Limerence – The Science of Falling In Love

Things n Stuff! — By on October 24, 2007 at 11:04 am

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.

Helen Fisher talks about the science of LOVE

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.

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  1. Matt Emery says:

    An excellent definition, thanks LA.

    Limerence was also a major theme in the movie “There’s something about Mary”.

    When I first learnt about this word, I became dreadfully aware of it’s role in my life – it was quite an epiphany. I encourage everyone to meditate on the meaning of the word, and perform an unsentimental self assessment in relation to it. I did, and it changed my life.

  2. admin says:

    Glad to hear it’s had such a positive impact on your life :)

    I hadn’t thought about it regards to that film, thanks for pointing that out Matt, you’re so right.

  3. Lovely-LH says:

    “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.”

    is it? this thought would most probably in lined with love and not limerence, it’s the first stage of a relationship right? so thinking abt cementing the relationship most likely something u would think when u’re there out of limerence and have fallen in love.. just a thought :)

  4. admin says:

    Interesting point you make :)

    I based that reference to gift buying on a conversation I’d had with a bunch of my girlfriends. The discussion centred around the little things that make you buzz when you first start seeing someone & buying the first gift. Whether it’s a Birthday gift, Christmas or just something little & romantic…it’s quite an exciting experience that seemed to all of us to be more about how it made us feel (the one buying the gift) to be purchasing the gift (almost like a ritual) rather than how we thought it would make the other person feel to receive it.

    That’s why I attributed that reference to Limerence rather than Love.

  5. Lovely-LH says:

    omg. i didnt get it. lols. my nose is kinda bleeding, lol ,kidding, anyway i wont expect any explanations further but if u would, i’d appreciate that. seriously i didnt really get it. or maybe i’m just too lazy to analyze things now. lol. i’ll be back here on ur block interesting. thnks!

  6. admin says:

    I just had a quick look at your blog Miss Lovely-LH. Great concept; ask bloggers questions & post their answers. See you next time :)

  7. Lovely-LH says:

    hi, yeah it’s somewhat like that ^^ it’s great to interact with other bloggers than just describing your world and stuff like that, i like your concept to, very informative and drive ppl to interact with you too :)

  8. Lovely-LH says:

    btw, i will link your blog, ppl will love your thoughts, :* ciao!

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