I started this blog in February 2017. At the time, I was coming down from a brutal limerence episode, and my primary motive was to exorcise the lingering feelings that were clinging on, and to organise my thoughts about what I’d been through and how I’d made sense of it. It was journalling, but in public.
This is the 300th post.
I try to use these milestones as opportunities for reflection – to make sense of where I’ve got to and what I want to do next. The last time I did such a review, I decided to trial advertising as a way of raising some funds for paying a virtual assistant to help manage the growing site.
Well, it turns out that Google doesn’t smile very benignly on an anonymous blog discussing adult topics using a haphazard amalgam of plugins and patches to keep the site running. I didn’t take the rejection too personally. The advertising ecosystem online does seem to be changing to a more cautious model, and I’m not willing to change the character of the site just to keep advertisers sweet. Maybe I’ll try again in the future, but for now that particular idea is dead in the water.
Significantly, after that initial foray into new territory, I quickly reverted to the status quo. I’m selling enough books and courses to keep the lights on (and feel like I can justify the investment of time and energy to my family), so it’s easy to just stay in the comfort zone of weekly blogging. Nearly nine months on, though, I realise I’ve fallen into one of the traps associated with purposeful living: it’s easy to get complacent.
As with physical fitness, you have to regularly exercise your purposefulness muscle. Despite being able to see and feel the benefits of a stronger and healthier life, somehow the lesson never sticks for good. If you relax your efforts for too long, you’ll lapse back into old habits. Purpose needs to be cultivated.
So, what’s all this rumination leading up to? Well… I’ve realised I need to pay more attention to where I’m going, and cultivate more purpose in my decision making.
Over these last few years, I’ve experimented with various initiatives and schemes. Some have worked well, others not so well, but the problem is that I’ve not done it in a very focused way. I’ve just kept layering more resources on top of one another and then carried on. This isn’t a very purposeful way of proceeding, and – to be honest – I need to acknowledge that I’m trying to do too much and therefore no longer doing the core activities as well.
The most obvious example of this it the backend software for LwL. I’ve strung together site functionality with ad hoc plugins and APIs, linked this into the course site, and then into a mail provider, and tried to keep all the lines of communication open even when migrating between services. It’s a classic example of solving short-term problems in a way that ends up building long-term complexity and headaches. Don’t get me wrong – it’s been educational and worthwhile, and I’m proud of what I’ve built – but it wasn’t designed intentionally; it evolved chaotically.
The other obvious example of change is the scale of the enterprise. We passed 100K monthly pageviews some time ago, and I receive hundreds of personal emails each month too. I’m grateful for them all – sincerely – but I hate being in the position of not being able to answer everyone. I’ve had days where I’ve got home from work and felt aversion to opening my LwL mailbox, knowing the unread messages would be off the screen. I don’t like being in this position. It’s up to me to change it.
Looked at in this way, the future becomes an prioritisation problem. I need to be more active and not let an unsatisfactory status quo keep drifting along because I’m unwilling to make purposeful decisions. For now, that means focusing my time and energy, and doing some forward planning for what the next iteration of LwL will be like.
The aspects of LwL that I like the most are helping people and writing, so that’s what my plans are based on. I do also need to be pragmatic, though. I can’t help everyone, and if I burn out the whole project fails.
After much reflection, I now have two major goals for 2023:
- Write the definitive book on limerence for a mass market audience
- Offer one to one coaching for limerents
As a consequence of this prioritisation, I am going to have to make cuts elsewhere. Principally, with regret, I am going to close the community forum. While I know the value of the community, I have not been able to keep up with timely moderation, have not contributed much to the discussions lately, and have been plagued with stability and compatibility problems with the software in the background. With apologies, I’m admitting defeat and closing the forum down at the end of December.
Second, I have to accept that I can’t answer all the emails I get, so will have to add a note to the contact form to manage expectations. As long-time commenter and friend Limerent Emeritus commented on a previous post, after a while you start to notice the signs about which limerents are going to recover.
