Falling in love vs. loving someone

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Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:00 pm

Since the topic of limerence has been brought up, and the question of what love is, I found this very relevant:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-dawn/201503/falling-in-love-vs-loving

This maps onto the idea that "falling in love" in a romantic relationship is limerence, or infatuation, while real love is stable, and is what allows a relationship to survive after the limerence fades. 

What do you think of the claim that falling in love, and the overidealization that is part of it also happens to get people out of relationships that they're desperate to leave?
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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by Panache on Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:58 pm

I have quite a few comments, at any rate, so hopefully the articles will inspire some conversation.
 
The article seems to me more like a description of someone who is serially monogamous/chronically limerent than like someone who’s leaving a “stable” or formerly stable relationship for a limerent one.
 
From the article referenced in that article:
“Love makes us irrational. And what’s more irrational (in a universe in which there are surely more bad possibilities than good ones) than leaving the safety of an existing relationship?”
 
Since when do people do this? I suspect people are much less likely to pursue limerent relationships when they live in a stable environment and already have secure attachments, where their needs are being met.
 
Also from that article:
“Drugs hijack systems that evolved to allow us to fall in love.”
 
The brain’s reward system serves a lot of purposes beyond falling in love. From this perspective, falling in love might be said to be hijacking a system that evolved to allow us to bond to our babies, and feel happy when we escaped that saber-toothed cat.
 
 “Looking back on my life, I can see where I've done this. I used the new woman to help me pull away from the woman I wanted to leave, but couldn't, for one reason or another (cowardice? weakness? love?). Or maybe it wasn't even a relationship I wanted to escape, but a dead-end job or just a phase of my life I wanted to leave behind.”
 
Like other addictive behaviors, limerence can also be used as a maladaptive coping mechanism for escaping from circumstances where a person’s needs aren’t being met. Especially if somebody is already “using” recreationally, all they have to do is use when they’re feeling stress, boredom, loneliness, or any other unpleasant emotion to make themselves feel better and badda-bing badda-boom, you have a dependency.
 
“It's like you're dancing with some guy and notice he's got bad breath but you can't just walk away and leave him on the dance floor, so when another guy comes up and asks to break in, you go for it to get away from bad breath guy before you really consider who the new guy is. Then you notice what a bad dancer he is. And around you go.”
 
There’s no love involved here. This is textbook behavior of someone who’s chronically limerent. They think limerence is “true love” so when the limerence starts to fade they leave the relationship and start seeking someone else to fall in love with, somebody who’s actually perfect for them this time, not like that #####. They never experience actual love for any of their partners.
 
So we have two options here: either the person was in a formerly stable primary relationship that is no longer meeting their needs, and pursues limerence as a form of maladaptive escapism, the way another person in a bad relationship might take up drinking or gambling, etc. Or, the person is chronically limerent, which seems to me what’s being described in the article, and is using their experience of limerence to justify their behavior. “But I didn’t love him anymore! I had to leave him! Also, you didn’t see his true colors the way I did; he wasn’t as great as we thought he was. And it’s not like it’s a problem that I fell in love with this guy right away – he’s great!”
 
From the other article:
“But is it unreasonable to suppose that, in the sense most of us understand it, one of the “purposes” of love, not incompatible with the binding together of two people, is to make them crazy enough to ditch their current partners first? Certainly, the overwhelming evidence from our genes and from the history of human societies is that something is driving breakups just as powerfully as that same mechanism, or some related one, drives people to get together in the first place.”
 
No. People who are experiencing limerence will not leave their limerent object for someone else until the limerence is already fading and they fall out of love with them. When the relationship is as unstable as a limerent one, nothing has to “drive” the breakup; it disintegrates on its own.
 
So, yes, when the limerence is fading, someone who’s serially monogamous is going to be looking for a new limerent object. If the person is beginning to notice flaws in their limerent object, that means the limerence is already fading, and the person is liable to be on the hunt for another hit. However, that doesn’t mean that’s the purpose of limerence. As far as I know, the purpose of limerence is believed to be to create a fanatically devoted attachment long enough to at least get pregnant, and preferably long enough to get through pregnancy and the child’s infancy. (I can’t find the sources right now (I win at organizing), however I believe I’ve read that the average limerent period is 2 years, which perhaps not coincidentally is the average duration of “committed” relationships in the US.) This is perhaps also why limerence and sex are so closely tied up together.
 
