Here’s some interesting information about Living with limerence:
- 186 posts
- 189,432 words
- 10,107 comments
- 1,409,159 words in comments
That’s a lot of words, thoughts, ideas, and discussed lives.
One of the inevitable consequences of writing about a topic for more than three years and 189,000 words, though, is that it’s easy to lose sight of where you started, and why.
I’ve been doing a fair amount of behind-the-scenes tinkering lately, most especially on the emergency deprogramming course version 2.0 (a revision that has got way out of hand!), but also on trying to figure out the best way to set up a private community section. That work has made me realise that there are kind of two groups of people that come here for help: those who have just discovered limerence, and those who have been here for a while and like the community spirit.
Those two gangs have quite different needs, so I think it makes sense to reorganise things a bit to reflect that reality.
Step one is a bit of a “back to basics” campaign for the new arrivals. Going over some of the key posts on the main principles of limerence and limerence recovery, updating them and making them a bit more visible and findable. The first repost will go up this afternoon.
Step two is the much-talked-about-but-not-yet-implemented community section, for the regulars. The plan is to use a sign-in to make everything a bit more private (and invisible to search engines) so that we can let our hair down and cheer each other on without worrying about Google and Gravatar sharing our secrets with the world…
More updates to follow as progress is made. Till then, here’s a picture of a naughty cat:
Hope everyone is keeping well.
Thank you Dr. L,
Did you think this blog would take off like this?
WARNING: self indulgent biopic coming up…
Its amazing how many people identify with this reality, and yet how little publicised the concept of limerence (…or the problems arising from limerent processes) is. I know when I found this site it blew my mind and new members equally often introduce themselves with ‘OMG I thought this craziness was all just me.’ I had a similar experience a couple of years ago with another behavioural thing.
I was diagnosed a couple of years ago (age 39) with ADHD. In retrospect I should have been picked up at school, but I went to a pretty rough, inner city school- those teachers already had their hands full! For years I’d just got used to ‘the way I was.’ Employers were less keen, friends just enjoyed my ‘quirks’. But by my late 30s I wasn’t happy with how I was, I sought help, waited 2 years for an assessment (adult ADHD is not well funded in the UK). But the point is, a label, diagnosis, change-of-world-view (and… meds!) was really life altering. It’s great when suddenly you’re not this singularly chaotic, disorganised, sparky, fun, person who struggles to hold down a job but actually you’re part of the human race and there’s others out there too. You’re not alone.
Learning about limerence has had lots of similar benefits. As long as I’ve been a romantic/sexual adult I’ve had periodic LEs. I used to describe it as stickiness. Because I was literally stuck. My first ‘boyfriend’ when I was 18 lasted 3 months. I was still feeling pangs, regrets, longing and awful discomfort whenever I saw him even after university- years later. Confiding in friends made me feel like a weirdo… they seemed astonished ‘you’re STILL hung up on him? He’s nothing special Thomas! It was three years ago!’ I don’t blame them for not getting it but I couldn’t understand why they didn’t, and why they weren’t like me. They’d have partners, they’d have break ups, there might even be a few weeks of drama… but not usually months, and certainly not years!
Of course I assumed LO#1 must have been unique. I’d missed my one prince. The one person I could never replace.
Until LO#2 came along. LO#2 was a proper narc. No details but he humiliated me… and took pleasure in that. Tactical advances, withdrawal, devaluing the works… my friends HATED him but I couldn’t let go. Not for ages. Therapy (about other stuff) helped me out of that situation. But that was confusing… because suddenly I’d met two people who I’d realised I was deeply, aggressively infatuated with… and again the people around me just seemed to view it as some mad (in all senses) eccentricity. I also think that at this point I assumed that my LEs were unique, and signified what ‘true’ love really was. I looked at friends and assumed that they didn’t understand passion… and after all – how many movies present infatuation as the truest form of love?
