Limerence is a term used to describe an intense and involuntary emotional state in which a person becomes infatuated or obsessed with another individual. I write often about limerence as I completely healed from it and hope that my work helps heal others going through the same. Much of what I write though, is based on limerence for a real-life person.
I’ve not really touched on celebrity limerence – which is a HUGE thing, always has been but I suspect, has become worse due to the amount of time people are spending online and how isolated and lonely people are these days.
And if you’ve read my limerence work enough, you will know that social isolation, loneliness, a desire for connection and an inner need for status/looks/fame etc because it leads to happiness and freedom. All these are perfect ingredients for a limerence storm – because when you are socially isolated and alone with your thoughts, fantasies can take root and grow.
When you are constantly alone with your thoughts, not socialising with people outside of celebrity gossip/pop culture communities, your online communities the only place where you actually interact with others – there are no checks and balances for your behaviour. These communities essentially serve as echo chambers. Your fantasies are reinforced by what others – similar to you in their limerence for celebs – are sharing. Thus there is no healthy gauge for what is or isn’t “normal”.
If you’re thinking – “Oh, we’ve all had crushes on celebs when we were younger, it’s no big deal!” I’m not talking about those. Limerence for a celeb hits differently, as the limerent individual actually desires to be a part of this celeb’s real world, date and be a part of their lives romantically.
if you’ve ever been limerent for a celeb (no shame, I have, for quite a big part of my life, and I share my story here), and you are starting to wonder why, here are several reasons why it happens
Are you limerent for a celeb? Are you on the brink of healing? Take this quiz and find out more!
#1 Pursuit of a specific feeling or outcome. Projection and idealization
Celebrities are often portrayed in the media as flawless, perfect, and larger-than-life figures. They are always seen dolled up, styled to the nines, living glamourous lives, with the adulation/adoration of so many, are filthy-rich and seem to be able to do whatever they want.
Keywords are “seem” and “portrayed”. So whilst some people do recognise that alot of what a celeb represents and shows up as is just all superficial, smoke-and-mirrors, many people idealise them because they want that sort of life for themselves. They want the perfection, the wealth, the attractiveness. They want to be romantically entangled with such a person.
Because in their minds, this is what will lead to happiness for them. Being in a relationship with someone so famous/wealthy would mean the fame/wealth would rub off on them too, it’d make them feel so special to be with someone like that. This happens when you pedestalise someone, and many celeb worshippers put their celebs on a pedestal. So to have this pedestalised human being fall in love with you must feel amazing.
Many of those who are limerent for celebs want love, and they want happiness, freedom, wealth, fame etc; and have no idea how or do not want to attain it for themselves in real-life. It’s safer to just idealise and daydream from afar.
#2 Unattainability, out-of-reach and unavailability
The fact that celebrities are distant and usually inaccessible to the general public can add to their allure. The unattainability of their status can enhance the feelings of desire and longing in the limerent person. This is the epitome of emotional unavailability, which limerent individuals usually are and which is a key ingredient in limerent behaviour.
Celebs have a certain air of mystery – you never truly know who they are as people, what keeps them up at night, how they look like first thing in the morning, how are they like in a relationship. Most of us will never be privy to this sorta information. Even if you hear rumours, you can never really verify them.
Another perfect situation for limerence to occur, as you can project whatever you want to on the celeb without any blowbacks and repercussions. Many fans take “signs” from the celebs interviews, videos, appearances and cobble them together to form an idea of the celeb in their heads, which they project their thoughts and affections on.
This can set up a limerent situation which lasts for decades and some fans will even vehemently deny that the celeb is capable of any wrongdoing, even if such stories come to light.
The thing to remember though, is you can never be loyal to or truly vouch for the behaviour and actions of someone you do not know at all in real-life. These people aren’t present in your lives – you can’t call them to confide in them, you can’t just text them and ask them to hang out and they aren’t gonna help you pay your bills (in fact you are helping them pay theirs).
#3 Escapism from real-life through fantasy
As I’ve said many times before, limerence is built on loneliness and a lack of social connection and connection with oneself. Fantasy and maladaptive dreaming also figure heavily in limerence situations. Celebs provide the perfect fantasy fodder for many people, serving as a form of escapism from the realities of everyday life.
There is a certain comfort and joy when engaging or indulging in something that makes us happy and that can put the pain and reality of our day-to-day out of our minds for abit. I can totally sympathise because back when my parents were going through some terrible times when I was younger, I’d disappear into good fiction and drama for hours, as it provided me relief from the anxiety and stress of their unpredictable fights.