Some people are – bluntly – not ready to change. Some can manage by themselves (with a few key insights). Some are ready to change but not sure how to do it. I’m going to focus on that last cohort as the people I can help the most, and given that I receive about half a dozen requests for coaching a week, I’ll trial that as a way to maximise outcomes.
For those who’ve read to the end, I hope this admittedly naval-gazing post has at least modelled a useful aspect of purposeful living. Settle on priorities, write them down, and use social accountability as a psychological tool to help you stay on course. I really want this site and community to continue to thrive, and this is my current best plan for managing it.
Here’s to the next 300 posts!
This site has been a God send for me and as I can see, countless others. As a middle aged married man, I was blindsided by limerence 9 months ago and it was disorienting, and quite honestly, scary. Finding this site helped orient me to what the hell was happening, and grounded me and has given me tools to start a long road of pulling out of this. It is amazing how so many blog posts speak to me perfectly and how so many others seem to be dealing with the exact same issues.
Thank you for the time and effort.
I found this site when in the midst of a volcanic and destructive limerent episode, and I credit Dr.L and the site for helping me navigate out of the soul crushing abyss, enlightening me to modes and strategies of healing and eventual recovery and providing many wry giggles along the way.
This may sound dramatic, but what I have learned has been life changing. I am truly a different person than when I stumbled on this site a few years ago. I am self aware, armed and powerful against the limerence foe. I am still somewhat of a romantic, but not now not a hopeless one. I am still a Limerent but clearly, am a recovered Limerent. It feels superb.
The deprogramming course bolstered and solidified my progress and I think back to the modules often. Brilliant!
I will forever be grateful that this site was providentially started just when I needed it most and I eagerly look forward to the new book! May it contain all the wisdom and sparkling humor that I’ve come to know and love.
Forever in your debt Dr.L….
Thank you, Dr. L.
I stumbled across this site when I was deep in the misery of limerence with a hot and cold LO. The uncertainty was brutal. The intrusive thoughts were brutal. I tried transference out of desperation as was suggested on your site and, whew, it worked. The new LO is kind and attentive. It feels like a friendship. I hope that someday I can just be normal, but I’ll be grateful for the way things are going now. I also have a genuine friendship with my previous LO and I haven’t felt any tinge of glimmer since switching. Your site really helped me. I learned a lot from you and the fellow Limerent Community. Thank you so much for giving us a place to get help.
I volunteer to anonymously share my experience, if it helps with your book.
Seriously, thank you everyone. I appreciate your contributions.
Dr L says
Thanks for your comment, and yes, I’d love to hear from you about your success with transference! Most stories I hear are from people trying to end their unwanted limerence, rather than find a more worthy LO.
You can contact me direct through the contact form, rather than sharing on the comment threads…
Sounds like such an important personal stock take and limit setting. You have been heroic in running this site. The enormous social value should have earned you an OBE by now. Difficult I know as you are understandably anonymous. You have 100% earned the right to run this site and manage your personal availability in whatever way protects you and prevents burnout. Good luck with the new boundaries. I am just one of many people whose sanity was rescued by finding this site. Thank you.
Thank you Dr L. You are an amazing writer. I look forward to buying your book.
Great post, good for you, congrats, and thank you. One question – will the book/consultation services reveal your identity? Or will it still be from the anonymous “Dr. L?”
Dr L says
Good question, DJ. I think ultimately I will have to de-cloak, but I’ll carry on for now as Dr L – at least until I sell the book to a publisher.
It’s something I think (=worry) about a lot. There are pluses and minuses to both scenarios. Putting my credentials on display (as it were) has upsides for credibility, but I also suspect that there is value in anonymity to avoid some of the pitfalls of unconscious bias. As a reader, you get to project your own story onto an anon writer (to an extent) and have them be what you need them to be in your mind. Putting my face front and centre will come with inevitable preconceptions about the sort of person that I am.
Ironically, it has been a useful filter. One of the funniest messages I ever received was from a Guardian reader (after the site was mentioned in one of their articles), who wanted to know my ethnicity and political opinions before they could assess whether it was safe to listen to me. I mean, I know that is kind of “peak Guardian reader” attitude, but I have to admit that I took some unworthy satisfaction in the fact that they had to actually engage with what I’d written because they couldn’t categorise me on identity markers.