“From my perspective…“loving” is generous and selfless.”
 
Totally don’t agree with that. Love has as much to do with receiving as giving, and allowing your needs to be met by the other person. In a nurturing relationship, a person gives to the other person not because they’re selfless and don’t care about themselves, but because they feel happy meeting the other person’s needs. Limerence is the one that’s liable to be self-sacrificing, “let me immolate myself on the pyre of our great love” type stuff.
 
This is another manifestation of the violence in our society. We think only in terms of winning or losing, taking or being taken from, being selfish or being selfless. This is a false dichotomy, and nurturing relationships don’t work like this. It’s possible to give without it being a loss, and it’s possible to receive without being selfish.
 
Imagine someone you love is sick. Quite possibly there’s no where you’d rather be than taking care of them, and, if that’s what you want to be doing and not what you “have” to do out of duty, then it’s not a burden. It’s a gift you’re giving to the person you love, to take care of them when they need taking care of.
 
And there’s also the flip side in a nurturing relationship, which I wish people talked about more because it’s equally important: receiving love. Because people tend to think the only options are being selfish or being selfless, and they don’t want to be selfish, they can’t ask for help, even (perhaps especially) from people they love. They might be masters at giving as a way of expressing love, but have no idea how to receive as a way of expressing love.
 
Imagine you’re sick and someone you love is taking care of you. It’s not selfish to be taken care of when you need it, any more than it’s selfish for a child to be taken care of. This can also be an expression of love: you’re letting them see you when you’re weak and vulnerable, and trusting them to meet your needs when you really need it, and receiving their care as the expression of love it hopefully is.
 
This is a nurturing relationship, one of giving and receiving out of love, with no one having to win or lose. When people operate with the mental paradigm that a person can only be selfless or selfish, this communion is broken, and it becomes some sort of mutually-advantageous alliance, of two selfless people doing each other favors, and then feeling guilty and beholden to the other person. Plus, being “selfless,” they have no idea how to communicate their needs to the person they love, and they feel guilty for having needs at all. If there’s ever a fight in that sort of relationship, they can’t express that their needs aren’t being met, so they attack with, “You’re so selfish! Look at all I do for you! I slave away every day to make you happy, and what do I get in return?” That’s the sort of “love” people in a violent society are reduced to. It comes out more like a business deal than a relationship, even with all the best intentions.
 
Woah…was that a tangent or what? Long story short, I don’t believe true love is selfish or selfless. It’s more a natural sort of giving, and a natural sort of receiving.
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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:56 am

You make so many good points! I agree with the article that there’s a difference between falling in love, vs. actually loving someone, but I agree with you that limerence may be used as a tool for escapism, but only when the limerence from a current relationship is already fading. Relationships based on it will disintegrate when it fades away.

It does hijack the brain’s reward system, and anything that triggers the reward system could be used maladaptively.

Here’s an article I found detailing the symptoms of limerence, and distinguishing it from a healthy romantic relationship: http://whatislovedrcookerly.com/815/false-forms-of-love-limerence-and-its-alluring-lies/

The 4th symptom listed directly reminds me of the societal norm that places limerent-sexual relationships as the most “valid” relationship while devaluing others, and why someone may abandon their friends after falling in love. I used to say “romantic-sexual” relationship, but what romance is, still isn’t clearly defined to me, and it’s limerence that’s so often glamorized as being true love that everyone should strive for anyways.

Symptoms #8 and #12 listed also make it difficult to escape if the relationship is abusive, and overlap with Stockholm Syndrome.

That article also says that limerence usually lasts 2-4 years, because that’s usually enough time to have a child.
I’ve read somewhere that it usually lasted 6 months, but that doesn’t make sense from an evolutionary point of view, because that’d be enough time for someone to get pregnant, but not have the child yet.

