Process of crystallization
Stendhal describes or compares the “birth of love” in a new relationship as being a process similar or analogous to a trip to Rome. In the analogy, the city of Bologna represents indifference and Rome represents perfect love:
Apennines, and takes the road to Rome. The departure, according to Stendhal, has nothing to do with one’s will; it is an instinctive moment. This transformative process actuates in terms of four steps along a journey:
Admiration – one marvels at the qualities of the loved one.
Acknowledgement – one notices the return affection of the charming person.
Hope – one envisions gaining the love of the loved one.
Delight – one exults in overrating the beauty and merit of the person he or she loves.
First, one admires the other person. Second, one acknowledges the pleasantness in having acquired the interest of a charming person. Third, hope emerges. In the fourth stage, one delights in overrating the beauty and the merit of the person whose love one hopes to win. This journey or crystallization process (shown above) was detailed by Stendhal on the back of a playing card, while speaking to Madame Gherardi, during his trip to Salzburg salt mine.
Psychologist Dorothy Tennov describes the process as a transformation in which the loved one’s characteristics are crystallized via mental events and neurological reconfigurations such that attractive characteristics are exaggerated and unattractive characteristics are given little or no attention. She uses this basis for her description of a "limerent object", related to the concept of limerence.
*excerpted from here.