from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. (noun) An involuntary state of mind which seems to result from a romantic attraction for another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated.
Those overtaken by limerence experience obsessive longing for another person. They subject the other person to often irrationally positive evaluations. They develop a degree of emotional dependency on the object of their obsession. And they interpret even the slightest sign of affection in the other as a declaration of reciprocal love. But the love is imaginary.
Unlike limerence, phobophilia has a dead obvious etymology, which is why I assumed it was already in use.
Limerence subsides if the love is returned, but the researchers say for unrequited love, their advice is to cut off contact and hope that time will lessen its disruptive effects.
'Limerence' was coined by Dorothy Tennov, a professor of psychology, in 1977. Tennov says that the word 'has no roots whatsoever.'