Do You Suffer From Limerence? You Are Not Alone

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.

eros-and-psyche-ernst-roeber

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
Oh… crazy,
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

“Nothing compares
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
That I’m

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”

#PMJSearch and #ThaliasMusings

You know Postmodern Jukebox, the band that makes all those awesome 1920s – 1960s covers of top 40 pop hits? They’ve been running a promotion for their new karaoke album So, You Think You Can Sing? in the form of a month-long online talent search. I do think I can sing, so I covered their 1940s torch singer arrangement of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.”

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people have been uploading these covers all month. Check out the #PMJSearch tag on YouTube and Facebook to see some of them! And, hey, there are still a couple days for you to add your own B-)

In other news, I continue to have limited time for writing, and I’ve still mostly been picking manuscripts over blog posts. The good news is, Thalia’s Musings 4 is coming along! I’m really excited about how it’s been going lately, and I can’t wait to start rolling out release timelines, teasers, and title reveals.

#AmethystForPrez – All About My Base

Last month, I formally declared that I am running for president in 2020. (I won’t be old enough to run in 2016, but hey, everyone else is announcing that they’re running in a year that is not this year.) In that announcement post, I said that my platform would be “platform shoes.” Now, obviously, I can’t run an entire campaign on platform shoes alone. I can’t run very far at all in platform shoes.

So, what is the full platform of the TROLL party, alias Thalia’s Representatives Of Liberty & Lulz? Like any politically savvy presidential candidate, I’ll tell you once I find out what our voter base wants.

What srs bsns do YOU want to see on my platform? Let me know here, on Facebook, on Twitter, or in a YouTube comment!

poll results

Postmodern Songs of the Summer

So, now that summer’s been officially over for a week, what was the Song of the Summer? What song will bring us back to the summer of 2014 whenever we hear it on whatever platform we’re listening to years and decades from now?

Whatever your answer is, I guarantee the original can’t beat Postmodern Jukebox’s cover.

“Fancy” – Vintage 1920’s Flapper-Style Iggy Azalea Cover ft. Ashley Stroud

“Rude” – Vintage 1950’s Sock-Hop-Style MAGIC! cover ft. Von Smith

“All About That [Upright] Bass” – Jazz Meghan Trainor Cover ft. Kate Davis

“Problem” – Vintage Doo-Wop Ariana Grande Cover ft. The Tee-Tones

“Really Don’t Care” – Vintage Motown-Style Demi Lovato Cover ft. Morgan James

Did I miss your song of the summer? Let me know in the comments, and if you’ve got a favorite cover, post it! And check out more of Postmodern Jukebox’s vintage awesomeness at this link.

My Harriet’s Music Club recap

Harriet’s Music Club was a side project of the concluded-for-now Pemberley Digital show Emma Approved. As some of you may remember, I was one of the first responders to “Harriet’s” call for audience participation. I’m rather proud of myself for having made it through the whole season, so I thought I’d do a post recapping all my covers.

For starters, here’s a playlist of the originals, performed by Dayanne Hutton as Harriet Smith.

“Harriet’s First Song”

This was the song Harriet used to kick off the Music Club. The guy she references is State Senator James Elton, but we all knew her heart belonged to Robert Martin regardless of Emma’s meddling.

I changed Harriet’s lyrics about her ukulele to reflect the fact that I was playing a piano.

Continue reading “My Harriet’s Music Club recap”

It’s Okay to Try

You don’t have to try
Take your makeup off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror
At yourself
Don’t you like you?

– “Try,” Colbie Caillat

If you’re at all engaged in social media, you’ve probably seen Colbie Caillat’s new music video for her song, “Try,” in which she starts out looking like a Kardashian and ends up looking like Colbie Caillat.

It’s a beautiful video with a beautiful message. The girls and women featured in it look incredible in the before and after shots, which is the whole point. I’ve seen my female friends moved to tears this week as they passed this video and Colbie’s commentary around Facebook. I have no trouble seeing “Try” as a sincere expression of Colbie’s story, and I also believe that the women who were moved by it see their own story reflected in it. Which is a wonderful, powerful thing, and I certainly don’t want to detract from that in any way.

Colbie Caillat, still adorable with no makeup.

