Limerence means having attraction for a person, and involuntarily, having an obsessive, overwhelming need to get the same feelings reciprocated by the loved ones. This term was first introduced by Dorothy Tennov, a psychologist, in the year 1977. Later, this term was further explained in her book named ‘Love and Limerence’ that was published in 1979.
In Limerence, the person is emotionally attached to another person, and has a strong desire to own him or her. And this involves sexual desire as well. It is a near-obsession kind of attraction, where the one already in love can do anything to get the one whom he is attracted to.
However, it is not necessarily love. Limerence may be a high-level of attraction, infatuation or a crush. Consequently, this strong feeling may fade away in a short period if the requirements are met or the first party realizes that the possibility of getting the other person is low.
According to Tennov, although love and limerence are two different kinds of feelings, the latter might transform into former overtime. In fact, most of the times, relationships are progressed in the same manner. Love at first sight is nothing but limerence at first sight. It slowly transforms into love.
When a person is experiencing limerence, the symptoms can be easily identified. The person usually longs for reciprocation of feelings from the limerent object. He is usually shy or nervous in the presence of the object. Besides, he also has a constant fear of being rejected by the limerent object. What makes limerence intense is the continuous thought about the limerent object. The mind involuntarily keeps thinking about the other person, and tries to connect a relationship with other things. So, even if the first person is not thinking about limerent object, he will purposely try to make a connection, and bring the image of the object reappear in his mind. Due to such continuous thinking, the obsession increases manifold. And when the fantasies are not turned into reality, the first person is disappointed and the limerence starts to fade away.