Wednesday, August 23, 2006

on love : limerence : thanking dorothy tennov & j


Limerence is an involuntary cognitive and emotional state characterized primarily by intrusive thinking, longing for reciprocation, and sensitivity to external events that signify uncertainty on the one hand, and hope of reciprocation on the other. It can be experienced as intense joy or as extreme despair, depending on the perceived behavior of the "limerent object," the person whose returned feeling is desired.

It is important to note that limerence is not love in the sense of concern for the other’s well-being, nor is it mere sexual attraction.

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. In most cases it also declines, eventually to zero or to a low level. 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.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Limerence is that "falling in love" feeling. The "head over heels" rush. That period when you find everything about a person fascinating, appealing, and attractive and totally must-must-havvy. The lovely and utterly intense ache of longing for reciprocity. That's limerence. And ricebag should know.

I take huuuge comfort from the Wiki defintion above because I can confirm that this cognitive state IS involuntary and it IS instrusive and it DOES escalate. And then, when unreturned, for ricebag, it does decline to zero, and when returned ... well, that's between ricebag and her returnees.

The truth remains that ricebag to this day is fully capable of having limerent episodes ... not frequently, in fact, quite rarely, but when they do come, they can be OVERWHELMING ... to the point where every single literal waking and breathing moment circulates around the central precept that there is ONE other person on the planet at that moment in whom all possible future happiness lies.

The rush of someone new is appealing. That's human. I know it's not incredible healthy, but I do love the excruciating highs and excruciating lows of living the mental-emotional roller-coaster space in which anything is possible - it's all in the future, the pleasure of exploring someone new. However, the nature of limerance can be almost total conjecture and in that it is torture ... one innocent word or one meaningful glance can be replayed for days and reinterpreted a hundred thousand times.

Ricebag had a limerent episode last year which notched up to an utterly excruuuciating period of about a month ... and which (thanking God) has now has totally gone.

Yesterday : Ricebag mulling over her current singledom and being 'just' ok with it ... just some more blah in the daily bran of life. Also remembering how somehow limerence and having a crush can totally realign a persons stars and everything, everything ordinary, fades away.

Having been, myself, the one to suffer hugely painful limerent episodes, I am happy to say I too have been the "limerent object"in times past - and knowing that, kind of evens things out.

So as I dawdled through my yahoo email yesterday, trashing ancient mail like I was eradicating pestilence, I came across a series of emails from a lovely lovely boy, J, whom I met in London circa 2003 ... and he must have been seriously in crush over ricebag.

Below is an excerpt from a memorable email J sent me. Although we never "hooked up" J's persistence might have paid off if I wasn't already well-past-limerence and well-into-girlf stage with the lovely MagazineBoy from Munich.


I can't explain why I can't resist you, but holy fuck, I must have you. Alot. Like over and over and then a few more times, please.

Honestly, I have tried to think about you in a purely platonic way, but to no avail. I try to think about you in professional situations, like if you had to give a presentation at work. Still want you. I think about you in boring, daily, situations, like you waiting on line at the bank. Would love to have you there too. How about if you were sick, all stuffy or just grouchy? As long as you were mine, I'd take care of you, hold onto you, and never let go.

Basically, my lust for you is now at near epic proportions. When we talk or email, I may seem fine, but I'm not. When I do see you, I will try to act like a civilized human being. I think that is what you want, but it is hard to say because I can't think straight when you talk to me because all I want to do is ravage you. All I hear is "Wha, wha, wha, wha, wha". You look great when you are saying whatever it is though. Totally hot.

If you do not want to go on a very intense sexual exploration with me every time I see you, then please remember the following:

  1. Do not make direct eye contact with me.
  2. Do not smile.
  3. Do not glance in my direction,then look down at the ground, even when you think I am not looking. Trust me, I've got my eyes on you.
  4. Do not laugh at my jokes.
  5. Do not be helpful or thoughtful.
  6. Do not lick or bite your lips.
  7. Do not walk quickly past me or stand close to me so that I can smell you.
  8. Do not look "rumpled sexy" or "put together hot".
  9. Do not eat or drink anything. I think about oral then.
  10. Do not make any sounds that could be construed as sexual in any way. This means no sighing, gasping, moaning, whispering, "mmmmmm..."ing or "hmmmm..."ing. Actually, talking at all is bad because the sound of your voice gets me off.
  11. Do not ever, EVER touch me. Not even with a fingertip.

I guess that about wraps it up. I'm glad were friends. Can we fuck now?


If you've ever wanted someone really really badly and couldn't ever think of anything else - you'll identify with J. I do. Actually - J - on a second reading, you sound more in "lust" than in limerence. Either way, your note still makes me smile. At the very least it reminds me that even ricebag can make others a little crazy - and that can be very good to know.

So big platonic kiss to you J - you know who you are.


Anonymous Carolyn said...

Thanks for the new word baby! But what's the word for that infatuation that isn't sexual when you find a new friend and you're in love with them and nobody is better? And then you (well, not you or I) start sending them sms's every day and turning up at their work?

What's the word for that?

23 August, 2006 16:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEPY is the word for that.


Double EW.


23 August, 2006 16:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, this entry had me smiling then laughing out loud at the last statement! It is a letter like this when you are in love's no mans land that gives you hope for the future. Good read!

07 September, 2006 16:03  
Blogger 1986 said...

Hahaha, lmao! J's list of: 'what not to do to not get ravaged.'

10 April, 2007 21:38  

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