Of course there have been other LOs. But my stablest, most meaningful relationship didn’t involve limerence (just a normal early period of crushing on my SO which was intense, and lovely- but not desperate). In fact, the sad thing is I didn’t label that as love at the time (privately obviously, I said + did all the right things). I married SO, but after a number of years it ended. Part of my private shame was that I hadn’t been ‘in love’ enough. But I now believe that I was wrong. I did love SO, we’re still in touch and I’ll always have his back and want to be in his life in some way. But I was never limerent for SO, and I also see that is OK now.
Learning more about myself has really helped me be kinder to myself, whether its ADHD or limerence. Finding others who just seem to ‘get’ what this feels like has been an amazing experience. Like a lot of folks I was reading this for months before daring to comment.
So sorry if this is all a bit heavy Dr. L. But thank you so very very much. Its amazing how a pet project on neuroscience and limerence has grown into something so valuable to so many people.
…and that’s that… as you were folks!
I genuinely didn’t have any expectations. I mainly wanted to get down all the thoughts and lessons from the limerence white-water ride I’d been through, and kind of assumed that there must be other people out there that are going through the same thing. So I wrote with that imaginary audience in mind.
I guess the thing is that the internet allows you to reach such a huge audience that you can find your tribe – or they can find you.
Can relate to your comments, Thomas. Friends have teased me about “carrying a torch” for this one or that one. “You sure like carrying torches for people, etc.”
Wish they sat us down in school and told us that love doesn’t feel desperate. That love shouldn’t come with endless anxiety attached. That anxiety is a sign that something is probably not quite right. Suffering for love really isn’t normal or desirable. Certainly it’s not common. So far in life, I’ve never been able to enjoy any of my “romantic adventures”, for want of a better word, as I’ve never been able to relax fully in the presence of my paramours. I become “distressed” easily.
My wish is one day doctors will at least be familiar with the concept of limerence and be able to pick up on signs of pain caused by limerence. E.g. if a young person turns up in an emergency ward following a suicide attempt, and there’s no clear cause, perhaps limerence-related unhappiness could be investigated as a contributing factor? I think there’s a sizable overlap between limerence and other mental health conditions e.g. depression, anxiety, social phobia, OCD, etc.
Of course, the problem is the medical profession probably thinks it’s not in the business of mending broken hearts – not enough funding, too many other ailments needing treatment. A broken heart is the province of advice columnists! But limerence is proof the physical and the emotional are profoundly connected. Thanks, DRL, for this site, and thanks to all the people who have posted here.
Sammy, “the problem is the medical profession probably thinks it’s not in the business of mending broken hearts”…
I don’t know about doctors, but therapists and psychiatrists for sure are. In my experience therapy is very helpful even without the therapist being particularly knowledgeable about limerence itself. In the end it’s is about broken hearts, addiction, unmet needs, attachment issues, childhood traumas, etc etc…
@Emma. That is good to hear. What I mean is – you might not be able to get a formal diagnosis of “limerence”, say, if you were going through a particularly rough patch, unbearable misery, etc. I’m thinking doctors would diagnose depression or maybe, maybe bipolar. But therapy would definitely be a good place to talk about all the issues that arise or come to the surface because of limerence.
Recovering-I Hope-Limerent says
Dr L. Thanks so much for this blog. Wish you could quantify the amount of healing and self-realization that has occurred here! I found this blog using a search engine to explore what went wrong with what, I initially thought, was a great working relationship and friendship.
Five months into NC, I slipped after a request to return to my old workplace was made through a mutual acquaintenance. Not sure why I wasn’t contacted directly, but I texted LO ‘no can do’. Crickets. Grrrr. Although in retrospect, no reply was necessary and I told myself what I always say, ‘Eventually thoughts will be less and less and it will all be ok’.
All in all, I’m feeling so much better, understand the dynamics and how to keep from falling into this mentally distressing limbo. Like Kat2, I have triggers and being more self-aware can keep me from responding to them so quickly — a little think through before acting is always helpful. Nice job, Kat2.
Thank you again Dr L. for all your work and encouragement on this blog. It’s very helpful. Even today, I was thinking too much and realized yesterday was Saturday — Blog Day — Encouragement. Yes!!!
As a newbie and someone who likes the community aspect, I love this!