Where it starts to get unproductive and dangerous is when these fantasies start to take over reality (which it does in many limerent cases) and you are constantly escaping your reality to disappear into fantasy. This gets worse over time as
- Many people start taking their fantasies as real (our minds can’t tell the difference)
- You keep putting off the problems in your real-life Maybe you can’t do much about your situation, but are there other productive ways of spending your time? Yes, there are.
The thing about fantasies and escapism is that usually we end up escaping into an activity/behaviour/habit that is more detrimental than it is productive.
#4 Lack of real-world connections
The sad reality about many limerent-for-celeb situations is that some people may experience limerence for celebrities due to a lack of fulfilling relationships in their personal lives. Focusing on a celebrity allows them to experience emotions and passion without the complexities of real-world relationships.
Real relationships and friendships are tough – people could be unpredictable, reject you, get your feelings hurt. But a celeb? they can never do that, they only exist on the screen and in our minds, and this version of them can be whoever we want them to be. We can freely project our thoughts and desires onto them without much consequence.
The thing about limerence is that usually the individual craves and yearns for in-person connection, but for a variety of reasons are unable to or do not want to pursue such connections.
The celeb is always the safe choice. But the thing is, a celeb is never gonna be there for you in a way that someone who is physically present and engaged in your life could. You can’t text the celeb when you are feeling down or tell them about the crappy day you had at work – you can only passively consume their content and escape.
This results in a very unfulfilling cycle where there can never be closure. You yearn for connection –> don’t have it in real-life –> consume celeb content to escape and feel better –> your problem is still there + your desire to connect with the celeb will never be reciprocated.
It’s just a lose-lose situation. Solution? Stop trying to seek comfort from a celeb and instead channel that energy, emotion and desire to improving your social and personal skills and making friends in real-life. Initiate hang-outs, be present in people’s lives, greenlight friendships and personal connections.
If you struggle with connecting with others, that usually points to not being connected with yourself deep down. Work on recognising and accepting yourself, as well as on rebuilding your self-esteem (most limerent individual suffer from a poor sense of self and low self-confidence). If you’d like to start today, grab my workbook-cum-guide below.
Self-love is one of the biggest cures to Limerence and Attracting Healthy Love. Grab your guide/workbook below today and start creating an amazing connection with yourself!
#5 Parasocial relationships: A false sense of familiarity and emotional connection
As I mentioned above, people often form one-sided relationships with celebrities through media consumption, such as watching their movies, following them on social media, or reading about their lives. This creates a sense of familiarity and emotional connection, even though the celebrity is not aware of the individual’s existence.
I was a Korean-pop (K-pop) fan for years and these fandoms will be rife with people posting “evidence” that a certain singer is a certain way or is interested in someone because of what they say in the media, in (heavily scripted) interviews, how they behave on stage in a concert for fans etc.
Consuming too much of these types of content of a specific person makes you think you are seeing a running reel of how they really are. It creates a false sense of connection and familiarity to them. What many do not realise is that alot of these situations which are conducted in front of a camera, mind you, and controlled by entertainment agencies are usually not even representative of the celeb’s true personality or their relationships with others.
You are basically breeding familiarity and emotional connection with a persona, not a real person. You will never know who the real person is, as lots of celebs play off carefully-crafted personas to increase their marketability which helps them and their agencies make more money.
#6 Emotional resonance & their art
Something that fans will often tell you – celebrities often have a profound impact on people’s lives through their work, art, or advocacy. Their words, actions, or performances can deeply resonate with fans and trigger strong emotional responses.
The words of an actor in an interview and the lyrics that some singers write can be deeply moving and capture a specific emotion or situation that we are going through in life.
Whilst I can understand being grateful to them and appreciating their art, I draw the line at fantasising about them simply because they are good at something. You can admire someone and appreciate their talent without having to start getting limerence for them.
Instead, use them as role models that have qualities you aspire to and who have talents you may want to emulate.
Limerence for a celeb is becoming increasingly common. Many people tend to think it is just a crush, but often these limerent episodes can last for decades and consume much of your life.
I’ve known people who have been limerent for specific celebs for most of their teens to their 30s, and if you are like this, you are truly missing out on life. Think about the amount of time you are wasting and the amount of life you are not truly living but wasting instead on someone who will never be there for you in the way that you want them to. All the friends, lovers you could have, all the dreams you could have accomplished in that time.
Truthbomb that some people may not be able to accept. Limerence for a celeb actually never works out in the way that you want – you will never date or marry them. Many of them are not who you think they are. You can always appreciate their talent without desiring any romantic partnership from them. Instead, use the time and energy to better your life and improve the connection with yourself.