What makes someone a potential limerent object? What special something tickles the arousal circuitry in just the right way to trigger escalating limerence?
It may be a fool’s errand to try and untangle this particular knot, but it’s fun to try.
There are some correlations between limerents and LOs that seem too common to be coincidence. The first is sexual attraction, but this is just kicking the can down the road a bit, because it just raises the question of what causes that. The second is gender. Tennov reported complete consistency in her sample population in having a single gender focus for limerence – either heterolimerence or homolimerence – and a certain amount of frustration in individuals in their inability to become limerent for the other gender (which for social or personal reasons they felt they should prefer). I have a lasting memory of an interview with George Michael where he was talking about sexuality, and commented something along the lines of “It’s not who you can get it up for, it’s who you fall in love with.” Tennov failed to find any bisexual subjects who were limerent and therefore was unable to assess the possibility of bi-limerence, but that may have been an issue of sample size or societal mores (her research in the 1960s would presumably have been in an environment where honest expression of such matters would have been more inhibited). The third correlation is to socioeconomic class. This one is more mutable, but there does seem a majority of limerence-matches within a social stratum than between them.
The limerents in Tennov sample were also able to clearly articulate surprisingly specific – but objectively trivial – features of the LO that first attracted them:
“I liked Betty’s hair. It was long and very dark brown with waves, the kind of hair that moved when she turned her head.”
“The first thing that attracted me… was his height. Barry was exactly the same height I was, and I loved it.”
And, with a nice touch of self-awareness:
“I fell in love with Bernard because I thought he might love me in return. I must also admit that his money and success and all the power that seemed to go with them probably also played a role.”
The commonest and most potent trigger was the LO’s eyes.
So how can sense be made of all these subtle cues that tip some people into the LO category, whereas others (perhaps with equally charming eyes) don’t measure up? Although this is all a bit speculative, I think there are some key unifying ideas.
1) Gender archetypes
Childhood is formative in unexpected ways. My personal experience is that many of the women that I feel a glimmer towards fit into broad categories defined by the adult women who were present in my life as a child. Friends of the family, occasionally-seen aunts, teachers, librarians, etc. became laid down in my memory as (pre-sexual) archetypes of womanhood. I’m beginning to notice clusters of traits that I now realise are evocative of a certain notion of womanliness, which can be anchored to an important role model from my youth. This is in a non-literal sense. I don’t actually seek out versions of my aunts. I’m not weird. I am normal.
Smell is a big thing. A potent intoxicant. Lots of studies have borne this out – that the scent of certain individuals is especially pleasing to other certain individuals. Theories abound as to why, and the leading one at the moment seems to be that the immunological markers that can be detected in scent are an indication of fitness in a mate; different markers imply different immunological backgrounds that would complement nicely and result in vigorous babies. There’s a touch of the evolutionary just-so story about this idea (just how good are the olfactory receptors at encoding immunological antigens, really?), but there is no doubting how glorious my wife’s sweat smells.
Similar arguments are often made about visual complementation, although curiously the claims here can be contradictory. Sometimes the idea is that we seek counter-traits (if you have a big nose you seek a button-nosed partner to balance out your children), sometimes that we seek those that look like ourselves or our parents. I’m not sure how important this is for limerence, beyond the need for sexual attraction; especially as limerence has the extraordinary ability to transfigure your (let’s be honest, probably pretty average looking – you know, fine, but not Stunning) LO into the epitome of true beauty. God, her button nose is so gorgeous. Especially when she smiles and it wrinkles up on the edges. *Sigh*
3) Bonding archetypes
Spend any time on relationship help forums and you will come across the term “FOO”, meaning “family of origin”. It always makes me think of Larkin’s acid poem (“They fuck you up, your mum and dad…”). The idea here is familiarity; what feels right in terms of behavioural dynamics. Do you like mutual mocking, or does it make you feel insecure? Do you compete with your partner, or do you need constant affirmation and support? Does it feel satisfying to prioritise your partner’s needs? Does sacrifice feel like an expression of love? Most of these sorts of preferences will have developed during your immersion in similar dynamics during childhood. An especially powerful scenario is one in which childhood attachment was not secure. As an adult, these individuals (and how many of us had perfectly secure attachments?) can subconsciously seek to repeat the patterns of an unhealthy bonding experience and “get it right this time”. It doesn’t end well, usually.
