By Ashtyn Britt
The feeling of falling in love with someone is exhilarating, the way your heart skips a beat when you see your special someone, or how you can’t seem to stop thinking of them no matter what you’re doing. Well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are that you aren’t falling in love at all. You’re actually falling in limerence. Limerence is defined by dictionary.com as a “Psychol a state of mind resulting from romantic attraction, characterized by feelings of euphoria, the desire to have one’s feelings reciprocated, etc.” Many of the signs of limerence perfectly match what people describe when they believe they are falling in love. It is definitely stronger than an infatuation, but that doesn’t make it any less superficial at the end of the day. So, what’s the real difference between love and limerence?
Well, true love takes years and years to truly build and maintain. Love is hard, and there are times when your partner may drive you up the wall, and it is love that pushes you to see through the hard times. Limerence, however, only lasts three years at most on average, and always ends. Limerence can eventually lead to love, but it’s rare, because once the limerence has passed, you and your partner need to be genuinely compatible in order to make a healthy relationship work. This is why so many serious relationships tend to break up after a couple of years or so, and why many people who married someone too quickly end up getting divorced. Many people who end up getting married in limerence, end up not being able to last in love.
The important thing to remember for all the lovers who may be in limerence out there is to not put your partner on a pedestal, learn to see and accept their flaws, and don’t rush to anything you may not be ready for. For those who are broken-hearted out there, it is important to note the love you think you feel is most likely limerence, meaning the pain and confusion too are guaranteed to end. You will find someone new who you will be able to build a genuine long-lasting love with, and it is perfectly normal to find yourself in limerence more than once in your life. What is most important for any relationship is knowing our feelings, and therefore knowing how to manage them and take care of ourselves in the meantime.