Limerence: it’s MEaning AND ITS significance.
Limerence in British English
NOUN – psychology
Limerence definition – a state of mind resulting from romantic attraction, characterized by feelings of euphoria, the desire to have one’s feelings reciprocated, etc
What are the meanings of Limerence?
Limerence or infatuated love is a state of mind resulting from unrequited love. It makes an individual become attracted to another person (most of the opposite gender) and typically includes obsessive behavior and thoughts, desire, and fantasies to start or maintain a relationship with the object of unrequited love, and have those feelings reciprocated.
Limerence predominantly means a state of mind that results from romantic infatuation, identified by feelings of euphoria.
Limerence can also be defined as an involuntary state of intense, passionate desire. It is also believed that “the state of limerence is the conscious experience of sexual incentive motivation”
Limerence is distinguished by invasive thinking and pronounced susceptibility to external events that reflect the Limerent Object(LO) disposition towards the individual. It can be experienced as enormous joy or extreme anguish, depending on whether the feelings are reciprocated.
Psychologist Dorothy Tennov coined the term “limerence” in her 1979 book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love, to describe a concept that developed from her extensive research on the subject in the mid-1960s. Over 500 people were interviewed for this research.
Limerence is not just sexual and is also believed to be potentially inspirational in its effects.
Unrequited Limerence: Often, the limerence is unrequited.
Unrequited limerence could be a fervent feeling that leads to infatuation and uncontrollable yearning for another person, known as a limerent object or LO. This love obsession is like another disorder regarded as ROCD (Relationship-based Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). However, keep in mind that they are different.
Limerence: Its Characteristics
“Limerence” sheds light on a specific domain of love in a scientific manner and is considered as a subjective and enthusiastic condition of being attached to or even fixated on someone. It is normally experienced unintentionally and portrays a powerful urge for unrequited love to be reciprocated. Tennov believes that “sexual attraction is an essential component of limerence … the limerent is a potential sex partner”.
Limerence is often believed to be the initial or constant stage of unrequited love, or what is also known as a “crush”. While infatuation generally signifies immaturity and lack of experience in matters of heart, Tennov notes that a limerent continues to draw inspiration from the object of love traps himself in a self-woven vicious circle of emotions.
Tennov says that there are two sorts of love: limerence or romantic form of love, which mostly involves attachment; and love within a family which mostly involves affection, along with other associated emotions. She takes note that when limerence is reciprocated, it leads to the formation of a romantic relationship, whereas, if not reciprocated, which is often the case, continues to linger as unrequited love and each is connected to sexuality.
What causes limerence:
There are so many causes of limerence to watch out for, mainly during the initial stages of a relation. Some of them include:
1. Strong emotional impulses:
If you have desires for someone to where it drives you insane and demented in a way you have never felt before, whether it is passionate or just sexual desires, or whether or not the other person knows it, this is a clear symptom of Limerence.
2. Impaired Functioning And Utmost absence Of Attention In Normal or Daily Routine.
Unable to think or act clearly without distraction and preoccupation with the LO to an unhealthy point.
Work often suffers and decision-making and normal concentration is affected.
Add to that the extra guilt one might feel for having an affair, and the lack of concentration and
inability to function normally is heightened.
3. You Idealize Them And Everything They Do.
Wonderful qualities in them are magnified, and negative qualities are minimized,
whether only in your own head or while talking to other people about them.
Red flags are definitely ignored.
Certain Character traits or annoying habits in this person that you wouldn’t have tolerated at one time,
is ignored or overlooked by you now.
4. Seeing the Limerent Object as perfect, without flaws.
Limerence has an idealized image of the LO. They either cannot see the red flags in the LO or if they do, they will simply ignore them. The unfortunate side effect to this is that many Limerents enter relationships with incompatible LO’s.
Limerence causes the limerent to become hyper-sensitive towards each act of the beloved, sometimes to the level of being intrusive. This leads to the limerent being extremely affected by the actions of their object of love and puts their life’s joys and sorrows in the other person’s hand. Unreasonable, unrequited love, often to the point of addiction completely blinded the lover. It is generally a result of intense desire or passion for someone and is not easy for first-timers to even understand. Initially, they keep getting strange bouts of euphoria and form a fictional world of their own, around their object of love. As mentioned in my blog “Effects of Unrequited Love”, unrequited love is unequivocally unbounded in light of the fact that never truly having started, there’s been no time for thwarted expectation to set in. The cherished, regularly inaccessible, uninterested, occupied, or unapproachable beloved can remain an object of inconclusive glorification. There is a sure boundlessness in unrequited love. Undiscovered, it has no limits, no endpoint.
Tennov says when a person is in love, they care about the feelings of their loved ones and expect the balance to be maintained by their beloved. However, for a limerent love and dedication towards their object of love is ever-existent, irrespective of whether or not it is reciprocated. This does not in any way mean that a limerent does not require the feelings to be reciprocated. They just remain unaltered even when not reciprocated.
Physical contact with the beloved is neither necessary nor enough for a limerent, unlike people experiencing the normal physical attraction. If a limerent has been in unrequited love before, the lessons learned from it make the limerent subconsciously compare their current beloved with the object of their love in the past, and start believing the current one to be the most ideal choice, hence strengthening the limerence.
I am going to write more on Limerence in my next blog. Please share your experiences in the comments section and I will add them in my future blogs.