If you know what the word limerence means then please forgive me while I explain for everyone else. Limerence is the psychological term for that dreamy state we float around in when we first fall in love with someone. The early stages of attraction and infatuation where we continually think about the object of our desire, we see none of their short comings, we believe we’ve found our ‘soul mate’ and no one can convince us otherwise. Admit it, we’ve all been there. Only to find out a few months down the track that this person is not perfect, they’re human with faults and frailties.
We then have to decide if we can live with these faults and frailties, if the answer is no, we break up and move on. To me, this is what the whole Seinfeld TV show was about. If the answer is yes then we have the chance to move on to the next stage of loving the person rather than just being ‘in love’. That’s the difference between love and limerence, love means we accept the other person and we care about their needs and well being without expecting anything back. Limerence can include caring but it’s not necessary, it’s more fuelled by grand gestures and unrealistic expectations that most romantic films perpetuate. Limerence is more about you and how you feel, not so much about the feelings of object of your desire.
So, if you ever find yourself, staring at the phone wondering if he’ll call, or trying to pick the perfect birthday gift for your new lover – just stop yourself for a moment and think…do I love this person or is it just a little bit of limerence. Either way it doesn’t really matter but it will help you decide if it’s really worth all the bother and anguish. Here’s a tip - if you’re thinking the perfect gift will cement your relationship and show how much you really care – it’s limerence - because that’s about you, not them.