May 08, 2007
ATTRACTION + HOPE + ROADBLOCKS = LIMERENCE (* reference)
ATTRACTION: The limerent sees a person as a prospective mate. Physical, emotional, intellectual factors differ from person to person. It must be emphasized though that most people don’t see a potential mate based solely on sexual attraction or physical traits.
HOPE: The LO has done something which has encouraged the limerent that a proper pairing could occur. This action could have been deliberately encouraging (a flirt, an invitation to dinner) or simply perceived as encouraging by the limerent (a smile, an innocent conversation).
ROADBLOCKS: This can be anything that would prevent a proper pairing of the two. Examples are: shyness, class, poor self-esteem, prior relationship or marriage, external rules (e.g. co-workers can’t date), or simply not being paired (e.g. married) yet.
Found this in another blog (survivinginfidelity.com/):
(MY REACTIONS ARE BOLD, CAPITALIZED AND ITALICIZED) ->
Limerence begins as a barely perceptible feeling of increased interest in a particular person, known as the limerent object, but one which, if nurtured by appropriate conditions, can grow to enormous intensity. UNDERSTATEMENT!
In most cases it also declines, eventually to zero or to a low level. At this low level, limerence is either transformed through reciprocation or it is transferred to another person who then becomes the new limerent object. Under the best of conditions the waning of limerence through mutuality is accompanied by the growth of the emotional response more suitably described as love. … I WISH.
Limerence has certain basic components:
intrusive thinking about the limerent object YEP.
some fleeting & transient relief from unrequited limerence through vivid imagining of action by the limerent object that means reciprocation DEFINITELY.
fear of rejection & unsettling shyness in the limerent object’s presence
NO, WELL, SOMETIMES. NOT SO MUCH.
acute sensitivity to any act, thought, or condition that can be interpreted favorably, & an extraordinary ability to devise or invent “reasonable” explanations for why neutral actions are a sign of hidden passion in the limerent object
an aching in the chest when uncertainty is strong YES.
buoyancy (a feeling of walking on air) when reciprocation seems evident IF ONLY.
a general intensity of feeling that leaves other concerns in the background ABSOLUTELY.
a remarkable ability to emphasize what is truly admirable in the limerent object & to avoid dwelling on the negative or render it into another positive attribute. EXACTLY!
Limerent object perception
Crystallization, from Stendhal’s 1822 work On Love, is a process in which the limerent object’s attractive characteristics are emphasized & unattractive characteristics given little or no attention, or even seen as attractive. The attributes are not pure inventions, the existing features of the limerent object merely undergo enhancement. YES THEY DO!!!
Objectively trivial aspects of the limerent object’s appearance or behavior may be seized on & the good qualities endlessly re-visualized in the limerent consciousness. Neutral aspects of the limerent object are perceived as charming & delightful. I’M IN A STATE OF LIMERENT CONSCIOUSNESS?
No matter what the limerent object does it can be interpreted favorably, at least up to a point. There is an amazing capacity to react positively to deficiencies. The limerent reaction may miss by a wide mark the truly important features or ignore serious problems in the limerent object. AMAZING, LIKE THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT ME.
During the height of limerence, thoughts of the limerent object are both persistent & intrusive. Limerence is first & foremost a condition of cognitive obsession. YEP. All events, associations, stimuli, & experiences return thoughts to the limerent object with unnerving consistency.
The constant thoughts about the limerent object define all other experiences. If a certain thought has no previous connection with the limerent object, immediately one is made. THAT’S ME! OBSESSIVE ALL THE WAY!
Limerent fantasy is unsatisfactory unless rooted in reality. Sometimes it is retrospective; actual events are replayed from memory. This form predominates when what is viewed as evidence of possible reciprocation can be re-experienced. YOU GOT IT!
Otherwise, the long fantasy is anticipatory; it begins in the everyday world & climaxes at the attainment of the limerent goal. The long fantasies form bridges between the limerent’s ordinary life & that intensely desired ecstatic moment. The duration & complexity of a fantasy depend on the availability of time & freedom from distractions. NOT BUSY ENOUGH I GUESS.