This is another manifestation of the violence in our society. We think only in terms of winning or losing, taking or being taken from, being selfish or being selfless. This is a false dichotomy, and nurturing relationships don’t work like this. It’s possible to give without it being a loss, and it’s possible to receive without being selfish.
I agree that real love is give-and-take, and for so long I used to believe those dichotomies when it came to romantic relationships. That was part of why I was against dating, because I thought romantic and/or limerent relationships were inherently about one person having power over another, one taking from another, that giving is a loss, and receiving is selfish.

If that’s not what romance is about, what rationale do I have to continue to say no to it if I don’t want to date? All I can think of is that I don’t have the time and energy for a romantic relationship of any kind, and I’m against limerent relationships because of the harm they do.

A label I’ve found useful for my experiences is “romance-repulsed”, because I’m repulsed by what I perceive as romance, though it’s mainly the expectations surrounding romantic and limerent relationships that repulses me the most.

And there’s also the flip side in a nurturing relationship, which I wish people talked about more because it’s equally important: receiving love. Because people tend to think the only options are being selfish or being selfless, and they don’t want to be selfish, they can’t ask for help, even (perhaps especially) from people they love. They might be masters at giving as a way of expressing love, but have no idea how to receive as a way of expressing love.
 
Imagine you’re sick and someone you love is taking care of you. It’s not selfish to be taken care of when you need it, any more than it’s selfish for a child to be taken care of. This can also be an expression of love: you’re letting them see you when you’re weak and vulnerable, and trusting them to meet your needs when you really need it, and receiving their care as the expression of love it hopefully is.
 
This is a nurturing relationship, one of giving and receiving out of love, with no one having to win or lose. When people operate with the mental paradigm that a person can only be selfless or selfish, this communion is broken, and it becomes some sort of mutually-advantageous alliance, of two selfless people doing each other favors, and then feeling guilty and beholden to the other person.

This is spot on. That's a trap I've fallen into, in the relationship I was in. It was dysfunctional. My ex was prosexual, and wanted sex with me. It didn't get that far, only because I had to fight so hard to "keep" my right to say no to sex. I felt like it was a win for me that I didn't have to have sex, but a loss that I still had to compromise on other forms of intimacy that I didn't want.

I felt used for complying, but felt selfish and guilty for not caving into sex. He saw himself as making a lot of sacrifices for me, including the sacrifice of not having sex.

If there’s ever a fight in that sort of relationship, they can’t express that their needs aren’t being met, so they attack with, “You’re so selfish! Look at all I do for you! I slave away every day to make you happy, and what do I get in return?” That’s the sort of “love” people in a violent society are reduced to. It comes out more like a business deal than a relationship, even with all the best intentions.

I've noticed that too. Relationship martyrdom appears to be the paragon of selflessness, but it turns into selfishness, when someone uses it to brag about how virtuous it makes them. I've seen people use their relationship martyr status to belittle people in egalitarian relationships.

It is also one of the most bitter forms of passive-aggression when it is used as a bludgeon to attack their partner like what you described.

My ex and I did argue a lot over the "sacrifices" we made for each other that made us miserable, and it escalated near the end of the relationship. I knew that wasn't right, but I was angry over the many times I've "compromised" on intimacy for him, that only made me feel bored or disgusted, and I complied with out of guilt, or a sense of obligation, while he said I was ungrateful for all of the "help" he was giving me.
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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by Panache on Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:07 pm

@Admin wrote:...while he said I was ungrateful for all of the "help" he was giving me.
*gets out voodoo pins*

Rationally, I know he was trying to do the best he could based on what he knew about the world, like all of us, and yet - God I'm glad you're out of that relationship.

It's good to talk about these things. How to cultivate nurturing relationships, how to communicate in ways that make it more likely the person will be able to hear what you're saying, what real love is - these are all fundamental parts of life, and people don't really discuss them as subjects very much. People can name the moons of Jupiter and identify a capybara on sight (even if they'll never see one), and yet don't know how to say something as simple as, "I feel lonely and would like some company. How would you feel about watching the new Doctor Who episode with me?" Such priorities!

