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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I joined this thread I have had something on my mind. I have a little theory about INTJs and love which is related to the concept of limerence. I mentioned in another thread that love, with all of its subjective ambiguity, is the objective thinker’s kryptonite.

Limerence was coined by the psychologist Dorothy Tennov and refers to a particular cognitive state which is interpreted as a kind of “love”. My theory is that because of cognitive process of INTJs, limerence is a very common experience among this personality type. In addition, I think INTJs tend to prefer a semi-limerent state when it comes to love, which is characterized by loving a person at a distance and being more comfortable with fixating on the “idea” of being intimate/loving them than committing to this fully in reality. This is not to say that INTJs are not capable of the other kinds of love and affection which psychologists term as affinity, affectionate love, and platonic love.


I first heard the term “limerence” while reading on the INTJforum [different web site], as it was a very, very popular topic of conversation. Limerence is defined as “an involuntary cognitive and emotional state of intense romantic desire for another person…to describe the ultimate, near-obsessive form of romantic love. Limerence is sometimes also referred to as infatuation. The concept is an attempt at a scientific study into the nature of romantic love. Limerence can often be what is meant when one expresses having intense feelings of attachment and preoccupations with the love object. It can be experienced as intense joy or as extreme despair, depending on whether the feelings are reciprocated.”


Beyond this basic description, limerence is specifically characterized by intrusive thinking [obsessing], hope for reciprocation but uncertainty of this, fear of rejection, game-playing and sexuality [i.e. you must be sexually attracted to the limerent object, or the limerent object [desired person] is a potential partner].
Limerence, according to Tennov has a cycle, a “composite reaction” which takes place over time and the details of which are interesting, but I won’t delve too much into here. The most important fact is that limerence can go on for a long time, years in fact, until something changes the dynamic in the thought process of the person in the limerent state.


Another important factor in limerence and I think a key one for INTJs is bonding. According to Tennov there are three basic types of bonding:


affectional bond – in which neither partner in an affectionate sexual relationship is limerent, nor is there intrusive thinking or other aspect of limerence by either partner. These relationships are ostensibly healthy and content.


limerent-nonlimerent bonding - these bonds are characterized by unequal reciprocation [and make up the bulk of relationships].


Limerent-limerent bonding – where both partners experience aspects of intrusive thinking, anxiety, elation and other aspects of limerence. Tennov believed this to be an "unstable state" that mutually limerent bonds would be expected to be short-lived.


I believe there is a connection between the propensity for deep thought in the INTJ and the prevalence of limerent states among this personality type.. It may also explain the INTJs preference for relationships with space, or even long distance relationships. It’s as though the emotionally detached cognitive process also applies to love and intimacy. INTJs tend to think as deeply about their feelings of love and attraction as they do feel them. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Again, not all INTJs are this way as some have found other kinds of emotional attachment/relationship and are comfortable with them.


Limerence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sexes: Let's Fall in Limerence - TIME
 

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This is such a thought provoking subject. I have had to step back from myself and think about this objectively about how I relate to this subject.

I think a state of this type of relating is very much an IxTx parralle...I am just not sure where the line of a normal type of relating this way stops and unhealthy begins.

If I think about my prior intimate relationships....there were 2 marriages (both cheaters), one for 11 yrs/the other 6 yrs. One 6 month long dating relationship, where I was 10 years older (this was post 2nd marriage divorce) and a nearly 5 yr long emotional relationship that I just cut ties from.

I suppose the last one, which is the one I feel is the only one I was truly in love with had ties to this type of love...although it was recipricated. There are a lot of details to it, it didnt happen that way by choice...but I do see almost an element of it...to keep us going for a long as we have.

Actually, one of our last conversations was debating how REALISTIC our expectations were of the other based on our relationship being based on what it was for so long.

Anyhow...thank you for posting this. I need to think on it more and I look forward to other replies. :happy:
 

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I think perhaps when I was young and naive I had a little obsession with a guy. I rang him up a couple of times to chat. He told a friend he thought I was strange...LOL. I never did that again.:blushed:

I guess I have been chased by men until I relented after that. I have never wanted to feel that uncomfortable again. I figured that if someone can accept this "strangeness" which is me then they will have to show interest first. I often get confused about whether men like the way I look or the way I think (or if they understand what the hell I am on about).