The bliss of the imagined moment of consummation is greater when events imagined to precede it are possible. In fact they often represent grave departures from the probable. YES, INDEEDY.
It is not entirely pleasant, & when rejection seems likely the thoughts focus on despair. YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN. The pleasantness or unpleasantness of the state seems almost unrelated to the intensity of the reaction. Although the direction of feeling, i.e. happy versus unhappy, shifts rapidly, the intensity of intrusive thinking alters less rapidly, & alters only in response to an accumulation of experiences with the particular limerent object.
Fear of rejection – Along with the emphasis on positive qualities perceived in the limerent object, & preoccupation with the hope for return of feelings, there is a fear that limerence will be met by the very opposite of reciprocation: rejection.
Considerable self-doubt & uncertainty is experienced & it causes pain, but also enhances desire. HOW ABOUT THAT!
Limerence develops & is sustained when there is a certain balance of hope & uncertainty. UNCERTAINTY = HOPE!
The base for limerent hope is not in objective reality but reality as it is perceived. The inclination is to sift through nuances of speech & subtleties of behavior for evidence of limerent hope. GOT ME PEGGED.
“Little things” are noticed & endlessly analyzed for meaning. FOR THE TRULY OBSESSIVE AT HEART.
The belief that the limerent object does not & will not reciprocate can only come about with great difficulty. MEH. COMES AND GOES.
Limerence can be carried quite far before acceptance of rejection is genuine. I CAN SEE THAT.
Excessive concern over trivia may not be entirely unfounded. Body language can indicate a return of feeling. What the limerent object said & did is recalled with vividness. VIVIDNESS IS THE WORD.
Alternative meanings of those behaviors are searched out. OVER AND OVER.
Each word & gesture is permanently available for review, especially those which can be interpreted as evidence in favor of “return of feeling.” When objects, people, places or situations are encountered with the limerent object, they are vividly remembered. SEE THE REST OF THIS BLOG.
The physiological correlations of limerence are heart palpitations, trembling, pallor, flushing, pupil dilation & general weakness. Awkwardness, stammering, shyness, & confusion predominate at the behavioral level. There is apprehension, nervousness, & anxiety due to terrible worry that any action may bring about disaster. NAH! TOO OLD FOR THAT!
The super-sensitivity that is heightened by fear of rejection can get in the way of interpreting the limerent object’s body language & lead to inaction & wasted opportunities. Bodily signals may be emitted that confuse & interfere with attaining the limerent object. MAYBE.
A condition of sustained alertness, a heightening of awareness & an enormous fund of energy to deploy in pursuit of the limerent aim develop. The sensation of limerence is felt in the midpoint of the chest. ‘TIS.
No matter how intensely reciprocation is desired it cannot simply be asked for. To ask is to risk premature self-disclosure. The interplay is delicate, with the reactions of each person inextricably bound to the behavior of the other. I’VE ASKED.
Progression toward ecstatic mutuality may not involve externally created difficulties but feinting & parrying, minor deceptions, & falsehoods. The uncertainty required by the limerent reaction may often be merely a matter of perception. PROBABLY.
Despite ideals & philosophy, a process begins that bears unquestionable similarity to a game. The prize is not trifling: reciprocation produces ecstasy. HOO BOY WOULD IT! Whether it will be won, whether it will be shared, & what the final outcome may be depend on the effectiveness of actions & those of the limerent object; indeed on skill.
Reason to hope combined with reason to doubt keeps passion at fever pitch & too-ready limerent availability cools. Open declaration of true feelings may stop the process. NOT IF THEY’RE TOTALLY IGNORED.
Because one of the invariant characteristics of limerence is extreme emotional dependency on the limerent object’s behavior, the actual course of limerence must depend on the actions & reactions of both people. I CAN SEE THAT.
Awareness of physical attraction plays a key role in the development of limerence, but is not enough to satisfy the limerent desire, & is seldom the main focus. The limerent object, in order to become the limerent object, must be a potential sex partner. ONE WOULD CERTAINLY HOPE.
Limerence can be intensified after a sexual relationship has begun, & with more intense limerence there is greater desire for sexual intercourse. PURE FANTASY NOW. However, while sexual surrender once indicated for the most part the end of uncertainty in the limerent object, in modern times this is much less frequent.
