The consequences of a limerence episode can last longer than we want. Jasmine got in touch recently, regarding a problem that has no easy solution. Her LO is stalking her.
The knee-jerk response at this point would be “call the police!” but I’m going to assume that that idea has occurred to Jasmine, and that she is hoping for a more subtle take on the situation. So, let’s work through the details.
Jasmine and her LO were mutually limerent, and embarked on an emotional affair, which progressed to the point of mutual declaration of romantic feelings. At that point, however, Jasmine pulled back. She decided to end the emotional affair, recommit to her marriage and go no contact with LO. She communicated this to LO and asked him to leave her alone.
That plan has been working out for her, and she has made good progress on recovery, rebuilding trust, and basically getting her mind straight. She’s disclosed to her husband who is supportive, but understandably upset, and they are working on moving on together from a difficult episode in their married life.
LO, however, is not taking things so well.
It’s been over a year of NC for me, and yet I don’t think I’ve gone through a full week- with a few exceptions- without LO driving/riding/running/hiking by. When I was working, he would drive by during the time he knew I’d be outside. He figures out my routine and then makes it his routine.
I don’t feel physically threatened, I’m not afraid of him, I tell my SO when I see him (which gets really annoying for both of us), I change my routine…. but it doesn’t seem to be losing any momentum. He never tries to talk to me; in fact, he acts like he doesn’t see me at all.
I describe this, to myself, as soft stalking. No communication, no escalation, no sense of threat, just a consistent and persistent “there ness”
Obviously, it’s good that Jasmine doesn’t feel threatened, but there are at least three problems here.
First, LO’s behaviour is making it difficult for Jasmine to get on with her life, and destabilising the marriage recovery with the repetitive reporting of LO sightings as a constant background reminder of the EA.
Second, Jasmine was a willing participant in the EA, and so judging what is reasonable or unreasonable behaviour from LO gets complicated.
Third, speaking as an impartial observer, I can’t shake off a black cloud of concern about whether LO’s stalking will escalate, despite Jasmine’s optimism. At the moment, he is dancing on the line of plausible deniability, and only seeking glimpses of Jasmine in public – an unpersuasive case for bringing in the authorities. But that could change, depending on LO’s state of mind and persistence – things that are outside of Jasmine’s control.
So what’s the purposeful response? What is within Jasmine’s control, what can be done to help manage the situation, and when is it time to bring in reinforcements? Well, I’m gonna follow my usual strategy of overthinking things and see how it goes.
What’s going on in LO’s head?
There’s a risk in trying to untangle this skein, and to a significant extent it doesn’t matter, but it is worth reflecting on what LO is experiencing as that can help clarify how best to respond.
Jasmine doesn’t feel threatened by LO. That’s encouraging, and I suspect that part of the reason for that is, as a fellow limerent, she understands what he’s going through. She knows how it feels to crave limerent reinforcement – even the sickly, pathetic, hit of briefly seeing them across a parking lot. That sort of impulse is familiar to all limerents, and so we know that it can just be a guilty fix that won’t go further.
A less encouraging sign is that LO did not respond with embarrassment or reflection when Jasmine changed her routine to disrupt this indirect fix, he altered his own schedule to try and re-establish the exposure. That could suggest something deeper.
As we’ve discussed recently, LO may feel he is owed attention or acknowledgement by Jasmine. They were close in an EA. He is hurting. Surely that makes him entitled to some sort of recompense or continued friendship or at least some form of communication? Yeah, no. Healthy relationships don’t work like that. One person can unilaterally decide to break contact if they feel the relationship is bad for them. The “discarded” person can certainly feel upset, angry, wronged and ill-treated, but they can’t demand attention.
Where does responsibility lie?
OK. We’re all adults here (I think). Let’s be real for a minute. It’s possible that Jasmine’s LO has always had this stalkerish tendency, but when deep in the throes of mutual limerence, she kind of liked it. Maybe it was even a part of how the EA developed.
Many limerents would get a rush of excitement (even titillation) from the thought that their LO was “soft stalking” them. It’s solid evidence of the thing that most limerents want more than anything else: reciprocation. Objectively, it’s f–ed up, of course, but that just adds to the transgressive frisson.
It’s conceivable that Jasmine’s LO is subconsciously trying to draw her back into an EA, if she had been permissive about his obsessive behaviour in the midst of the EA. Assuming this is true, does that mean Jasmine has to take some of the blame for his current behaviour?
Again, it’s a firm No.
Like any other aspect of human romance and sexuality, in all it’s weird splendour, once one person no longer wants to play, the game is over. That’s how consent works, and that’s why stalking is such a frightening experience: it ignores the wishes of the victim.
What to do?
OK, so we can make some sense of what’s going on in LO’s head, but how does that help Jasmine figure out what to do? Well, if we’re right in our speculations, the purposeful response is to try not to reinforce the limerence reward, give LO any extra attention, or validate his potential feelings of resentment. To avoid those outcomes, the best thing to do is maintain no contact as far as possible and to keep going with the policy of non-engagement.
Jasmine is doing this to an extent already, but moving to a general policy of always mixing things up and keeping unpredictable routines is savvy.
It’s also great to keep SO involved in the planning and discussions, and not just think “I’ll keep quiet this time to save him the hassle.” You and SO against the problem is the right mindset.
Another principle would be to resist the urge to make contact. If this “soft-stalking” results in even negative contact from Jasmine (or her SO), it could perversely reinforce the behaviour, because contact is attention, after all. If LO thinks he can provoke Jasmine into breaking no contact by lurking in the background of her life, then he may just get more persistent.
Finally, it may be time to set a deadline to this. Decide with SO how long your joint resilience can last with the policy of fluid routines, no-contact, no-acknowledgment, and then fix a definite end date: e.g. 3 more months, or until an important date like a birthday, holiday, or anniversary. If there’s been no improvement when the deadline arrives, then more action will be taken.
When to call for reinforcements
The form of that action should first be advice from a professional – contacting a charity or helpline that supports victims of stalking and explaining what’s happening would be a good start. Sure, we at LwL may have some special insight on what it’s like to be limerent and so how we can understand the LO’s mindset, but they will have special insights into how to practically manage a soft-stalking situation that’s got out of hand.
It’s also a good plan to accelerate to that stage if the situation escalates before you have reached your deadline. If LO comes closer to home, or tries to re-establish contact, or the tenor of his behaviour changes (e.g. cold glares, angry body language, careless driving, or other threatening behaviour) then no more benefit of the doubt.
I’m writing from a UK perspective, but generally speaking the authorities take stalking seriously. It’s likely that you would be treated sensitively… but there does generally need to be some form of unwanted contact or harassment (e.g. phone calls, texts, or visits to home or workplace). If any of those things happen, then getting the police involved is a very good idea.
Hopefully it won’t come to that, but it’s good to know that you have that reserve to draw on if you need it.
A serious case study this week. If anyone has insights into how to handle such a delicate situation, please do chip in the comments. Let’s crowdsource some wisdom.
Oh dear. This situation sounds terribly sad. In a perfect world, people could just honestly say what they wanted/didn’t want from each other, no hard feelings involved on either side. Unfortunately, real life is a little more complicated than that. Communication breakdowns are all too frequent.
