In an earlier post, I described the second stage of limerence as “the response”. So, assuming you have felt the glimmer, the next thing your limerent brain tries to determine is the possibility of reciprocation. You become hyper-aware of the body language and emotional state of the potential LO. Each interaction is analysed for meaning. Signs of hoped-for reciprocation accelerate the drive to limerence; overt disinterest or hostility can slam on the brakes.
This “nucleation” may be the aspect of limerence in which there is most variation between individuals. At one extreme end we have delusion, where even completely neutral or even negative response can be distorted into confirmation of reciprocation at some level. For the truly pathological, think “Enduring Love” by Ian McEwan which describes de Clerambault’s syndrome. Now clearly most limerents aren’t anywhere near that delusional, but limerence makes optimists of us all. Small signs of reciprocation are used as hope anchors. Signs of disinterest or distaste can be minimised as blunders or tactical errors that can be repaired in the future by better strategy.
This is probably the most delicate stage of nucleation, and a tipping point. How much encouragement (real or imagined) an individual needs to progress to run-away limerence seems highly variable.
First, we all know people (or have been people) who become limerent for fantasy figures – celebrities being the obvious example, where reciprocation is obviously wildly implausible. I’m actually going to classify this a proto-limerence, as while it has many of the same features, the fact that it is entirely in the limerent’s head makes it categorically different from limerence where reciprocation is at least a possibility.
Next on the scale would be limerence for LOs who the limerent only briefly interacts with in daily life, but has nevertheless become fixated upon. Receptionists, co-commuters, shop staff, joggers, that sort of thing. Interaction occurs. Maybe mutual smiles of recognition. Maybe a few exchanged pleasantries or brief conversations. For some people, this can be enough to trigger progression to infatuation.
Finally, there are LOs that the limerent interacts with regularly. Here there is the opportunity to actually get to know someone at a more than superficial level, and so perhaps make more objective judgments about whether reciprocation is likely. At the far end of this category would be the people who become limerent for friends they have known for some time, but were not initially limerent for. Often, this change can be triggered by seeing the friend in a new context, or even sensing that the friend is interested in them. In other words, the reciprocation is the initiating event, even if the glimmer had not be present before (which rather spoils the nice, neat list format of my argument, but never mind).
So what determines where on this continuum an individual limerent lies? Probably a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Some people seem especially prone to nucleation. The amplification of glimmer to obsession takes very little feedback from the LO. Others are more cautious. In addition to these inherent temperaments, circumstances can affect sensitivity. Is the limerent currently in a relationship or actively seeking a partner? Age is another big issue. How many times has the limerent experienced these episodes before? Stress, emotional upset, bereavement; many extrinsic events in life can alter the threshold of one’s sensitivity to limerence.
Are there ways to decrease one’s sensitivity to nucleation? As always, self awareness is the best approach. What is going on in your life at the moment that may be causing you to seek limerent “reward”? Ask yourself, bluntly and honestly: how much feedback are you actually getting from LO? Unless you are spending a lot of time with LO and beginning to bond, you are actually falling in love with the version of LO in your head. It might help to realise that this is quite insulting to the LO.
A good strategy to edge back from the tipping point is to recognise the path that leads to the brink. Given that the limerent is falling for an LO that only really exists in their own head, that is where the path begins. After the glimmer, and a hint of reciprocation, the rumination begins. Endless re-imaginings of interactions. Rehearsal of new conversations; of clever things you will say or do to impress the LO next time you see them.
Imagining what they would say in response. Reorganising your life and habits to try and increase exposure. Most of all, devoting a lot of your mental energy to fantasising as vividly as possible about the LO. You are single-handedly making them a major part of your life and inflating the significance of this person by endless reverie. That’s what pushes you over the tipping point and down the slippery slope.