I have been after companionship and an equal partnership where no-one is sniping for control. I'm just too busy to fall into a heap with idealised love. I haven't actually achieved companionship where there is sex involved. I might be too retarded to figure out why.:mellow:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The topic of limerence and INTJs is interesting. The INTJforum has entire threads dedicated to it. I started thinking about it again and the connection to a lot of comments I have been seeing especially from the female INTJs about feeling stronger emotions after the relationship had ended, or prefering long distance relationships These are kind of semi-limerent relationships almost, where the idea of the person can be entertained, but there is a distance, psychological or physical that supports that mental state.

I think INTJs are prone to limerence because of their cognitive process and reticence to express emotion. In the other forum there are a lot of threads devoted to limerence and the explicit inability to express emotions. Of course there are also a bunch of INTJs that will shrug off the whole theory and say no way, not me I NEVER get like that over anyone. Right.

I don't generally like to talk about my emotional responses to anything. I'll give you my opinion all day, that's not personal. So it's difficult for me to admit, but I have experienced limerence and frankly it sucks. I am not a particularly spontaneous person, so when I start having feelings for a person, they develop gradually and always stem from my intellectual affinity which I have with them. The whole experience was emotionally exhausting, but part of me enjoyed the depth of what I felt, as painful as it was sometimes.

I have three very similar experiences, with people that I strongly desired, but couldn't express it, realize it. I probably could just have had a physical "fling". In fact I know I could have in probably all of the cases. But I needed the distance and to idealize them, think about them. These feelings went on for a long time. I didn't want it to be petty, I was putting it all on a pedestal.

The flipside of that is I have been in long relationships and not felt those strong limerent emotions, although I have been content. I almost feel like it's too content sometimes.
 

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So the question I am left with is.......what makes it cross into this?

With my LDR, I would have gobbled in up in a minute had the situation been correct...I wanted a NORMAL relationship with him. Our situation and distance didnt allow it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So the question I am left with is.......what makes it cross into this?

With my LDR, I would have gobbled in up in a minute had the situation been correct...I wanted a NORMAL relationship with him. Our situation and distance didnt allow it.
Gosh, I am not sure exactly. I think in your case you both knew how the other felt and it was just the distance? I'm very clueless when it comes to matters of the heart.

( I hope you're feeling better today amiga :happy:)
 
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Whoa.....
Just read the wikipedia article on limerence. That is EXACTLY what I am going through right now. Thank you. Now I know that other people have felt like this, and that I'm not crazy :mellow:

The limerent object in my case is unattainable (at least romantically). So all my hope stuff stems from the hope of regular friendship.

INTJs being particularly prone to limerence? Hard to say. Limerence involves a lot of powerful emotions that many INTJs seem to claim that they don't have :dry:

This is my first experience with limerence and I'm very confused. How long has limerence lasted for you all? I want this emotional upheaval to end, but it's kind of been amazing at the same time. Agh.... This all makes so little sense :sad:
 
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Oh my freaking lord of all things unholy....since answering this yesterday. I actually caught myself doing a wistful thinking spiral on this very thing....I had no idea I actually did this. There is someone I run into every now and then and there is some kind of connection.....

The thing is this: I censor myself to the point of what is practical. As soon as it arrives (the thought) I tell it to shut up. Then I am over it. I can talk myself out of anything it seems.:blushed:

a nice quote I borrowed from a friend: "My life would be shit if it weren't for denial"
 

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I would say this applies to my "passing fancies", but only when the likely relationship is perceived failure. The one relationship where I felt like this describes, it could be said that I was more clingy. I hated the idea of distance and wanted to be near her whenever possible. Any potential mate since then I could say I have felt as described, but in each instance I compared what I found attractive to what I had found attractive in my previous relationship. In each case the "passing fancy" failed the comparison and the feeling was forcefully weeded out.

I have however viewed such feelings as undeveloped. A misunderstanding of my own emotional/psychological lusts. Attraction/lust comes in three fazes; emotionally, psychologically, and physically. Any one of these can lead to the feelings described in someone with limited understanding of those feelings. I think real attraction is when you are faced with all three, any other form of attraction after that is pale in comparison. As long as you have not experienced the three fold attraction you won't know what you are looking for, and can fall for anything that is better than previous experiences.

Personally I think what we are talking about is a failure to comprehend love. As such our already limited depth of emotion is overwhelmed by lower levels of stimulation. You have to comprehend the reality of love before you can tell the difference between "infatuation" and love.