The fact they there was a genuine emotional involvement at some point does make it awfully tricky. Jasmine’s LO might feel she led him on. And maybe she did lead him on – technically. However, even if she led him on, she still absolutely has the right to change her mind and focus on her marriage, etc. Fickleness isn’t a crime. Yes, this is actually quite a sad situation for everyone concerned.
The only thing that comes to my mind is that Jasmine’s LO needs a sensible friend to sit down with him and say, “Dude, you just need to move on with your life – for the sake of your own happiness. Pining for unavailable people doesn’t lead to lasting joy.” This is where mutual friends or an extended kin network would be invaluable. I actually feel very sympathetic to both parties. If Jasmine’s LO is taking it hard, he needs love and support – as well as a manly chat or three.
Rejection is always easier to cope with if you have friends and family to help you carry the pain. Jasmine should probably avoid contact with LO if she can. How does limerence work again? You get a dopamine hit from just about anything to do with LO? She certainly doesn’t want to accidentally reinforce bad behaviour.
This case study, to me, exposes the troubling nature of limerence itself. You can’t outlaw a biological reaction, only unpleasant actions that sometimes result. Desire in and of itself isn’t illegal, and thank God for that. If desire didn’t exist, think of all the great books we wouldn’t have i.e. the entire works of Jane Austen!
Still, we all have to live in a society together. Empathy is important. If Jasmine’s LO had empathy for her, he would help allay her fears at this time by politely removing himself from her life. That would be the gentlemanly thing to do. If Jasmine was acting ethically during her LE, she would have thought twice about looking for romantic excitement outside her marriage. She certainly hasn’t behaved like a lady. Maybe we need to bring back some code of chivalry?
Humour aside, limerence catches people unawares. All the wisdom seems to be gained in hindsight. Pointing the finger of blame is useless. Empowering people make good choices is the way forward. If only Miss Austen were here to help us!
I like your sensible friend approach Sammy, unfortunately thats out of Jasmines sphere of control.
I get the impression that my LOs ‘sensible friends ‘ have regularly had words with him, going by their previous glares.
I wonder, has her LO heard of limerence? I often hope my LO will happen upon this website, I think it would help him understand alot about his own feelings, and explain to him my own behaviours, including NC.
Could that be a solution, suggest limerence to LO?
Or can stalking be an indication of personality disorders at play?
During one LE I engineered bumping into my LO on a handful of occasions. This was a number of years ago, and it was pretty low-grade stuff. I knew he worked for a specific charity and found their address and basically hung around the area or the local tube station waiting to spot him. It was pretty inefficient, and frankly I remember that sadly he wasn’t that bothered to talk too much to me when I did ‘bump into’ him. Had he changed habits I’d have been completely outfoxed and would never have had the gall to go close to his home as I genuinely had no rational reason to be there.
I think the persistence and planning of this behaviour is worrisome. But are there any other users who have carried through behaviour to this degree, with harmless intent?
I’d seek advice and support. I just don’t like the sound of somebody adapting and adjusting plans. That seems… I’m sorry to say it but creepy. Irrespective of any limerence or otherwise.
In fact, considering all of the talk by commenters here about their experience, it feels a bit intrusive, a bit bold… this isn’t exactly a limerent in private pain… its acting out – and its hard not to worry about what the intention is. They’re not hiding, they’re being obvious…
Again much younger me used to try and disrupt relationships if an LO had one. It might involve turning up at pubs or clubs where I knew LO would be, and where I knew I would be spotted (if ignored) but also that it would upset LOs partner even that I was there…
But again… I didn’t carry that behaviour into the home area of LO. That’s pretty bold and invasive.
I’d call for support and advice right now.
I think most “normal” limerents are self-aware enough to know when to back off when they notice that LO is reacting negatively to their attention. That this guy doesn’t get the message (or doesn’t want to) looks to me like he’s starting to sail away to more dangerous waters.
I think that maybe it’s a bit soon to start calling the police, but those helplines sound pretty useful. I also agree that keeping SO informed through all this is the best idea. Direct confrontation doesn’t seem like an optimal way to approach this, but maybe it’s the only viable solution if he nevers go above or below from “soft stalking”. Maybe having SO confront the guy instead of Jasmine will work better in getting him to stop…?
I know most people with erotical delusional disorder stalk, they are convinced that the other person has feelings for them, I know limerents have the tendency to think this to a certain degree, this is so powerful, we have such a connection. But limerents can be open for the truth, or have moments of clarity. When you have a delusional disorder your idea is stuck. Stalkers without delusional disorder have a high risk of being either narcissistic or have a anti social personality. ( They lack embarrassment, empathy for the other and feel they have the right to this other person and the right to be admired).In general stalkers have lack of healthy coping due to trauma and attachment issues…
Going through this myself I can certainly comment and say that legal action must be taken to get a no contact order, which LO will likely break and court will occur. The goal (and desire from Jasmine) won’t be wanting to see LO in jail and of course she can emphathize BUT, LO must take responsibility for his actions and his actions are WRONG.
Limerence and other mental illnesses that contribute to stalking can be worked on and controlled through mental health support, skills and possibly medications. It is in LO’s best interest to control his desires so he can have a productive and meaningful life and possibly a proper relationship down the road.
Since Limerence stems from childhood trauma and deals with attachment bonding issues, it is a long road to recovery and healing, one most people will not take time to commit to (on their own). Thus the need for legal action that may force the person to make that choice (jail or therapy).
It sounds harsh and in a way we can call it ‘tough love’ but the LO’s obsession with Jasmine but be stopped cold turkey. Just a glimpse of her will keep that obsession alive.
No one can predict if stalking will escalate though case studies show that people with Limerence will not stop and also not be able to control their emotions and obssessions. This can lead to the “If I can’t have you no one else can”, they may not wish to hurt you right now and even later, but if/when their emotions are uncontrollable, it is likely they will react in a bad way.
How common is this kind of stalking among limerents? I’ve seen it mentioned at times in this site, and I wonder where the “line” is, or where most people draw the line. I think it’s mentioned on this site that most PAs are caused by one or both people purposely creating the opportunity for contact, which is similar to what Jasmine’s former LO is doing but on a different scale. So where is the “line” that most people would stop at, how do they know, and how many people cross it?
For myself I can say that I imagined many scenes where LO and I bumped into each other in different places. I also thought briefly of doing things like driving by LO’s house, but it was fear (among other things) that stopped me. I had to interact with my LO sometimes at my children’s school, and the reality was every time it filled me with fear and dread (and embarrassment, guilt, shame and other things). I remember being so relieved when was summer vacation and I wouldn’t have to see them for several months.
But I wonder if I met LO when I was not married. Would I have acted differently? It doesn’t sound as if Jasmine’s LO is married or has an SO. But is it because this subset of limerents who succumb to stalking are less likely to get married/have a long-term SO, or are all limerents susceptible, but being in a relationship helps prevent this behavior?
I think there’s also a difference between stalking objectives. For example, planned ‘bumping into’ is different from surveillance. In a weird way it feels less threatening to actually engineer bumping into somebody. In fact for my part it was quickly discouraged by the reality that bumping into LO led to bemusement at best, not the outcome I had fantasised about (going for an impromptu drink? Or having sex possibly?). So like Mia pointed out even though I was working through an LE, I was not incapable of rationalizing my actions. Oddly I don’t think I could have managed to be present and not approach, because the last thing I’d have wanted would LO to think I was weird, and in any case I desperately wanted to make contact, to get attention, and to be 100% sure that I did.