There is a whole body of literature on attachment styles (are you anxious, avoidant, or secure? Take an online test today!), which is probably a bit much for now, but the basic idea is that you are particularly drawn to a style you recognise from childhood. And that triggers a subconscious need to recast disordered bonding with a similar individual in your past, and make your emotional world right at last. As they say on Limerence.net, limerent and LO have “complementary pathologies”. There is nothing so alluring as a damaged soul you’re sure you can fix.
As with all aspects of limerence – in fact pretty much all aspects of life – self-knowledge is your best hope of making sense of this rag bag of subconscious drives. Spot the glimmer, and spot the triggers for glimmer in yourself, and the next time you meet limerence, you can laugh in her beautiful button-nosed face.
I just can’t get over the eloquence, wisdom and humor on this site. It’s providing me with reams of comfort and insight. Thank you ever so much for the hard work involved in it’s construct and maintenance and the empathy, compassion and generosity that are its foundation stones. I am sorry for the pain that is behind its genesis but am grateful for the delightful and helpful resulting fruitage.
Jaideux – I think that is possibly the most insightful comment anyone has left on the blog 😉
Thanks for your kind words. Really glad that the site is helping.
I must second the comments from jaideux. This blog has been a game changer for me since finding it 2 weeks ago. I recognized at some point via Dr. Internet that I was in limerence, but could not determine what to do about it. I still do not know exactly what I will do, but I (unfortunately/fortunately) feel that No Contact is the best long-term remedy. I hope this site has more than just a short lived positive effect on my health. Perhaps I have simply found comfort in others who have gone through similar experiences.
I worked with my younger LO, sometimes directly, for a few years. We became close friends who shared things with each other (uh-oh), each married with family (uh-oh), and looked forward to seeing/talking to her every day. However, I was comfortable with knowing we had our own lives and things could only go so far due to the existing barriers and societal norms. Everything changed when she gave her notice at work over a year ago. I would no longer naturally see her every day, and I was devastated and emotionally overwhelmed by that. What would the future of our friendship be? That event ignited an ensuing emotional roller coaster ride that has slowed down for the moment. I know better than to think that all is well when I’m in a period of semi-emotional stability (where I am now), but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. But I know that in order to get there, some things will be painful and messy.
I’ll try not to turn this blog into my own personal one, as I have plenty of material! I even have a few audio recordings of my feelings during various times. Talk about capturing the moment.
Thanks again to all who have shared.
Welcome to the blog, Thinker!
I hope you do get lasting benefit. Even a short term break to refocus can be transformative. If you use the window of opportunity to establish good new habits (like No contact) and think deeply about your experience, it can be enough to start the positive reinforcement that leads to limerence mastery.
There can certainly be painful and messy moments, but the view at the far side of the tunnel is worth seeing.
Panic stricken says
I know this post is a year old.
I’m exactly where you were at the time you wrote this. My LO is leaving my work in a few weeks. I’m in a total state of mourning: crying spells and breathing into paper bags etc.
I’d like to know, now that a year has passed, how you coped and what helped.
Panic stricken – my LO leaving the office happened over one year prior to my initial post one year ago. At the time she was leaving, I felt the best thing that could have happened was that she move far away so the break would eventually be clean (for me). I didn’t know how she felt about me, but I had an idea because we were close friends. We did not keep in touch outside of work, so with her leaving, our relationship would be changing. She definitely wanted to stay in touch, and I “begged” my SO to let me do a group activity with LO (for me it was so that I could see her at least occasionally – get my fix; to my SO it was to not have to go cold turkey with a good friend). Well, we fell into an EA, which you could say “cured” my VERY PAINFUL limerence and turned it into EUPHORIC limerence.
After the EA was shutdown, I paid for the euphoric limerence for nearly a year before finding this site. The worst emotional year of my life. And this, as a typically “responsible” adult. We were in contact (irregularly) the entire time after the EA (BIG MISTAKE, but I didn’t know what to do), when an opportunity for No Contact presented itself.
Since that post from August 2018, I went 3 months No Contact and that too was painful but soooo necessary. I had never properly grieved for losing my work friend or losing the EA. LO came back to work part time for a spell, so we were on friendly terms publicly, but I was still in limerence (though less so) and hiding my feelings. LO gives off certain energy and has certain qualities that are an addiction for me. She is gone from the office now, so No Contact is in play again though we will have some interaction over the next month. I’ve been trying to figure this one out for a few weeks.