Sexual fantasies are distinct from limerent ones. Limerent fantasy is rooted in reality & is intrusive rather than voluntary. INTRUSIVE IS THE WORD. Sexual fantasies are under more or less voluntary control NO THEY’RE NOT! & may also involve strangers, imaginary individuals, & situations that could not take place.
People can become aroused by the thought of sexual partners, acts, & situations that are not truly desired, whereas every detail of the limerent fantasy is passionately desired to actually take place. YESIREE BOB!
Limerence sometimes increases sexual interest in other partners when the limerent object is unreceptive or unavailable, such as married people finding sex with their spouses more pleasurable when they become limerent over someone else. THAT HAS HAPPENED.
The course of limerence is a rise to a more intrusive thinking pattern. THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN. This is invariably an expectant & often joyous period with the initial focusing on the limerent object’s admirable qualities: crystallization. Then, under appropriate conditions of hope & uncertainty, the limerence intensifies further. At peak crystallization almost all waking thoughts revolve around the limerent object. Subsequently the “reaction” may peak for days or weeks, or it may begin to undergo a final decline, or it may drop & then rise again one or more times before the decline that almost always follows sooner or later. THEY GOT THIS RIGHT.
This reactionary process actuates according to following six steps:
The limerent reaction begins at a point discernible at the time & later recalled. YES.
Sexual attraction need not be experienced, although (a) the person is a potential sexual partner, & (b) the initial “admiration” may be, or seem to be, primarily physical attraction. YES TO THAT TOO.
Once limerence begins, thinking about the limerent object increases & considerable pleasure is received from the process. BOY HOWDY!
Attraction may be to more than one potential limerent object. NOPE, ONLY ONE. The reaction is believed to be because of the limerent object’s fine qualities. AND FINE THEY ARE, I THINK.
With evidence of reciprocation from the limerent object a state of extreme pleasure, even euphoria, is enjoyed. IF ONLY.
Thoughts are mainly occupied with considering & reconsidering what is attractive in the limerent object, replaying whatever events may have thus far transpired with the limerent object, & appreciating personal qualities which are perceived as possibly having sparked interest in the limerent object. THE OBSESSIVE STRIKES AGAIN!
Involvement increases if the limerent object’s feelings are doubted. Only if the limerent object were to be revealed as highly undesirable might limerence subside. COULD BE ALMOST THERE. Usually with some degree of doubt its intensity rises further, & the stage is reached at which the reaction is virtually impossible to dislodge. This is called crystallization. UH OH.
The doubt & increased intensity of limerence undermine former self-satisfaction. There is inordinate fear of rejection. REJECTION IS EXPECTED, WITH SOME DREAD.
With an increase in doubt coupled with reason to hope that reciprocation may indeed occur everything becomes intensified, especially intrusive thinking. INTRUSIVE AGAIN. Either in a joyful or a despairing state, fantasies are preferred to virtually any other activity unless it is (a) acting in a way that seems to help obtain the limerent object, or (b) actually being in the presence of the limerent object. The motivation to attain a “relationship” (mating, or pair bonding) continues to intensify so long as a proper mix of hope & uncertainty exist. THESE PEOPLE KNOW THIS PROCESS COLD!
At any point in the process, if reciprocation is perceived, the degree of involvement ceases to rise, until uncertainty returns. Usually what might be an obvious sign of interest to a neutral observer is not so obvious. Games in which the timid partners attempt to conceal from each other the full nature of the reaction that has seized them, the inevitable differences between their lifestyles, or “lover’s spats” prevent full reciprocation in each other’s eyes & allow the intensity to continue to increase. INTERESTING.
Tennov estimates, based on both questionnaire & interview data, that the average limerent reaction duration, from the moment of initiation until a feeling of neutrality is reached, is approximately 3 years. The extremes may be as brief as a few weeks or as long as a lifetime. When limerence is brief, maximum intensity may not have been attained. FEELS MAXIMUM TO ME!
Limerence generally lasts between 18 months & 3 years, but further studies on unrequited limerence have suggested longer durations, with lengths lasting no less than three years. YEP, ABOUT 3 YEARS NOW.