I told a couple of friends at the time who told me they thought my behaviour was really off, from the perspective of being worried about me (esp. As that LO was a massive narc in the first place).
Other commenters in the past here have talked about waiting in cars at work car parks, or becoming attuned to a co-worker’s schedule and faithfully watching them perform their daily routines from office vantage points.
I just don’t see how the reported behaviour on Jasmine’s LO’s side fits with the lightweight stuff I’ve seen on here…
The worst I ever did 1 time and was technically not my fault. 25 years ago I was placed on a very heavy migraine medication with codeine. The codeine made me euphoric, but one of other side effects was mood changes. I didn’t get emotional… I got very dark and paranoid. I was took it for about a month, and then one night my limerence went into overdrive from the codeine and with the paranoia I just HAD to know why I hadn’t seen my LO in months. I got in my car at 3 am and drove to her neighborhood, parked the car around the corner, and then snuck into her driveway and saw a parking pass on her rearview mirror for another school. I got back to my car quietly, backed over a mailbox because I was drugged up, and then drove home. On the way home I heard a police siren in the distance. I thought the cops were after me, so pulled into a neighborhood and ducked my head down into the passenger seat. After ten minutes I drove back out and got home. The next morning the medication was out of my system and I was horrified at how I acted. I took the pills and flushed it down the toilet and never took it again.
That actually sounds quite thrilling!
But again, it’s a bit spontaneous & amateurish, not massively efficient.
Unlike Jasmine’s LO. Who seems to be very on top of things.
hahaha I’ve never had an LO interested in me back, so I’ve never experienced the “thrill” of being stalked by someone I want badly.
Of course, I assume the thrill isn’t as great when things go sour.
I don’t think I was susceptible to this behaviour, even at the height of my LE. It was maybe a bit different as we saw each other 5 days a week and were normally in contact via WhatsApp on the other two. So it wasn’t a case of finding ways to see her.
When I went NC that was maybe the time, but I just didn’t want to see her and went out of my way to avoid her. I remember someone saying she was downstairs in our firm’s lobby one lunchtime a few months into NC. I left the building via the back door and stayed out so long there was no chance of her being there when I got back. She works less than a mile away now, and I never go near her building. My team have had meetings in her building and I just don’t go with them. I asked her friend to meet up with her somewhere else other than our office, which she now does (she knew most of the story of me and LO). I’m sure we’ll bump into each one day, but it won’t be because I’ve engineered it.
Vicarious Limerent says
I have really mixed feelings on “stalking,” and I believe many of us limerents do occasionally engage in behaviour that approaches stalking or harassment. But where do you draw the line? Some sightings are complete coincidences and others, while deliberate, may be totally innocent. I think it all depends on your relationship with your LO, how and why you broke off contact (if you are NC) and if the person might have any reason to feel creeped out or intimidated by seeing you. Some LOs may actually want to see you, and it could even be a bit of an ego boost for them to know you are deliberately trying to engineer a situation where you bump into them.
I had commented on this before (and others agreed with me), but it is quite common to revisit places that remind us of or have an association with our LOs. Since I met my LO eight-and-half months ago, I have went three times on a leisurely drive to her hometown (even though she hasn’t lived there in years), driven past the back of her house countless times (it is a very major street and I have had many legitimate reasons to drive by), driven past the pub where I met her, had an early dinner at that pub once, gone to the mall in the next town (where she lives) many times even when I had no reason to be there, and I once actually drove past her house (due to a major accident blocking the main street behind her house in both directions) and may have even spotted her walking her dog (I am not 100% sure it was her). I am not stalking her or monitoring her in any way, but I do dream about bumping into her some day. I would never do anything to alarm or scare her — and I am never too obvious in the situations I put myself in (like going to the pub where I met her later on a Saturday night when she is likely to be there) — but if I am honest with myself, I admit that I have deliberately increased the likelihood of bumping into her a few times. The funny thing is I am aware that actually bumping into her would probably derail my recovery from limerence, and for various reasons I don’t quite feel ready to see my LO just yet. But in many ways, this is just something us limerents do.
On the other hand, truly stalking someone is just plain wrong. It can cause all kinds of fear, worry and pain for the person being stalked and can actually amount to criminal behaviour. My brother was actually convicted of stalking his ex-girlfriend. All it took was a few text messages, one phone call and some flowers sent to her work. It really doesn’t take much these days, so do be careful and consider the other person’s feelings — especially if that person has told you they have no wish to see you. On the other hand, I personally believe if you don’t really think the person is a threat then it might be best to try to deal with the situation first yourself before involving the police, who may end up laying charges rather than just warning the person. I know for a fact that my brother wasn’t a threat, but he needed this whole episode like he needed a hole in the head.
With LO1 it was the early ’90s, I was 19, and people could still knock on doors. I was trying to convince myself that we were “friends.” I’d show up to her house occasionally. It wasn’t much different than the way boys and girls did things back then. Imagine my surprise when I heard from someone how she hated me and how annoying I was. Lesson learned.
With LO2, I was mid-20s and would make excuses to go to the supermarket where she worked. I showed up about every other day, but I also had other friends who worked there who I’d chat with. One of them remarked how I was always at the store, but I told him the truth – I was a young, single guy who lived alone and I would only buy a few meals worth of food at a time because buying too much would risk it going bad. I would make excuses to talk to LO2, and of course I had no idea how annoyed she was with me. But LO2 was a local girl, and she lived in the same neighborhood as an extended family that I was friends with and had three houses within a 3-minute walk of LO2’s house. I would make excuses to go to my friends’ house so I could drive by her house.
Current LO3… I never tried communicating with her because she’s not talkative, I worked with her, she was not on my project and I didn’t have a reason to talk to her, she’s half my age, and any older man with his head on his shoulders knows to be very careful with how he communicates with a young coworker woman. So there’s a lot of “soft stalking” on social media.
But ugh… this “soft stalking” is a bigger problem for me than it is for her. I’ve seen her once in the 11 months since I left the job, and the LE picked back up after she started a public Instagram account where she reviews books.
I’m learning too much about her personally and it makes her seem more human and approachable to me. I’ve learned she loves to read, she’s intelligent, and of course she’s introverted and unassuming. She loves romantic comedies, especially ones with romantic tension between the protagonists. She dreams about a handsome man changing her world.
And then in my limerent mind I start twisting all our interactions to make me believe that I – a married man with two kids – was that guy she dreamed about after all those romance novels that got into her mind. All those anchor memories. The time we stared into each other’s eyes from across a room for five seconds before we both realized what we were doing. The time I saw her hard-staring at me out the corner of my eye after I had shaved my 3-week beard. The time we were at the sink and she silently kept moving closer to me to the point where my arms were stretched out as I tried to wash my hands. The time she gave me that look like I was trying to flirt with her when I held the door (she’s probably still terribly embarrassed about that). Now I all twist it in my head to think she was somehow fantasizing about me.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, but I think that Jasmine should begin talking to advice services or charities immediately, and seriously look at contacting the police. Her former LO may not yet be following her back to her house, the fact that she feels like she needs to constantly change her routine to avoid them when she’s made it clear that their association is over is deeply troubling to say the least. The obligation should be on the LO to not engage in their stalking behavior and not for Jasmine to change her routine to avoid them.