Some things that helped me during the worst times were picking up hobbies/interests that had been lost in adulthood. Those interests continue today to throw energy into something positive. It was difficult at times, but my focus returned to my family gradually, though thoughts of LO remain during the day but I get solid breaks from them sometimes.
My advice would be to go No Contact if possible. It will hurt badly and seem counter to everything your heart tells you to do. During the very painful times, I even avoided walking by the desk where she used to sit. I would also recommend to stay busy and engage/re-engage in activities that somehow got lost in the everyday. Depending on your situation, consider (proper) counseling. I REALLY needed to talk to someone (as in counseling/therapy), but I felt trapped in my secret and thought that my circumstance was unique. And grieve — let it all out. For you and me, even though it doesn’t seem logical, this experience can feel worse than a death of a loved one.
I would also advise to transfer your limerence, unless you are unavailable.
There’s some fantastic advice here Thinker. Thank you for that. I’m also a year behind. My LO hasn’t left the firm though and is coming back on Monday. I’m almost through Dr L’s emergency deprogramming course and have some tactics prepared: withdrawal to LC thru no social media (already in effect), moving desk temporarily, repeating a mantra to break reveries, bought an electric guitar and am taking daily lessons online. I feel OK but also fragile and I know LO coming back and fixing me with one of her glimmery stares will send me reeling. My only question is on your last piece of advice, transference. If I remember correctly, our situations are similar: married with kids, much younger LO in young firm where we have senior positions. I’m assuming you didn’t transfer to anyone else other than maybe your SO?
Fred, it seems like you have begun a good approach. I’ve been down a long road with LO. Yes, you and I have similar LO circumstances. I have “transferred” some to my SO. But also some to a few other (unavailable) attractive women, though recognizing, as a safety measure, that I need to avoid truly getting to know them. I need to make the choice not to seek validation from others in order to lower the risk of another LE. Also, my traits of trying to fix problems and showing that I do care for others are both attractive features; therefore, I feel that I have been at risk of becoming an LO for somebody else.
Real transference isn’t a viable option for me but should be on the table for those without barriers.
Panic stricken says
Good advice. Thank you.
No contact is the only way. I cleaned my desk and moved into another space as a pathetic gesture of “I’ll leave him before he leaves me”, well he is not leaving me – he is leaving my work – he can’t leave me, we are not together – yet it feels like my lover is leaving me.
He has noticed my absence and seeked me out today to investigate where I’ve been (3 weeks of no contact and absence from my desk). His interest was as normal as any other colleague, yet it sent me into a mini euphoric state. I hate that he can do this to me. I hate that I misread everything. I hate that he is completely oblivious to the havoc he has caused in my life.
I want him to leave already so I can break down properly and let it go for once.
I wonder if we will ever get over having Limerence over that one LO? Does it ever truly disappear?
I desperately need to know of a case where it has completely disappeared.
Sorry to hear how upsetting this is, Panic Stricken. You’re in the thick of it now. I was in that place too, and with time and TRUE no contact, the feelings calm down. There is always the possibility of a setback so you’re in it for the long haul. Depending on your individual situation, it could be several months. Funny how I was just asking myself this morning when I’ll feel safe from having a setback triggered by seeing or interacting with my LO. I figure I’m still a long way off from that. At least a year away.
I had a terrible heartbreak around 20 years ago. It was around 5 years before I reached complete indifference towards him. But we’d had a short relationship (6 months or so). In my current LE, there was no actual relationship, but it’s still taking forever (pushing a year now). Being on the receiving end of mixed messages and working for the same company has definitely made it a lot harder for me.
Have patience with yourself. You’re taking action steps and that is something to be proud of. You will totally get through this. I am 100% over my first LE and have been for a long time.
“I wonder if we will ever get over having Limerence over that one LO? Does it ever truly disappear?
I desperately need to know of a case where it has completely disappeared.”
What exactly do you mean by “truly disappear.” I met LO #1 in 1978. I haven’t seen her since 1979. I don’t think I’ll ever forget her but, she has no effect on my life today. None of my LOs have any direct effect on my life.
My most recent LE with LO #4 ended on paper on New Year’s Day. 2016. In 2015, I thought she was really, really, really important. In 2019, not so much. Yeah, when I’m under stress or really bored, I have small relapses. I’m surprised at some of the reactions I get when I relapse but taking into consideration the work I’ve done, that we’ve been NC for 3.5 years, she’s still 2500 miles away, and most importantly, I’m still not available. I don’t see much risk.
