Limerence dreams

A defining feature of limerence is persistent, intrusive thoughts about LO. And it doesn’t even let up when you are asleep. Frequent dreams about LO are very common, and can be quite informative. Now, I’m no Freudian (or Jungian) and don’t want to make too much of this, in terms of trying to interpret the symbolism of the dream or what it means for your deeper psyche, but sometimes the dreams are so hilariously literal that they can be useful. The stimulus for this post was a previous comment by J, who had this dream:

Last night I couldn’t sleep, was in a lucid dream state about LO could not get my mind to stop no matter how hard I tried. It was easier and more pleasurable to let the LO fantasy happen. I then had a dream of injecting heroine into my leg behind my SO back, but the injection site was bleeding!

Closely followed by an important P.S.

Ps I’ve never taken heroin!

I don’t think you need to be a genius rocket surgeon to interpret that one.

So, can our crazy dreams be useful for managing limerence? I think so, particularly in terms of how the experience develops over time, and what it tells you about the subconscious awareness of how LO is affecting your life. To illustrate this, I’ll adopt the strategy of bores everywhere and tell you about a couple of my dreams.

Now, early on in the limerence cycle, these dreams can be mostly positive, and often sexy.

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Don’t worry, I’ll spare you those.

As time goes on, the mood music changes, both in real life and in dreams. For me, one of the best ways to recognise how toxic the limerence was becoming was when the dreams turned into nightmares. This was also actually really helpful in the deprogramming process, as the more affecting nightmares would cause me to spend a good portion of the day still feeling the emotional hangover. On those days, time with LO became negative reinforcement. So, in the hopes that reliving them may help other suffering limerents, here are a couple of mine:

1) The trap

I was working in an office that I sometimes shared with LO, and we were chatting away. After a while, I left the office, and discovered that instead of emerging into the usual corridor, I was in a musty bathroom. In confusion, I wandered into the next room, which was a small lounge, with a blaring TV, and a window view out over a rainy city. It dawned on me that I was now living with LO in a tiny flat. With a creeping sense of claustrophobia, I tried to get out, and followed the only other route: a narrow, dimly lit corridor. It led around the back of the office (where LO was still working) in a short, closed circle, and back to the bathroom. There was no way out. I was trapped.

2) Gone swimming

I was with my wife and kids at the swimming pool, and having fun. Then I noticed that LO was at the far end of the pool. With some trepidation, I pointed her out to my wife, and said “Come on, I think I’d better introduce you all.” Somewhat reluctantly, she agreed, and so I swam over to LO. I greeted her, and explained that I wanted to introduce my family, and turned to find that they hadn’t swum along with me as I’d expected, and in fact I couldn’t see them. Somewhat embarrassed, I explained to LO that they must have gone over to the slides, or the small pool, and said that I would go and find them and bring them over. Dripping and cold, I then hurried around the various other parts of the pool, and into the changing rooms. I searched with awful, escalating, panic. My family had vanished. I woke with my heart hammering.

I’ve learned to listen to my subconscious mind when it screams at me. Dreams can be useful. Try and catch the worst and remember them for later reprogramming purposes.

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Got one! Urgh. Quick, throw it in the fire!

10 thoughts on “Limerence dreams

  1. I never had any dreams I remember about LO #1 or LO #3. I’ve had plenty about LO #2 & LO #4. I’ve talked about some of them elsewhere so I won’t repeat those.

    Some of them were pretty intense. After LO #2 sent her Facebook friend request, I had a dream I met with her. I decided to ask her if she wanted to try it again. When I turned around, she was gone. After running away, I decided to turn around and look for her again. When I got back, my dead father was standing there. When I told him what I was going to do, he told me, “Don’t. Leave it alone.”

    I think I had this dream when I was almost at the end of the line with LO #4. I dreamed my wife, my daughter, and I were at a resort. The porter told us our snake was in the urn. Apparently, there was some local custom having to do with poisonous snakes. There was a 4ft tall urn in the corner. I lifted lid and there was a rattlesnake in the bottom. I asked my wife if the ritual was sticking your hand or your head in the urn. She thought it was your head. I told her the point of that ritual escaped me. I turned out the light to go to bed and I got bit in the left leg by a snake. We flipped on the lights but didn’t see a snake. My leg started to swell and discolor. My wife called the front desk to get help and told me to calm down, there was anti-venom at the hospital. I kept asking but what if there wasn’t? Oddly, neither my wife nor my daughter were concerned there was a snake loose in the room.

    Another thing is that after grinding through all this, I think I’ve reconciled things in my dreams.

    It’s pretty obvious from FB that LO #2 has a BF. After I understood my emotionally corrective experience triggers, I dreamed I ran into her at the airport. She was on one side of a glass partition and I was on the other. I pointed to the area where we could meet. Just then I saw my wife coming up. They had never met and my wife would be mortified to meet her today (long story). I told her LO #2 was there and asked if she wanted to meet her after all these years. She said, “Nope.” I went back to the window and her BF was there with his arm around her. I gave her the sorry shrug, smiled, and turned away.

