It was a dark, cold, sleepless February night upon which I found myself clicking through a black hole of Recommended Articles on various clickbaity websites. I don’t even remember what random Facebook share began this vortex. But I remember happening upon a snippet that said if you still get sad feels about a romantic rejection years after it happened, you may have a serious psychiatric condition that requires medication and other professional treatment. Its name: LIMERENCE.
I checked out the Wikipedia link because this was a completely foreign word to me and because asking for a friend. Wikipedia defined limerence as
a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and have one’s feelings reciprocated.
This made me a little nervous, since I had first experienced these symptoms at a young age. The article further defined this condition as
an involuntary potentially inspiring state of adoration and attachment to a limerent object involving intrusive and obsessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors from euphoria to despair, contingent on perceived emotional reciprocation.
Limerent object. This term, at once so mellifluous and so clinical. I couldn’t deny there had been a few. I had to know more.
Limerence involves intrusive thinking about the limerent object. Other characteristics include acute longing for reciprocation, fear of rejection, and unsettling shyness in the limerent object’s presence. In cases of unrequited limerence, transient relief may be found by vividly imagining reciprocation from the limerent object.
How did they know?
A limerent person may have acute sensitivity to any act, thought, or condition that can be interpreted favorably. This may include a tendency to devise, fabricate, or invent ‘reasonable’ explanations for why neutral actions are a sign of hidden passion in the limerent object….What the limerent object said and did is recalled with vividness. Alternative meanings for the behaviors recalled are sought. Each word and gesture is permanently available for review, especially those interpreted as evidence in favor of reciprocated feeling.
There was no mention as to whether these symptoms were contagious, or whether they could be spread via group messages.
When objects, people, places or situations are encountered with the limerent object, they are vividly remembered, especially if the limerent object interacted with them in some way.
I had to expand my research beyond this simple Wikipedia article.
My starting point was Dr. Dorothy Tennov, whom Wikipedia cited as having “coined the term ‘limerence’ for her 1979 book, Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love, to describe a concept that had grown out of her work in the mid-1960s, when she interviewed over 500 people on the topic of love.” It was much more difficult than one might think to find verification of Dr. Tennov’s theories from her colleagues. But my searching paid off, dear readers. I’ve listed some of the most insightful expert quotes I found on this rare, misunderstood condition below. Read on, and take hope in the knowledge that you are nowhere near alone.
“[My limerent object] talks to me, I laugh ’cause it’s so damn funny
That I can’t even see anyone when he’s with me
He says he’s so in love, he’s finally got it right,
I wonder if he knows he’s all I think about at night
He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He’s the song in the car I keep singing, don’t know why I do
So I drive home alone
As I turn out the light
I put his picture down and finally get some sleep tonight”
– Dr. T.A. Swift
“Baby, I’m so into you
You got that somethin’. What can I do?
Baby, you spin me around
The earth is movin’ but I can’t feel the ground
Every time you look at me
My heart is jumpin’, it’s easy to see
Lovin’ you means so much more
More than anything I ever felt before
You drive me crazy
I just can’t sleep
I’m so excited, I’m in too deep
But it feels alright
Baby, thinkin’ of you keeps me up all night”
– Dr. B.J. Spears
“Walkin’ the streets with you and your worn-out jeans
I can’t help thinking this is how it ought to be
Laughing on a park bench, thinking to myself
Hey isn’t this easy
And you’ve got a smile that could light up this whole town
I haven’t seen it in a while since she brought you down
You say you’re fine
I know you better then that
Hey what you doing with a girl like that
Oh, I remember you drivin’ to my house in the middle of the night
I’m the one who makes you laugh
When you know you’re about to cry
And I know your favorite songs
And you tell me about your dreams
I think I know where you belong
I think I know it’s with me”
– Dr. T.A. Swift
“I still hear your voice when you sleep next to me
I still feel your touch in my dreams
Forgive me my weakness, but I don’t know why
Without you it’s hard to survive
‘Cause every time we touch, I get this feeling
And every time we kiss I swear I could fly
Can’t you feel my heart beat fast,
I want this to last
Need you by my side”
– Dr. C. Ascada
“Now, listen, honey, I just want to be beside you everywhere
As long as we’re together, honey, I don’t care
‘Cause you started something, can’t you see
That ever since we met you’ve had a hold on me
No matter what you do, I only want to be with you”
– Dr. D. Springfield
No worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes
They are memories made.
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?
Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
‘Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead'”
– Dr. A.L.B. Adkins
“I walk along the city streets, you used to walk along with me
And every step I take reminds me of just how we used to be
Oh, how can I forget you, girl, when there is
Always something there to remind me”
– Dr. N. Akedeyes
“Just don’t tell my heart
My achy breaky heart
I just don’t think it’d understand
If you tell my heart
My achy breaky heart
It might blow up and kill this man”
– Dr. B.R. Cyrus
This post, nay, this entire blog, doesn’t have the space for every pop song, country western song, romantic comedy, romantic tragedy, sonnet, couplet, and cave painting created since the dawn of time, so I’ll leave you with this final quote. Happy Valentine’s Day, my fellow limerents!
“We’ve know each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching but
You’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it
I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you”