In my experience, there was a time, a few years ago, when I would frequently take walks in the afternoon, which were very pleasant, until I had to mix my walks up after I began to reliably encounter this group, who kept harrassing me. I was advised to ignore them and change my walks to avoid them (I still encountered this group even then), and ultimately the issue resolved itself, but there were a few occasions when I felt I should have involved the police as they came close to threatening me during those encounters. In Jasmine’s case, and the severity of the issue, I think it’s important that she avoids that situation from materializing, because, knowing how powerful limerence can be, it wouldn’t take much for her former LO to drastically escalate things, and that should be avoided at all costs.
Hmm this really does pose an interesting question on boundaries. This level of stalking definitely crosses it. I’ve had to reflect on my own behaviour in the online space which in my opinion is a lot harder to define such boundaries. My first post here was me asking for help on if I should send something to my LO’s house for her birthday (I didn’t). Thing is, she never told me her address and I never asked. I managed to get it from a CV she had stupidly uploaded online containing all of her addresses and other personal information i didn’t previously have. I had even wanted to warn her about this but figured this was my limerent brain looking for an excuse to come back into her life. To this day the CV is still available to download from LinkedIn… but more to the point, we need reflect more on our own behaviours online. Sure it might not be harming anyone when we stalk through our LO’s social media (I blocked her on my accounts but started viewing her page from my friends account, have since deleted my access) but when we feel ourselves crossing that line- making our LO very aware of our stalking attempts, we need to take a huge step back.
I think jasmine ought to be more concerned, it’s not enough to have faith he means her no harm, the obsessive feelings of love/lust can so very easily switch to hate and anger. And I think she is aware or wouldn’t have switched her routine.
Maybe it’s because I like to play detective with a lot of people I know by sight (not only LOs), but I don’t see anything wrong with doing a bit of research on LO as long as it is publicly available information and no shady shit like trying to get into LO’s email account or something. Well, nothing wrong aside for the whole keeping your own limerence in check, of course.
And, of course, never, ever, apply that OSINT into the real world if you don’t have some plausible explanation on why you know it. Searching for LO’s phone number on some public record and then add them to Snapchat may seem like a clever move in our limerent brains, but from their perspective is creepy a fuck.
Yep, exactly. I very nearly went down that road but so thankful that I didn’t. I don’t think you can ever truly recover your dignity from exposing yourself like that!
Made me think of this song from the series crazy ex-girlfriend (which I really enjoyed).
Research me, obsessively.
Hahaha omg that was painfully accurate, Ok I might need to give this show a watch..
@Thomas, Omg, I love CEG!
Remember Rebecca got stalked by Trend? Her fake boyfriend she invented to make Josh jealous?
Talking about limerence! Cameras on her dress and GPS trackers on his car.
I think that whole show was about limerence really. Rebecca’s obsession with Josh, changing her whole life to be near him, constantly looking for signs, relapses when trying to move on from him… etc, etc. It was very close to the bone – especially when watching it with SO!
@ Vincent Well at least we never went as far as making a fake porn…
I assume ..
I think I dated most of the women on CEG at some point in my life.
Rebecca – Check
Paula – Check
Heather – Check
Valencia – Check
Maya – Check
CEG Songs of the Day (redux)
“Settle for Me” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmbLB4OIuao
Except when LO #2 admitted she might come back and settle for me, I almost back handed her with my fist.
“It Was A S–t Show” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-tAiOVMYFY
The only mistake he makes is he turns around on the escalator.
“I Gave You A UTI” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_pi8yBaooQ
Until I heard this song, I never considered UTIs a perverse source of macho pride. LO #2 had at least 2 of them. I assume I was responsible.
This is so funny,
I was going to recommend watching it to all you crazy-ex-whatevers out there…
Seems a lot of us found it all by ourselves.
My ex/LO when we were first chatting told me how much he loved and related to the show… red flag?! 😀
THANK YOU Rebecca Nora Bunch!
Recent LO song for me is totally ‘It was a sh*t show’…
Been listening to that a lot lately – ‘A play about pieces of faeces is what we are together!’
That and the song ‘OMG I think I like you.’ which totally captures the start of me LEs – basically, ‘Wow! This sex is so good you must be an absolute god I couldn’t possibly ever go on living without.’ Until other minor things like personality start having to be factored in (and in my case endlessly ignored/distorted/made allowances for/explained away/taken as a cue for ME to change all of those things that must be wrong with me because they are – after all – perfect/reasonable etc etc.)
Crazy ExGirlfriend – ‘Oh my God I think I like you!’
@Aimee & others,
It’s on Netflix. Enjoy!
“@ Vincent Well at least we never went as far as making a fake porn…”
So, you made real porn?
Vicarious Limerent says
Yep. I know a lot more about my LO than I believe she would ever imagine, but I only learned that information through legitimate channels like simply Googling her name, briefly being her friend on Facebook, what she told me herself and little tidbits my brother in-law told me about his conversations and text messages with her. Is it creepy that I know her mother’s maiden name? I only found it out from her obituary which I found easily online, but what struck me about that surname is how it originated in the exact region of the country where I was born.
Yeah, lil’ bit creepy. Sorry.
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Vincent: I can see where that might appear to be the case. In my own defence, I only discovered that information by Googling my LO’s name and city. The last name stuck with me because it has such an association with the region where I was born (in another country). Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been something I would have cared about or remembered. I guess it was just an example of how much I know about my LO without going to any extraordinary lengths to find it (even though she doesn’t have much of an online presence). I can’t be the only one on here who has Googled their LO!
@VL – I don’t think it’s creepy. It’s curiosity in an age where we have magnitudes more information available to us at our fingertips. We’re bound to find a ton of stuff without trying too hard.
I would do the same thing simply because I was sitting bored at my computer. You can find a lot of info on anybody simply by searching somebody’s name, finding out a tidbit, searching around that tidbit, using quotes, finding new stuff, and before you know it you’ve gone down a rabbit hole and you know way too much. Some stuff you can infer. You have to remind yourself, “If I talk to this person I have to remember not to say this…”
For me that’s as far as it went. I never paid for information about her, I never connected with her on social media using a fake profile, and the one time I was in her home city and found myself two minutes from her house, I didn’t go by it. I just stuck with what was publicly available from my keyboard.
Just from what I could piece together online and what she’s shared publicly, I can guess my LO’s story without trying too hard. Born into a poor family in a 3rd world country, given up for adoption, brought to the US by an upper middle class family, educated in elite private schools. Similar story of many like her.
@VL – I’d be surprised if there is anyone here who HASN’T googled their LO. But mother’s maiden name found by reading an obituary felt like a search term too far to me.
I’ve gone into court records, property records, etc. If it’s publicly available, I looked at it. I know who LO #2 married, when she took out the marriage license, who filed for divorce on whom, who got the house, and a lot of info on her new husband.
In college, I had friends in the campus police department. I had my crush’s schedule, address, SSN, make and model of her car, license plate number, parking permit info, & home address. If it was available, I had it. That was in the mid-70s.
When her BF, later husband, threatened me, I got his stuff, too. I thought about using his SSN to mess with his class schedule but never did anything with it.
