I’m such a nerd: the science of limerence


Despite having a party girl look, I’ve never denied being a dork or nerd, whatever you call it. I’m just a cool one. When I encounter any problem in life, I may turn to my best friends. I may listen to their advice, but before any major decision is made, I always need to ask Google first.

In my novel Florid Eyes, Violet is very much like that. She has always tried to rationalize things in life before she eventually learns to submit (not in the Fifty Shades of Grey way) herself to fate and love. She has fallen for many wrong guys before. How did she get over them? Science, baby!

She once hooked up with a French diplomat and formed an unwanted attachment to that guy she barely knew. She knew it was stupid and unreasoned. She needed to get rid of that feeling, so she got to the root of the problem and realized it was only hormones playing with her head. Now you’re gonna ask me. What hormone is that?

Ha! Bet you didn’t know I’ve already done my homework. According some big name scientist (I’m not gonna bother with citation, I’ll save that for my PhD thesis),

A hormone called oxytocin is released in women during sex. It makes them feel attached to whoever they have sex with.

It actually makes a lot of sense in evolution because for the longest time women relied on men to provide for them and their children. It is necessary for them to feel attached to the men who fathered their children to have the highest chance of survival.

Once Violet understood it, she came to terms with the attachment immediately and knew there was nothing really romantic behind it. That’s how she got over the guy.

In the story, Violet was also going to give herself another science talk when she was first rejected by Josh. Of course, she didn’t really get to use that talk in the end because of (spoiler alert) whatever you will find out in the latter chapters, but anyway, what exactly was she going to say to herself? LIMERENCE.

This time I can tell you who came up with the term limerence. Psychologist Dorothy Tennov was the first to coin it in 1979. According to Wikipedia, aka the most reliable source in the world,

Limerence is an involuntary state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one’s feelings reciprocated.

Those who suffer from limerence (Violet) overlook flaws in their limerent objects (Josh). This is how Violet would diagnose herself by picking out these symptoms of limerence on herself.

1. intrusive thinking about the limerent object

Violet tried to shake off her thoughts about Josh after meeting him for the first time. She had to stop herself from daydreaming about when she would meet him again by refocusing on her research.

2. Acute longing for reciprocation

Violet felt a connection with Josh after their first real talk. She wanted him to like her so badly that it turned to anger when he rejected her. She felt shame, embarrassment and sadness after realizing Josh was unavailable.

3.  unable to see the LO’s flaws

Violet has completely overlooked the odd situation in which her and Josh met each other. Josh was covered in blood and couldn’t wait to getting rid of her. He was found again passed out in the library. Despite his warning, she still invited him over because she wanted to know him. These odd things did not add up to her because she was so attracted to him.

I am not saying Violet is not in love with Josh for real. As the creator of Violet, I understand her. She is a headstrong soul who hates the notion of defeat and feeling unwanted. I truly believe Violet would have exhausted all means to explain away her initial feelings for Josh, to convince herself what she had with him was nothing but a chemical reaction.

Ha! Who thought a vampire love story could have so much science behind it?


About Nicky

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.
This entry was posted in dating & relationship, Florid Eyes: A Novel, health & exercise, work and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s