I wish people talked about these issues more, since they're so important. Talking about something can help a person understand it better, and understand their own views on the subject better (that's certainly the case for me, at any rate). When people don't talk about it, they don't even realize there's anything to talk about, and end up just living by whatever society's default is (in this case, limerent-sexual relationships, violent and ineffective communication, and uncertain of how to express love, except maybe sex, kissing, and stereotypical romance). I'm so glad some people are having these conversations.
@Admin wrote:It does hijack the brain’s reward system, and anything that triggers the reward system could be used maladaptively.
I don’t know if I quite agree with that. Many things stimulate the brain’s reward system, though only supranormal stimuli are addictive. For example, a person can become addicted to sugar, and no one will become addicted to apples.

However, as regards addictive behaviors, absolutely. As an aside, I like to use the term "maladaptive" over "unhealthy" just because to me unhealthy is a sort of judgment, while maladaptive implies that it's very costly and not very effective at meeting the person's true needs, which seem to me to be the underlying issues of why the behavior is problematic.

I liked that article, except for one detail: in the introductory paragraphs the author used “in love” to mean true love, in contrast to limerence. Since all limerence is is a term for the in-love experience, and the whole point is the distinction between loving someone and being in love with someone, this was an unfortunate oversight. Otherwise I enjoyed the article very much.

“People sometimes ask why does limerence exist? The thinking goes something like this.  Mother nature invented or evolved limerence so that two people will become strongly bonded together, for two to four years, which is just enough time to get a child started in life.  Then their feelings for each other will fade or turn off, so that they will end their relationship and go looking for others to temporarily mate with and, therefore, mix the gene pool.  This is one of mother nature’s ways of ensuring genetic variety and improvement of the species, along with contributing ultimately to the survival of our species.”

I like this summary of the purpose of limerence. Good for making children, not good for raising them in a stable environment!

@Admin wrote:I used to say “romantic-sexual” relationship, but what romance is, still isn’t clearly defined to me, and it’s limerence that’s so often glamorized as being true love that everyone should strive for anyways.
Did you read that essay I mentioned by The Thinking Asexual? What did you think of it?

https://thethinkingasexual.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/amatanormativity-romance-and-partnership-my-problem-with-cupioromanticism/

This part especially sums up the issue for me:

“There is NOTHING that you can get from romantic relationships, that you can’t get from nonromantic friendship, except for your partner’s romantic attraction to you. I’m going to say it until you accept it. No behavior is inherently romantic. Love is not inherently, exclusively romantic. A primary partnership is not definitively romantic. You can have sex with a nonromantic partner, you can be committed to a nonromantic partner, you can kiss and cuddle and hug a nonromantic partner, you can live with a nonromantic partner, you can raise kids with nonromantic partners, you can mutually put each other first in a nonromantic relationship. Everything and anything you could possibly do or feel can be experienced in friendship and nonromantic partnership, except for romantic attraction.”


The way I see it, without sex or limerence, what you have is friendship. Which can and hopefully does include romantic behaviors. So I use the word friendship for non-limerent, non-sexual love relationships where the people aren't related to each other.

However, nowadays when people think of friends they don't think of a life partnership (except for Sam and Frodo). This is another one I had to get over. I thought committed relationships had to be romantic (and when I thought of “romantic” what I was really picturing was limerence). It took a while to get used to the idea that the actually loving relationship was the friendship, not the romantic/limerent relationship, and that if one of those relationships had the makings of stability and commitment, it was the friendship. I also had to get used to the idea that a friend can be a partner in life, without anything lacking, and that friendships can be as romantic and loving as limerent relationships.

In my opinion the word “friend” is overused in our society. A child runs up to his mother at the park with a boy beside him whom he’s known for all of five minutes and will likely never see again after this day, and his mother says, “Oh, and who’s your new friend?” The more our culture makes the concept of friendship meaningless, the more limerent and sexual relationships will seem like the only way of forming an attachment with someone.

