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by Ross Rosenberg
- 1 The chemistry of love
- 2 Chemistry creates limerence
- 3 Symptoms of limerencia (Tennov, 1979)
The chemistry of love
When two romantically interested people have instant feelings of connection and comfort, are experiencing relational chemistry. Chemistry is a reflexive and automatic phenomenon; that is, it is experienced simultaneously and mutually by oppositely compatible people. People often refer to this reaction as if they feel "sparks" or love at first sight. Chemistry causes a shared emotional experience of hope, emotion and anticipation. It is not unusual for these connected people not to take precautions, ignore the risks and move moderately / quickly in the process of courtship. This is when strong sexual impulses occur, or what I call the desire to merge.
Chemistry cannot happen without the opposite combination of codependent and narcissistic dancers. It doesn't matter if they met through a carefully coordinated and verified process or by chance. Whether they meet through a blind date, Internet dating service or an app, or Aunt Yente (matchmaker of The Violinist on the Roof), the chemical reaction will determine if the appointment ends with a shallow handshake and the insincere suggestion of simply being friends or a mutual dream experience that has no limits and begs to never end.
Even if unconscious forces are the primary cause of chemistry, choice and conscious preferences They play an important role in how lasting romantic relationships are formed. Simply put, the conscious mind leads the person to dance, while the unconscious mind leads them to dance (and not stop!). I created three categories of chemistry, each representing different configurations of personality unions:
- Positive Chemistry: The perfect combination of personality types, which results in comfortable familiarity and a sense of security. This is where the "fireworks" and intense infatuation take place. It can be the playing field for both healthy and dysfunctionally matched lovers. It is exponentially more intense for dysfunctional couples as codependents and narcissists.
- Neutral Chemistry: When both people are more similar to each other, and are healthy or have no emotional problems. It is a kind experience, almost like sister-brother, without emotion or discomfort.
- Negative Chemistry: When two similar personalities dysfunctionally connect, like two pathological narcissists or two codependents. This can be a very uncomfortable and even annoying situation.
Chemistry creates limerence
Our brains are responsible for the lasting excitement that follows the relationship linked to chemistry. As much as we want to explain externally the excitation before and after chemistry, the real cause is the overproduction of hormones and neurotransmitters that interact in our brain. To explain this emotional and biochemical process, Dorothy Tennov (1979) coined the term "limerence."
The Oxford dictionary on the internet defines limerence how "the state of being in love or obsessed with another person, typically involuntarily experienced and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocity of one's feelings, but not primarily because of a sexual relationship."Although some confuse chemistry and limerence, they are different psychological and biochemical processes. Chemistry is where the attraction of opposites begins, and limerence is where it explodes in a fireworks display.
At the beginning of a relationship, the couple in love, or limerente, is forced by extreme impulses, emotional, physical and sexual, to merge into a romantic union, which they believe will make them feel complete. Although sexual attraction plays a key role in the experience of limerence, by itself it does not explain the fiery emotional and relational desires experienced in limerence. Sex, however, almost always "closes the deal" and makes the hypnotic experience of limerence grow exponentially.
When the codependent and the pathological narcissist meet for the first time, their shared limerence creates an extreme crush that resembles Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When they are separated, neither can stop thinking about the other, do not feel like eating or sleeping. Each is obsessed with the other and cannot control their uninterrupted thoughts about the new relationship. The couple simultaneously experiences powerful bodily sensations that can make them feel floating in the air. The feeling of perfection created when they are together quickly leads them to an intimate and tangled romantic relationship.
Feeling drugged is responsible for limerence and is mainly caused by the neurotransmitter dopamine. When a person experiences the "high" of a new love or intense attraction, neurons are activated in the brain's reward system, which releases a flood of dopamine. At the same time, the hormone norepinephrine is released causing an increase in blood pressure, sweaty palms and heart palpitations. Simultaneously, the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin decrease or are inhibited, stimulating obsessive and compulsive behaviors and thoughts.
It is part of human nature to experience tremendously powerful personal, emotional and physical sensations at the beginning of a romantic relationship, especially if there is a strong physical attraction. With highly compatible relationships, each person initially feels involuntary waves of emotional and sexual arousal, deep and overwhelming. This intense romantic attraction, or limerence, creates overwhelming and obsessive cravings to seek the intensely stimulating company of your new love.
According to Dorothy Tennov (1979), "Limerence ... can be experienced as an intense joy or as an extreme despair, depending on whether the feelings are reciprocal. Basically, it is the state of being carried away by passion or irrational love, even to the point of addictive behavior."Simply defined, limerence is an overwhelming and obsessive need for one's feelings to be reciprocal.
Symptoms of limerencia (Tennov, 1979)
- Intrusive thinking about the object of interest or limerence.
- Acute craving for reciprocity of attention and affection.
- Fluctuating humor based on the actions of the limerence object.
- Experience this feeling with only one person at a time.
- Obsession that the object of limerence relieves pain.
- Concern and fear of rejection.
- Disabling and uncomfortable shyness at the beginning of the relationship.
- Limerence intensifies through adversity.
- "Heart" pain (in the chest) when there are doubts.
- Buoyancy ("walk in the air") when there is reciprocity.
- Intensely obsessive and demotivating other responsibilities (friends, family, work).
- Emphasize the positive attributes of the limerence object, while ignoring the negative.