She’s back in her place as #2 (yeah, #2) on my “What If?” list. In my list of the most memorable women I met in my life, she comes in around 5th.
LO #4 almost become the “ultimate fantasy” in that an actual relationship with her at this point has little basis in reality. For it to be what I think I’d want it to be would require something like being Capt Christopher Pike in the Star Trek episode “Menagerie.” Something or someone out of this world would have to be able to manipulate reality. I’d have to lose 10 years, at least 10 pounds, my wife, two kids, a mortgage, and my current job. One is impossible, one is desirable, and the last 4 I’m flat out not willing to consider.
Back to your questions. How do you know this is “The One” at this point? LO #4 was my #1 LO at the time but she wasn’t my only LO. I suspect she’ll be the last but I don’t know that for sure yet. I could meet the LO of My Life at Wendy’s at lunch today.
Does it ever truly disappear? Maybe, maybe not but limerence certainly doesn’t have to control your life.
Yes! So sorry to hear what you are going through, Panic Stricken. Hang in there! The limerence does subside with time, eventually. I found the Emergency Deprogramming Course really accelerates the process, as well as all of the tips elsewhere here on this site. I’ve been trying to follow the advice as best as I can, and it really pays off. Psychologically it makes you feel like you are progressing. I am on LE#6 (sorry to say) and can truthfully say that I can laugh (sheepishly) at all those previous experiences and wonder what the heck was I thinking…
My Limerent Brain Is An Idiot says
@Panic stricken — I have the huge unfortunate situation of working closely with my LO daily and will permanently have to until I sell my company.
I’ve gone LC with her as surreptitiously as I can.
I celebrate every small victory. I marvel that when I wake up it’s a long time sometimes before I think about her. I don’t get the knife in the guts when I see her new boyfriend. I am able to see ways to put even more distance between us. And I was even angry with her (not to her face) recently, which indicates to me that her pedestal in my brain has diminished.
But it’s way better than it was a couple of months ago. In fact, I don’t think I really have a case of limerence anymore.
So keep on keeping on. Awareness is the first step to freedom.
Ulysses Alves says
Regarding the quote below from you in this post:
> As an adult, these individuals (…) can subconsciously seek to repeat the patterns of an unhealthy bonding experience and “get it right this time”.
Does it mean every LO will be narcissistic when the limerent is the son of a narcissistic mother? I’ve being very cautions about this subject since I found out (by reading books and websites on narcissism) that people how was narcissistically abused by their parents (or by one of them) is likely to seek these types of toxic people to build a relationship with, for the exact reason you said in the quotation above.
So, if that’s the case, should I avoid LOs completely, as if my limerence was giving it away that the LO is narcissistic/toxic/bad for me, or is it possible to be limerent for someone who is health and worthy seeking?
“So, if that’s the case, should I avoid LOs completely, as if my limerence was giving it away that the LO is narcissistic/toxic/bad for me, or is it possible to be limerent for someone who is health and worthy seeking?”
There are two ways to go about answering that. You can continue to have LEs until you have enough data to establish a pattern. The other way is to identify and deal with what attracts you to narcs. Figure that out and there’s a good chance narcs won’t give you the glimmer, anymore. There are risks with both.
DrL says limerence in itself isn’t all bad. There may be people out there for whom limerence is a positive effect in there lives and contributes to their happiness.
You won’t any of those people here.
“DrL says limerence in itself isn’t all bad. There may be people out there for whom limerence is a positive effect in their lives and contributes to their happiness.
You won’t find any of those people here.
I’d have to argue that limerence has contributed substantially to my art (not necessarily my happiness but I suppose if success in art is cause for happiness then it has indirectly contributed to my happiness). As painful and annoying as limerence is, I wouldn’t be where I am creatively without it, and dare I speculate that many great artists, musicians and writers were/are limerents as well.
To qualify that slightly (having been limerent for my wife and still happily married), most people drawn here will have had at least one negative limerent experience and so are seeking help. But not all LEs for those people were necessarily bad.
However, if you are repeatedly limerent for narcs then, yes, much better to figure out why that is, than try and make a relationship with a narc LO work.
Ulysses Alves says
Actually I want to avoid narcs at all costs, even if that means I may keep single forever. Much better than being a source of narc supply. **Argh**. So in case my limerence is pushing me towards narcs I wish to stop it ASAP.