An idea that I find absolutely fascinating is that, when it gets down to it, there's no difference between a love match (assuming the couple is getting married while they're in love) and an arranged marriage. In the arranged marriage, the couple are strangers or near-strangers and must get to know each other and cultivate a loving partnership. In the love match, when the limerence fades, the couple are in the exact same boat. In both cases, if a loving and committed relationship is not actively cultivated, the relationship will devolve into two near-strangers who feel forced to live together.
@Admin wrote:If that’s not what romance is about, what rationale do I have to continue to say no to it if I don’t want to date? All I can think of is that I don’t have the time and energy for a romantic relationship of any kind, and I’m against limerent relationships because of the harm they do.
Would you explain what you mean by a romantic relationship? Do you mean a potential partnership/committed relationship, or do have certain behaviors or emotions in mind?

@Admin wrote:A label I’ve found useful for my experiences is “romance-repulsed”, because I’m repulsed by what I perceive as romance, though it’s mainly the expectations surrounding romantic and limerent relationships that repulses me the most.
It does seem to me that there’s this “other” anti-romantic meaning in use. As we were talking about in the romance thread, as I understand it anti-romanticism refers to romantic attraction/limerence/the “in love” experience, not to expressions of love which are stereotypically considered romantic. However, I feel I’ve also come across people using anti-romantic to mean a distaste for or disapproval of some uncertainly-defined category of “romantic gestures.” I believe I’ve also seen it used to mean a disinclination to be in any sort of partnered relationship, or even a disinterest in any sort of relationships, including family relationships and friendships.

So, are there specific words for these other stances? Is there something you (or someone else reading this?) knows of which I might read which would go into these other attitudes more?

I can totally understand not wanting to date. Dating is the way people look for limerent-sexual relationships, so having to redefine "relationship" is an uphill battle from the get-go.

Date at a coffee shop:
"Hi. I'm interested in having sex and maybe even falling in love."
*plants tiny Antisexualism flag on their date's muffin* "Not by the time I'm done with you, you won't be."
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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by Admin on Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:19 am

@Panache wrote:
@Admin wrote:...while he said I was ungrateful for all of the "help" he was giving me.
*gets out voodoo pins*

Rationally, I know he was trying to do the best he could based on what he knew about the world, like all of us, and yet - God I'm glad you're out of that relationship.
Unfortunately a lot of the ways he tried to help didn't work, and were actually harmful, but I wasn't in a position to give good advice either. Near the end, we were arguing so much over sacrificing so much to help the other, and who was sacrificing more, while accusing the other of being ungrateful for it.


It's good to talk about these things. How to cultivate nurturing relationships, how to communicate in ways that make it more likely the person will be able to hear what you're saying, what real love is - these are all fundamental parts of life, and people don't really discuss them as subjects very much. People can name the moons of Jupiter and identify a capybara on sight (even if they'll never see one), and yet don't know how to say something as simple as, "I feel lonely and would like some company. How would you feel about watching the new Doctor Who episode with me?" Such priorities!

I wish people talked about these issues more, since they're so important. Talking about something can help a person understand it better, and understand their own views on the subject better (that's certainly the case for me, at any rate). When people don't talk about it, they don't even realize there's anything to talk about, and end up just living by whatever society's default is (in this case, limerent-sexual relationships, violent and ineffective communication, and uncertain of how to express love, except maybe sex, kissing, and stereotypical romance). I'm so glad some people are having these conversations.

So many of our arguments were due to miscommunications, and not understanding each other's viewpoints. It's disturbing that something as fundamental as understanding healthy, or adaptive relationship dynamics is discussed so little, and that ineffective communication is seen as natural.

I'm reminded of the "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus" phrase, which assumes that men and women are fundamentally different and ideologically incompatible with each other, yet expected to have romantic and sexual relationships with each other.

Because of that, challenging the underlying difficulties of a relationship, and how it could be due to miscommunication, doesn't seem like an option. It does seem like sex, kissing, and stereotypical romantic gestures are the extent to some peoples' understanding of romantic relationships.