Vicarious Limerent says
Thanks everyone. I think publicly available information that you don’t have to go to great lengths to find is fair game, but databases where you need to pay, call in a favour from someone else or exercise some sort of power or authority to obtain the information is probably going too far. For me personally, one of the reasons I believe I know so much about my LO (let’s face it, she is basically a stranger to me) is because I care to remember the information I find or hear. I think that is often the key. If something is unimportant to you, it is something you will quickly forget, but if it is important to you there is a much greater likelihood you will remember it and file it away in your brain. Vincent, I didn’t actually go looking for my LO’s mother’s obituary; I only stumbled across it in a Google search. I had no idea she had even passed away, and I was only looking for information on my LO, not her mother. When I found out both of her parents had passed in very sad circumstances, I felt great sympathy for my LO. As I mentioned, what struck me was the origin of the name (although I recognize the significance of knowing her mother’s maiden name because it is often used as a security question online).
@VL – Sometimes you stumble across things you weren’t expecting. But then you know about it and it’s too late. The one time I felt a bit weirded out with myself was when I searched for her one night and somehow stumbled across that she had lived at her ex-boyfriend’s apartment for three months while she looked for another place. I then found out that her ex-boyfriend was dating a friend of hers. It seemed a little too personal.
@Vicarious & others…
The world has changed so much since I was a young man, and I’m (only?) 42. The things that are just out there to be easily found is amazing… if you’d said to people in 1990, ‘there’ll be a time where all of your family photos, all of your exes, all of your past employment etc. will likely be on publicly searchable databases…
Employers check out instagram and facebook and loads of social media sites I probably don’t even know. I went on a date last Thursday with this guy, and the very next day FB had him front and centre of the ‘people you may know’… his privacy settings are moderate (obviously I looked)… so I saw at least two exes, his mum, his dad, family pics, pics of him graduating, a couple of pictures outside his workplace (I know because he told me where he works). There were a few public posts so I know which political party he supports, and I know he has a holiday to Egypt last September – which looked like a lot of fun.
Mia disagreed with my ‘block ’em’ approach, but this why I have blocked my LO on these sites because I just know that I don’t want access to that information for myself. It really can be quite compulsive, and it is sooooooo available (especially as LO is an instagram fanatic!).
Of course, Sharn was doing this stuff when it took skill and commmitment – hats off? 😉
“Of course, Sharn was doing this stuff when it took skill and commmitment – hats off?”
Back then, it was largely luck unless you were seriously afflicted. If I hadn’t become friends with a campus police dispatcher, I never would have had access to all that information. Sometimes, when he worked back shift, he’d call me when everyone had left the building. If I was free, I’d grab a pizza and a six pack of Coke and sit in the dispatch center while he worked. I’d listen in on police calls from all over the area. If I had any questions about someone, he’d pull up the info. It came in handy to know the campus cops.
Information is where you find it. In HS, there was kind of an odd kid. They published a student directory with everyone’s names in it. One day, he had it in the cafeteria. I picked it up and started to thumb through it. It had names of cute, popular girls circled in it. I asked if it was his obscene telephone book. He turned as white as a sheet and demanded I give it back. I told him I’d return it the next day.
I copied all the circled names in it. I asked a girl I knew well if she’d been getting odd phone calls. She asked how I knew that. I told her I thought I found out who was doing it. I told her to pass the word and if anyone got anymore, let me know, and I’d say what I’d found. The next day I gave the book back and told him I’d made a list of the names and if the calls continued, I’d expose him. Some of the girls had very protective boy friends and I’d let them know first.
Keep your eyes open and you can learn a lot of things.
I remember in the old days when you had to drive by LO’s house and talk to her friends to find out stuff about them.
Since the ‘subtle take’ approach doesn’t *seem* to include recommending Jasmine see a therapist first and foremost, I am compelled to chime in with the crowdsource of wisdom being requested and say that’s it’s my opinion a professional licensed therapist is a great place to start.
Going to bring up the other side of the coin and suggest: Whose to say Jasmine isn’t reading into these possible coincidences from her own dysfunctional lens ? Could these be random sightings and not some desperate attempt in hopes to just get a peek at her ?
Curious whether Jasmine is taking notes with dates of these ‘soft stalking’ events? Are there witnesses at her work, or friends, or her spouse who also saw frequent occasions in which this driving/ riding /running /hiking by was observed and agreed it was in fact LO? Does her LO slow down; or stare; or look out of place hiking in line of sight of her home or workplace? Would the occurrence of their paths crossing be a natural happenstance based on where they reside and both work? It would behoove her to take detailed notes and most certainly pictures in order to start gathering more detailed information to prove to herself and others (authorities if this persists) that her eyes aren’t deceiving her.
Looking at the other side of the coin mainly because they shared reciprocal feelings. I am reluctant to speak up and make suggestions which could make her doubt reality. These suggestion looks somewhat like gaslighting, but I’m just a stranger and fellow limerent sufferer suggesting to look at all sides since the goal is to move on in a healthy way. What we perceive to see can be as deceiving as one’s thoughts, which is why eye witness accounts hold so little weight in jury trails. This is hard to suggest, but Jasmine could be imagining his presence. There are a myriad of reasons a person who was emotionally attached might have the results I’m suggesting. She could be repressing her own secret desires to be desired; or could be experiencing a Stockholm syndrome type reaction feeling sickly tied to her EP from this traumatic fallout. The remnants of limerence can be tricky. This is why it helps to seek out professional help or at least face to face free group therapy SLAA if you are in the throes of limerence or believing something which doesn’t add up post limerence.
If there was a trauma bond, Jasmine could have deeper issues to unpack such as a plethora of unresolved C-PTSD and attachment issues coming forth — all of which can haunt a person and and should be addressed. Considering limerent subjects frequently contend with delusional thinking in the agony of limerence (unconscious at the time, realizing only in retrospect the illogical/irrational thought processes which took place) it’s not a stretch to consider one’s own proclivity to find the experience haunting in a paranoid type way well past the relationship being severed.
There is the possibility she has unresolved marriage pain to unpack and could be essentially distracting herself with thoughts of him stalking as an alternative issue to address as her way of avoiding doing some heavy lifting she’s denying or putting on the back burner. In many cases those obsessive distractions are an unconscious avoidance ploy related to avoiding focusing more on the hardest marriage issues. It often happens even during committed marriage counseling. I fear, the more she thinks about being stalked and experiences the fear associated with this unwanted attention, the trauma of her past and emotions linked to the dissolution of the EA will act as a reinforcement keeping her tied to this nightmare.
For those who’ve been an LS, and had a reciprocal EA, the line of irrational thinking can get pretty thin. An honest willingness to see the shadow, seeking radical acceptance of oneself opens the door to consciousness in the moment. That takes the power away from the shadow and delusional thinking will diminish. Once you learn to get to the bottom of your thoughts and see them for the reality of what they are, you have the tools and awareness to be diligent in pondering all sides of what you are perceiving. That can be done best with the help of a professional. Few therapists are familiar with limerence but a licensed professional still should be able to assist her best in uncovering reality.
