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Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love Paperback – December 29, 1998
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Many appear to write it off, the condition because they lack the understanding of it. for example, It's like the church trying to get a Homosexual or Lesbian to stop feeling the way they do about the same sex, it's not going to happen they are the way they are and it's not going to change because the church says so. You can't make them stop just because it doesn't feel right to you the non-limerant or the person against what is happening. It could also be much like trying to learn a new language when your not very good at knowing the first language, the one your meant to be fluent in first, before understanding another.
Limerance has been labelled Obsessive, but that is just one characteristic that doesn't fully capture what is happening. neither does being Addictive explain it, but that it is very much part of it. Others have explained a lot about the book already so I wont do that here except to say that the wrong therapist could be out of touch with exactly what your experiencing and your reality to you. In my case one was rather upset with my behaviour because she couldn't understand it and actually made me feel worse. You may find yourself banging your head against a wall - they are not taught about this word that the author has labelled Limerance, so they'll try and apply all sorts of theories and ideas that wont necessarily help you and it will leave you more frustrated (I not against these people, just when it comes to this condition). Getting an answer from the one you desire seems to be the main solution. Do you reciprocate my feelings? then you can go about the process of resolving it, if you are able to that is and the situation hasn't been made that complicated you are unable to. Hopefully they are honest with you as this can continue to cause problems if you feel they are not being honest.
I am concerned with trying to explain this to non-limerant persons as hard as it is. Try and Imagine going into business doing something you absolutely love, you have poured all your heart and soul, your resourses and money and put all your eggs into one basket. Perhaps you went into business with others and then they decided they weren't sure if they wanted to be in business. You love these people, you trust them and they have made you feel uncertain about yourself and the situation. You grew up with them, they are lifelong friends who you would do absolutely anything for. Now your torn, severely conflicted. You have hope that they will continue in business and you might say to yourself, but I'll just end the relationship. But say it's not that easy as you have invested you life, goals and savings into the business. There is no getting out of it that easily as these people are like family, like blood. It can rip you up on the inside. This is like experiencing your worst fear and your struggling to come to terms with it the way a situation like this can throw your life off track and eat you up inside, but then you may have a good day thrown in and the world is new again prospects for the business look good again (especially if business is the best thing to happen to you), but next week your back to feeling uncertain. It's not an option to walk away as much as you want to, so your stuck.
Limerance can be explained to Non-limerants like going into that business or (something that is your passion and you can't do without it).Then imagine, it has to be something you love too the point others may think your a bit mad, but you don't see it because your so engrossed and caught up in the activity. someone else comes along and tells you you can' t do that activity any longer, it's bad for your health and there are other activities that are more important but you don't hear them. It goes in one ear and out the other. You should quit but it's easier said than done. All the consequences of the activity are outwayed by the long term gains and you can see it, even if no one else can. You understand how important the activity is for you and wander why no one else can see what your doing means to you and it's much like this for someone in the clutches of limerance that is there activity above all else and what they love to do is the same as a sailor who has a love for being at sea. It's also Like telling a smoker he has to give up cigarettes and not spend the day chain-smoking. it's bad for his health and the money he is spending is too much, he's going to do it anyway and he may try to give up but ultimately some people go back to it.
This being in limerant putting a name to it has been helpful for me. This is how it struck me. I was 14 when I first met the boy I was and unfortunately am still limerant towards now. He lived near me, we caught the same bus to school and he was in my class. Two years prior to meeting him when I was in form 2 a peer did a palm reading on me and said I would marry one day. This boys name came up. So I was in high school, this boy walks away from his friends to come over and say Hi to me. then walks away again. Then in class he starts waving and blowing kisses to me. Then at the end of class his friend walks over and asks me if I like him. At that stage my limerance hadn't kicked in so I said I don't know. But it wasn't long before I was dreaming about him at night and daydreaming. His blonde hair, his blue eyes, the way his smile lit up his face and his attractive physique. When he walked I watched him and he would often walk by my desk and say hi. He kept watching me and his mates teased him about it. One of my friends asked if he liked me, he went red and ran off.....sounds like reciprocation right, the first stirring of a high school crush. So I decided to right him a letter as I was quite shy then and my friend gave it to him. then nothing I wandered if he'd changed his mind because now he ignored me. A couple of weeks later his mates were giving him s*** because he was watching me, he tried to deny his liking me and finally admitted to it to them. We watched one another from across the room, our eyes locked on one another like we were in a trance and the rest of the world ceased to exist then I realised twenty minutes had passed and others were focused on their school work. I walked out of that room like I was on a cloud 9 and I made a special soundtrack of songs about him that reminded me of us.