Personally I have come to the conclusion that:
Sacrifice = Love.
The more you are willing to sacrifice the more you love. I would die for just about anyone,its my nature to sacrifice for the sake of others, so that doesn't count. The question is, who will I live for? Who would I sacrifice anything and everything for? That ultimately will be the person I love. Compared to that thought process Limerence doesn't hold a candle. "An INTJ sacrifice willingly for the ideals, dreams, sake of another? Pfft, never!" That is why it takes us so damn long to figure out what love really is. Doesn't mean that we have to actually make the sacrifices, just that when the time comes that you wouldn't care if you did, then you are in love.

I have experienced limerence twice since this realization and it felt... hollow/empty. All the same experiences I had felt before when faced with someone who had an "interesting" personality, or was highly "intelligent", but it just didn't carry the weight it used to. I suppose I'm more stagnant than ever, but now I know what I am looking for, and its not the other person, its how I will react when I meet her.
 

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Gosh, I am not sure exactly. I think in your case you both knew how the other felt and it was just the distance? I'm very clueless when it comes to matters of the heart.

( I hope you're feeling better today amiga :happy:)
I am not sure either....but I do know I idealize. I think that is part of the INTx nature.

And thanks, coping......*sigh* :happy:
 

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Limerence

I didn't know this word, thank you.

I definitely do this, but it is rare that i find someone i like this way.

I desire a limerent-limerent relationship. I have been in two and it was right for me.

I have considered a non-non relationship, but as much as i might respect and appreciate a person for who they are i would not believe it to be love. I would think this kind of relationship to be one of convenience.

To say something i've said before, i find that i am a machine with no power source. I know my purpose and what i can do but i just don't do it. Being in a limerent relationship i tend to do what needs to be done.

I suppose that suggests im P alone and J together which isn't actually true. But if we were to say that INTJs have a limited amount of energy that they store and use carefully then my resources of energy are greatly increased by such a relationship.

Maybe thinking about this will change the way i think.

 

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I see limerance as a natural state that all types fall into now and again. Sometimes it ends, sometimes it matures into love. How long it lasts or how frequently it occurs might me type related however.:mellow:
 

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I have recently discovered that I have almost certainly been in limerence for more than 8 years and I'm still at it.

It may be the idealised image of the loving partner but I wouldn't recommend it, the effects on the body and mind are incredibly draining and marginalizing. It is a case of altruisim gone too far leading to positions which are completely unrational and unjustifiable.

From what I have read it seems that INTJs aren't especially prone to catching it, merely that we will continue it onto the extreme (as we do).

I have yet to find a cure; how does one unconvince a rational-idealist? Who knows :laughing:
 

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I have yet to find a cure; how does one unconvince a rational-idealist? Who knows :laughing:
I found the cure is simple Rationalizing (Ironic, isn't it?)
Rationalize the hell out of the cons and reasons why it wouldn't work out. If you can manage that (without convincing yourself the cons aren't that bad) you can eventually break it. But it takes a long time to manage that.
 

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I have this with a guy. I scold myself for the thoughts i sometimes get about..stuff, just like somewhere i read above. :blushed: :laughing:
 

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Out of interest, what is the difference between love and limerance and can one lead to the other, and how can you tell which one you have especially if you don't have much experience in this field?
To do like all good students do these days and quote directly from Wikipedia, limerance is 'an involuntary cognitive and emotional state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, ... and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one's feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship'. In laymans terms it's having a crush on someone, but one that is explored internally on a number of levels without it ever being expressed externally. Given your cognitive processes, it's a completely natural to experience this sort of thing. If you wish to escalate the situation, the best advice I could give is to make it happen yourself. include yourself in your limerance's sphere, get them to notice you, and make the move. The worse thing they could do is call the police and beat you up til they show up. What they're FAR more likely to do is be reasonable and either say yes or no. Heck, I've had one situation where the tables reversed, and a girl I was limerating over started expressing an interest in me when I was unavailable. I only worked this out years later, but 20/20 hindsight and all that....
 

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I have this with a guy. I scold myself for the thoughts i sometimes get about..stuff, just like somewhere i read above. :blushed: :laughing:
There is nothing wrong with feeling these things. There's not even anything wrong with letting them affect your actions. Any INTJ who has been in limerance and lies about it not affecting their actions is either a liar or living a monastic life, and I question the validity of such free availablity of net access to monastics.

The feelings aren't wrong or bad or invalid. They're your feelings, which means they're important to you.

Farnarkle! I hope I didn't sound too much like Doctor Phil there....
 

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Ah ok i think I got the difference now ( i think) and yeah I think i am suffering from it, it bloody annoying and doesn't help that I see all time ( damn school and having the same friend group) :frustrating:
 
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