What does it mean when your husband, wife, ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend says they "love me," but aren't "in love" with me?
In the video above, I talk about what it means when your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend says they “love you” but aren’t “in love” with you anymore.
It’s similar to them saying they have “fallen out of love with you.”
What they are describing is actually the loss of what is called Limerence.
Limerence is the scientific word that describes the chemical reactions in the brain that cause someone to feel “madly in love.”
Our brains experience an increase in the chemical dopamine and a decrease in the chemical serotonin.
Because these chemical changes occur when we are around this other person or when we think about them, a perfect storm is set up in our hearts.
Dopamine is the feel good chemical, so we feel joy and elation in seeing this person or even just thinking about them.
Serotonin helps us reason and be logical. Since that chemical declines when we are in Limerence, we lose some ability to be rational.
That causes people to make bad decisions when they are in Limerence. They might skip work to be with their “Limerent Object,” spend lots of money, or even leave a marriage for someone else.
However, Limerence is temporary. We actually cannot experience the same high with the same person again.
In that way it’s like a drug addict chasing a high they can never again experience.
When it goes away, it might result in the statement, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you."
They might feel like you are family, but don't feel romantic attraction to you.
That's basically what you are being told when they say they aren't "in love with you."
Nature, or God, uses Limerence to help us develop real relationships with people we don’t yet know that well.
Because we want to be around them so often, we develop companionship, friendship, commitment and intimacy.
So when Limerence fades, we have those things in its place.
Limerence is designed to get us there but not to sustain those things.
But some people mistakenly believe that Limerence is love.
Therefore when the fireworks of Limerence fade, they believe that they have “fallen out of love” or that they love someone but are not “in love” with them.
This happens often and one of the reasons I feel so strongly about the no contact rule is that I have seen it work even in this situation.
That’s partly because fear of loss can boost Limerence, making it even more powerful.
That’s why people who experience it can become so obsessive and insecure.
As I say in many of my videos and here on my website, "curiosity is a precursor to attraction."
This is especially true if your ex or spouse has said, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you."
Pulling back from someone who has lost attraction for you can cause those chemicals to reignite in their brains because they are curious why you are not chasing them in attempt to get them back.
The feelings of curiosity as to why you are not chasing them can lead to fear of losing you which elevates those chemicals, reigniting Limerence to a degree.
My coaching clients are often fascinated that their ex can fear losing them even though it was the ex who wanted the breakup.
It might not make sense for your ex, who broke up with you or a spouse who separated from you, to fear losing you but that is part of the magic of Limerence in that, since serotonin has fallen, their ability to reason has become handicapped.
That is part of the reason why I have seen no contact work so many times even in situations where I, myself, thought the situation was hopeless.
I have learned to expect it to work over the years to get couples back together and to stop a divorce.
It can be surprising to someone who follows my coaching by going into no contact in an attempt to get their act back.
They often book another coaching call with me a few weeks later and are thrilled to share with me the news that their ex has reached out to them and said they miss them.
That truly brings me joy.
To gain from my two decades in the relationship-recovery service, get my my Emergency Breakup Kit.