Romantic Infatuation (Limerence)

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
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Limerence, or romantic infatuation, is a state of mind sometimes referred to as “being in love”. Limerence is, however, distinguishable from love, in that love generally involves concern for the loved one's welfare and feelings with little or no expectation of gain in return, while limerence demands reciprocation. While common in humans, limerence has not been observed in apes. Friendships between adult males and females have been observed in chimpanzees. It is possible that it has not been observed simply because it manifests itself in way that humans cannot or have not yet perceived.


Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are defined in 2017 as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25,000 - 30,000 thousand (25 - 30 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6,000 - 8,000 thousand (6 - 8 million) years ago
  • the emergence of the genus Homo was 2,000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 500 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 - 300 thousand years ago

Definite Appearance: 
200 thousand years ago
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  1. Is the Romantic–Sexual Kiss a Near Human Universal?, Jankowiak, W., Volsche S., and Garcia J. , American Anthropologist, 07/2015, Volume 117, Issue 3, p.535-39, (2015)