@Admin wrote:It does hijack the brain’s reward system, and anything that triggers the reward system could be used maladaptively.
I don’t know if I quite agree with that. Many things stimulate the brain’s reward system, though only supranormal stimuli are addictive. For example, a person can become addicted to sugar, and no one will become addicted to apples.

However, as regards addictive behaviors, absolutely. As an aside, I like to use the term "maladaptive" over "unhealthy" just because to me unhealthy is a sort of judgment, while maladaptive implies that it's very costly and not very effective at meeting the person's true needs, which seem to me to be the underlying issues of why the behavior is problematic.

I liked that article, except for one detail: in the introductory paragraphs the author used “in love” to mean true love, in contrast to limerence. Since all limerence is is a term for the in-love experience, and the whole point is the distinction between loving someone and being in love with someone, this was an unfortunate oversight. Otherwise I enjoyed the article very much.

Yes, good point. I prefer using "maladaptive" over "unhealthy" in this context too. I think that oversight was another trap that's easy to fall into. Talking about the distinctions between love, limerance, and romance can be difficult.



“People sometimes ask why does limerence exist? The thinking goes something like this.  Mother nature invented or evolved limerence so that two people will become strongly bonded together, for two to four years, which is just enough time to get a child started in life.  Then their feelings for each other will fade or turn off, so that they will end their relationship and go looking for others to temporarily mate with and, therefore, mix the gene pool.  This is one of mother nature’s ways of ensuring genetic variety and improvement of the species, along with contributing ultimately to the survival of our species.”

I like this summary of the purpose of limerence. Good for making children, not good for raising them in a stable environment!

Limerence may have used to be adaptive during hunter-gatherer times, because i was common for several people to raise a child. It's not adaptive anymore, because it is so costly to be a single parent in a world with the institution of marriage and nuclear families being the norm. It's a lot harder to get the social support needed to raise the child.


@Admin wrote:I used to say “romantic-sexual” relationship, but what romance is, still isn’t clearly defined to me, and it’s limerence that’s so often glamorized as being true love that everyone should strive for anyways.
Did you read that essay I mentioned by The Thinking Asexual? What did you think of it?

https://thethinkingasexual.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/amatanormativity-romance-and-partnership-my-problem-with-cupioromanticism/

This part especially sums up the issue for me:

“There is NOTHING that you can get from romantic relationships, that you can’t get from nonromantic friendship, except for your partner’s romantic attraction to you. I’m going to say it until you accept it. No behavior is inherently romantic. Love is not inherently, exclusively romantic. A primary partnership is not definitively romantic. You can have sex with a nonromantic partner, you can be committed to a nonromantic partner, you can kiss and cuddle and hug a nonromantic partner, you can live with a nonromantic partner, you can raise kids with nonromantic partners, you can mutually put each other first in a nonromantic relationship. Everything and anything you could possibly do or feel can be experienced in friendship and nonromantic partnership, except for romantic attraction.”


The way I see it, without sex or limerence, what you have is friendship. Which can and hopefully does include romantic behaviors. So I use the word friendship for non-limerent, non-sexual love relationships where the people aren't related to each other.

However, nowadays when people think of friends they don't think of a life partnership (except for Sam and Frodo). This is another one I had to get over. I thought committed relationships had to be romantic (and when I thought of “romantic” what I was really picturing was limerence). It took a while to get used to the idea that the actually loving relationship was the friendship, not the romantic/limerent relationship, and that if one of those relationships had the makings of stability and commitment, it was the friendship. I also had to get used to the idea that a friend can be a partner in life, without anything lacking, and that friendships can be as romantic and loving as limerent relationships.

I've read that before, when there was a huge debate going on over cupioromanticism, and whether it was a sign of internalized romance-normativity. I see the author is arguing that romantic relationships are prioritized over nonromantic relationships, but says that what sets them apart is only romantic attraction or the lack of. I'm someone who can't seem to distinguish romantic from platonic relationships.

I agree though that preferences don't develop in a vacuum. An aromantic person wanting romantic relationships could be influenced by societal messages about romance. I've seen that argument, and seen some cupioromantics agree with it as well.