Thanks for all the work you do, Dr. L!
You’re welcome, DoubleLime!
Thank you for this blog! I discovered the word limerence today and sadly can relate. I’m 30 and I have had those feelings for many people (friends, teachers, celebs, coworkers) almost my whole life since I was about 10. None of those people ever loved me back. I feel like your blog can be very helpful. I haven’t seen my last LO for 4 months (used to work with them) and recently I started feeling better, I’m less depressed, I sleep better, stopped crying, and have more energy. I’m trying to find out how to avoid another LE. Hugs to anyone who reads it 🙂
Welcome, Oshie, and thanks for your comment. Glad you’ve found us!
Glad too to hear that you are coming out of your last limerence episode. There are lots of posts here on how to handle life as a limerent, which should help with the mental preparation when it comes to your next LO. Good luck!
I’ve been following your blog for 7 months now. I’m glad I questioned my reaction to my latest LO which led me to this blog. Whenever I devolve into maladaptive daydreams I often tune into your blog, and it helps bring me back to reality. Your descriptions of limerence are so spot. I just read your intro blog “What is Limerence?” The last paragraph makes me wonder if you are softing a bit on the initial limerence reaction.
“I’m going to focus most of my posts on trying to understand limerence as a phenomenon, with the goal of devising means for enjoying it as an addictive stimulant to be indulged in at the appropriate times to the appropriate degree. I do believe that limerence can add vivid colour to life, without compromising the pursuit of meaningful happiness.“
Isn’t that like saying you can have your cake and eat it too? What about the unrequited limerence? I thought limerents were considered addicts – why would you encourage limerents to indulge in an addictive stimulant. My thought is this goes against living purposely. I would love to revel in my limerence it helps me cope with what makes me unhappy, but shouldn’t I address what makes me unhappy rather than live in some make believe world? I just don’t know if you can have it both way. It is all so confusing to me.
Funnily enough, I’ve probably got more sceptical as time has gone on. That repost was a revision of one of the earliest posts on the site, where I possibly had a more optimistic view (and hadn’t read so many sad stories from fellow limerents).
That said, I do think that limerence can be a positive force in life, if properly tempered by self-discipline and purposeful living. The key thing is to try and use it for your goals, rather than being a slave to it. This is most true, I think, for single people who are free to bond with a good LO. The initial period of euphoria is a great feeling, and very energising and creatively stimulating. If that then progresses into healthy long-term love, then life is good.
The three big dangers are: limerence when you are already committed, getting trapped in unrequited limerence, and limerence for a toxic LO.
That’s when limerence is a total SOB.
Can I share a small victory? I was reading this blog this morning when I decided to go full NC.
My SO came home in a horrible mood and I realized it was a trigger. I immediately wanted to contact LO – maybe send him a picture and get a compliment.
And then I thought it through and realized LO probably also has days when he comes home from work in a mood.
Hurray for kat2!
Realising Los are people is a huge victory! Good for you.
Thank you!! I appreciate the support and love reading the articles here.
That’s a massive win. Congrats Kat2!
Great that you
spotted the trigger in time to stop, instead of acting first then regretting later!
(Also, you’re right. I think we all get home in a mood sometimes!)
Thanks for sharing that Kat2 – very helpful! My SO has started a diet recently and has been grumpy and not pleasant to be around all week….it really has prompted some more serious LO ruminations for me. But next time I ruminate like this, I will imagine LO being equally grumpy.
Thank you for everything you have done with this site, Dr L. It’s incredible with the work you’ve put in and creating a place where people who experience limerence, can be open about what they’ve experienced is a great service. I would also like to thank the members of the community here for your contributions! 🙂
From my own perspective, I would have loved to have had access to everything you’ve written when I went through my first 3 LEs as it would have helped me immensely in coping with the intensity of my limerence at the time. It’s certainly opened my eyes to a subject that I thought I knew fairly well having read what little there is available about limerence and given me far more control over what I’m feeling with regards to my current LE, a journey that hasn’t been easy if I am honest, but definitely much easier than if I hadn’t come across this site.