Limerence: Being Crazy in Love

January 13, 2017

When doctor of psychology Dorothy Tennov wrote her book “Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love,” she was discovering the perfect term to define a state of madness that takes place in some processes of infatuation – not in all – called Limerence. Limerence is a generalized state of madness that agitates and moves us, stopping us from thinking about anything but the person we are in love with. The popular phrase “being crazy in love” perfectly fits this psychological process.

Question of limerence or question of obsession?

Limerence can only represent a phase of physical and mental agitation that is mainly caused by our love towards a person. To a certain extent, the symptoms of this issue do not deviate from the norm concerning natural infatuation. Excessive sweating, heart palpitations, confusion, sensation of lightness, and agitated hormones are the keys of this phase that is mainly marked by romantic love. However, sometimes this natural phase turns into limerence as a psychological term.

Heart and Butterfly

When a person in a relationship starts being crazy in love, obsession builds up in the brain of the person who is suffering from this personal issue, and although it does not have major consequences in most cases, it has been the silent cause of the most well-known literary deaths in history.

Limerence was the cause of death of Romeo and Juliette, or more precisely, the impossibility of staying together due to the prohibition of their feuding families. In the same way, history has been romantically and vehemently painted over with love stories that in many cases go beyond fiction.

Who doesn’t want to be crazy in love?

The contradictory thing about limerence is that there is not a single person who has not at some point of their life wanted to literally be crazy in love. This is why the contradiction is there, the mind debating between the stable constructions of already formed relationships and the desire to know others.

“Losing myself in your arms, sweet insanity, you, my hardest drug”

The Basque band Doctor Desire had it right, and like them, many of us already know what it means to love someone until we are crazy over it. However, we also know the consequences and even if we should never deny feelings, when we take them to extremes it tends to bring along consequences both on the physical and emotional level.

Heart Trap

Limerence turns into a proper illness when this fixation is not reciprocated. It is natural for there to be infatuation between two people, but when only one of the two suffers from it, it tends to bring along countless consequences, preventing them from accomplishing daily tasks.

Being crazy in love can go so far that those who suffer it can fall into deep depressions and even commit suicide. Who has been taught in this short life to love within reason, though?

Nobody is born knowing and only the years show what love is for each of us, and that average term that, unlike what many people tend to believe about that well-known quote, is not a static term but rather one that varies from person to person. Knowing oneself is the key for determining how you want to love, how you want to feel, and, in short, how you want to exist.