Ever liked someone so much that your crush slowly turned into an obsession? Do you like someone but are too scared to ask them out? It may be a crush or puppy love, but it could also be a dark and dangerous form of love called Limerence.
The world of love and limerence
Are you really in love? There are so many ways to like or appreciate a person that love, the word, is really hard to explain it all.
We have the crazy-in-love, the head-over-heels-in-love, the sort-of-in-love, and the am-I-in-love? kind of love.
But there are other darker forms of love, and limerence is one big word that hangs precariously in these shades of love, edging somewhere between liking someone and being insanely mad about them.
What is limerence?
Psychologist Dorothy Tennov, describes Limerence as an involuntary cognitive and emotional state in which a person feels an intense romantic desire for another person (the limerent object).
But in simpler terms, limerence is a state of mind when you know that you like someone but yet at the same time, you can’t describe it as love. But you would also be crazy about this person and to the world, you would proclaim this form of affection as a crush.
Limerence is a dangerous feeling that just can’t be explained. Many would have felt it in varying measures of ‘crushes’. A person who is infatuated by a potential limerent medium (their crush) would undergo mood swings and feelings of intense joy and frustrations.
There are times during the heights of limerence when the person could get obsessed over their crush and start fantasizing about them.
But a limerent fantasy is not the typical fantasy of cuddling or fiery passion. Most of the fantasies involve rescuing them from perilous situations or proclamations of love at dying moments! You look more for gratitude rather than physical attraction in your fantasies.
Is limerence a form of love?
This is the confusing part. Limerence is always assumed to be the same as love, but it is actually very far from it. In love, you want to share the best moments of your life with someone special, but when you’re struck by limerence, all you want is this person’s attention.
Your entire existence is based on the way this limerent object treats you. You feel elated and on top of the world when you are given any sort of attention from this person. But if this person doesn’t reciprocate your advances, you can get really upset and depressed. Limerence is a form of affection that has no middle path. You can either be ecstatic in limerence or miserable in limerence.
Differences between love and limerence
There are a few striking differences between love and limerence, according to Dr. Tennov. See if you’re experiencing any of these, and you may just know whether you’re in love or in limerence!
No physical intimacy!
For an individual who is experiencing limerence, there is no thought given to the physical act of making out. Getting physical with your crush is not essential or satisfying to a person who experiences limerence, unlike a person who is physically attracted to someone.
You want your crush to feel grateful
When you’re physically attracted to someone, you want to be with them, and you most definitely want to get passionate with them. But when you are attracted to someone via limerence, you would create fantasies where you’re the hero or the heroine of your crush’s life.
You offer them a lift when they’re stranded in the middle of nowhere. You protect them from someone, when they’re in a fight. You save this person from an accident. And all sorts of fantasies where the end result isn’t sex or a cuddle, but gratitude.
This can happen to all of us, so you really don’t have to feel awkward about accepting it. Nor should you feel bad that what you’re suffering from isn’t a bad case of love sickness but a strong case of limerence.
There are more signs too that can prove whether you’re experiencing limerence or love.