How Love Evolves: Navigating the Spectrum from Infatuation to Limerence - The DV Walking Wounded:

NOTE: I apologize for not writing, in the past few days, but I have had work technical issues that tied into my blog technical issues (the Internet in rural America has been down), as well as a bout of writer’s block. I was on quite the role and then it got derailed, which does happen from time to time. My sincere apologies…

I heard an interesting word the other day, which gave me pause, then a furious reason to research it further. The word? Here it is, according to

lim·er·ence /ˈlimər(ə)ns/


  1. the state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship.

I was pretty intrigued with that word, as I hadn’t heard this before. Was this what narcissists feel? Maybe, but most likely not. A true narcissist lacks that ability to feel and project empathy AT ALL. More likely its something that everyone feels, perhaps more as “a crush?” I decided to explore it further, as a former domestic abuse victim, trying to convey healthy love in my own relationship and to other survivors.

Limerence apparently has three phases, in my words with the actual terms in parenthesis:

  1. The Spark: (Also called infactuation/initiation) It all starts with that electric moment when you meet someone who just seems to light up your world. You feel an intense attraction and can’t stop thinking about them. Every little interaction feels like a rush of excitement, and you find yourself eagerly anticipating the next time you’ll see them.
  2. Obsession Sets In: (Also called crystallization/intensification) As your feelings deepen, so does your obsession. You start analyzing every word and action, trying to decipher their feelings for you. Your thoughts are consumed by fantasies of a perfect life together, and you become hyper-aware of every little sign that they might feel the same way.
  3. The Rollercoaster Ride: (Also called deterioration/resolution) Limerence is like being on a rollercoaster with no off switch. One moment, you’re soaring with happiness at the slightest hint of reciprocation, and the next, you’re plunged into despair over a perceived rejection. This emotional whirlwind can be exhilarating but also exhausting, leaving you feeling both euphoric and utterly drained.

Okay, how is limerence different than love?

Imagine limerence as that whirlwind crush you get on someone. It’s like being caught in a storm of intense emotions and obsessions. You can’t stop thinking about them, analyzing every little detail of your interactions, and daydreaming about a future together. It’s all-consuming and can make you feel like you’re on cloud nine one minute and crashing down the next. This is can disappear completely OR it can evolve into love, which takes a bit longer to figure out. Stalkers never make it through limerence. They don’t see the real person, just the justification.

Now, love is a bit different. It’s like a steady flame rather than a wild blaze. Love grows over time, rooted in mutual respect, trust, and understanding. It’s not just about the butterflies in your stomach (although those are nice too), but it’s also about being there for each other through thick and thin, supporting each other’s growth, and building a life together based on shared values and goals. Relationships are work and involve “loving” people throught he worst points in their lives, taking them as they are and working through things. Limerence, if no real love is there, won’t last through the trials and tribulations, as outlined in wedding vows.

So, in a nutshell, limerence is that intense infatuation that can sweep you off your feet, while love is the deep, stable connection that grows stronger with time.

Here is a great blog that speaks about limerence in great detail: Living With Limerence. It’s a great resource and an interesting and informative read on the matter, as Dr. L is a treasure trove on the topic!

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