So if I'm understanding this right, the dividing line between romantic and platonic is arbitrary, but when people say that they want romantic relationships, they have a specific vision in mind, one that encompasses the gestures associated with romance, and don't think it's possible to find them in a platonic relationship?


In my opinion the word “friend” is overused in our society. A child runs up to his mother at the park with a boy beside him whom he’s known for all of five minutes and will likely never see again after this day, and his mother says, “Oh, and who’s your new friend?” The more our culture makes the concept of friendship meaningless, the more limerent and sexual relationships will seem like the only way of forming an attachment with someone.
The example you gave reminded me of another: People who have hundreds of "friends" on social media that they barely, if ever talk to. And that ties into the stereotype that anyone who doesn't want sex and/or romance or limerence, can't form meaningful relationships.


An idea that I find absolutely fascinating is that, when it gets down to it, there's no difference between a love match (assuming the couple is getting married while they're in love) and an arranged marriage. In the arranged marriage, the couple are strangers or near-strangers and must get to know each other and cultivate a loving partnership. In the love match, when the limerence fades, the couple are in the exact same boat. In both cases, if a loving and committed relationship is not actively cultivated, the relationship will devolve into two near-strangers who feel forced to live together.

By "love match", do you mean people who chose to date each other? There are some other factors at play. A couple who already had a stable relationship before marrying likely aren't going to feel like strangers to each other. Maybe the limerence already faded before they married, and already experienced a more stable form of love? The idea of being strangers once the limerence wears off definitely apply to those who married so quickly after falling in love, or limerence with each other.


Admin wrote:If that’s not what romance is about, what rationale do I have to continue to say no to it if I don’t want to date? All I can think of is that I don’t have the time and energy for a romantic relationship of any kind, and I’m against limerent relationships because of the harm they do.
Would you explain what you mean by a romantic relationship? Do you mean a potential partnership/committed relationship, or do have certain behaviors or emotions in mind?

That's a tricky one, because I can't seem to distinguish a platonic relationship from a romantic relationship without limerence. A lot of people may say what kind of relationship I'd like isn't romantic, or not a "real" one at all, because I'd want one that's fairly hands-off. I don't want to spend all my free time with my partner. I'd want my own time and space for myself, and I'd want them to have their own time and space for themselves as well.


Admin wrote:A label I’ve found useful for my experiences is “romance-repulsed”, because I’m repulsed by what I perceive as romance, though it’s mainly the expectations surrounding romantic and limerent relationships that repulses me the most.
It does seem to me that there’s this “other” anti-romantic meaning in use. As we were talking about in the romance thread, as I understand it anti-romanticism refers to romantic attraction/limerence/the “in love” experience, not to expressions of love which are stereotypically considered romantic. However, I feel I’ve also come across people using anti-romantic to mean a distaste for or disapproval of some uncertainly-defined category of “romantic gestures.” I believe I’ve also seen it used to mean a disinclination to be in any sort of partnered relationship, or even a disinterest in any sort of relationships, including family relationships and friendships.

So, are there specific words for these other stances? Is there something you (or someone else reading this?) knows of which I might read which would go into these other attitudes more?

Aromanticism is the lack of desire for romantic relationships, romance-repulsion is being repulsed by romance. Of the people I've seen identify as romance-repulsed, some meant repulsion towards romance itself, others meant the stereotypical romantic gestures and/or the expectations associated with romantic relationships (i.e: expected to be sexual, limerent, involve little time left for oneself). I've seen people identify as antiromantic as either meaning the same thing as what some call romance-repulsion, others say it's an ideological rejection of romance (which is what I mean). I've also seen others use the term "nonamory" for the latter definition I gave for antiromanticism.

It's a lot like how there's no set term for the rejection of sex.


I can totally understand not wanting to date. Dating is the way people look for limerent-sexual relationships, so having to redefine "relationship" is an uphill battle from the get-go.

