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Are You A Hopeless Romantic Or Are You In A State Of Limerence? TikTok's Latest Dating Term

Attention, girlies! A new TikTok dating term just dropped: “limerence.” Now, typically, when there’s a new trending word or phrase about relationships, I just roll my eyes and move on. But the latest one actually stopped me in my tracks. In a viral TikTok, creator Danielle Walter explained that limerence is an “unhealthy obsession or infatuation without the facts.”

I thought I was just a hopeless romantic but it turns out that I’m typically in a state of limerence when I like someone. I think about them all the time, make up scenarios about them constantly in my head, and feel myself clinging to them even if I might not know them all too well.

Well, because that seems to be my baseline for how I feel about people I’m crushing on, I decided to consult an expert to try and figure out what is limerence? And why it might happen to certain people. 

What Is Limerence?

@daniellewalter_ Anxious attached girlies unite ✨💅🏻🫶🏻 #anxiousattachment #anxiousattachmentstyle #limerence #therapytiktok ♬ original sound – Danielle Walter

“A limerence is a stage of having intense longing, craving or desire for someone …  without the other person fully reciprocating,” relationship expert Nicole Moore tells Betches. “You may feel obsessed or unable to think about anything other than your crush, which may feel very out of your control.” She says it typically causes you to ignore important things in your life due to an obsessive focus on this person

I don’t know about you, but this happens to me alllll the time.  And considering that I have an anxious attachment style, this makes total sense. “Limerence and anxious attachment style are closely linked as those with anxious attachment are more prone to limerence because they tend to have anxious and obsessive thoughts about their romantic interests,” Moore says. So when you have an anxious attachment style, you’re probably constantly having anxious thoughts about your crush — and they probably feel uncontrollable. As someone who literally can’t ever turn her brain off, I can definitely empathize. 

“One of the commonalities between anxious attachment and limerence is that often, you may feel chemically addicted to the highs and lows of your crush, and you are more addicted to those persons than to the actual person since in most cases you don’t really know the person enough to truly have strong feelings for them,” Moore says. Sheesh. Do you feel personally attacked? Because I do. 

Why Does Limerence Happen?

fairly odd parents
Image Credit: Nickelodeon

It all goes back to how you feel about yourself. Moore says that it’s typically people who have mental health issues (hi, it’s me) or have trouble forming connections with themselves who use obsessing over someone else as a way to fill a void in their lives. And as always, it, of course goes back to your childhood and your parents. If you had a parental figure who caused you to feel some sort of abandonment, those feelings are probably manifesting and popping up all over your love life many years later. BRB, adding this to my list of grievances against my dad. 

“[These people] may want committed love, but to them, love is constant longing without receiving what they want back, so that’s what they recreate in romantic relationships as an adult,” Moore says. 

So next time you feel your obsession kick in over your new crush, take a step back and think, “Are they really the love of my life, or do I just need to curse out my dad?”

JUST KIDDING! Moore says, “A great question to keep in mind is: Are my feelings for them bigger than they should be, given how much, or how little, they have given me thus far?”

Basically, the only way to really keep limerence in check is reality. And if it’s hard to hold yourself accountable, try talking to good friends who have your best interest at heart. Nothing will snap me back to reality like my girlfriends telling me I’m being delusional. 

And sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is try to make your life as fulfilling as possible. “One of the best ways to keep your feelings in check when you have a crush or experience limerence is to fill your life with positive feelings so the positive feelings you get from the crush don’t feel quite so important,” Moore says.

So get a pet, get drinks with friends, start yoga, or take a hot girl walk — the happier you are, the less you’ll rely on your stupid crush to make you feel good. 

Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad is a sex & dating writer at Betches despite not remembering the last time she was in a relationship. Just take her word for it.