I used to be obsessed with romantic comedies to the point where all I wanted was to experience an actual rom-com romance myself. How could I not want to live in a 90s rom-com? Exactly! But there’s a big problem with that type of romance. They often mistake signs of limerence with real love.
Honestly, it can be difficult to differentiate between limerence and love at the beginning of a relationship. This is when things can get a little messy for you.
When you first start dating someone, everything is heightened and intensified. You’re on cloud nine and can’t get enough of the other person. I know, I’ve been there too.
But, when it comes to limerence, the romantic attraction turns into obsessive thoughts and fantasies. The goal is to transform or keep the relationship at a high emotional state. This isn’t something that you are forcing upon yourself. Limerence is usually involuntary. Basically, someone with limerence just wants reciprocation of their intense feelings. And this is where limerence becomes a bit of a worry.
[Read: Oneitis? The unhealthy effects of falling madly in obsessive love]
The 15 strongest obsessive signs of limerence
The last thing you want is to become emotionally dependent and obsessed with the idea of your feelings being reciprocated. But don’t freak out, it’s good that you recognize that maybe your feelings aren’t genuine love.
Love or limerence?
#1 It can last for years. I’m not joking. Limerence can literally last for years. Now that I think of it, I probably suffered from limerence in high school. I liked this one guy for six years, literally. It took a long time for those feelings to pass. It didn’t help that the guy was sending me mixed signals as well. If anything, it prolonged the process. [Read: The soul crushing signs your crush doesn’t like you back]
#2 Limerence doesn’t have long-term potential. When you love someone, it’s based on making each other happy by spending time together and sharing each other’s interests, hobbies, and talents. But with limerence, there is no genuine love. Limerence is only about gaining someone or something’s affection. It doesn’t matter whether that person actually likes you or not.
#3 You fantasize about them. Whether you’re in a relationship with this person or not, you spend your time fantasizing about them. You think about the future with them, how it’ll look like, how intense your relationship will be. And, of course, all this fantasizing is distracting you from your everyday life. [Read: Infatuation symptoms that say you’re sick in love]
#4 Limerence is more than a crush. And it’s more than infatuation. With limerence, it’s more intense. See, with a crush or infatuation, they’re intense but short-term. However, the signs of limerence can last a long time, and the emotions are more dramatic with extreme highs and lows.
#5 You see them in everything. Whether you’re at work or walking down the street, everything you see reminds you of them. There’s nothing you don’t see that doesn’t remind you of them. And although this may sound romantic, even the strongest of couples don’t see their partners in everything.
#6 The relationship isn’t deep. You two could just be starting to date or don’t have any sort of relationship. Your relationship is quite shallow, at least for now. The thing is you’re already five steps ahead planning the wedding and what your children will look like. But you don’t even know this person. See the problem? [Read: 12 things you MUST do if you want to stop obsessing over someone]
#7 It’s not based on sex. See, this is what people get mixed up with. Limerence isn’t based on sex; that would be lust. Limerence is more based on getting attention from the object or person you have feelings for, rather than needing to fulfill a sexual desire. So, if you have limerence, it’s not about the sex.
#8 You overanalyze everything. Okay, okay, I personally think everyone is guilty of overanalyzing the words and actions of someone we like. So, just because you overanalyze, doesn’t mean it’s limerence. But overanalyzing is one of the signs. If you’re analyzing every breath they take, every word they say, and connecting it to you, then it’s becoming a little obsessive. [Read: How being smothered in a relationship can be confused for love]
#9 You believe they’re your soulmate. Whether you have had a soulmate before or not, you believe that they are the one. Your reasoning is that they feel this intense connection, almost as if you’re being pulled into them. The thing is, you barely know this person.
#10 You manipulate situations to be with them. You figure out where they’re working and “accidentally” show up to their work. You manipulate people around you to get closer to them. If you find yourself orchestrating events in hopes of getting closer to them, this is a very common sign of limerence.
#11 You experience physical symptoms. But actually! This isn’t made up! When you’re around this person or thinking of them; you feel physical symptoms like dizziness, and excessive sweating. You even stutter because of nerves. And though you may not realize it, these symptoms are directly correlated to the person you’re obsessed about.
#12 You feel that you can’t live without them. Maybe this is how you felt when you broke up with your first partner. You thought to yourself, “how can I live without them? I’ll never find love again.” But, with time, you will find love and move on. With limerence, you feel overwhelming anxiety and an unbearable need for their attention and affection.
#13 You easily sink into depression. When you don’t get the attention or affection you desire from this person, you feel hopeless. That hopelessness comes with mood swings and depression since you feel rejected.
#14 You place them on a pedestal. This person could literally hold the murder weapon in their hands, and you would say it wasn’t them. Because you fantasize about them, you place them on a pedestal. Whether they’re awkward, rude, or charming, you overlook their flaws and deem them as flawless beings. [Read: How to let go of a relationship that’s bad for you]
#15 You’re very jealous. Let me get one thing straight: you don’t need limerence to experience jealousy. When it comes to jealousy, it can pop up in any situation where you feel threatened. But in this situation, you may not even have an actual relationship with them. Instead, you feel bound to this person even though there is no relationship.
[Read: Don’t ignore these 14 signs of obsessive love]
Is it love or limerence? It’s not always easy to tell. But once you know the signs of limerence, you can figure it out for yourself.
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