Limerenza, the magic of falling in love

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Robert Maurer
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Limerenza, the magic of falling in love

Last update: April 27, 2016

This word may say absolutely nothing and not even sound romantic, yet it represents what happens in us every time we experience love. With the term limerence we want to explain the emotions and thoughts that appear involuntarily and unconsciously in a person when he falls in love.

Dorothy Tennov, in her book "Love and Limerence: the experience of being in love", was the first psychologist to name the phenomenon that strikes us when we are shaken by a "Love at first sight", and today we will talk about just that.



Limerence: the signs of love

Limerence is the initial stage that an individual goes through when he finds love. It is therefore his way of acting, speaking and feeling during that magnificent moment that many associate with having his head in the clouds ”. The idealization of the other, the inexplicable joy, the desire to be with the loved one or the lack of perception of danger are all symptoms of limerence.

This kind of "syndrome" disappears after a few months from the beginning of the relationship, although in some people it continues to persist, turning into a pathology. This happens because the effects of giving oneself completely to the other and of constant arousal ultimately end up having serious repercussions on daily life.

The difference between limerence and love is simple. The first works autonomously, it does not need effort to be kept alive; the only commitment is to be carried away by the promises of eternal love.

In the case of the love bond, however, the person is asked for something more: commitment, attention and above all daily work. This is why many prefer to spend their lives in a state of love and never get into a serious relationship.



Limerence, or "losing your mind for love"

This is usually what happens when we fall in love or come into contact with someone who exerts a strong attraction on us. Breathing is impaired, heartbeats speed up and butterflies fly into the stomach, going to form a magnificent process that we have all experienced at least once in our life.

Love can lead to great insanity, some harmless, but others harmful and irreversible. Let's think, for example, of the story of Romeo and Juliet. The two young men preferred to die rather than be separated. Losing your head for love means not thinking clearly and not knowing how to make the most sensible decisions.

Hormones are in turmoil, we sweat excessively, make inconsistent decisions or go red. How good it is to feel like this! However, there is a limit to everything, and such feelings cannot be expected to last for years.

Limerence can turn into obsession in the blink of an eye. Nowhere is it written how long the first phase of falling in love lasts, but it is estimated that the maximum duration is one year. What happens next is a sensitive issue and worth analyzing.

Limerence and unrequited love

Surely you have already seen films in which the protagonist goes crazy because he is not accepted by the loved one, and does everything possible to keep her by his side and force her to fall in love with him. Aside from the fictional plot of the story, there are many cases in which limerence turns into a kind of addiction, from which it is difficult to escape.


This usually happens in cases of unrequited love. Falling in love with a married person, friend or movie actor can lead to serious mental health consequences, resulting in an illness that prevents you from living life normally. When falling in love affects only one person, the consequences can be dire. In that case, losing your head for love turns into a scourge, a far cry from the beautiful experience described above.



From limerence to love

The first phase is vital in order to be able to maintain a long-term relationship. Without falling in love there would be no couples who love each other despite everything. Lasting relationships do not always arise after an intense phase of limerance, yet, in its small way, limerance is a wonderful experience that can be very enriching.

Love goes beyond the knot in the stomach or the palpitations. Love is sharing, having dreams, giving and receiving, living together and getting to know each other. The charming prince and the beautiful princesses should be left in fairy tales. In real life, time, dedication and attention are the necessary ingredients for a couple to be happy and complete.

Falling in love tends to be blind, deaf and dumb. Love, on the contrary, helps us to analyze, to have a different perspective, to think a little more. Limerence is characterized by some biological and emotional impulses that leave no room for mental ones. When the couple is already formed, feelings can be easily expressed and communication starts from mutual knowledge.


Of course being in love is beautiful, but sharing your life with someone special is even more so. Leave the madness of falling in love to the first period and romantic films. Live a healthy, pure and real love, which can accompany you until the end of your days.

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