Possibly overthinking it, but I think there are benefits to readers as well as me that I have been able to write without inhibition.
I love that you are in incognito mode. Can you write with a nom de plume?
I understand that. Adding to the credibility argument, I think it will be great for someone who is a neuroscientist to publicly weigh in on this important topic. Almost all of us here can describe the puzzled, clueless looks on the faces of many a therapist who were confronted with the term “limerence.”
Dear DR. L, this blog is a godsend amidst my frantic effort in search of answers of my silent suffering for almost 20 years (on and off). Thank you very much for sharing the knowledge about Limerence and helpful techniques to cope, manage, and get over it. I think I read almost all post in this blog already 😀 and they have been very very very helpful. I ask your permission to quote some of your writings on this blog to my personal blog (I will of course mention you and this blog as a source and even include links). As a limerent (hopefully will end soon) I just want to share and help other fellow limerents out there. Especially in my country, where the psychology literacy for common people is not advanced yet but is on the rise especially among the millenials. Again, thank you very much DR. L, God bless.
Dr L says
Great to hear the site has helped! Yes, of course, please feel free to share the knowledge and ideas on your blog. Links back to LwL would be appreciated for direct quotes, as this also helps show the original context and send traffic back and forth – but the more limerents who discover the ideas and understand their experiences, the better 🙂
I have to echo Jaideaux that finding this website has been life changing. It helped me turn the most painful period of my life into an intense and ongoing lesson about purposeful living and deeper knowledge of myself. I think I’ve read the articles on purposeful living dozens of times each, and can’t express enough how transformational they have been for me.
I know there’s little growth without pain, but it’s incredibly helpful to find someone like you Dr L to guide the transition from the pain to the growth. Thank you thank you. I look forward to your book but would also love to see a book (or multiple) from you about Purposeful Living more broadly, many people can benefit from it beyond limerents.
Dr L says
Thanks, Reader. I have contemplated a purposeful living course, as there is a lot more to cover. Would that interest anyone…?
Continued growth says
Yes!!! A purposeful living course would be incredibly valuable. One insidious thing I am struggling with is this thought that if I lived more purposefully, maybe I would be more attractive to my LO, and it would finally work out. And around and around the cycle goes…
Dr L says
Thanks all for the kind comments, and understanding. It is inevitable that for things to grow, they have to change.
Limerent Emeritus says
But dealing with success is the kind of problem you like to have. Sometimes, you just reach the point where you can’t ad hoc things anymore and to move forward you have to pretty much tear things down and rebuild the infrastructure from scratch.
So, in your copious spare time, I recommend you check out:
– “Theory of Constraints” – Elihu Goldratt; A brief summary of TOC can be found at https://www.tocinstitute.org/theory-of-constraints.html The earlier you can identify your limitations/constraints, the better off you are.
– “The Peter Prescription – How to Make Things Go Right” – Dr. Laurence J. Peter; I think you’d really like it. I still read my copy periodically. It also has some material that apply to limerents.
– “How to write a usable user manual (The Professional writing series)” – On a tactical level, you don’t need this. The best thing in that book is the line, “You have to respect the intelligence of your reader but you can’t rely on it.” It also has some really good information on laying out a strategic plan.
In toto, these books can teach you a lot.
You’re making a big strategic shift. I lack vision but I can see it in others and watching something develop, change, and adapt is really cool.
As a kid, “The Peter Principle” was on Mum’s bookshelf and it made a lifelong impact on me!
Limerent Emeritus says
That book affected a lot of people. The older you get the more you see it. When I went for my MBA in the late 90s, a lot of profs in the business school disliked it. I think it hit too close to home for some of them. They all had tenure.
There were 3 books in the series:
1. “The Peter Principle – Why Things Go Wrong”
2. “The Peter Prescription – How to Make Things Go Right”
3. “The Peter Plan – A Proposal For Survival”
The first was the most famous. The second was really good. Nobody remembers the last one.