ULYSSES ALVES says
NOVEMBER 8, 2018 AT 11:08 PM
Actually I want to avoid narcs at all costs, even if that means I may keep single forever. Much better than being a source of narc supply. **Argh**. So in case my limerence is pushing me towards narcs I wish to stop it ASAP.
Ulysses, I too was raised by a narc parent, and upon analysis realize that all of my LO’s have had shades of narc to them. But they also had simply wonderful aspects as well, so very confusing. I fear I am usually only attracted to those who as the relationship progresses will eventually bully and confuse me, and also shower me with attention and positive things, just to mix it up. I think being unattached is the safer route…unless I can prove to myself I have changed my “tastes”. It’s a self-respect thing. Better to be alone than in mental torment.
Hi, so…. I’m new to the website. In fact, new to the idea that there is a term to describe what I’ve always felt….. towards some people.
For my LOs, my LE usually last years, I always thought that, somehow they must feel that connection, it is so strong, and binding, and they must be thinking/feeling like me, but they don’t. Oh why don’t they?
My latest LO is married, and interesting, some of what I’ve read here, makes me think that he too, has been feeling some type of limerence. Though, I guess he managed to move forward into stage 3, leaving me behind here, suffering in strange 2. (In fact, I could probably date and pinpoint the event that took place that he transferred). But anyhow, I’m getting sidetracked (as we do) thinking about him.
I wanted to comment a question about relationships who are not LO. Because, looking back, at all my major relationships, they probably all started out as LO for me, (and then continued, after the break up, which of course is the epic rejection, especially when you get back to gather, several times).
Yet anytime I dated someone, or had a sexual encounter that didn’t stir my limerence (I love that I have a single word to express so much feeling), I felt the date/relationship/sex to be boring or dull. And wouldn’t pursue it further.
Up until….3 days ago, when I first read about limerence, I just thought, that I didn’t love them, or wasn’t into them as much, and would quickly lose interest.
Yet more that 50% of my LOs have either been unavailable or rejected me. And while, I’d like to believe that the others turned into real love (I just always assumed that my limerence was real love) or i finally fall out of limerence with them, I never once consider someone who wasn’t a LO to be someone I was in love with.
So my question, can you truly love someone who isn’t a LO? Someone who doesn’t stir that longing, that passion, that connection, that aching need? (Or course my current limerence is trying to tell my brain otherwise but im not liking the idea that I don’t care about his feelings and emotions, only my raw need, which, with anyone else, I would NEVER…. at least I hope I’d never be that selfish, and can’t believe I’m trying to be now with someone I believed I cared about so much it hurts.
Since coming across this website, I have so many more questions, or thoughts (most of which go, oh my god that’s me!!!😲😱😱)
But I’ll leave those for another post.
Hi Kat, and welcome to LwL!
The answer to your question about love is very subjective but I can tell you my view and experiences…
I am a lifelong limerent but I have truly loved where they were not an “LO” an there was no “LE” before the relationship. This has happened twice for me and they were my first two committed long term relationships. In these relationships, I fell in-love in the early, not-really-together-yet stage. My experience of “in love” is that it feels very much like limerence – there are strong passionate feelings, sexual attraction, idealisation, I can’t stop thinking about them, much romantic fantasy, etc. The difference is that it is based on reality where I know the person really likes me too, and I know that wants to act on those feelings. We knew each other, I felt secure with them, I could be myself and didn’t experience the crippling shyness I get with my LOs. I need a man to give me subtle signs of their interest along with a little time and space to be able to fall in love with them. If they pursue too hard and fast, it does not usually happen for me.
There are two kinds of romantic love (at least!) – “in love” and true/real love. You may (or may not) fall “in love” first. Then for me, real love grows over time, while we spend time with each other, sharing each others lives. It is more companionate and deeply caring but far less passionate and sexual than “in love” or limerence.
I do think some people can have strong feelings for someone, even for a prolonged period of time, without it becoming obsessive and intrusive as it does with us limerents. So I try not to assume someone else is limerent as it is a bit unusual.
Wishing you well.
Hi Kat, and welcome. This is a question that comes up from time to time – especially for those limerents who seem to always fall for dodgy LOs. There is a case study post here that discusses that situation, but to add to that, here’s a quote from Tennov’s book that is also apt:
The way I tend to frame it is that the strength of your limerence is no indication of the quality of the relationship. Nor is it a good predictor of whether the relationship will last.
