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Nofisat Shamsideen: Differentiating Between Love and Limerence

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A lot of people assume they are in love after experiencing certain emotions and feelings that bring sweetness to their soul, a lot of people struggle with putting a label on their feelings – emotions like attraction, infatuation, attachment, and even gratitude/appreciation are most often confused for love. There’s one more emotion that is most often confused with love: limerence. Having obsessive thoughts about a person, and then equating how your chakras light up to how in love you are with them sums up most of the problems of heartbreak we experience in recent times. 

Isn’t it strange that we sometimes have these feelings for people we realise we don’t even like? This does not mean disliking them as a person but they do not meet up with the standards you’ve set up for yourself, and you can barely put up with their character. Still, you have butterfly-like flutters when you’re around them and you chuck it all up to “We don’t often choose whom we fall in love with”.

Limerence is an involuntary state of intense desire. It is a state of mind which results from romantic or non-romantic feelings for another person, and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies, as well as a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and to have one’s feelings reciprocated. 

So many people are in miserable relationships and marriages because they claim they were in love, and didn’t know about most of their partner’s traits, or are at times aware of them but choose to turn a blind eye because they believe themselves to be in love. Humans are born with the inherent desire to love and be loved but women especially are taught to hone on that desire as their life’s purpose – one of the rotten doctrines in society that we need to shed, and we often take whatever we get that feels like love to fill that void in our soul that’s meant to be filled with love and acceptance. Being in a relationship, for many people, is to live in your head and your imagination of what love is meant to be 90% of the time, and then the remaining 10% is the reality of their partner – which is why when the butterflies subside and they decide to poke into reality for a change, they often see their partners for who they really are, not the version they have created in their minds. They say love is blind, but if we are to be honest, love isn’t blind, we just rather choose to live with the virtual imagination rather than to have to deal with the challenge that comes with facing reality.

What are your values? Do you know yourself? What do you want in a partner? Which standards have you set for yourself? Do you truly love yourself enough to immediately exit from situations that do nothing for your mental health or self-esteem? These questions need to be asked before forming a relationship with another human. That would form the quality of the relationship and its longevity. Valentine is indeed a season of love, but endeavour not to always make it about another human, especially one who adds no value to your life. Value does not necessarily mean financial benefits: does this person make you a better person? Are they interested in your goals? Will you be content to have their character traits in your offspring? Will they become good parents? How fragile is their ego and self-esteem if things go south in the long run? These are essential issues to muse, chew and dwell on before being in a relationship. In pursuing love, do not break your own heart. Let it gravitate towards you as you work on your growth.

Pursue love with intentionality. If you plan to share your body with your lover and swap DNAs, please be aware of your actions, especially if it’s going to be your first. If it’s not your first time, be sure you want to continue imprinting this other person’s DNA and energy into your birth canal. 

If the threat of losing someone compels you to share your body with them, then it is not worth your time, emotions, or energy. Focus on yourself and watch all you’ve ever dreamed of and more manifest into your reality rather than your imagination. Make this ‘love season’ be one of growth and celebration of self, not one marked by sex and financial benefits.  

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Emotions are fickle, you may be subjected to tricky mind games if you fail to pay attention to your feelings, so study them and consciously put a label on them. When people are heartbroken, they are mostly angry with themselves for being a wrong judge of character or for blindly delving into situations they suspected wasn’t going to end well but ignored. When you’re in a relationship and you’re often insecure and distrustful of your partner, 90% of the time, it’s your crown chakra trying to tell you something is wrong. 

Love isn’t what you feel when all is rosy and your partner has all you desire in a human, or all you think should be desired. Love is unconditional; it is what you feel despite a person’s fault, it is the desire to be a safe haven for another human, it is the need to work on yourself and your triggers in order to love a person in a way they want to be loved – not how you think they should be loved, or what your perception of affection is. Love is supporting a broken soul while they heal, and love is knowing fully well that no matter what happens in your life, you are committed to making life easier and better for another human simply because you are in it. 

Love is caring for another human for the sake of loving and of God, it is not based on what you think they should or shouldn’t be doing but to nurture each other to a state of understanding and respect through patience and mutual guidance. To never make them feel less of themselves. Love is choosing your healing through the process of growth with your partner. It is knowing fully well that if all else fails, your loyalty and commitment to your partner never will.  Love corrects; it doesn’t criticise. 

If you are not willing to put in all this work for your chosen life partner, then what you feel isn’t love but limerence. This season, be sure you are sharing your body, time and energy with a partner who knows exactly what they want and alchemizes their fear into love. Someone who treats you like a sacred phenomenon and is willing to show up for you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually. Commitment comes first before love, if you’ve had it any other way, then you need to re-evaluate the label you’ve assigned to your emotions.

 

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Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

I'm a free spirit with the passion for Content Writing and, Editing, Research, and Reading. My best pass time activity is me curled up in a comfy position reading a good book. I love sharing my experiences from the books I've read, you can follow me on goodreads @Abbyreadabook and on [email protected]_

12 Comments

  1. Vivian

    February 21, 2022 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you for these beautiful write up…
    I appreciate you…
    Now i will be happy for myself and i

    2
  2. Abbyreadabook

    February 28, 2022 at 11:37 am

    You’re most welcome ?

  3. Ogechi

    February 28, 2022 at 11:57 am

    Nice write up…really helpful

    1
  4. Shamsideen kudirat

    February 28, 2022 at 11:57 am

    Very explanatory write-up??? proud of you sweetie ??

    1
  5. Faith Toristeju Tiemo

    February 28, 2022 at 11:57 am

    I enjoyed reading this. Thank you.

    1
  6. Olanike Ibironke

    February 28, 2022 at 12:21 pm

    Nice read,very useful before going into marriage, simple questions to honestly ask one’s self before delving…

    1
  7. Shekoni Abolanle Rashidat

    February 28, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    Succinctly put, beautiful write-up.

    1
  8. Shamsideen Afusat

    February 28, 2022 at 3:21 pm

    Perfectly written and full of wisdom.a road if followed would bring about a contented life.please,save for daily reminder.A round of applause to @abbyreadabook

    2
  9. Spiritwalker

    February 28, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    This compliment the book for this month, “the four agreements” and again I have learnt something new.

    I didn’t understand the concept of love being unconditional until recently. Thanks for keeping us reminded, this is a beautiful piece.

    1
  10. Lukaku

    March 1, 2022 at 6:29 am

    If you are love with a person you would see their shortcomings but the love you’ve got for the individual makes you turn a blind eye to such faults.
    Likewise you could fall in love with an individual below your value or even one above your value, I feel it makes the whole love more adventurous cos you’ve got to coming done from your high horses or up your ante to understand your lover .

  11. Sheriff Babatunde

    March 1, 2022 at 8:30 am

    Wow this is beautiful. Thank you abby

    1
  12. Melvin

    March 3, 2022 at 9:29 am

    Very expository and giving a lot of insight. Well done

    1

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