Dorothy Tennov

Dorothy Tennov (August 29, 1928 – February 3, 2007) was an American psychologist who, in her 1979 book Love and Limerence – the Experience of Being in Love introduced the term "limerence". During her years of research into romantic love experiences, she obtained thousands of personal testimonies from questionnaires, interviews, and letters from readers of her writing, in an attempt to support her hypothesis that a distinct and involuntary psychological state occurs identically among otherwise normal persons across cultures, educational level, sex, and other traits. Tennov emphasized that her data consist entirely of verbal reports by volunteers who reported their love experiences.


Dorothy Tennov, Ph.D., was born in Montgomery County, Alabama, USA. She received her bachelors degree from Brooklyn College and her Ph.D. from the University of Bridgeport, where she was also a professor for twenty years. She was a professor of psychology, student of the philosophy of science, and author of three published nonfiction books, including Love and Limerence, Psychotherapy: The Hazardous Cure, and Super Self: A woman's guide to self-management. Among her other writings were a prize-wining play about life in a nursing home, reviews of books on scientific subjects, presentations at scientific meetings, and essays. Her television credits included a PBS interview with the late French novelist and essayist, Simone de Beauvoir and appearance in a 1998 BBC documentary, The Evolution of Desire. She participated in Internet discussions on scientific and political topics while conducting research for a forthcoming book in which she planned more fully to analyze the methodologies and philosophies of the human sciences.

Tennov died in Harbeson, Delaware.


  1. Tennov, Dorothy (1979). Love and Limerence. Maryland: Scarborough House. ISBN 0812862864.
  2. Tennov, Dorothy (1975). Psychotherapy: The Hazardous Cure. Abelard-Schuman. ISBN 0200040286.
  3. Tennov, D. Love and Limerence: the Experience of Being in Love. New York: Scarborough House, 1999.
  4. Tennov, D. A Scientist Looks at Romantic Love and Calls It "Limerence": The Collected Works of Dorothy Tennov. Greenwich, CT: The Great American Publishing Society (GRAMPS),

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