The spark is undeniable. Love: What’s the Difference Whenever you’re around that certain person, your stomach does somersaults and your heart quickens. They are everything you’ve ever wanted. You might say they’re perfect in every single way; a truly flawless human being, if ever there was one. While your emotions are running high, take a moment to stop and breathe. You might not be falling in love at all. You might be falling deep into limerence.
What Is Limerence?
Limerence is a state of infatuation or obsession with LetmeDate another person that involves an all-consuming passion and intrusive thoughts.
It is often a result of not being present either through trauma or certain childhood development issues,” explains psychosexual therapist Cate Mackenzie. “Alternatively, you may experience it when you are run down, if you haven’t had enough sleep for example, and are lacking serotonin. So, you fantasize that someone else could save you and crystallize those thoughts into a golden image of ‘the one.’
While it feels like ecstasy right now, you may be guarding your own emotions. “The person feels safe to fantasize about because most likely nothing can happen and the infatuated person is not in a grounded enough place to receive a real relationship,” adds Mackenzie. “It can be a state of being that allows fantasies without a real threat of intimacy.”
But is limerence healthy? And is it the same as love? Ahead, Mackenzie explores the difference between limerence and love, the stages of limerence, and more.
Limerence vs. Love –
Similarities – Love: What’s the Difference
The problem with the whole limerence vs. love conundrum is simple: The two look strikingly similar. As you’re falling in limerence with someone, you’d be forgiven for thinking they are “the one.” Squint hard enough and limerence looks an awful lot like love. Here are a couple of ways that the two are frustratingly similar.
- You are drawn to a certain person. Confusing hardly does it justice. When you’re in limerence with someone, it’s similar to falling in love. The attraction is real. “It is a form of infatuation which can mirror the early stages of falling in love where you obsessively think about the other person,” says Mackenzie.
- It can happen with anyone, anytime. You never know when you’re about to fall in love and it can happen with the most implausible people. As it turns out, LetmeDate.Com limerence is the same. “It could be then with anyone from a landlord, a boss, or a shop owner.”
Differences – Love: What’s the Difference
However, no matter how hard you stare, limerence and love are not the same concepts. The main difference here is that love requires a real, meaningful connection with another person, while limerence is all about the chase and lusting after someone. If you’re not sure which one you’re feeling, take a look at these major differences.
- You think the person will complete you. Are you looking for a relationship or are you looking for someone to fix you? “Limerence is the feeling that the object of their desire will complete them,” says Mackenzie. “This can be a form of trauma-bonding where one person is seeking to be ‘saved’ by another.”
- You want them whether they are good for you or not. A loving, nurturing relationship should be all about mutual respect. You should grow with the relationship. However, when it comes to limerence, all of that goes directly out of the window. “The limerent person is desperate to have the object no matter whether it is good for either of them and they may idealize them,” says Mackenzie.
- You ignore the person’s flaws. Seeing a bunch of red flags and ignoring them? You might be in limerence. “With love, each person has the possibility to see the other’s flaws and still like them and there is more safety and genuine reciprocity,” explains Mackenzie. “This involves the happiness hormones such as oxytocin and vasopressin. There is clear communication and reciprocity.”
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- You neglect your own needs for them. Is this infatuation taking priority over your needs? “The difference is if someone gives up their needs and wants to obsessively focus on the other person and that there might be intermittent reinforcement from the limerent object by occasional connection and not real friendship or love.
- You’re scared of real connection. Real talk: There could be an underlying reason that your default is limerence. “Deep down the limerent person may be afraid of genuine connection and may be more comfortable with distance. There may be psychological reasons and fear why they prefer obsessing over connecting.”