Love, Relationships, Limerence & Affair Recovery

What does limerence feel like?

April 12, 2021 David
Love, Relationships, Limerence & Affair Recovery
What does limerence feel like?
Chapters
Love, Relationships, Limerence & Affair Recovery
What does limerence feel like?
Apr 12, 2021
David

What does limerence feel like?

To understand what limerence feels like, we have to first understand what limerence is. Understanding limerence, in the beginning, can be quite challenging, as we mistook it very often for love. The concept of love is constantly being rewritten by the popular culture, across movies, TV, shows and songs, as they always describe these feelings as intense love addiction, known as limerence, rather than actual real love. 

Stop for a second and think of your favourite romantic movie. You might recall movie scenes where a  girl is compulsively re-reading a very single text message from her secret lover or when a man is fantasising about the woman of his life, his „soul mate” even after years of separation. 

These are common signs of limerence and not love. Love takes work and time, while limerence is a state of mind of being addicted to love (and not the object of your love). Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop this feeling, this state of being has nothing to do with your will of choice, being rather caused by biochemical processes in your brain.  

The concept of limerence was introduced by the psychologist Dorothy Tennov in her book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love. She describes it as “an involuntary interpersonal state that involves an acute longing for emotional reciprocation, obsessive-compulsive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and emotional dependence on another person.”

So how does limerence feels like? How do I know if it’s love or limerence?

To be completely honest, it is not that easy to differentiate between love and limerence at the beginning of a relationship. Many times, limerence can turn into meaningful and healthy relationships based on true love. On the other side, when it comes to limerence, the attraction can easily turn into obsessive thoughts and fantasies. You can experience limerence even if the other person does not share the same limerent feelings for you, but, your primary goal will be for them to reciprocate these intense feelings that you have. 

To help you navigate through understanding your experience and feelings, here you have a few of the “symptoms” that a limerent person might experience. 

 1.     You are obsessively thinking and fantasising about your LO (Limerent Object)

When we think of the object of our desire, we get the feeling of love and affection that we need. It might feel that you can’t help but always think about your love interest’s every single word or action. You might obsessively think of them and a possible future together even if there is no relationship between the two of you.

2.     You crave for your feelings to be reciprocated 

Your obsession with them is based on a need to have your feelings reciprocated. When you experience limerence, you might obsess over any kind of clue of reciprocation, such as recalling any encounter in details or reading texts over and over again feel getting high in love.  You might even imagine yourself as the “hero” in different fantasies you have with this person, moments in which you save them from dangerous situations with the hidden hope that they’ll finally love you. 

3.     You feel despair when their feelings are not reciprocated

Because limerence is a state of mind and is caused by a chemical imbalance in our brain, you can easily experience intense joy or extreme despair, depending on the reaction of the LO. You might feel euphoria one second, yet the next one you might feel destroyed and extremely depressed. When you are close to them you feel nervous and can experience more anxiety and nervousness than usually (more than someone who’s in love), while when you are away you always have a fear of rejection, that you’ll do something wrong or disappoint

Show Notes

What does limerence feel like?

To understand what limerence feels like, we have to first understand what limerence is. Understanding limerence, in the beginning, can be quite challenging, as we mistook it very often for love. The concept of love is constantly being rewritten by the popular culture, across movies, TV, shows and songs, as they always describe these feelings as intense love addiction, known as limerence, rather than actual real love. 

Stop for a second and think of your favourite romantic movie. You might recall movie scenes where a  girl is compulsively re-reading a very single text message from her secret lover or when a man is fantasising about the woman of his life, his „soul mate” even after years of separation. 

These are common signs of limerence and not love. Love takes work and time, while limerence is a state of mind of being addicted to love (and not the object of your love). Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop this feeling, this state of being has nothing to do with your will of choice, being rather caused by biochemical processes in your brain.  

The concept of limerence was introduced by the psychologist Dorothy Tennov in her book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love. She describes it as “an involuntary interpersonal state that involves an acute longing for emotional reciprocation, obsessive-compulsive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and emotional dependence on another person.”

So how does limerence feels like? How do I know if it’s love or limerence?

To be completely honest, it is not that easy to differentiate between love and limerence at the beginning of a relationship. Many times, limerence can turn into meaningful and healthy relationships based on true love. On the other side, when it comes to limerence, the attraction can easily turn into obsessive thoughts and fantasies. You can experience limerence even if the other person does not share the same limerent feelings for you, but, your primary goal will be for them to reciprocate these intense feelings that you have. 

To help you navigate through understanding your experience and feelings, here you have a few of the “symptoms” that a limerent person might experience. 

 1.     You are obsessively thinking and fantasising about your LO (Limerent Object)

When we think of the object of our desire, we get the feeling of love and affection that we need. It might feel that you can’t help but always think about your love interest’s every single word or action. You might obsessively think of them and a possible future together even if there is no relationship between the two of you.

2.     You crave for your feelings to be reciprocated 

Your obsession with them is based on a need to have your feelings reciprocated. When you experience limerence, you might obsess over any kind of clue of reciprocation, such as recalling any encounter in details or reading texts over and over again feel getting high in love.  You might even imagine yourself as the “hero” in different fantasies you have with this person, moments in which you save them from dangerous situations with the hidden hope that they’ll finally love you. 

3.     You feel despair when their feelings are not reciprocated

Because limerence is a state of mind and is caused by a chemical imbalance in our brain, you can easily experience intense joy or extreme despair, depending on the reaction of the LO. You might feel euphoria one second, yet the next one you might feel destroyed and extremely depressed. When you are close to them you feel nervous and can experience more anxiety and nervousness than usually (more than someone who’s in love), while when you are away you always have a fear of rejection, that you’ll do something wrong or disappoint