    I had a dream that I was out with my wife and mother-in-law. We were waiting to be seated in a restaurant when LO #4 walked in and sat down. My wife was between me and LO #4. I asked my wife if we could change places so I could talk to LO #4. We did. As I was talking to LO #4, my wife gently took my hand and held. It was a reminder.

    Almost all the dreams about LO #4 reflected the fact that there was nothing really mutual between us. Although when she did respond, my dreams reflected my anxiety.

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  2. In the last few weeks, I’ve had 2 more dreams about LO #2. The circumstances were different but the themes seem to be the same.

    #1: In this dream, I was parking my car along the side of the road. As I was getting out, LO #2 parked her car across the street. It turned out we were going to the same place. We went inside. There was a large lobby with a lot of exhibitor tables, etc., in it. LO #2 was looking at something on the wall when I asked if she’d like something to drink. She said a glass of water would be nice so I went to find one. When I came back, she was gone and I never did find her, again.

    #2: I was walking across a large gravel parking lot to a building on the other side. The parking lot was largely empty. As I was walking across, I almost got hit by a small shuttle bus pulling into the lot. The shuttle was full of people and LO #2 was driving it. We recognized each other. I waited for her to park the bus and get off. She drove to the far end of the empty lot. The people got off the bus, She stood out from the others, wearing a blue and white floral pantsuit; the only person in color in an otherwise black & white photo. It looked like the group was dressed for something like a wedding reception, nice but not formal. As she came closer, I was suddenly surrounded by a large group of people. Some guy, I wondered if it was her BF, kept looking at me. I lost her in the crowd. As I was looking for her, a guy who worked there said, “There are lots of places you can stop along the way to water the horses (no clue) or get something to eat.” I told him, “I’m not a part of this.” The crowd disappeared and I started heading toward the building.

    What I’m having trouble with, is why, after all this time, my subconscious still has me encountering her but not being able to engage her.

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  3. For me, an interesting feature of limerence dreams is the way it often brings slumbering limerence back to the centre of our consciousness. For weeks now, I’ve had minimal contact with LO. I enjoyed a friendly, collegial relationship with her at work and had no intrusive or limerent thoughts about her when out of her vicinity. My relationship with SO improved immensely, as freedom from limerent obsession freed up huge reserves of romantic energy and positive feeling towards her.

    Then, for no clear reason, I have a mundanely pleasant fantasy dream about LO, not particularly interesting, but very vivid. And boom, I can feel the roots of limerence taking hold on my mind once more… Go figure!

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    • Your hindbrain whispering, “If life is going well with one person, why not two!”? Or maybe it’s more like the cycle when someone stops drinking, or quits smoking cigarettes. Thinks are great & so easy for a stretch of time, but then a circumstance arises, old habits die hard and you’re tempted to have one drink with old friends, or one cigarette after dinner.

      Sorry it sucker-punched you, Bram. Time to see less if LO, I guess.

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      • Yep, said dream definitely followed a period of increased contact with LO. At least the fact that things are going well with SO weakens the hold considerably.

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  4. Recently, I read about a “strategy” that involved purposely altering the conclusions of the fantasies about the LO to ensure a “bad” ending. For example, imagining that the relationship slowly devolves into a state of constant argument and mutual disgust or hatred.

    It worked for a while, I lasted several weeks without struggling with limerence. I felt free—like I had a grasp of reality and I was living again. But one night, randomly and completely out of the blue, I dreamed about the LO again, which served more as a reminder of the LO’s existence than any particular desire for activity together. I woke up feeling incredibly puzzled wondering what might have caused it as I had not been thinking about the LO for weeks.

    And then the whole cycle started again. It’s annoying but the puzzled feeling hasn’t gone away yet. As with limerence, believing that it’s somehow the act of some higher power like a god or perhaps fate/destiny is very tempting. My subconscious believes in it (along with plenty of other highly improbable yet not impossible things) and as a result I’m actively having to fight it consciously almost on a daily basis. A bit like fighting for the control yokes on an aeroplane but one of the pilots is trying to fly into a jungle, completely convinced that Wakanda lies just beyond it (even though it is a fictional place).

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    • I love the aeroplane metaphor. 😀

      Sometimes, one needn’t even fantasize – it can be helpful to consider all the very real negative consequences that almost certainly will result if one’s relationship with LO was ever consummated (depending on one’s situation, of course).

      I don’t know the specifics of your situation, but in the deepest grip of my limerence, I was amazed at my mind’s ability to glaze over the fact that my LO is married. The heartbreak for a great many people that would result from a successful pursuit was barely a blip on my radar. Taking that seriously into consideration can certainly cool the fires a bit.

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  5. 6 weeks no contact and last night I dreamt about LO. First time in ages.

    Annoying thing (or maybe a positive) is I cannot remember the actual dream, but I was awoken before the end of it and it’s left me feeling warm towards LO again.

    No idea why I dreamt about him or even the details of the dream. Just frustrating.

    I now keep rereading your article on the benefits of no contact and remember that if I contact him I’ve thrown my career away and put my marriage on the line again for nothing.

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