February 14, 2011
L is for Limerence
Limerence is a term used to describe that period of hot longing and lustful infatuation that we feel when we first connect with someone and begin to fall in love. That sexy spark and constant (almost obsessive) passion is enough to make us look past our partner’s flaws and see nothing but perfection. Yes. We are blinded by love.
Just writing this description makes my heart race a little bit and I need a moment to breathe a big slow exhale right now. If you’re a true romantic or have ever experienced the euphoria of falling in love, you probably know what I’m talking about.
If you’ve ever been in love, you have likely also experienced the decline of limerence or the perception of falling out of love, as limerence can be short-lived. While love can last a lifetime, the thrill of falling in love and the passion of a new romance fades over time, which is why so many couples complain that they’ve lost that lovin’ feeling.
But have no fear, because you absolutely can reignite that passion. If you can recall the excitement and desire you experienced during the period of limerence, then you’re on the right track. Limerence gives us a glimpse into the potential of our relationships — you can absolutely feel the same passion you felt in the beginning, but you just have to put some effort in to achieve this.
Consider making a few resolutions to bring that feeling of limerence back into your love life. I’ve listed a few suggestions below, but be creative and realistic with your own resolutions bearing in mind that keeping it hot takes work, but the process can be as much fun as the results.
Some ideas to get you started:
1. Call for no reason. We all fall into routines and though we may take comfort in the predictability, it can become boring very quickly. Be sure to call or text your partner a few times a week just to say hi and let them know you care. And be strict with the content of these calls and texts. Don’t ask your partner to pick up milk on the way home or slip in a story about the drama of your workplace. Keep the call purely intimate — you are more than roommates or business partners, so act like it. Some possible texts might include:
- I love you.
- I want you.
- I’m thinking of you.
- I can’t wait to see you.
- You make me happy.
- You’re the best.
- I can’t wait to be in your arms.
- You looked cute this morning.
- Thinking of you makes me smile.
- Miss you!
- I’m going to tear your clothes off when I see you tonight! (Sorry. I had to slip that one in there.)
It really can be that simple!
2. Wear sexy underwear everyday. Toss those granny panties and torn tighty-whities and spend a few dollars on something cute and sexy. Learn from the French here: Panty By Post
3. Enjoy your time together, but be sure to maintain some degree of autonomy. While growing closer and developing intimacy may involve spending more time together, the time you spend apart is just as important. Not only does absence create an opportunity for the heart to grow fonder, but spending time away from your partner gives you a chance to see him/her in a different role. If you spend every waking moment together, it is easy to begin to see your partner only as a husband/wife, parent, cook, cleaner, banker, etc.. You need to be able to see your partner as a lover. Emotional attraction is cultivated through intimacy, but animalistic attraction often develops in response to novelty, challenge and the unknown. While open communication is the basis of any good relationship, full disclosure is not always the best policy. You don’t need to share every little thought or plan with your partner — a little bit of healthy mystery and distance can go a long way.
4. Celebrate regularly! Forget Valentine’s Day. Why? Restaurants are overbooked, the cost of flowers goes up and lingerie is often picked over by the first week of February. It may be a good excuse to spend time together, but you need to find these excuses regularly. Don’t wait for a special occasion to do something special for your partner. This is a big one! It’s so easy to write your partner a card, make him/her breakfast, show up for a surprise lunch, leave a sweet post-it note on the mirror, send a sweet text or offer a no-strings-attached shoulder rub, so why don’t we do it more often? I’m willing to bet that we did during that period of limerence. Just sayin’…
5. Be seductive! Yes. Pretty underwear (for both men and women) is a good start, but you can do even more to seduce your mate and set the scene. Think of the things you did for one another when you first met…washing the car, opening doors, lighting candles, laughing over wine, showering together, primping a little, offering compliments, playing with light touch and affection, going on dates, listening to Barry White, etc..
If you put in a bit of effort to reignite passion, the experience of Limerence can be even more exciting the second time around, as you learn to balance the human need for love and security with our natural hunger for excitement, passion and novelty.