What Is Limerence and How Can It Impact Your Life?
“How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways….”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning
What is limerence?
Limerence is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and is typically associated with strong feelings of love, admiration, and hope. People who are limerent often daydream about the object of their affection and feel intense jealousy when they think about them being with someone else. Although limerence is sometimes described as a form of “love addiction,” it is different in that it is not solely motivated by sexual desire. Instead, limerence is driven by the need for intimacy and connection.
What are the symptoms of limerence?
Limerence is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies as well as a desire to establish or maintain a relationship with the object of limerence. The limerent individual may also experience mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
There are several symptoms associated with limerence, which can be classified into three categories: psychological, physical, and behavioral.
Psychological symptoms of limerence include intrusive thinking about the object of limerence, preoccupation with their whereabouts and activities, feeling jealous when they interact with others, and difficulty concentrating on anything else. Physical symptoms may include increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, butterflies in the stomach, and dry mouth.
How can limerence impact your life?
Limerence can impact your life in many ways, both positive and negative.
On the positive side, limerence can lead to intense feelings of love and passion. You may feel more alive than ever before and be willing to do anything for the object of your limerence. This can be a very exciting time in your life.
On the negative side, limerence can be all-consuming and take over your life. You may find yourself thinking about the person constantly and making decisions based on what you think will make them happy, rather than what is best for you. This can lead to problems in your personal and professional life. If you are unable to control your limerence, it can even lead to stalking or other obsessive behaviors.
Childhood reasons for limerence
Neglect in childhood can be a huge contributing factor in developing limerence later on. It is like an illusion of fusion and an emotional completion fantasy. It is a rejection pattern and can often be a longing for the parent who was hard to reach. Limerence is like a depression. Anxiously attached people experience alot of limerence because they didn’t break off and have independence and learn to self soothe. So in the fantasy and limerence it’s a way they found best to self soothe.
Different kinds of limerence
Not all limerence is pining for a romantic partner. People can have limerence for objects, books, movies etc. I will often get limerent about musicians, because it plays out a relationship I had with my father in childhood. I think those relationships you hear about where people say marry the Eiffel Tower is a form of limerence.
The dangers of limerence
Limerence, also known as “obsessive love”, can be a dangerous condition that can lead to unhealthy and even abusive relationships. The limerent person becomes fixated on the object of their affection to the point of obsession, and will do anything to win their attention and love. This can mean stalking, manipulating, or even harming the object of their limerence.
Limerence is usually one-sided, with the limerent person becoming fixated on someone who does not reciprocate their feelings. This can lead to feelings of rejection and jealousy, which can in turn lead to dangerous behaviors. The limerent person may become possessive, controlling, or even violent in an attempt to keep the object of their limerence close.
If you find yourself becoming fixated on someone to the point of obsession, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional.
How to cope with limerence
Limerence is often described as an involuntary cognitive and emotional state in which a person feels an intense romantic desire for another person. The limerent object can be either the source of the person’s admiration or the target of their affections.
Although limerence is not classified as a mental disorder, it can have a significant impact on a person’s life. If you are coping with limerence, there are several things you can do to manage your feelings.
It is important to remember that limerence is not love, although it may feel like it. Love involves mutual respect, understanding, and communication, whereas limerence is one-sided and often based on unrealistic ideas.
Even though limerence can feel good to a certain degree, one idea might be to catch yourself when you are in this state of fantasy, and pull yourself back to the present moment, sitting in the room you are in. Get in your body and get grounded and focus on pulling all that unrequited love back into yourself and away from the object of your affections.
Refocus that love on yourself.