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Limerence vs Love: 15 Ways to Tell the Difference Between the Two

Limerence vs Love

At the beginning, it’s not easy to tell the difference between limerence vs love. But eventually, you’ll need to know whether this is true love or not.

Sometimes, we’re convinced we’re in love with someone, even if we haven’t spoken to them, or worse, even met them. I didn’t know the differences between limerence vs love back then, but when I was sixteen, Twilight had hit the theatres, and it was a big deal.

I watched the movie a dozen times, and felt, at the time, what I believed was love. I was obsessed with Robert Pattinson; I thought he was everything, even though I had never met him. I was convinced I was in love with him and was almost shocked when I realized things probably wouldn’t work out between Mr. Pattinson and me. Was that love? Or was that limerence?

[Read: What is limerence? A full guide to know everything about it]

When it comes to understanding limerence vs love, it’s very important to know the difference between the two, as complicated as it may seem. Or else you may end up investing yourself in a relationship that actually isn’t based on love.

That’s not a relationship you want to be in, at least, when you think it’s a loving one. We don’t really spend time talking about love and limerence, yet, it’s a really important topic to discuss. Not only will it help you understand your current relationship, but it will also help you process your past relationships and get you to understand what a healthy and loving relationship is really about.

[Read: 15 obsessive signs of limerence that are easily confused for love]

Limerence vs Love – The 15 big differences you MUST know

Which is it for you?

#1 What is limerence? Before we talk about the comparisons between limerence vs love, you need to know what limerence means. Limerence isn’t exactly lust, because it’s more than just sexual attraction. If anything, limerence is infatuation. It’s this obsessiveness and unexplainable “love” for this person. [Read: 15 signs of obsession that may seem like love at first]

#2 Limerence is about attraction. This is where we mix up love and limerence. Limerence is when you’re highly attracted to someone else. But it’s not a feeling based on genuine love.

For example, I was obsessed with Robert Pattinson, but those feelings were based on attraction and not actual love for him. How could I love him if I didn’t know him?

#3 You feel you can’t live without them. When you’re in love, you feel that you don’t want to live without this person. But when it’s limerence, you feel that you can’t live without them. And there’s a huge difference between the two. The thought of not having them next to you gives you feelings of anxiety and unbearable pain for the possible loss of their affection and attention. [Read: Oneitis and the problems it can cause in your love life]

#4 Your relationship isn’t fully developed. Limerence usually occurs in the initial stages of a new relationship or even if a relationship is nonexistent. This happens before you actually get to know the person for who they are. Instead, you’re living in a fantasy, while you’re daydreaming about your future with them or picture who you want them to be.

#5 Limerence is emotional dependency. When your limerent object of affection is not having a good day, you don’t have a good day. If they withdraw from you, you become depressed and feel a sense of hopelessness. Your emotional state depends solely on how this person feels. It’s almost as if you’re addicted to them; this is limerence. [Read: Why being addicted to someone is not the same as being in love with them]

#6 Limerence isn’t reality. Here’s the thing: limerence isn’t based on mutual feelings for one another; it’s not reality. Yes, this person exists, but you don’t know who they are as a person; instead, you have in your head an idea of who they are. When it comes to love, it’s when you know who the person is, including their flaws, and yet, you choose them.

#7 You feel a special connection. This is something people can feel, whether it’s love or limerence. But there’s a big difference. Limerence is when you feel an intense connection with someone you don’t know. Love is when you do feel a strong connection, but there’s a stable foundation and understanding between both people. [Read: 15 ways to handle the pain of loving someone you can’t have]

#8 You pay very close attention to their words and actions. If it’s love, you don’t need to watch this person constantly, trying to decode every word they say to you. But if it’s limerence, you inspect everything they say under a microscope, trying to uncover clues and hints that they feel the same way for you. Sounds familiar?

#9 You’re obsessed with everything they do. With limerence, you’re obsessed with everything this person does. You stalk them on social media, constantly see who they’re talking to, what they do during the day, and how they react to you *if you two know each other*. Your entire day revolves around them.

#10 You “accidentally” bump into them. We all know it’s not by accident. When you’re in love, there’s no need to create scenarios to see this person. But when it’s limerence, your relationship isn’t based on mutual love.

You feel this need to see them, so you accidentally show up where they work, or bump into them at their favorite coffee shop. This behavior borderlines stalking, and you need to work on stopping this. [Read: How to stalk on social media and find just what you’re looking for]

#11 You place them on a pedestal. You don’t actually know this person and who they really are, but when it’s limerence, you don’t care. You have an idea of who they are, and aren’t interested in getting to know the real them. So you place your idea of who they are on a pedestal, making them look like a flawless person, regardless if they’re actually horrible.

#12 You’re very jealous. If it’s limerence, just the fact you see this person with someone else drives you absolutely insane.

You become overwhelmed with jealousy and feel you need to compete for your spot next to them. Even though you two aren’t together *or they probably don’t even know you*, you can’t date anyone else because you feel this bond between you two. [Read: Parasocial relationship – Is your celebrity fascination healthy for you?]

#13 You have physical symptoms. When you don’t see them for one day, you feel physically ill and anxious. If you have to call them, your heart starts beating a mile a minute, and you start to sweat uncontrollably. When you see them with someone else, you start to feel dizzy and nauseous. Your emotional state is showing physical symptoms.

#14 Limerence is based on self-interest. Love is genuine and pure. You love this person for who they are, not what they can become. But with limerence, these feelings towards this person are self-interest based. It’s all about how this person makes you feel, as opposed to who they are and how you make them feel. In other words, limerence is all about you. [Read: The signs you’re lovesick and unique ways to get out of it]

#15 Limerence can make people do crazy things. Limerence is an intense experience, and it causes people to act out. When experiencing limerence, some people will give away their money, get married very quickly, and even ditch their family and friends. It’s an obsession that can go very wrong if not realized sooner than later.

[Read: Are you rushing into a commitment? The grim signs you’ll regret it]

Now that you know how to read the lines between limerence vs love, think about your new relationship, or the crush you have right now. What do you think your affections are based on?

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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