DrL – do you differentiate falling “In love” from limerence or do you consider them to be one and the same?
I guess I consider limerence an extreme and unsatisfied form of falling “in love”.
I think it depends on how commonly we experience limerence. I had a couple of early episodes and so just came to the conclusion “OK, that’s what love feels like”. So, for me (and I suspect many other limerents), the “strivings of limerent passion,” were one and the same with falling in love.
Other people fall in love and form bonds readily without ever experiencing limerence, and then to their shock and surprise succumb to limerence later in their romantic lives when they are vulnerable for one reason or another. That is obviously quite disruptive…
Still others have repeated bad experiences with limerence because the emotional toll is too great, and/or their LOs are toxic people. For them, falling in love with someone good that does not send them down the rollercoaster is the change they need.
It’s the age old question of “what is love?” and the answer can only be: many things.
“Other people fall in love and form bonds readily without ever experiencing limerence”
I don’t think you can so easily separate the two. I think for a lot of people, the early stages of limerence mimic the early stages of falling in love. I think the difference is that “healthy” limerence/lust phase moves in an actual relationship during which the intensity becomes a companionate love. Whereas for limerents, because the situation with the LO never really gets off the ground or, if it does, it’s all hot and cold, starting and stopping, the limerence/early lust phase lasts much longer and moves into something unhealthy. A non-limerent would walk away from this type of push/pull, whereas a limerent will hang on. If fact, for a limerent, uncertainty/dead ends seem to fuel the limerence. This isn’t to say that some people don’t date and marry without the “big passion” phase. They do.
Song of the Day: “Hallelujah” – John Cale (1981)
“Maybe there’s a God above, all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who out drew you
And it’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who’s seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah”
This is one deep song. There are so many great lines in it. LO #4 is a Rufus Wainwright fan. I think she’s very familiar with the song.
I love Jeff Buckley’s version of it.
Limerent Emeritus says
For the last few years, I’ve been able to cruise right through LO #2’s birthday without much, if any, thought. But, this year, there was a lot going on that day and the date had been coming up repeatedly in the last few weeks. It seemed like the date was always in front of me.
The recent https://livingwithlimerence.com/limerence-as-an-altered-state-of-mind/#comment-25030 got me thinking about this blog. What glimmer triggers the altered state? DrL’s observation about eyes caught my attention.
LO #2 had unremarkable eyes. She had other remarkable features. I don’t even remember for sure what color they were. I think they might have been hazel. In all my life, I’ve only known 3 women with memorable eyes. My college crush, another girl who ate in my dorm, and my wife, depending on what she’s wearing. All those women had blue eyes.
As the endgame was playing out, LO #2 said to me, “I remember how your eyes would light up when you saw me. Now, your eyes are just dead.”
A smile is obvious. Reading someone’s eyes seems almost subliminal. How could LO #2 see that?
Can you explain that DrL? Is there any physiology or neuroscience behind that?
My attraction to redheads is pretty well known here. But, a green-eyed brunette like the woman in the picture above or Lynda Carter might trump that. I don’t think I’ve ever met one.
An angular jawline with sharp features does it for me.
And yes, I am pretty sure I will remember her birthday this year after having forgotten it for pretty much a decade.
Just popped into the comments to confirm the existence of bisexual limerents.
My original LO was female, that was when I was a teenager and lasted acutely for about 6-7 years (and oh, who am I kidding, less acutely for the rest of my life.)
Many LOs under the bridge since then, but my current is male with shared archetypal traits with original LO.
I identify as bisexual and have happily dated many different types of people from all over the gender spectrum.
Dr L says
Hi Queenie, and welcome.
Thanks for confirming! I have heard from several bilimerents since this post was written, so yes, I think it was definitely a consequence of Tennov’s era that she didn’t identify anyone with the trait.
Dissonant Limerent says
I am limerent mostly/only for one gender and sexually attracted mostly/only to the other. I wonder how common this is. Yes, this makes life quite complicated.