Date at a coffee shop:
"Hi. I'm interested in having sex and maybe even falling in love."
*plants tiny Antisexualism flag on their date's muffin* "Not by the time I'm done with you, you won't be."
Nice! Twisted Evil
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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by Panache on Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:48 am

@Admin wrote:
Limerence may have used to be adaptive during hunter-gatherer times, because i was common for several people to raise a child. It's not adaptive anymore, because it is so costly to be a single parent in a world with the institution of marriage and nuclear families being the norm. It's a lot harder to get the social support needed to raise the child.

I completely agree. The conjugal system has a lot of problems to my mind, especially the way our society does it. I’ve been wondering if the issues extend even beyond our society making limerent-sexual relationships the primary relationship in people’s lives.

@Admin wrote:
The example you gave reminded me of another: People who have hundreds of "friends" on social media that they barely, if ever talk to. And that ties into the stereotype that anyone who doesn't want sex and/or romance or limerence, can't form meaningful relationships.

That’s an excellent example.

@Admin wrote:
Maybe the limerence already faded before they married, and already experienced a more stable form of love?

Hence the caveat, assuming the couple is getting married while they’re in love, which is certainly the stereotypical image most people have: newlyweds in love.

@Admin wrote:
That's a tricky one, because I can't seem to distinguish a platonic relationship from a romantic relationship without limerence.

By my book there is no difference. If a romantic relationship is defined as one in which one or both parties is experiencing romantic attraction, which is limerence, there can’t be such a thing as a non-limerent romantic relationship.

@Admin wrote:
Aromanticism is the lack of desire for romantic relationships, romance-repulsion is being repulsed by romance.

I believe the definition of someone who’s aromantic is someone who doesn’t experience romantic attraction. This is an important difference. So someone who’s aromantic is the romantic orientation equivalent of someone who’s asexual, in contrast to people who are hetero/homo/bi/(etc.)romantic, who experience romantic attraction towards a particular gender/sex. As Wikipedia says, one’s romantic orientation is the gender or sex with whom one is mostly likely to fall in love. And since the whole in-love experience is where the addiction lies, the issue of whether someone experiences romantic attraction might be important.
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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by x Nacht Klaue x on Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:15 pm

I watched something interesting..

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba8WR_OlxNy/
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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by x Nacht Klaue x on Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:18 pm

So, what do you think about it? "Fish love" is it a good explanation?:)
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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by x Nacht Klaue x on Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:50 pm

I just watched documentary about these people. Wow...

"My boyfriend was killed by man who fell for me online"

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/97936/My-boyfriend-was-killed-by-man-who-fell-for-me-online

Nothing new of course, but it's so crazy and sad :(

Be careful of sharing personal information online...

Often on news, in real life, etc the nightmare starts when someone "falls in love" with a person.

Non-sexual loving someone is when you wish all good for the person. It's respect, caring, supporting... But sexual "falling in love" is a selfish thing, your desire comes first, you want the person all for yourself.
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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by SCH0206 on Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:43 pm

@x Nacht Klaue x wrote:I just watched documentary about these people. Wow...

"My boyfriend was killed by man who fell for me online"

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/97936/My-boyfriend-was-killed-by-man-who-fell-for-me-online

Nothing new of course, but it's so crazy and sad Sad

Be careful of sharing personal information online...

Often on news, in real life, etc the nightmare starts when someone "falls in love" with a person.

Non-sexual loving someone is when you wish all good for the person. It's respect, caring, supporting... But sexual "falling in love" is a selfish thing, your desire comes first, you want the person all for yourself.

Whoa, that is crazy and sad! This is one of the reasons why I keep my Internet presence low.

Excellent job of explaining the difference between true love and so-called love.

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Re: Falling in love vs. loving someone

Post by x Nacht Klaue x on Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:30 pm

Yea, a reminder for us all.. I shared everything about myself to a guy with autism online, that's only cuz I felt trust in him ehm.. But there are psychos online and we never know who's behind the screen..

I googled to search what forum that was. And I found it. I read old posts by the people in the news article. The guy who were killed were posting just few days before the day he was killed. It's so weird.. It's old news by the way, from 2008.

Now I will try to sleep, 3:29AM here..
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