Not to discount the possibility that Jasmine could be the victim of limerence gone bad. Regardless of whether her Ex-EA is legitimately stalking Jasmine; a lovesick man who can’t get past the emotional affair a year expired yet still pining for Jasmine; or, whether this man is a haunting figment of her imagination, Jasmine has a big problem to contend with. Gathering proof will be the first advice she’ll get. Taking pictures, notes with and without witnesses can help her tackle those sightings with rational deliberate focus.
Further personal introspection and seeking help from a professional seem like the logical next steps.
Thanks all for the comments so far. It seems many others share the worry that LO’s behaviour could be more concerning than it first appears.
Still, I imagine it would be tricky to approach the police with the “I see him around a lot, but he never talks to me or interacts with me,” message. Although, maybe this is a known pattern of behaviour that the pros would recognise…?
Maybe it’s that “reverse stalking thing” where the person wants so much to believe they’re wanted by somebody that they start believing that person is stalking them.
A friend of mine had an experience where her ex was stalking her, but nothing specific had occurred. I think she was advised to report her concerns to the police in case things escalated then they might know to prioritise an emergency call in future.
I think she got advice from the suzie lamplugh trust…
I recommend she keeps a journal documenting the date, time, & method. In the event she does go to the police, she has a history. Photos with date/time stamps would help.
If she hasn’t already, tighten up her social media. Use a debit/credit card for every purchase. Smile at those security cameras at the gas station.
Scan parking lots. And, send in a pickett ahead of her if she thinks he might be there.
Atya Bahul says
Empathy, I hope Jasmine has empathy.
“It’s been over a year of NC for me, and yet I don’t think I’ve gone through a full week- with a few exceptions- without LO driving/riding/running/hiking by”
Sorry I couldn’t figure out how to put the quote in italics. It doesn’t say whether Jasmine communicated with LO if she was going NC or not? Perhaps LO is in their own limerent experience & is getting their “hit” from seeing her (Apologies,I am new to this I’m probably stating the obvious to you all).
I wonder if some of us could see this potential behaviour in ourselves? I’m not justifying it -I’m just trying to empathise with the LO…….
As I have previously stated I’m pretty sure I’ve become a LO for a male colleague and I have become mutually limerent for him.
Neither of us has disclosed.
I got a new job last week ( It doesn’t mean I am leaving my current employment as it’s part time).
Someone (probably narc boss who seems aware of his interest & is enjoying witnessing it unfold it seems), must have told him as he appeared ecstatic when he saw me @ the beginning of the day, but then at lunch appeared to have a panic attack & ran away from me. He then sought me out and tried to speak to me but it was like he couldn’t string two words together.
I emailed him through the work intranet the next day to see if he was OK as I just couldn’t leave him in that state (I’ve never contacted him like this before).
The response was grateful but slightly muted, stating he felt unwell but was fine now. He said he was really glad I contacted him.
I still don’t know if he knows I’m not leaving & it doesn’t feel appropriate to tell him myself.
Being limerent and having had limerent experiences in the past, the only positive thing for me is that I have genuine empathy for those who are experiencing this incredible soul crushing pain.
I would do anything to take it away but I realise it’s just not that simple.
“She decided to end the emotional affair, recommit to her marriage and go no contact with LO. She communicated this to LO and asked him to leave her alone.”
“Obviously, it’s good that Jasmine doesn’t feel threatened,”
No. That is NOT GOOD.
He IS stalking her and they may both be in danger. If I were her husband, I would be hella angry that thanks to her actions, they may both have to have uncomfortable discussions with an attorney, the police, their employers, lock down or remove themselves from social media, invest in (legal) personal protection devices, install or upgrade their home security and generally think of themselves as targets.
She may have to write a letter and send it to him via registered mail telling him that she no longer wishes to see him. Even in passing.
Meanwhile – if this is how he is spending his time, think of how he may be treating his spouse, if she decided to stick around after all of this. Rest assured, her life is pure unmitigated hell if they are still together.
Jasmine is only responsible for what she does / has done – she is not responsible for LO’s current behaviour, only LO can be held accountable for that. Let’s hope Jasmine’s SO recognises that.
No kidding. But let’s take a moment and think about what happens when you toss a stick of lit dynamite into a pond.
Just because her husband didn’t push her out of their marriage doesn’t mean she wasn’t actively engaged in harming someone else’s marriage too. Whether she and her EA recognized it at the time or not.
Whatever Jasmine IS responsible for directly now, her actions have indirectly cost her husband too. He can’t “merely” focus on their marriage. Oh no – he has to worry about her safety from her former illicit paramour and quite possibly his own.
A former LO turned stalker. What a gift.
I’m guessing that this goes back to the ‘forgiveness’ debate on last weeks thread. It sounds like Jasmine and her SO have probably started to work through this and you are right that in some ways her behaviour has landed them both in a pretty mess. It is also possible that SO recognises this but due to the nature of their relationship has decided to stay and fight their corner together, which is a sign that one way or another (probably in many ways over a good long period) Jasmine has shown that she is committed to the relationship and he believes in her.
But I said this on the forgiveness threat – I think that none of us are perfect, and sometimes we fail at things, and it is possible to fall into limerence – even while you’re in a relationship. It may have seemed harmless enough until it was voiced, and then sensing the deep water Jasmine swam for shore, and the relationship she valued – which was with SO, who she (it sounds) opened up to and asked for forgiveness.
But yeah – it’s not ideal.
I hope Jasmine’s spouse doesn’t have a beloved pet that has gone missing.
Has anyone else struggled with nostalgia in their LE? Particularly midlifers. I have been consumed by the longing to return to an earlier time but to do that somehow with LO. Does that make sense? I scroll through her old photos on FB and just let my mind wander. I know that’s unhealthy. But I’m struck with a bittersweet sadness, a melancholy feeling. I wish I had known her back then, years prior. I wish we could have met. I wonder if our paths ever crossed and we didn’t know it. The thing I commented recently on another post about her sexual partner history figures into this as well. I am so resentful of those guys who got to experience her years ago and who now probably don’t even remember her.
It feels like nostalgia but I know it’s really just my limerent brain trying to re-create a time in my head where we possibly could have met under different circumstances and ended up together. But it’s so sad to me that this can never happen now.
Nope. I never struggled with nostalgia, at least not in the sense of meeting them at a different point in my life.
My first 3 LEs happened in my 20s. The last one started in my 50s. LO #4 probably just hit 40 when I encountered her. I was attracted to the 40 yr old woman she was at the time. From what I learned about her, I don’t think I would have liked her much in her 20s.
As for LO #2, I took her through 30. Her new husband took her through 60. Looks wise, she’s still a beautiful woman but I don’t know how well she took to growing older. She didn’t take 30 gracefully.
One therapist said I might have gotten the best from her that she was able to give. I like that idea. I like the notion that whatever her husband has seen on her, I got there 30 years ahead of him.
Speaking of physical attractiveness, what’s strange is my LO wasn’t all that pretty back then (in her 20s). Some might even say somewhat unattractive. She is certainly far better-looking now. Yet I’m more jealous of the guys that got the “worst” from her years ago rather than her SO who now gets the “best” from her, to put it in your terms. So strange.
@B – We were talking awhile back about our former LOs’ actual attractiveness. A lot of us realized that we thought they were gorgeous when we were in the LO, but when we looked back on them, many of our LOs were not actually that physically attractive. I thought my first LO was so pretty… after it was over my friends said they wondered why I was so interested in someone so ugly when I could have done much better. My current LO… I saw her after 6 months of NC and for a brief bit I could see her imperfections on her face that would make me disinterested in anybody else. Limerence is a crazy thing.