Usually, therefore, it is within the limerent’s power to stop that slide by recognising the limerence-promoting behaviour they are engaging in. That said, there is a special kind of hell reserved for those limerents who nucleate on a manipulative son-of-a-bitch LO who craves the attention, and broadcasts reciprocating signals like a mobile phone mast. More on them in a later post.
“First, we all know people (or have been people) who become limerent for fantasy figures – celebrities being the obvious example, where reciprocation is obviously wildly implausible.”
This was me as a teenager. One LO was a singer. The other was an actress with a heavy “bad girl” vibe (I remember indulging in a few rescue fantasies).
What’s interesting, though, is that I haven’t had any of those experiences as an adult, and I know I never will. Just the thought of it makes me laugh. It all seems so silly and naive. Which means that my celebrity limerence (or proto-limerence, as you call it) came to an end. I don’t have it anymore. It’s not a part of me.
So, how did that happen? And can it happen with full-blown limerence? It’s certainly promising.
It’s interesting you say about that, because until last year (when current LE began) I had always had a slightly obsessive crush on one TV character or another. I don’t recall when it started but don’t remember a time when I didn’t have one, but at the same time have realised how immature it is.
The trick to get rid of it was usually to meet the real actor then it disappeared… usually moving on to another!
However these last 8 months have been the first time I’ve experienced real limerence, and as it was someone I had to maintain at least a professional relationship with, it has been far scarier!!
Still working with my therapist to try and work out why I have those crushes, but I know my husband preferred it when they were all fictional characters.
That’s a useful data point, Sophie. I wonder how common proto-limerence is among limerents and whether it’s an early stage of limerence (as suggested by the proto-) or a separate phenomenon. In other words, did our proto-limerence go away, or did it develop into something worse?
It would be useful to know if anyone alternates between real-life and celebrity LOs. In other words, do limerence and proto-limerence ever overlap?
You actually got to meet the actor(s) you had a crush/crushes on? That’s interesting.
How does one get “the glimmer,” reciprocation, and uncertainty from someone you’ve never actually met? You can certainly fantasize about someone you’ve never met but real LOs always provide something to the limerent.
I guess “proto-limerence” is as good a label as any. Maybe the appearance of limerence-like feelings for someone you never met could be called “ersatz limerence” but it has a lousy ring to it.
I hadn’t even considered the “obsessive crushes” (or whatever label we want to give it) in the same way as the limerence until I started exploring this with my therapist!
I have always followed lower-key TV series – the sort where the actors do theatre work in between series – so meeting them was relatively easy – find other fans online and go see a show they are in, then stage door after. Separating the character from the actor was the reality jolt that they are very different and the bubble would burst. Having no real-life relationship certainly made it easier to move on from, rather than an LO who is a colleague and friend.
There was never a glimmer, but the one thing I did notice was my interest in the character usually started once they had a romantic storyline. Probably coincidence but who knows… my head is a mess!! The obsessive thinking was very similar, but the fantasies were more sexual than the hope for reciprocation that I have experienced as limerence.
Real limerence is without a doubt far far harder to move on from!
This is really interesting. There obviously is a gap between an obsessive crush on a stranger, and full-blown addiction to a LO. Maybe proto-limerence is an indicator that we have the kind of brains that are prone to limerence, but it’s a sort of “searching” stage, as though we are scanning for suitable LOs in the environment? Once we finally meet a potential LO, then the glimmer-reciprocation-uncertainty cycle kicks in and moves us from crush to limerence. So, crushes are a sign that we are primed for limerence…?
But I had crushes when I was a pre-teen and a teenager but I’m not limerent, or prone to it (yet? ever?).
So I don’t know if that is a particularly big indication of future limerence.
That’s good to know, Lee, thanks. Maybe its not such a promising idea.
I also only had crushes during adolescence. Nothing as an adult – “just” limerence.
