Limerence is a word coined by the author Dorothy Tennov. She has stressed the word limerence in her book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love.

According to Tennov, Limerence is a desire for intense romance. The limerence can take the form love craziness at some extreme level. This condition can be called as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in medical term. Every initial romantic relationship starts with flattering. The couples constantly flatter each other and at later stages, it can turn into intense possessiveness. The passion changes to possession after all. Obsession can be wonderful during the initial stages, but later it will smother when the relationship is committed.

Limerence/Infatuation can be defined as the form of the love relationship that may turn into obsession sometimes. The feeling is involuntary and euphoric. The limerent person according to Tennov will do anything to make the relationship stronger. The emotional state of the limerent can change all of a sudden depending on the relationship. Even if the other person returns the same amount of love and care, the limerent will always have the feel of losing the relationship. This dreaded feel makes the limerent desperate and lonely.

They can’t even imagine a day without their partner and may turn suicidal sometimes. They want the same amount of love from their lover and they even demand more from them. Most of the limerent think from their part and may become despondent if they don’t get the same love in return.

Simple definition of Love

Love can be defined as the best feeling ever in a lifetime. When in love, we learn to cherish, revive, share our thoughts and feelings. Love can happen all of a sudden regardless of caste, creed or even the appearance. Persons in love forget the whole universe and is the powerful emotion that is even harder to define.

Reciprocation and Limerence

Reciprocation plays a big role as for love or whatever relationship is. There are relationships that break without proper reciprocation. Though the fact is that no relationship survives without the bonding being reciprocated, the love expects less. When in love, one of the two actually loves the other without expecting any kind of reciprocation. In limerence, happiness is a possibility only when there is reciprocation. However small it is, reciprocation is mandatory. Since limerence starts with expectation itself, no one can help two people in limerence mandatorily expecting from each other.

Love, limerence, infatuation differences

There are many things that tell us about the difference between limerence, love, and infatuation. Some of them are given as follows:

Love is a feeling of belongingness which is considered to be pure. A person in real love respects the feelings of his partner and love them for the way they are. Limerence or infatuation on the other hand follows their own principles and ethics. They think and act fulfilling their own views. Love can be defined as the feeling full of choices. When a person is in real love, then he will not have the feeling of a lost or dead feel of losing the relationship. He will maintain the relationship forever. In limerence or infatuation state, the limerent have the feeling of losing control.

Love has the feeling of honesty and faith. They keep faith in each other and will not blame for unnecessary reasons. Limerence does not keep the faith. All it has is the ego and the judgmental behavior. Limerence always expects many things from the partner and if he fails in that, the partner will turn egoistic and annoying. Love is all about understanding each other. The persons in real love never have lust in them. All they have is the feel of goodness. Limerence, on the other hand, is blind in nature. The majority feeling in limerence is passion and lust. They cling on petty issues and discourage them for whatever they do. Love is humble in nature. They learn to respect and give value to each other. Persons loving each other have the feeling of belongingness and trust. They try to be intimate to their lover. Limerence, on the other hand, is full of fear and dread.

Love follows a give and takes a policy of mutually respecting each other. Limerence does not have any consistency and they may go with another searching for lust. Love follows a healthy relationship without giving much importance to sex. Limerence, on the other hand, have the intense feeling of lust and always try hard to attract their partner. Over time, the sex takes the lead role in a limerent relationship longing to have an intercourse. Love lies in compassion and care. Persons in real love cares for others and do not force their partner to do any illegitimate things. Limerence is all about their own feelings and is self-centered. They don’t actually care for this and force their partner too in the same way. Love has a feeling of maintaining a physical intimacy which is healthy after all. Limerence is judgmental and forces the partner to think and act in the way of a limerent.

How to get rid of Limerence?

Work hard to find a person who can understand you and who is capable of driving the desperate thought from you. Such things can fill your mind with joy and happiness. Be an active member in any of the social gatherings to make the mind refreshing. Hope for Healing is the best place to have a state that will replace your mind from that dread mind to a happy mind. Learn to focus. Ignore what others are thinking and go with your opinions and priorities. Try to understand that limerence is a world of fantasy and can never be real or worth. Focus on real love and wait until you find someone who can provide you with love and care rather than lust.

How do you understand Limerence and Love?

There are some cases where you don’t see clear-cut signs of love nor do you see the perfect limerence shade of the relationship. In the case, there are few things you can notice. These feelings cover the majority when the relationship is actually limerence.

If a person is going through the limerence stage, then he/she will find it hard to think about anything else other than the object that is subject to limerence. In fact, in love, you keep thinking about the other one, but this one will be pretty different and the difference will be apparent. There is a kind of craving for reciprocation you can find in limerence. This feeling is at its high. One way to differentiate the love craving and the contrary is the limerence craving is unusually higher than you have ever seen in love. In addition, small gestures as if it indicates limerence, then the other one will feel extremely happy and at the top of the universe. Clearly, the difference can be spotted as the basic level of spot the difference game. It is that easy.

When it comes to reciprocation, the stuff done is a bit trivial, such as this one-more-time glance or a smile. These silly things are satisfactory. Appreciation is something one will literally crave in limerence. The attention-seeking habit becomes unusually high and the person gets furious when there is an activity happening to grab attention and they see a disturbance. This attention-catching thing will keep happening constantly while love experiences this in minimum level comparatively.

Other factors related to Limerence

Game-playing is an essential thing when it comes to limerence. No matter how intense the reciprocation is, it cannot be simply be done or something. That would risk the premature self-disclosure. This hinges on traveling along with the fine line. The line comprises of a reason to hope and a reason to doubt. This is like a see-saw. Nothing is actually perfect or in level, if it is limerence but the craving never leaves you.

How about this crush and Limerence?

For people who have had a high school crush in life, which means all of us literally know that it is not love but it feels so. Crush is something you understand. When you have a crush on someone, you know it is just that you like the person way too much and he or she is adorable or so. Clearly, crush is under control and even if it reaches a height, you will find out your crush is in love with another person or .. just kidding. It usually doesn’t last so there is no potential threat.

Limerence isn’t anything similar. This one is deeper and more than just a mere crush. Mostly, limerence is confused with love. On any given angle, crush is always good, love is like fine and that depends on the kind of bonding you share. Limerence is unavoidably stressful and irrevocably troublesome and it is pretty serious, unlike the crushing period.

Make sure to identify what is real and what is not. By all means, limerence isn’t a suggestible thing to continue.


Anna Perkins is a relationship writer who offers her own forthright opinion over the worlds of dating, romance, relationships , marriage and friendships. She loves cats, traveling, spending time with her son and husband.

1 Comment

  1. I am in an unapproved separated marriage of 5 years and my spouse continues to have dating relationships instead of discussing the dissolution process. I believe these occurrences are limerence based. Thank you

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