I was 17 and I wrote her letters everyday, though I never dared to mail any of them. I thought about her day and night, and I dreamt of all the witty things I would say if I should run into her. However, my real life meetings with her were rarely like the ones in my dreams. Whenever she was around, my knees would tremble, and I would begin to stutter. It was extremely difficult just keeping eye contact with her. I was sure it was love. However, according to behavioral scientists, who have completed a 12-year study on the subject of love, I was in a state of “limerance.”
Limerence, a word coined by scientists, is an intense emotion not meaning love itself. A limerent person is obsessed with their limerent object (LO), thinking about them constantly. A limerent relationship rarely lasts more than two years, its intensity waning over a short period of time It was a shock to learn that what I thought of as my first ‘”love” was actually my first “limerance, ” and that my first crush was really my first “LO “. Many others before have conducted studies on the subject; most of them insisting that love is not what we make it out to be.
Love, they say, is nothing more than an imbalance of hormones, or a deep attachment one feels toward a person who fulfills some subconscious need. Love, then, is reduced from being a beautiful spiritual experience to meaning that one’s hormones are out of kilter.
Perhaps I am not as sophisticated as scientists are, but I feel quite strongly that there is more to love than merely biology. Love is an extremely complex emotion.
It is spiritual, mental, physical, intellectual, mystical. It is not a chemical that can be studied in a laboratory. In my opinion, there should always be a mystique about love.
It should never be defined in such finite terms as these scientists have done. Who are these scientists anyway, that they should decide for the rest of us what love is or is not. Part of the beauty of love is not really knowing what it is.