Then again I was thrown into the depths of despair as his friends didn't like me and I wandered if I'd done anything wrong. Now I felt even worse because I had fallen for him even more. As usual same thing happened again, he would look at me and smile and walk passed me and say hi, those eyes of his would draw me in and melt my heart and I would be consumed all over again, walking on sunshine. then what do you know I'm in the depths of hell it felt like that for a long time and I had to think what I could do to win him back. I decided I would do it through my school speech and what do you know he decided he wanted to be friends. I was such a nervous wreck every time he came and spoke to me but I was still in love. We went on a school ski trip to the snow and he even helped me up when I fell on the snow, that's nice I thought. The touch of his handmade me believe the fact he had touched me meant he loves me and that sent shivers down my spine and he also showed interest that we were the same size shoe, wow I thought. Then he was talking with his friends later, after such a nice day out. He was saying I don't know if I like her any more (Me) and I just wanted to die. I felt macabre death thoughts coming on and I thought I would pass out. Some of you are probably thinking, why not walk away from the situation it's that easy. But see it wasn't that easy, the universe had said we were meant to be together. But still this kept happening with him, given hope then thrown into despair. There was something about him like he'd cast a magic spell on me to which I couldn't escape. He would come and talk to me, look at me with those eyes, make me feel whole and then freeze me out again. I was left in limbo like a merry go round other things happened, that is just some of it. but I've been hook, line and sinker. I left school and tried to forget him and then a friend said she had spoken to him. He said that he had a crush on me in school but couldn't admit to it because of his friends. Well that set me off again, writing to him and then receiving no response. I continued to hope I would see him again. I also tried to call him as he had once to me. But he's never said to leave him alone that he didn't like me, even though I've incessantly wrote to him. I tried getting into other relationships, I've had some that have lasted many years but I never felt complete in Body, Heart, Mind and soul. So when I went back to the high school I left 21 years ago, who should turn be there again but, this time working there but that guy and here I am as though it all happened yesterday as I tried to navigate my way adolescence and now adulthood back to square one with him. He looked at me his blonde hair, those blue eyes and still a nice physique and he smiled at me and said hi, now I am under his spell again. There is no definite treatment plan. I take medication to help with my thoughts. It's like having Bi-polar/Psychosis and anxiety for me with hope and uncertainty from him. Taking substances is the only way I can deal with it while we are working in the same environment. It is still a daily struggle but I understand what is happening and have to work at putting my thoughts aside, though psychoactive drugs. until more research is undertaken and a cure is found this will have to do for me. But it may not be right for everyone. Being in the presence of your love object seems to exaggerate your feelings well not seeing them can also be just as debilitating. This book will help to understand what is happening to you but it won't necessarily cure you, just being aware could help you in putting strategies in place for yourself or to avoid your triggers. More helpful than what any health professional had to say to me as they wrote it off. I am trying to build a relationship with myself, I know I deserve better than this. But it is a struggle to get on top of it and work through it. More people need to take notice, especially professionals and actually take this at face value that would help with the stigma of this condition Limerance. It's the only book I have read that has been able to fully explain what I am going through. I've been labelled with so many things and I always wandered why nothing in the world has been more important than how he has felt about me. Not even a job or a holiday or money or eating, anything. It has been that severe, believe me. If you are truly limerant you will get it. Dorothy Tennov thank you always for making me feel like I haven't completely lost my mind. (Ethics in his job as Guidance Counsellor now mean my Love Object and I can't have a conversation face to face, as the situation has become that complicated, hence my pills to cope.) If you feel you can relate to my story this could be the book for you.
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