Back in 1975, an American psychologist, Dorothy Tennov introduced a concept that she referred to as Limerence, in her book, Love and Limerence – the Experience of Being in Love. Limerence refers to an involuntary cognitive and emotional state of intense romantic desire for another person and describes the ultimate, near-obsessional form of love.
According to Tennov there are two types of Limerence. One is affectionate, such as a love for a child or pet. The other is romantic and is the primary focus of this writing. She has stated that limerence may last for weeks or months. This condition in an individual may be mutual or unrequited. The most important fact is that the state of limerence is seldom permanent and eventually moves into the second stage of of the romantic process, which is frustration. If you have not yet listened to Eckhart Tolle’s perspective on this topic, you may do so here.
This stage of the romantic process, that is, frustration, seems to be the most critical.
This is the point at which the proverbial honeymoon ends and reality begins. Instead of the relationship focusing solely on pleasing each other, now the focus slowly turns to what is missing. How this stage is handled will determine whether the relationship will grow into a stable, loving partnership, or will move to the next stage. The next stage is depression. This is often the point at which many will seek relationship or individual counseling.
Failure at this point to seek a solution to relationship problems most often brings about the final stage of the relationship, demoralization. A relationship that is permitted to reach this fourth level is most generally irretrievable.
Keep in mind that this is a simple generalization of a commonly experienced relationship process. None of this is written in stone on an individual level. There will always be exceptions. The concept presented may be used as a guide and a resource as one attempts to successfully work through relationship issues. The real work, the real challenge begins with the frustration period. This is the period prior to the building of resentments where agreements and commitments must be made. Communication is so very important at this point. Here is where fear creates denial but courage creates acceptance, resulting in understanding and negotiation, if necessary. Genuine love, not limerence can be the result.