The last case of what I’d call an infatuation/crush was a few years before I met LO #1. I still remember the first time I saw her. It was at a volleyball game for new students. I took one look at her and I was gone. I chased her for two semesters and she went out with me exactly once. One day I saw she was wearing a ring. She told me she had a boyfriend in the Army. I told her if she’d told me that up front, I wouldn’t have acted like an idiot for 8 months. She said she thought I’d get the hint. The story didn’t end there but it’s beyond this discussion.
I was so smitten that my father noticed it. He thought it was really amusing. The thing was there was no glimmer, no uncertainty, and no reciprocation but I still had a crush until she told me about the BF. If she was a damsel-in-distress, she didn’t let me know. My taste for them wouldn’t come for almost a decade.
The last few days have been strange.
On the positive side, I had two days where I didn’t even think about LO!! Huge breakthrough for me.
However, on Sunday I watched a new episode of my favourite TV show (one which one of the actor crushes is in) and tweeted about it after. I tagged the name of the show and it was retweeted by the actor. Since then I feel I’ve gone back in time about 3 years, with my thoughts being consumed by a fictional character rather than LO.
In one respect I’m pleased that this may be the beginning of the end of the LE, but if it’s by transference back to the “proto-limerence” then that may mean I need to work more on the underlying causes of what causes this obsessive behaviour!!
I think this is show just how much limerence is about us and NOT about out LO’s. I too am desperate to know what’s the root of this limerence and why I have always had huge LE’s or seeking LO’s
Scharnhorst, how do you differentiate between a crush and a limerence experience? For me, a crush is just the early stage of limerence. Whether it progresses to a full-on obsession depends on the frequency of my contact with the crush and other factors that I’m not aware of.
You would think that common interests would play into it, but apparently not: My most recent LO and I had very different tastes in music, movies, and politics. At one time, those were are all deal-breakers for me, so each time I discovered a new incompatibility, I felt a small sense of relief and thought, “Okay, this relationship would never work. The limerence will die at any moment.” But it didn’t.
I’m still kind of amazed by that.
Yes! I understand! My current LO has opposite (and annoying) interests, humor style and we are even from different cultures (which my limerent brain finds super interesting)! LO does not seem to have a “poetic soul “ (which I thought was mandatory in a love interest ) and I can’t for the life of me figure out how he managed to weasel his way into my brain other than he is quite attractive, very generous and thoughtful, highly complementary, and we both takes turns being the friend in distress and support each other mightily. Great for him, but awful for my limerence problem!
For me there were several differences. With the Crush, the attraction was immediate and intense. All it took was one look. With LOs, the feeling was never immediate. It developed over time as I got to know them.
The Crush never blew hot and cold. It was pretty much all cold. I saw her frequently enough on campus to keep me in the game and she did go out with me once, maybe twice, the first year. One time I ran across her while walking with my friends and the reception prompted my friend to ask if anyone else got goosebumps from the chill in the air. I bought her roses for her birthday, March 12. You could get a dozen for $5. Thinking back, that might have been a little over the top but she didn’t seem to mind.
But, I can never say she offered any real encouragement. She did give me a ride to the airport at Xmas break but that was about it for reinforcement. I was one lovesick puppy that Xmas break. My father met her 4 years later at graduation. He said he understood why I was attracted to her.
The real LOs I got to know and they triggered something in me. It took months to years to develop. Another significant difference was with the LOs is I didn’t initially see them as prospects and I was friends with all of them. I was never a friend with the Crush. LO #2 actually said to me, “If I don’t sleep with you is that the end of the friendship?” That question set the expectation for that relationship pretty low.
The Crush is one of the most significant women in my life. The story continued into the next year and ended when my, at the time, unknown rival, her current husband of 30+ years, came to my room and physically threatened me. For a relationship that never got off the ground, it was really interesting.
Scharnhorsr, You were perceived as a threat. Funny how the close and bonded attachments one can have with LOs unnerve their SO’s. That in itself can trick a limerent into thinking they have “a chance”. It’s just a trick. If the LO wanted us, they would find a way. They just want us for that “special attention” they get from us and really, they don’t deserve it. I feel so cold and harsh saying this! It’s bravado, but I am trying to convince myself of the validity of it!