Personally, though, I was struck by how different Colbie’s story of self-acceptance and embracing self-expression looked from my own.

I rarely if ever experimented with makeup in my teens. I know for sure that I didn’t own any. I think I was 19 before I tried so much as shaping my eyebrows, and then I felt absurdly guilty about it. Makeup wasn’t for me. I was an intelligent, talented, virtuous young woman. I wasn’t one of those vain, frivolous girls whose value was in how attractive they were to boys. I was smart. I was accomplished. I was responsible. I was respectable. Why on earth did I need to be pretty on top of that? More specifically, why did I need to put any effort into being pretty? Wasn’t pretty one of those things that you just are or aren’t? And why did I even care? I didn’t care.

Except I did. A part of me that I’d stopped listening to a long time ago wanted desperately to be pretty. Not because society was telling me I should. In fact, the society I inhabited was specifically telling me that I shouldn’t. That putting any thought or effort into outward appearance meant I was a vain seductress like the worldly women in magazines I was discouraged from looking at and movies I wasn’t allowed to watch. That, sure, a few lucky girls had the gift of being pretty without trying, but this was more curse than blessing. It made them targets for boys who would never appreciate their True Inner Beauty because they were so blinded by their outer beauty. Charm was deceitful, beauty was vain.

As I grew up, I exchanged patriarchy for feminism, and was told almost exactly the same thing. Don’t tell little girls they’re pretty. Women’s value shouldn’t lie in their looks. Women should take pride in accomplishment, intelligence, talent, and integrity. The World tells women they have to make themselves sexually appealing for men, so we waste so much effort in these vain pursuits that could be spent achieving things like men are taught to from infancy. A Real Man (not that you need one anyway) will love you for being A Real Woman, not one of those made-up, photoshopped, underfed women in misogynist magazines and movies. Charm is deceitful, beauty is vain.

As I continued to internalize these messages, they enabled a deeper, more insidious message I was getting from my own brain chemistry as I battled clinical depression: There’s no point in trying. Why bother running a brush through your hair? Who’s going to see it? Who cares if all you’ve done to your face in a week is splash water on it every other day? It’s not like you can improve it that much. Screw personal hygiene. No one’s getting close enough to see how much you’ve been neglecting it. On some level I knew how repelling my appearance was.* This time, I really, truly, didn’t care. I couldn’t care. My brain had forgotten how.

I got help. I learned how to care again. I felt happiness again and learned how to take conscious actions conducive to that feeling. I learned how to deconstruct the ideas I’d internalized about what I was supposed to be, and how to sift through the pieces and uncover who I really was.

I discovered that who I really am is an intelligent, talented, accomplished, courageous woman who freakin’ loves makeup, accessories, and clothes. I love decorating my face and my body with bright colors. I love knowing how different cuts of clothing can change the way my body appears. Dressing and grooming feels like an opportunity to create a new work of art every day. Fashion has become one of the most powerful depression-fighting weapons in my arsenal. It’s not about pleasing men or women, though I’m happy if it does. Honestly, sometimes I worry that my bright colors and sparkles make people think less of me. But, like Colbie in her video, it’s not about them liking me. It’s about me liking me.

And ironically, it was only after embracing all this that I learned to love my face without makeup. I don’t need makeup to like the way I look. I go out with a bare face plenty of times, usually if I’m in a rush or if I’m going to a movie that I know will turn my eyes into a waterfall. A movie with beautiful women whose beautiful makeup I’ll probably challenge myself to replicate sometime. I won’t look just like them, and that’s okay. Because I’ll look just like me. And I like me.

I like me enough to try.

Full disclosure: Foundation, concealer, highlighter, a four-shade eyeshadow palette, mascara, blush, and lipstick.

*Just to be clear, I’m not implying that women are repelling when they don’t wear makeup, shave their body hair, or style their hair in a conventional, feminine way. I’m talking about neglecting very basic hygiene, which can be a sign of clinical depression regardless of gender.

Dear Persephone (A Frozen Follow-Up)

Last week I begged Persephone to return from the Underworld so Demeter would end the polar vortex. After some beseeching, I said that the people of Earth would continue uploading covers of “Let it Go,” Queen Elsa’s epic showstopper from Disney’s Frozen. Well, on Sunday, I woke up to freezing rain, which later turned into snow. So this happened. Idina Menzel I ain’t. I’m barely Adele Dazeem. But here is my goddess-trolling humble offering.

