Is there any better feeling than being in love? There’s absolutely nothing like that magical feeling.
But emotions like infatuation and desire aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes, they can even turn intense and dangerous or flee at a moment’s notice.
That’s when you know you’re experiencing limerence, not love.
So what’s limerence and how is it different from love or lust? Keep reading to find out!
1. Obsessive Thoughts
Limerence is best defined as a constant, deep obsession with a person. Though this is common in the early stages of a crush, too, the signs of limerence look different.
For example, a person experiencing limerence will often associate their partner with everything around them.
Likewise, their thoughts may turn intrusive. They may try to think about anything else but find themselves unable to do so.
Limerence signs actually have a lot in common with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). So much so that mental health experts now consider limerence a staple of a new form of OCD known as relationship-centered obsessive-compulsive disorder (ROCD).
2. A Desire to Spend As Much Time Together as Possible
Whether you’re experiencing lust or limerence, it’s natural to want to spend time with someone you find attractive. However, a person struggling with limerence will go out of their way to do so, often to their own detriment.
They may create or manipulate situations so they find themselves alone with the subject of their infatuation.
3. Immediate Feelings of Love
One reason the stages of limerence are so hard to differentiate from love is because of what we see in popular media. Stories of falling in love at first sight or blissful relationships paint the wrong picture, no matter how sweet they are.
Make no mistake, love takes work and time to develop. It isn’t something that a person suddenly feels at a moment’s notice.
If you find yourself going down this path, remind yourself that crushes happen and there’s nothing wrong with that. But take a deep breath and remember that crushes wane and that you shouldn’t get ahead of yourself.
4. Ignoring Flaws
This tends to be the most dangerous of the limerence stages, as it can lead to you overlooking some dangerous behavior.
A person showing signs of limerence will come to the defense of their crush, even if they’re clearly in the wrong. They may wave away the concerns of friends and family feeling as though their loved ones are trying to sabotage their happiness.
Earlier, we mentioned manipulation situations to spend more time with someone. So what happens when a person feeling limerence sees their crush with someone else, no matter how innocuous the situation might be?
Things turn dark as feelings of jealousy start to bubble up.
They might try and prevent a person from spending time with or contacting their crush or find other ways to act out against the supposed perpetrator.
Better Understanding Limerence
Crushes happen. But when it turns into obsession, limerence can be dangerous to your mental health. If you find yourself obsessing over a partner, don’t hesitate to talk with a mental healthcare professional.
For more advice on love and life be sure to check out the rest of the content on our blog!