And there was me believing that real beauty is on the inside….I stand corrected 🙂
“And there was me believing that real beauty is on the inside….I stand corrected 🙂 ”
When you’re 50+ (as I am), you know full well whenever someone tells you that you are beautiful they are looking to touch you up for money/two minute bang in the parking lot.
Doubly so when they pull out the old canard, “Real beauty is on the inside”. That’s a lie that parents tell their plain children and act all hurt when called out on it later. The dates who use that line will insist in the future that a loan was a “gift” and they took your money out of the goodness of their hearts or to take mercy on you.
Had a few dates try and pull that nonsense since the divorce.
Got up to “go to the bathroom”, paid my share of the bill, returned to tell them to never contact me again and left. Go find a dumber woman to try that on because I’m not buying the fertilizer they’re selling.
Hurray for throwaway email accounts.
I don’t know what the equivalent phrase is for men. Presumably they exist.
I think the equivalent for men is: “you don’t look old, you look distinguished.”
But, I would disagree that women 50+ can’t be beautiful. I definitely know some beautiful women in that age group.
That said, they probably looked even more beautiful when they were younger, so…
I am not now and never was beautiful. Anyone who says otherwise was/is trying to get into my pants and from there into my pocket.
At 50+, I have a lot of dosh sloshing around compared to my 20’s, so I pay even more attention to their motives.
I have honestly told men that they look distinguished. I haven’t tried to pretend they look as though they are in their 20’s – 30’s.
But I also wasn’t trying to weasel my way into their bank accounts.
Vicarious Limerent says
I agree with Dr. L. Plenty of attractive women in their 50s these days (I’ve even met some attractive women in their 60s). People are aging much better these days if they take good care of themselves. Men too can be pretty buff and handsome into their 50s, 60s and even 70s.
So cynical Lee 🙂 Either that or you are meeting a lot of bad apples. Maybe real beauty is a combo of inside and out. I have met some very good looking but shallow people and found them distinctly unattractive and I would go as far to say that I have always found really good looking, highly groomed men a bit of a turn off.
There is a flip side…..I was pretty attractive when younger and I got a lot of male attention as a result. And I really hated that! I felt like guys never wanted to get to know me or talk to me properly, they just liked the outside wrapping and that was good enough for them.
*throws up hands*
You don’t get it. You have the privilege and luxury of not getting it. It’s like white people stating, “I don’t see color!” and thinking that is a good thing when all it does is render Black people and their experiences still more invisible. They never have the privilege of being able to ignore whiteness in their lives and are always very aware of their surroundings, taking the temperature of the people around them, etc.
I may not have the same start that Robert Hoge did, but when you are a plain woman and have been your entire life, you know full well when someone is trying to snow you. Worse, they think you are supposed to be GRATEFUL for their attention.
The phenomenon of “pigging” isn’t new and I was on the receiving end plenty often. I fell for Mr. Lee telling me he loved me, I was beautiful to him, etc. Well, he left without all the money to which he was owed in his rush to “finally experience youth AND beauty – all you had to offer was youth!”
It’s great for you and those you know who are more attractive than ever. To never be invisible or only notable as the plain, smart one. I don’t need or want false assurances and that is why dates have ended abruptly when they pull them out. I don’t like liars. Never have, never will and don’t wish to waste a further second on them. I wasted 20+ years with Mr. Lee. Come to find out all those hospitalizations weren’t “work stress” – they were “work stress because LO #too many” had left, or had shot him down, or had said to leave her alone or there would be a report filed.
I actually wrote a post on beauty a while ago.
I get your scepticism, Lee, but kind of by definition there are more plain people in the world than beautiful people, so lots of us get the “beauty privilege” concept.
However, like all privileges, those of us without them have no idea what the reality of having them is like. We’re all righteously thinking “you’ve no idea what it’s like to be me”.
In my opinion, that’s why the present political focus on privilege is so toxic and destructive.
You may want to discuss it with your Black colleagues, Dr. L.
I have Black family. I am regularly stopped when driving or being driven with them. It doesn’t happen otherwise. Nor am I approached by state troopers with their handgun out when it’s just me. They always have their hands on their weapons when it’s me with a non-white family member or friend.
You aren’t listening, Dr. L. When you are a 3 out of a 10 scale – you know it. Even if you didn’t know it, it is regularly demonstrated when it isn’t stated outright.
I have spoken to some of my black colleagues about it, but it is a very different cultural background in the UK. Plus, they don’t all have the same view on the matter.
My point is wider than that – listening involves everyone aiming for mutual understanding. The political position “You have privilege, so you need to shut up and listen, and if you still disagree it’s because you are not willing to learn” is incredibly destructive.
You might roll your eyes, snort at the naivete of “just asking questions”, and despair that the beautiful, privileged white people are still not getting it, but you could also consider that you are just falling into a different cognitive trap to the bloody-minded Privileged.
It is sincerely as baffling to me that well-meaning people are OK with abandoning colourblind civil rights principles, as it is to you that well-meaning people could take exception to the idea of white privilege.
Not my site but this one’s going way OT.
Yeah, good point. I can’t see how this would be helping Jasmine, so best to draw it to a close.
@B I try to stop myself thinking like that but oh yes, I have certainly imagined what it would have been like to have met my LO when were were younger and single. Pretty sure we would have had a relationship…sigh. But at the same time, I am very grateful for my lovely SO and children so I really don’t wish my life had been any different.
Limerence does not tend to happen without uncertainty or barriers….. so I tell myself that my feelings for LO would not have had the same intensity if we were free to act as it does meeting him now when we are not.
This was pretty much my story going on over three years now. He showed up the last time to an event–new woman in arm–and just stared at me the entire time. Even she was getting confused, as she could see him just watching. Needless to say, I took photos. I sent him a message shortly after that fact, which was blatantly ignored. Now, he continues showing up to places I may be. I had no idea it was him, as I never paid much attention. I’ve grown so paranoid that I feel the need to carry mace on me at all times. I am clueless what I can do, as I’m so conflicted: I genuinely felt deep compassion for him and caring, maybe even loved. In the end, there was nothing I could do aside from end it. I explained this to him, but he hasn’t/won’t hear me. Ive tried being empathetic that he wanted things to work out, but he was showing major red flags during the entire situation that were hard to ignore. Now, there’s only stalking rather than us just discussing it or having a dialgoue and resolving things.
“I’ve grown so paranoid that I feel the need to carry mace on me at all times.”
“Ive tried being empathetic that he wanted things to work out, but he was showing major red flags during the entire situation that were hard to ignore.”
Kudos to not ignoring what your brain and body are trying to tell you. Time to keep a little journal of when and where you see him, just in case. Make certain you have friends and family who know that you are worried about someone stalking you, that you are keeping a notebook and if you don’t name him to them now, make certain to make it easy for others to find later if necessary.
Have you read Lundy Bancroft’s book, “Why Does He DO That?” If not, do so. It’s dated and yes, it is written with abusive men in mind, but women are every bit as capable of harming others as men. Maybe we don’t do it with our fists, but we’re tool-users and when you know exactly where to land a blow, we’re every bit as dangerous.
