One year on

So, I’ve been posting away in this blog now for a year, and it has been a lot of fun and pretty cathartic.

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Yes, I started on Valentine’s Day. How arch.

Looking back at the list of posts, I appear to have typed quite a lot. Looking to the future, I think it’s time to start growing beyond my own experiences. I want to learn more about other people’s experiences of limerence.

So, this is an outreach post, asking you, dear readers, for your views. What does limerence mean to you? What has been good? What has been bad? Are you a limerent? Or the partner of a limerent who is currently driving you mad? What would you like to know more about?

I’d like to know more about your stories. Please comment below, or get in touch at my gmail account (livingwithlimerence at gmail etc.), or via the contact form. I’d love to hear from you. I promise to read everything, and will do my best to reply as often as possible – subject to the sometimes onerous constraints of my day job.

I’m also planning a redesign of the blog, and maybe an email newsletter and some surveys and stuff.

Communities are good.

 

[NB. First comments are moderated to stop the bots]

9 thoughts on “One year on

  1. I’m interested in hearing from Dr Limerence and readers if they have any anecdotes about experiencing limerence for their long term partners. I can imagine that this is quite a rare experience, if it exists at all.

    I’d imagine that experiencing the same limerence for my long term SO that I felt before and in the early stages of our relationship would be as close to earthly bliss as we can get.

    Is this even a reachable goal, or even a truly worthwhile one? Is it wiser to learn to be content with affectionate love?

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    • Chico Marx’s wife apparently told their daughter that her heart fluttered or pounded every single time she heard his footsteps when he came home.

      Now he was a gambler and philanderer, in addition to being a vaudeville and movie star, so I don’t know how much was limerence versus anxiety, but she said she loved him very much.

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  2. Time to throw DrL under the bus:

    In “Is limerence all bad?” he explains some positive benefits to limerence. I agree with him but, for me, the benefits only appeared, or were appreciated, after I was out of the wilderness. If you’re in a relationship, the benefits are esoteric, the risks are very tangible.

    In his response to your comment in, “Why is limerence so powerful?,” he says, “As for long-term love, I definitely think it’s possible, as I was limerent for my wife (and she for me) and it evolved into a stable, loving marriage.”

    In “The best cure for limerence,” he says, “I have only ever become limerent for “damsels in distress”. Specifically, women who are bold and confident on the outside, but hiding an emotional wound within.” The implication is his wife was a damsel in distress. In “The Glimmer givers,” he says, “There is nothing so alluring as a damaged soul you’re sure you can fix.” If that’s not a meme, it should be.

    All of this has a consistent flow. What makes DrL interesting is in, “My story,” he describes his previous LEs, and he talks the most about the second one. But, he describes his wife this way, “My third experience of limerence was in my early twenties, when I met my wife. This one is your basic fairytale. Saw her across a crowded room. Knew immediately that this was someone almost certainly wholly inappropriate, and therefore irresistible. Bumped into her in said crowded room and hit it off. Caught the same train together after the party so we could keep talking. Arranged to meet again. And again. Reciprocation, bliss, marriage, kids, lasting affectional bonding.”

    But he doesn’t describe what made his wife unsuitable, what about her fit the damsel-in-distress profile, or posits why this one worked when many unsuitable candidates are nothing but trouble. Screening them can be risky.

    What made his wife different?

    If you’re a fixer by nature, once you fix something, there’s a good chance you start looking for something new to fix, You’re addicted to the process, not the result. The implication is the limerence was extinguished after marriage and replaced by real love and affection. But, as he also explained in, “My story,” he was still a limerent, just not with his wife. The implication once a limerent always a limerent. It may go into remission but you’re never really free of it.

    While the early part of my relationship with my wife had a fair amount of uncertainty, I never got a hint of glimmer from her. She didn’t need to be rescued/fixed and it was really refreshing.

    This is a great site! I really appreciate the opportunity to explore limerence.

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    • Ha! Dissected by Sharnhorst 🙂

      I’ll answer this and Bram’s question together as they both point to the same big question: can we be limerent for people that actually have the capacity to be good long term partners? To an extent it definitely depends on your limerence “profile” – some souls are doomed to be limerent for wrong-uns and so avoiding LOs for partners is a good idea.

      In my case, at one level I suppose I am lucky. When I met my wife, she definitely radiated the “I’m a damsel in distress, save me” vibe that triggers my limerence. I won’t go into the full details (to spare blushes, as she does read this blog!) but it was combined with a boldness of spirit and physical beauty that meant I was rapidly intoxicated. Where I believe I was “lucky” is that we bonded fast and hard through mutual limerence, but then once it began to wear off, we turned out to be compatible people. Like all relationships, there were a few wobbles along the way, but we matured together into an affectionately-bonded pair.

      It took some work, though. Both of us had to learn to communicate honestly, behave in a way that meant we maintained mutual respect, and solve problems through compromise. It’s likely that many damsels (or batchelors?) in distress will not be emotionally equipped to do this. It is likely that more stable people will be able to, but may not trigger the glimmer in limerents that are drawn to rescue fantasies. A series of rescue attempts that fail would really begin to pall, and as Sharnhorst says, if it’s the rescue/fix that’s the thrill, the limerent may even abandon LOs with whom they could form a stable bond, because it would become dull. Once “saved” the damsel becomes a non-LO.

      As I’ve said in many posts, though, the fact that limerence for bad LOs means life for those limerents is tough, isn’t an indictment of limerence as a phenomenon. Many, many people seem to experience the symptoms of limerence in the early stages of romantic love, and their fate once limerence passes will depend on whether they can form a stable bond. Limerents that suffer most acutely or repeatedly are going to be the ones that dominate the psychological literature.

      Finally, to answer Bram’s question about limerence for long-term partners: no, I no longer experience limerence symptoms for my wife. I do feel a very powerful love for her, but it is very different in character from limerence. The mad euphoria has gone, and been replaced by a much deeper feeling – like the difference between pleasure and happiness.

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      • One thing that I look for is congruence. Do things logically flow from one thing to another and do they seem to fit with my experience. Also, do they fit with models of how other things relate to life. What I’ve seen here is congruent. There appear to be commonalities but there is also a lot of nuance. There are a lot of things that relate to my experience and a lot that don’t.

        I read some excerpts from Tennov’s book online. It had a dated feel to it but the content is still fresh. It reminded me of another book on a distantly related topic. That author would likely be considered out of the mainstream but what he says still has merit.

        When I first encountered LO #4 on her site, I “dissected” her work. I wouldn’t have called it that. I was trying to understand things, I asked pointed questions, and proposed things to her. She seemed to like the critique. I think it was one of the things that got her to engage with me. She said I got her to see things in ways she hadn’t considered and they made sense to her.

        Talk about reinforcement.

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  3. Could you add a coloumn that shows the most recent comments made (maybe be commenter’s name) and a link to them? Unless that would ¢o$t too much, of course. If someone comments on the oldest posts no one will know unless they obsessively click through from the very beginning.

    Like

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