Hello, let’s start with a couple of quick questions. Have you ever dated someone and then immediately clicked so well that you simply could not stop thinking about them…LIKE.ALL.THE.FREAKING.TIME.
And if that did happen, did you feel like the world was ending when they ‘seenzoned’ you after a week? Or you might have sent a few emergency texts to your best friend when that special person viewed your Instagram story but did not even reply to that cool meme you had shared with them earlier. We have all been in that spot, and yes, being a little nervous when you are falling in love with someone new. But when your new-crush nerves start to feel more like a random panic attack instead of butterflies, that can definitely be a sign that maybe your infatuation with someone is diving you LITERALLY to the edge of your whole sanity.
This, my friends, is what we call LIMERENCE! Stay tuned to find out more about Limerence.
So, What Exactly Is Limerence?
If you have been looking up ‘limerence meaning’ on Google, then you have come to the right place. Essentially, limerence is just a handy word for a romantic obsession in its extreme form – this is potentially more destructive and much more intense than a typical honeymoon phase or a crush.
And while that happens to be a very passionate, volatile cocktail of different emotions might start to feel like the beginning of a classic love story or at least like a heart-rendering Swift album. But Limerence is NOT your standard fairy tale romance as it might seem initially.
In fact, as per Cosmopolitan, Dr. LaNail R. Plummer, the CEO of Onyx Therapy Group and a professionally licensed counselor, mentioned how fairy tales, romance novels, rom coms, and even whirlwind twin flame celebrity romances are all a big part of the whole reason why it is difficult to spot the differences between real love and limerence.
Plummer also mentioned, “In our society, we watch movies, read romance novels, and observe relationships that are full of drama.”
Limerence neatly fits into a fictional ideal of completely over-the-top romance that actually makes us wonder if we are supposed to be entirely head-over-heels OBSESSED with a new person – here, the keyword is obsessed.
Limerence is all-consuming and entirely different from true love. But what does it really feel like, and how can you spot it in real life? Scroll down to read more about it.
Is Limerence A New Term?
While you might be living with Limerence might be common, the term, however, might be very new to you. People have been definitely experiencing different degrees of infatuation forever; limerence only came up a few decades ago as a psychological phenomenon.
In 1979, Dorothy Tennov, a psychologist, wrote a book called Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love, where Tenov “describes limerence as ‘remarkably tenacious, involuntary, and resistant to external influence once it takes hold.”
But recently, the whole Limerence Tiktok trend boasts nearly 22 million views on the social media platform, while Limerence Psychology racked up over 8 billion views.
Limerence vs Love: Spotting The Differences
Instead of wondering about how long limerence last, let’s talk about the differences between limerence and love. It might seem very obvious that you are in the limerence phase and not love when you are deep into the triple-texting, Insta-stalking trenches.
At that moment, it becomes almost impossible to spot the differences between love as well as limerence because you are losing touch with reality.
In this context, Megan Green, the owner of Prismatic Therapy LLC and a psychotherapist, said to Cosmopolitan, “In limerence, the object of your affection is ‘perfect.’ Thus, the foundation of your experience is inherently delusional because, ICYMI, perfection does not exist.”
This is precisely why a limerence affair starts during the early stages of any romantic equation or/and in vague situationships. Green, in this context, says, “When you don’t know someone well, it’s easy to connect with some aspects of their personality and project what you imagine to be the rest of it.”
How To Beat Limerence?
If you ask how to beat limerence, then you have to get to the bottom of this concept. Typically, the less you actually know someone, the easier it technically becomes to become obsessed chaotically with an absolutely idealized version of someone.
This basically indicated that limerence is antithetical to the foundation of emotional intimacy that true love needs to grow and thrive. In fact, there are some experts who claim that this phase is potentially rooted in the human subconscious as a type of defense mechanism against real intimacy.
It means you can latch onto some inherently unattainable fairy tale because, on some level, you know it can never really be anything real, thereby sparing yourself the risk of experiencing actual emotional vulnerability.
That does not mean limerence cannot have a dangerous impact on your mental and emotional states. Because once that fairy tale you have pinned all your dreams and hopes to begin to inevitably unravel, your infatuation immediately turns to absolute panic.
You have ended up falling for an idealized version of someone, and now you are just desperate to hold onto that illusion – this is the deterioration phase, one of the 4 stages of limerence.
In this context, Plummer says, “The thoughts are intrusive and come at unexpected and unwelcome times. We become obsessive, sometimes expressed in the form of multiple calls and texts, rescheduling dates, and wanting to move too fast—to sex, to titles, to integration into each other’s lives.”
So if you are telling your friends and acquaintances about how it feels like you and someone have known each other forever when it’s been a few weeks only, it probably means that you are on a limerence high.
In this context, Green actually notes that true love is born when you know someone deeply and share emotional intimacy with them. And that can never be established because you had a few drinks with someone or exchanged a few flirty texts.
Explore More: 100 Flirty Questions To Ask A Guy (And Be Irresistible)
Is It Possible That Limerence Might Lead To Love?
Now that you know what limerence vs crush or even love means, the question that will arise inside your head is – is it possible that limerence might lead to love? Can you actually build a real relationship based on limerence? Let’s find out!
Can You Build A Real Relationship Based On Limerence?
Most of us would prefer believing in love at first sight, soulmates, and twin flames, because, duh, we love LOVE and everything to do with TRUE LOVE. But that MGK/Megan Fox love is not exactly realistic or even remotely healthy, for that matter.
However, limerence can make you feel like it really is true love. While what you are really experiencing is delusion, obsession, and unhealthy fixation, it is possible you might have found the one. In real life, it is a ticking bomb waiting to explode, resulting in self-destruction.
Plummer, in this context, calls limerence a negative experience, explaining that underneath this romantic intensity, there is usually childhood trauma, attachment issues, anxiety, or some other mental health problem that end up convincing victims of the extreme obsession/attraction they are feeling towards someone new is actually love.
And while it is possible that this ‘new thing’ might feel like a romance out of a storybook, limerence is not really the catalyst for a happily-ever-after.
Green even mentions, in this context, “If a stable and lasting relationship were to occur as a result of limerence, it would be happenstance. Healthy connections are rooted in honesty, trust, and communication. Stable and lasting relationships happen when two individuals are on the same page about how they feel for each other and what they want from their relationship.”
If you are confused about your feelings for someone and you have ended up here, then this is one of the best signs limerence is ending for you. Limerence makes you focus only on that someone – how this individual reacts to you can make or break your day. This is very different from building something stable and healthy with someone you actually like.
Instead of obsessing about how both of you will build a future as a couple, limerence actually goggles force you to stare through a lens of insecurity, fear, and delusion.
Check out a few Limerence Reddit threads, and you will have a great time reading about some of the best real Limerence stories out there.
And It’s A Wrap!
Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with basking under some crush-y bliss, experiencing butterflies when someone special texts you, and maybe even engaging in some harmless stalking on social media.
But when the different lows associated with not getting a text back or someone ghosting you outweighs the highs of a new romance or knowing someone new, it might be time for detox – it is possible you are in the limerence phase of a relationship. Because no matter what every piece of pop culture tells you about love feeling like a drug, it should never feel like a drug – it should always feel REAL, and the only thing that matters.
Feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, and stories about limerence in the comments section below.
❤️❤️❤️For more The Datingdairy you love …❤️❤️❤️
Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.