Limerence is an involuntary state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one’s feelings reciprocated. The term limerence was coined c. 1977 by the psychologist Dorothy Tennov. The concept grew out of Tennov’s mid-1960s work, when she interviewed over 500 people on the topic of love, and was first published in her 1979 book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love.
Though there are no established preconditions for limerence, there is a high rate of coincidence between limerence, depersonalization/derealization disorders, and dysfunctional attachment environments in childhood. This might suggest that sustained exposure to a psychologically unstable environment in childhood, or unhealthy/incomplete attachment between a child and their caretakers in early life, may make an individual more susceptible to limerence. There is also a statistically significant correlation between limerence and post traumatic stress disorder.