When a crush turns into obsession, it’s probably limerence

Visual representation of having a crush
Design: Abir Hossain

There's this person. You have shared a few conversations with them. Every time you learn something new about this person, you like them a little bit more. Little by little, they occupy your mind until they are all you can think about.

You experience the thrill, the highs of falling for someone. They tick all the right boxes. You begin to think about their hobbies, what cafes they frequent, and their favourite TV shows. What rummages through your mind is whether or not they feel the same way. It may sound like "love", but it's more likely to be limerence.

Limerence is a state of all-consuming infatuation or obsession. You are consumed by your feelings and filled with emptiness. It is more likely to occur when grief and sadness overrule your life. People with childhood trauma are more prone to fall into the clutches of limerence, especially if their emotional needs were neglected as children.

Let's say a person is emotionally abused at home, and then the person their limerence is focused on spends some time talking to or even listening to them. In this limerent person's mind, this kindness is blown way out of proportion. The limerent person may replay the incident in their head over and over again, dissecting it from every angle, hunting for a sign that the other person reciprocates their feelings. 

How do you know if you're limerent? Perhaps, you think of the person all day to the point where your life and work take an unhealthy turn. You just can't help but shake off the feeling that they're everything you want in a person. Limerence makes you blind to the other person's flaws. There's a sense of desperation – you don't want even want to consider the possibility of them not liking you back. 

You're overwhelmed and feel anxious when the person isn't around you or is a little late replying to your texts. Falling prey to limerence means overlooking your own needs, wants and responsibilities. As a matter of fact, those who have fallen prey to limerence may arrange their schedules in a way that increases the possibility of encountering the limerent object. 

Despite their overwhelming attraction, the mere prospect of rejection scares them. Expressing the full extent of their emotions feels apprehensive. Limerence is a mixture of the highs of being in love and the lows of depression. Many people may even laugh at someone going through limerence because it sounds a lot like a "crush". The main difference between a crush and limerence is that a crush ends, while limerence seems never-ending. However, a limerence must end, for the sake of the limerent person's sanity, if nothing else. It is essential to gain back control over one's life, so don't be ashamed to seek help.

Zaheen equates watching productivity videos to actually getting work done. Send help at instagram.com/tasfiazuhair