Jimmy Harman says
What a truly eye-opening blog on one of the least recognized phenomena in the science of quantifying and understanding human attraction. I can certainly attest, however, to the potentially devastating sequelae to unchecked limerence in the workplace. My wife, an RN at the time of her affair with a surgeon at a major Southern California teaching hospital began to feel the glimmer of attraction to a man who complemented her somatotype in ways that I her husband apparently was unable to do. The ensuing PA lasted well over a year and when the LO moved away relocating in a distant state, my wife went into a full blown addiction withdrawal type of crisis. This lasted for at least two years. Honestly, our marriage has never fully recovered from her inability to use the executive function of her cerebral cortex to override her incipient limerence. Trust in her has never fully returned resulting in a great deal of misery and distress. I hope this might be a cautionary tale if you are married and beginning to feel a spark of limerence
Yes, those green eyes. My wife’s beautiful brown eyes. And damn those smiles on a woman’s face. Weak in the knees.
1) When I met LO she was single. Single mother with two daughters. My mother raised my sister and I, almost alone. My father worked day and night to provide for us so that my mother could stay at home and raise us rather than a daycare. So in many ways my mother raised us “alone” much like LO raised her daughters alone. An attractive and admiral trait; a mother dedicated to her children. (And as an aside I married a woman like my mother in many ways. And I am pretty sure that was subconscious.)
2) I have no idea about this one. My sense of smell is about as dull as a butter knife. LO was definitely active in her fitness. Her and my supervisor would talk about their fitness regiment over lunch. So even if it wasn’t visible that LO had a fitness regiment, I heard it. I have no honest idea if it factored in to the glimmer at all though. You had to go there with the smiles again, huh, Dr L?
3) No, yes
LO mothered me in some ways. From scolding me for my smoking while having a heart condition to cautioning me about lifting things too heavy for my back to sometimes “preparing” my lunch for me before she would call me in for lunch break. “It’s hot outside, you shouldn’t stay out in the heat so long come in and cool down.” “Are you drinking enough water?” She looked after me just like my mother did. And my wife for that matter. Or that’s what the limerence told me. Maybe she was just a nice and concerned woman.
I didn’t (and sometimes still don’t) get along with my supervisor. His treatment of women in general pisses me off, even if I go overboard on the opposite side of the spectrum. In his eyes it was LO’s DUTY to go get lunch everyday. Many days I would be in the mood to get in his face and tell him to f off. LO would be there to calm me and tell me it’s alright and she didn’t mind doing it.
I can pretty much do whatever I need to do independently. (Except spiders. My wife gets to kill the spiders in the house.) I don’t NEED help with most things but I appreciate it. And for some reason when a woman, be it my mother, wife, female co-worker wants to mother me I can’t help but let them. To me it is a very endearing trait no matter what the relationship is between the woman and myself. But I now know with female co-workers that’s not apparently perhaps not a good thing. At least with LO.
Limerent Emeritus says
My wife’s signature fragrance is Red Door Revealed. It used to be Fendi. Georgio also smells phenomenal on her.
LO #2’s signature fragrance was Poison. I loved the smell of Valentino on LO #2. I bought her a bottle and she quit using it. I asked why and she said that it made her break out.
One day I was in the elevator at work. I smelled a combo of Eternity and Poison. I asked the woman about it. She said that she was wearing both. She didn’t think she had enough Eternity in the bottle so she added the Poison. She said that I was the first man who could identify any fragrance let alone pick two of them out combined.
My signature fragrance was Grey Flannel. I loved it but since LO #2 picked it out, my wife hates it. Now, I pretty much cycle between Polo, Drakar Noir, and Eternity for Men, depending on what I run out of and my wife buys for me.
As for your supervisor insisting your LO go to lunch, there are labor laws that require it. It sounds like your supervisor might be a little anal about it but it’s not uncommon. Was he not applying it uniformly across all the employees?
I use to wear cologne but all of it (and perfume) makes my wife’s migraines worse or more frequent. In department stores we have to detour around the cologne/perfume counters. But even when I did wear I never really cared about the particular scent so much as wearing at the proper occasions that I felt it called for it. And a lot of it I accumulated from high school graduation presents.
No it was always her unless she wasn’t there. It was because that was a “woman’s place” and he wasn’t going to do it himself. Despite that all it was her going to the restaurant we all had decided on for lunch and bringing it back to the office. I’ve known him longer than I have worked here. I know what he’s like with woman and swear sometimes he does it just to see if he can irk me. So most times I bite my lip just to not give him the satisfaction.
But yeah I called him out a lot on it but LO always said she didn’t mind doing it. So I guess I had to take her word for it. And she would do it without complaining. But I don’t think he could do that to the other gal that worked there and I think he knew that. She was much more tenacious than LO.