Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Years and years ago I dated a really lovely man called Simon who was a research psychologist, and I remember one particular conversation we had where he explained to me all about limerence. Since then I've read that in 1977 a well meaning psychologist called Dorothy Tennov invented the term for her 1979 book "Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love". Limerence (so the story goes) is the heightened emotional state of falling in love. English has no neat little noun for falling in love, love yes, but the process no. So Dorothy created one and "limerence" was born.

I'm not a fan of the word I have to say. There's no poetry to it, or if there is it's evocative of something that starts "There was a young man from Nantucket...". It seems too small and reductive a label for something that feels so huge. So intense, beautiful, scary, affirming and incredibly human. "Limerence" isn't opera, or poetry, or art, or great literature, or even a pop song but falling in love has inspired all those things. Maybe it's hormones, and juices, and synapses, and blood, and flesh, and a genetic imperative, but at least all those things are rich and powerful.

Falling in love. Falling. Falling in love is rollercoasters, turbulence, bungee jumps into the future and the great unknown. It's a shift in terrain. The rug being pulled out from under you in the best possible way. It's laughing because you missed the last step, but didn't hurt yourself.

I've met someone beautiful, kind and sweet. Who has a wonderful generous smile and thinks I have lovely eyes. He likes dogs, kids and kindness.

And I am so friggin' limerent. Having of limerence? Whatever, I'm falling in love and it feels absolutely grand.


Mindy said...

Like falling and failing to hit the ground because you are suddenly distracted by something and find yourself flying? #douglasadams

Whatever it is I hope it lasts forever.

jason said...


Raemondo said...

Hi! I just found your blog and I think it's awesome!
Good luck with the limerating. I can't wait for updates.

The Other Andrew said...

Thanks everyone, and welcome Raemondo!