In case you have no children or internet (how are you reading this post again?) and thus haven’t seen the original version of this Oscar-winning anthem, here you go:

In news related only in the sense that it involves me putting things on the internet, I have a Facebook page now. It’ll feature all updates from this blog, some links from my other social media, and random stuff that I find interesting and relevant and think my readers might, too. It’ll also feature updates about Thalia’s Musings, of course, although there’s still the Thalia’s Musings Facebook page for that. So, if this sounds like something you want in your news feed, go forth and like!

My weekend was Emma Approved

As you may remember, I’ve been following Pemberley Digital’s latest webseries, Emma Approved. It’s a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, in which Emma is a professional matchmaker/life coach,  Knightley is Emma’s business partner/accountant, and Harriet is Emma’s personal assistant.

In last Thursday’s episode, “Back in Business,” Harriet’s interpretation of Emma’s life coaching took the form of starting an online music club.

Harriet wrote a song, posted it on Emma’s YouTube channel, and included sheet music in the description so viewers could join her new club by uploading a cover.

So it came to pass that I spent my weekend joining a YouTube music club founded by a fictional character who originated in Regency England.

I’m on Harriet’s Twitter list and everything. ^_^ Want to play along? Click the image below for information at Emma’s website, and keep an eye on the hashtag #HarrietSongs on Twitter.

Dayeanne Hutton as Harriet Smith. Image via Emma Approved.

Can I just say this one more time, because I find it both baffling and awesome? Go to Emma Woodhouse’s website or Harriet Smith’s Twitter hashtag. Harriet Smith is following me on Twitter. Clueless has nothing on Emma Approved.

Twisted: A Very Wicked Disney Musical

Promo poster for Twisted. Image via Do312

You probably know the musical comedic genius of Team Starkid from A Very Potter Musical and its sequels. What? You’ve never seen A Very Potter Musical??? Well, I’ll have to blog about that some other time, because it’s awesome. Draco is a girl in drag and Zac Ephron is a [SPOILER!] and Harry Freakin’ Potter is played by a pre-Glee Darren Criss (aka Blaine Warbler).

But today I’m fangirling about StarKid’s latest production, Twisted: The Untold Story Of A Royal Vizier. It parodies both Wicked and Disney’s Aladdin, as indicated by the promo poster. It’s as affectionate and irreverent a parody as any of StarKid’s other works. Ja’far (not to be confused with the copyright-protected Jafar) gets the Elphaba treatment as the virtuous scapegoat for all the kingdom’s problems. His “scheming” is really applied poli sci, his “sorcery” is advanced science, and his “evilness” is a desire to rid the streets of criminals who steal bread from simple hard-working bakers. He also shares an unexpectedly poignant romance with Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights fame. Aladdin, tragically orphaned at 33, is a perfect satire of a douchy hipster trustfund baby who’s too cool to work for a living like everyone else. The Princess is every 16-year-old rich white privilege-checking Social Justice Warrior on Tumblr who dreams of saving the world but has a lot to learn about how it actually works. Since her name is never mentioned, I’m sure she is not the licensed Disney Princess Jasmine.

Want a quick sampler? Watch the opening number, with its profanity-laced classic Disney-style crowd song (the villagers do not greet Ja’far with “Bonjour”):

Or the balcony scene, which references pretty much every Disney moral panic conspiracy theory of the 90s:

Or this title-dropping gallery of Disney’s most fabulous villains:

Got a couple hours? Watch the whole thing!

Crazy Weekend; Tired Blogger

Personally, I don’t quite see what weddings and restraint have to do with one another. What, you think I like weddings because they’re romantic? Please. A wedding, like any public ceremony, is a production, and that is irresistible to a theater goddess.

A Snag in the Tapestry (Thalia’s Musings, Volume One)

As I write this, it’s late Sunday night and I’m wiped out from a weekend of celebrating a hastily-planned but long-awaited family wedding. So, for this Media Monday, I’m just sharing a couple scenes from a favorite Glee episode that I couldn’t get out of my head during the festivities.

Congratulations to the Hunter and the Hippie ❤