I hate feeling like this toward him, but he’s literally scaring me. I don’t know what the point of him doing this is. I have been also keeping notes, taking screenshots of the fake accounts he makes to stalk me online, etc. He had authority over me at the time, and the situation escalated to the point of him trying to shove me into a chair (so I wouldn’t leave) among other things. Meanwhile, he confused me by going hot and cold, not making up his mind, and ultimately just freaking me out from his emotional outbursts.
Anyway, thank you for the book recommendation; I will read it tonight.
I know the entire reason that HR exists is to protect the company – but I hope you reported this to HR. You may not be the first or the last and that sort of behavior is unacceptable and illegal.
“and the situation escalated to the point of him trying to shove me into a chair (so I wouldn’t leave)”
Have you left the position since then? Reporting this incident and subsequent ones may put an end to it and honestly, in the era of #MeToo, it should. No one should have to deal with this sort of behavior. No one.
The book is old but you may glean some valuable insights from it.
Continue to be safe. SabreRed is legal where mace is not and the blue gel sticks beautifully. Very handy for ensuring the target is incapacitated and identified.
For whatever reason, I cannot reply directly to your post. I never reported it at the time because I didn’t think anyone would believe me. He wasn’t my boss, he was a teacher for a class I took. I felt safe around him until he made it clear he “owned” me at a certain point. Since then, he started ramping up the clinging and controlling behaviors, which led to that incident. I am still very conflicted, as I felt very strongly for him, so reporting him would hurt me to do. I keep trying to justify it, but it’s getting harder to do the longer this goes.
Do you guys think that it’s possible to see your LO (over a certain amount of time) and not having limerent feelings about him/her anymore? Or will they always be our weak spot, like a wound that’s been healing, but can be scratched open again… I am hoping that there comes a time that I feel totally indifferent towards him, but I cannot imagine it yet. I am curious about your experiences and opinions.
After all the work I’ve done, I’d like to think so but I honestly can’t say how I’d react if I ever came face-to-face with one of them. I think I’m pretty well defended against LEs but those two are kind of “inside the wall.”.
I wouldn’t want to test it.
I feel he definitely attempts to reopen the wound whenever possible, like he’s punishing me for the pain he felt. I hope I eventually am able to stop feeling sadness about the situation, as well as guilt. It continues to eat away at me whenever he does things like I mentioned in my post previously. I’ve been trying to treat the situation like a death (the stages of grief), because it needs to be permanent if I am to maintain a functioning marriage.
Yes you can, I’ve experienced it.
Once I was out of the fog for me there was never a return to limerence, even if I still flirted somewhat with them, after the pain and the work, it was over . And when I was out, they all seeked contact , I guess that is some weird universe law.
I could even be friends with them.
With current LO I doubt if I will ever feel nothing of I see him.
But than again I will prob never see him .
@Mia – “And when I was out, they all seeked contact , I guess that is some weird universe law.”
Yeah, isn’t that weird? My first LO asked me out a few years later. The 2nd LO… I only saw her 1 more time, a year after she gave me a nasty response when I asked if she wanted to get coffee. I smiled and said hi as I walked by and she gave me a wide-eyed nervous look like she was thinking, “OMG he thinks I’m a bitch and he hates me.” She didn’t seek contact, but it was obvious that my opinion of her now mattered.
Recently bumped into my first LO (I was 17, so 25 years ago – lasted ~3 years). Being my first that was my most volatile and chaotic.
We exchanged details and met for coffee three times, third with his long term partner. Really lovely, warm, weird nostalgic feelings. No glimmer. Which was funny, and felt funny. Seeing him in such a different way.
But I’m 42 now, and he must be 49-50? So that’s a world apart from 17 & 25!
Sarah I feel the same as you I believe. I can go days without thinking about LO, then days when he’s in my thoughts some what. Like you said more nostalgic memories. I can’t say I feel completely indifferent to LO. I have no idea how I will feel if I saw him. It could make me realise what a dumb thing this whole limerence is or relapse. I am completely and utterly indifferent to previous LO’s, even if they offer themselves on a golden platter I would still say no. I guess to me limerence is a darkness in which I am very wary of now. Such harsh lessons have been learnt for which I am truly greatful
I agree with Mia and Thomas. I think it is possible to see LO and not having limerent feelings anymore. I’ve experienced that with previous LOs. There may still be some nostalgic feelings or memories that remind me of what that person meant to me, but there is no glimmer anymore. It became ok.
Now with my most recent LO I’ve reached the acceptance level, but I think it is too soon to say I would not fall back if I saw him and I’m glad I don’t need to test it anytime soon. I don’t want to see him, I don’t want to contact him, I have neutral feelings when I think about him (as opposed to that extreme rollercoaster ride of emotions I was on), and started to deal with the guilt I feel about how this whole LE happened. But again, I’m glad he is far away from me, and there is no need for any sort of contact 🙂
How long did it take you to get those neutral feelings, Sarah?
About a year from the moment I was really clear that I need to go NC and get over this.
Yes, it’s possible. My first LO lasted 3 years, but it came about because I was going through a difficult spot. When life started looking up again, my interest died out. She asked me out a few years later, but by then I just didn’t feel anything for her. My second LO also lasted about three years, but disappeared almost overnight when she turned out to be nasty and self-centered.
^^The LE disappeared almost overnight… not like I made LO2 disappear almost overnight because she was nasty to me.
Hahaha Matt . Sometimes I dream about LO disappearing “mysteriously” . 😄
With my first LO I chased him 2 years and than, right before I fully moved on he turned around and became my boyfriend, it was great.
(Than after 6 months my LE disappeared and I broke up, bored to death) I think this ( rather extraordinary ) experience makes me hopefull that this actually can happen again.
But in most cases, they come back when you moved on and don’t want them anymore.
You sound like a useful kinda guy. Any chance of disappearing my LO?
Hahah @ Matt, you seem to have whole new buisiness, making LO s dissapear. I want first.
Yes, it’s possible. In my case, for example I keep occasional contact with LO1 and she was with difference my strongest LO. But I’d say that I never feel truly “neutral” about her or any past LOs. There’s some sort of nostalgia about it, like thinking “hey, remember that girl that you were all limerent for X time ago? Man, you really acted like a fool back them”, but I definitely no longer crave their company or feel bad because they never reciprocated. And in the case of LO1, I can go for a couple of drinks with her without any sort of limerent feeling afterwards.
Painful Pineapple wrote,
” I never reported it at the time because I didn’t think anyone would believe me. He wasn’t my boss, he was a teacher for a class I took. I felt safe around him until he made it clear he “owned” me at a certain point. Since then, he started ramping up the clinging and controlling behaviors, which led to that incident. I am still very conflicted, as I felt very strongly for him, so reporting him would hurt me to do. I keep trying to justify it, but it’s getting harder to do the longer this goes.”
Ownership is a HUGE tell and red flag. Do not minimise it.
I know you simply want this to go away – but it is no longer in the realm of merely fancying you. Please speak to a hotline for abused spouses if you can’t bring yourself to speak to his employer or the police. Honestly though, this sounds as though it has crossed the legal line.
SabreRed is your friend (aim for the eyes). So is a pen clenched in your hand. If there are any classes online or preferably in person on how to handle a physical attack – take them. Beef up security precautions at home too.