So you meet someone you truly love being with and they love you just the same. Is your love just physical attraction or mutual feelings? To clarify this, we must understand chemistry versus limerence.
Chemistry Vs Limerence – Are They the Same?
If you really fall in love with someone, you WILL experience chemistry. It’s a feeling you have for someone that you know you can’t deny. You might say it’s a “buzz” you feel when you’re with your girlfriend or boyfriend. This buzz sparks your innermost soul.
What Is Chemistry?
Just look up the term, chemistry and you will see it’s defined in a number of ways:
- Valerie Nikolas from the Knot defines it as: An instant, inexplicable connection from the first date that is like a fire in your belly. Such a connection can be strong enough to defy reason.
- Karen Bridbord,a Gottman-certified therapist (also from the Knot) states “There is so much going on biologically in the brain when we fall in love. It’s like a drug.” She further defines chemistry as limerence, meaning the feeling of infatuation as a romantic relationship starts to form.
To further define it, chemistry is a series of biological processes that bring on a rush of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is the hormone that makes you feel like totally fabulous. Serotonin simply regulates your mood.
What Is Limerence?
Here is yet another term used to analyze deep romance. Oftentimes, we use it interchangeably with chemistry, but are these two terms synonymous? Let’s find out.
Limerence, as the Brides website defines it: A state of infatuation or obsession towards another person that involves an all-consuming passion and intrusive thoughts.
Whoa, now that term digs deeper than chemistry!
If you have limerence, while you feel ecstasy, you’re presently guarding your own emotions. Hence, you feel OK with fantasizing about the one you love as you know most likely nothing will happen. Meanwhile, the person who you believe is infatuated will not likely do enough to form a real relationship. That is how Cat MacKenzie, an accredited psychosexual therapist expresses limerence.
I’m not quite sure what MacKenzie means but this is how I interpret it. Once you meet someone you’d like to date, you’re attracted to her, but at the same time brace yourself for rejection. Though you love to imagine life with her, there is no guarantee your feelings of love towards her will be reciprocated back to you. You still haven’t made the full connection to intimacy.
Chemistry Versus Limerence
Sure, we assume they both mean the same thing and one can be used in exchange for the other, but that’s not true. With love, you have a physical attraction towards and a complete intimate connection with that special someone but with limerence, you don’t.
With limerence, the following conditions exist:
- You feel this person will make you complete. Hence, you think of them like a savior or someone who can fix the traumas you suffered earlier in life. And through lust, this is likely to happen.
- You want them though they may not be good for you. Although the relationship should be a nurturing and growing one that is based on mutual respect, yours will not likely be. As you idolize this person, you are desperate to have them as well.
- You disregard their flaws. You want this person so bad that you ignore the red flags they may have. With love you have safety and genuine reciprocity, but in limerence, you will pursue them no matter what they’re really like.
- You ignore your own needs. Again, you want them so bad that you won’t even consider your own personal needs as you charge towards them.
- You fear real connection. Although you feel a strong must for them, you fear intimate connection and thus, are more comfortable dealing with them at a distance.
Bottom line: You want them so bad and right away, that you’ll charge after them no matter what the consequences.
She Loves Me – She Loves Me Not!
All in all, we must not confuse these two terms. It’s advisable that we can detect whether a potential relationship is based on chemistry versus limerence.
Again, chemistry is the physiological reaction between two people that truly want and love one-another. Like a psychological drug, they have an addiction between the both of them. It is very real and thought out and thus, a promise to a lasting love.
Limerence on the other hand is much one-sided where the infatuated person is so eager and desperate, they firmly believe that partner will fix them. Hence they’ll charge full force at them regardless of the consequences. Such a connection is soon bound to split apart with disastrous results.
Six Signs Chemistry Present In Your Relationship
Here are some signs to ensure you that your love life is on track:
- You both enjoy spending time together – Perhaps you can’t wait to get off work. It’s always easy to find an activity you both can agree on. You’ll enjoy your time and laugh more. Even if things go wrong or not as planned, you’ll make the most of the experience.
- You both “click” – You’re comfortable being yourselves together. Neither has anything to hide. Anything you talk about, they can relate to and vice-versa. Conversing is usually easy and it’s unlikely either one of you will run out of things to say.
- You have mutual respect toward one-another – You treat them as you would want them to treat you. Their feelings count just as much as yours. Neither one of you are superior to the other. You can accept them as they are, even their flaws, and they accept you just the same.
- You trust each other – Honesty and caring for one-another is important. Even when you’re both apart, you can be sure they won’t take advantage of you or talk behind your back.
- Your relationship has a purpose – Each of you know that things won’t be the same forever. Hence, you must be willing to make changes if it means moving to another location, adopting new interests, or making compromises as need be.
- You have the energy to keep the relationship going – A good relationship stands the test of time. If you feel you can’t live without each other after so long being together, you still have chemistry Keeping it going should be something you truly want to do-not have to do. Thus, you’re willing to make any effort to see it never dies.
Everybody should be familiar with the term ‘chemistry’ and what it means in a loving relationship. Likewise, we all must know what limerence is and not confuse it with chemistry. The younger we are taught these terms, the better. So if you’re a teenager reading this, I hope this post will truly benefit you. If you’re a parent, it is highly advisable that you talk to your teens about love and what these two terms mean.
So often times it happens, that a woman may feel lust towards a man (or vice-versa), but only for a short time. Sometimes it’s a bribe, other times it’s just a passing fancy, but not as often is the feeling of lust meant to last. This is why it’s vital to realize the difference between chemistry and limerence. Likewise, these two terms aren’t synonymous and shouldn’t be confused.
Knowing these concepts will definitely save you lots of time by eliminating meaningless relationships and feeling heartbreaks. I wish I knew these things when I was a teen. Is there anything here I missed? Please feel free to comment, but be nice and serious please.
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