like they used to.

Deterioration stage

Finally, you have the 3rd stage of limerence, the deterioration phase, and this is where the limerent relationship comes to an end.

This is where you are no longer blown away by the limerent object because you have started to see their true colors. You may just feel like they are not as interesting as you thought they were.

Let’s have a look at some signs that indicate your wife is in the deterioration phase and show that the limerence of your partner is fading.

How do you know your partner’s limerent affair is ending?

When limerence fades, you will notice your partner going back to their old ways.

When in a limerent relationship, they will put their own priorities aside to please their limerent object. For example, they will skip classes for their education, stop hanging out with you and their other friends, and become lazy with their responsibilities towards their family.

If you notice your partner starting to reprioritize again and start doing all the good things they used to, chances are the limerence in their affair is fading because they no longer feel the desire to impress their limerent object.

A second sign that limerence is fading is when your partner quits the attention-seeking habits they have been building during their limerent affair.

If you notice your wife stops wearing make-up, stops working out, and stops posting on social media, it is an indicator that she no longer has a limerent object to impress.

When limerence fades, your partner will seem down for a while.

This is because they are no longer getting that dopamine rush every time they communicate with their limerent object. They may also seem easier to impress. You will notice that during a limerent affair, your partner appears to be ungrateful or dismissive of your efforts.

They won’t acknowledge to the same degree as they did before the affair, such as if you buy them a gift or cook them a special dinner.

If your partner shows more gratitude than they have in the past few months or years, it shows that they have been through the deterioration phase of limerence, and they remember that they love you.

When limerence fades, your partner can show signs of guilt.

This is because they remember that you are their spouse and that you have always been there for them. You are not perfect, and neither is their limerent object. It just takes a while for your spouse to realize that the limerent object has flaws that are much greater than yours.

When limerence fades, your partner will appear to be more present.

Remember we mentioned that during the stages of limerence, your partner would have constant intrusive thoughts that they can’t control. Well, when limerence fades, they won’t have those thoughts anymore, and they will start to seem much more present.

You will be less likely to see your spouse smiling away at their phone or in a good mood for no apparent reason.

Is there a cure for limerence?

If only there was a cure for limerence. Someone would make a lot of money. The only way limerence can be cured is if you undertake a process of trying to become more self-aware.

You need to figure out what is really driving you to be part of that limerent affair. If you are in a limerent affair, you need to ask yourself, are you doing it for the attention your limerent object gives you?

Are you in the limerent affair because you are dissatisfied with your spouse, or because they have a handful of undesirable traits? Are you doing it simply for the high?

You need to figure out why you are in a state of limerence and then find ways to satisfy your desires with your spouse. For example, if you are in a limerent affair because you like the attention, just tell your partner that you don’t feel like they are giving you enough attention! It’s that simple!

If you are simply looking for happiness, understand you won’t find it in a limerent affair. Limerence fades within 3 months to 3 years, remember.

The best way to cure limerence is to ask yourself whether you want to be an individualist, and just do what you want without any regard for hurting the feelings of others, or do you want to be collectivist and keep everyone that cares about you happy?

I strongly recommend sticking with your family, as opposed to ending your marriage to pursue your limerent affair.

If your partner is in a limerent relationship, the best way to cure it is to go to marriage counseling and get your partner to open up about why they are in that relationship.

The only way to know why they are doing what they are doing is if they speak. It is important to be a good listener and not blame your partner. Really try to understand why they are dissatisfied with your relationship to the point where they feel like they need to have an affair.

Wife in Limerence? Wait or Leave?


Limerence is a strong emotional feeling of infatuation that is seemingly uncontrollable.

Limerence usually occurs when someone has a strong desire to be in a romantic relationship, and they are not already in one, or they may already be in one, but they are dissatisfied.

And a case of limerence is very different from the feelings of romantic love in a real relationship.

Limerent affairs usually last less than three years, and they can be over in as little as three months. But if your wife or husband has left you because of a limerent affair, it is possible to get them back.

Limerence has three stages:

The initial stage is infatuation, where an individual is blown away by their limerent object with intense emotion, obsessive thoughts, and longs to spend more time with them and seek their attention.

The second stage is crystallization – where you think that your limerent object is the best thing in the world. The final stage is deterioration and is where the limerence ends. Limerence almost always fades and is never a life-long thing.

When limerence fades, your partner will return to their old habits and may express signs of guilt and remorse. Unfortunately, the end of a limerent affair does not necessarily mean your marriage is going to be all sunshine and rainbows from now on.

But how do you know if your marriage is truly over?

Check out this recent article on my site where I talk about the top 35 red flags that indicate your marriage can’t be saved.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Image by Johana Peña from Pixabay

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