A big, big thank-you, Dr. L, for all the help you’ve provided people over the years through your work as a blogger!!
LwL has helped me understand my own personality, for better or worse, and that’s a pretty extraordinary feat I think. (Who knew a perfect stranger on the Internet could explain “me” to “me” in a way that makes total sense?) Maybe all us humans aren’t that different from each other, after all… 😜
I feel as if I can think a lot more clearly and logically now about a while range of topics. My emotions are no longer a complete mystery to me. And while limerence is “irrational” in the sense of involving huge mental upheaval in the sufferer, it also follows a fairly predictable pattern of onset, development, and decline. I think helping people see the “predictable pattern” in limerence restores a feeling of sanity to the whole situation… (I.e., no feeling, no matter how strong, lasts forever). 😉
I have also learnt a lot from comments left on the blog. I have reached the conclusion that the emotional differences that exist between male and female, gay and straight, etc, etc, are not the insurmountable chasms I once assumed. Paradoxically, I have way more empathy for heterosexual people after reading your blog, and sympathy for their problems, which seem every bit as interesting as the problems faced by gay people!! Hahaha! (Hope that doesn’t sound too condescending. I am, of course, speaking in affectionate jest). 😜
But seriously, I have not felt in the least bit excluded or overlooked by your blog. I have been able to take insights from straight men and straight women and apply them to my own life, for example. I guess what I’m trying to say is that your blog has led me to feeling a lot less alienated from the human family in general…
Also, I’m impressed with the fact that much of the help/insights I’ve received have come from people in different countries and on different continents. Your blog is probably unique in the sense that it represents a “convergence” of ideas and stories from all around the world that would be very hard to reproduce in clinical settings. Hopefully, you can use your writerly talents to distil the very best of this collective wisdom for the general reader in your definitive book on limerence!!
Thank you once again for all your wonderful work. It is appreciated. 👍
Dr C says
Dr L, I have been a long-time background lurker but avid reader of your blog for years. I am a psychologist and understand as well as accept the science behind limerence yet I’m exasperated with my own serial limerence. In fact my current episode has lasted a decade now; it must be a record. I just can’t figure a way out of the fantasy world I’ve built for myself despite acknowledging the objective reasons behind limerence and attempting to live purposefully. Perhaps I just like to remain perpetually anxious yet excited. It isn’t a fun place to be. Anyway I wanted to reach out and say that if there is anything I can offer you and your blog from a personal or professional perspective, let me know… from one Dr to another
Will there be another forum set up by someone?
A community member from the previous LwL forum kindly offered to host a new forum platform via Discourse. Like the old forum, the new forum will never be viewable on a public search engine. The posts are only visible to registered users. There is no PM or DM option as a privacy and safety feature. Here’s the link:
I just stumbled upon this entire thing. I had no idea there was an actual name for what I was felling, or that there were other people who had the same issues I have. I am so sad that I found this and now it’s closed. I thought I had found an outlet for my feelings for my LO. I will read everything I can, however, hoping to get over these feelings.
Don’t worry, a community member from the previous forum kindly offered to host a new forum platform that will never be viewable on a public search engine, unless they’re on this website.
The posts are only visible to registered users. There is no PM or DM option as a privacy and safety feature. Here’s the link:
Limerence Survivor says
I have struggled with limerence for one person for over two years now. I took your emergency deprogramming course in March 2022, and it was the thing I needed to truly commit to my healing. I am by no means fully recovered or over this person. The intrusive thoughts are brutal. However, I’m making progress, and I’m using this limerent experience to fuel my growth and transformation. Without the course, I’m not sure I’d be where I am. I have hope. I choose myself and my healing each day. Thanks for the work you do.
Dr L says
Hi Limerence Survivor.
Great to hear that the course has helped, and most importantly that you have hope. Recovery can be a hard grind while you painstakingly reverse the habits of mind that led you into trouble in the first place.
What’s the biggest difficulty you face now?
I’m so sad this blog is done with, finished… I found so much consolation on it. It’s been my companion for almost ten months since I found it. Thanks for your kindness.
The content of this blog , is it going to be deleted???
Good luck in your new journey.