What Is It Called When You Want Affection?

Limerence, a term coined by psychologist Dorothy Tennov in 1977, refers to the cognitive and emotional state of being intensely infatuated or obsessed with another person. This state is often experienced involuntarily, with individuals feeling an overwhelming desire for reciprocation of their feelings. Limerence can be seen as a near-obsessive form of romantic love, where the person experiencing it longs for affection, attention, and emotional connection from the object of their desires. It’s a complex and often tumultuous state that can consume a person's thoughts, desires, and actions, leading to a heightened emotional and psychological state.

Why Do I Really Want Affection?

The desire for affection stems from our innate need for connection and belonging. As social beings, we crave human interaction and validation. Affection provides a sense of comfort, reassurance, and emotional support that can be deeply fulfilling. It allows us to feel seen, heard, and valued by someone else, which in turn boosts our self-esteem and overall well-being.

It acts as a glue that binds two people together, fostering intimacy, trust, and understanding. It creates a safe space where both parties can express vulnerability and openly share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Affectionate gestures, such as hugging, kissing, and holding hands, can also enhance the physical connection between partners, promoting intimacy and sexual satisfaction.

Research has shown that receiving affectionate touch can release hormones like oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” which promotes feelings of bonding and happiness. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness, while also improving overall mental health and emotional well-being.

It forms the foundation of meaningful connections and relationships, providing emotional support, intimacy, and a sense of belonging. Whether it’s a fleeting desire for a hug or a long-term need for consistent affection, acknowledging and honoring these needs can lead to greater happiness and fulfillment in our lives.

The Importance of Self-Affection and Self-Love: Exploring the Role of Self-Care and Self-Compassion in Fulfilling Our Own Need for Affection

The experience of desiring affection and feeling a need for love is natural and common to all humans. However, it’s important to remember that while external affection from others is valuable, our own self-affection and self-love play a vital role in fulfilling this need.

Self-affection refers to the act of giving love and care to oneself. It involves recognizing our own worth, being kind and gentle to ourselves, and meeting our own emotional needs. By practicing self-care and self-compassion, we can develop a deep sense of inner fulfillment and happiness.

Self-care involves taking intentional actions to nurture our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This can include activities such as engaging in hobbies we enjoy, practicing mindfulness or meditation, seeking support from loved ones, setting boundaries, and prioritizing rest and relaxation.

Self-compassion, on the other hand, is the practice of treating ourselves with kindness, understanding, and empathy, especially during times of difficulty or failure. It involves recognizing that we’re imperfect beings and embracing our flaws and mistakes with a sense of understanding and forgiveness.

By cultivating self-affection and self-love through practices like self-care and self-compassion, we create a strong foundation of love and acceptance within ourselves. This not only enhances our overall well-being, but also allows us to form healthier and more fulfilling relationships with others.

Ultimately, acknowledging and fulfilling our own need for affection starts with developing a loving and compassionate relationship with ourselves. By practicing self-affection and self-love, we can create a nurturing and supportive internal environment that allows us to thrive.

Craving constant attention and affection is a human need that’s often rooted in low self-esteem and the desire for external validation. When you’ve low self-esteem or self-worth, you may feel unworthy or valueless, leading to a deep craving for attention and affection from others. Seeking external validation becomes a way to temporarily alleviate feelings of insecurity and gain a sense of worth and acceptance.

Why Do I Need Constant Attention and Affection?

The desire for constant attention and affection can stem from a variety of underlying factors. One possible explanation is low self-esteem and the need for external validation. When you’ve low self-esteem, you may feel unworthy or inadequate, leading you to seek validation and reassurance from others. By constantly seeking attention and affection, you may be hoping to fill a void within yourself and feel more valued and loved.

Craving affection could also be a way to cope with feelings of loneliness or emptiness.

Furthermore, past experiences may contribute to this longing for affection. If you’ve experienced neglect or abandonment in your past, you may have developed a fear of rejection or a heightened need for reassurance. Seeking constant attention and affection can act as a defense mechanism, guarding against the potential pain of being rejected or abandoned once again.

For example, if you grew up in an environment where love and affection were conditional or scarce, you may have internalized the belief that you need constant reassurance and attention to be loved and valued. This conditioning can manifest in adulthood as a persistent need for affection.

It’s important to recognize and address these underlying causes in order to develop healthier coping mechanisms and cultivate a stronger sense of self-worth and emotional well-being.

The Connection Between Trauma and the Need for Constant Attention and Affection

  • The impact of trauma on the need for constant attention and affection
  • Understanding the relationship between trauma and the desire for ongoing care
  • Examining the link between past traumatic experiences and the search for continuous support
  • Exploring how trauma influences the need for unceasing attention and affection
  • Considering the connection between past trauma and the constant craving for love and reassurance
  • Recognizing the relationship between traumatic events and the persistent need for care and affection
  • Investigating how past traumas can lead to an ongoing need for attention and affection
  • Understanding the psychological impact of trauma on the desire for continuous attention and affection
  • Exploring the correlation between traumatic experiences and the constant need for support and affection
  • Examining how trauma can shape an individual’s longing for constant attention and affection

Source: Why Do I Crave Affection? | Love Addiction Retreat


In conclusion, the longing for affection and the intense desire for reciprocation of one's emotions can be attributed to a state known as limerence. This complex cognitive and emotional state goes beyond ordinary infatuation and enters into the realm of obsession and near-obsessive romantic love. It’s a profound longing for emotional connection and attachment, one that’s often experienced involuntarily and can be both exhilarating and overwhelming.