” One time I ran across her while walking with my friends and the reception prompted my friend to ask if anyone else got goosebumps from the chill in the air. I bought her roses for her birthday, March 12. You could get a dozen for $5. Thinking back, that might have been a little over the top but she didn’t seem to mind.”
“The story continued into the next year and ended when my, at the time, unknown rival, her current husband of 30+ years, came to my room and physically threatened me. For a relationship that never got off the ground, it was really interesting.”
Scharnhorst – You may want to revisit your behavior at the time and ask yourself if it was disquieting. Women do not, as a general rule, tell men to go away and leave them alone, or when they feel uneasy around someone.
You may have been staring too much, or known too much about her movements and one or both of them didn’t care for it much. Perhaps other people who saw you mentioned it to them. Or maybe it was nothing but why would her then-boyfriend take it upon himself to physically threaten someone over nothing? Was he a jerk? Is he one now?
I know it’s all in the past, as it should be, but ask yourself if your behavior then would make you worried for the well-being of a young woman in your life (daughter, niece, best friend’s kid, etc.).
I don’t think she felt uncomfortable. Now that I think about it, she’d come to my dorm room and I’d help her with physics and calculus. We’d listen to Tommy James over brandy when we were done.
When I got back to school the following year, she found me the first week. She told me she’d broken up with her BF and asked if we could go out. We went out once or twice and things started to taper off. She was going to the fall formal with me. From what little she revealed about her previous BF, I think she had liked the attention. He was 1200 miles away most of the time and alluded that he might not have been faithful. The unknown distant BF was to be repeated with LO #1.
I called her the day after the visit. She was surprised and apologized. She asked, “He threatened you?” I told her that he didn’t want me “…messing around with my woman and I don’t want to hurt you after practice.” (He was a jock) She said, “If that’s the way he wants it.” I asked her if that was the way she wanted it and she said, “I guess.” I told her then the only thing I had against her was that I should have heard that from her, not him. She said she hadn’t told him about me. She said it must have been her roommate. That made sense because I met her roommate the previous year and we did not get along. I don’t remember why we didn’t get along but we didn’t and I got a sense of hostility from her. I have absolutely zero evidence that her roommate actually had anything to do with things but it would’t surprise me to learn she’d planted the seed in his head. Her roommate’s BF was also a jock and I didn’t fit into that circle.
As for her BF/husband, I think he’s a jerk but what I think about him doesn’t matter. She made a choice, my objection was to the way I learned about it.
I had friends in Campus Safety and, if I wanted to, I could find anybody. I had access to their class schedules, I could find out where they lived, what kind of car they drove, where they parked, their SSNs, etc. I thought about messing with the guy since I could do it with relative impunity but my better nature won out. Knowing I could was enough. The other kicker was when he threatened me, my roommate answered. It was pretty late and the lights were off. I was in the shadows. I could see him but he couldn’t see me. He had no idea what I looked like but I knew what he looked like. We’d pass each other frequently and he had no idea who I was.
After that, in the next 3 years, I only saw her on Graduation Day. We crossed paths as we headed toward the stadium. She looked at me, smiled, planted a big kiss on me, and said, “We made it!” I had mono at the time but the kiss happened so fast I didn’t have time to stop her. We told each other what plans we had after graduation. She gave me her number, said to call, and we’d have a drink before I left town. I called it once, she wasn’t home, and I never tried it again.
“he other kicker was when he threatened me, my roommate answered. It was pretty late and the lights were off. I was in the shadows. I could see him but he couldn’t see me. He had no idea what I looked like but I knew what he looked like”
Clarification, please. Did you let your roommate be threatened by him, when BF mistook him for you? Or did you come out of the shadows to listen to the guy and discuss the situation face-to-face?
Something else… I know you’re not a big fan of the MBTI but it can help explain some things. I test as an ESTJ at work but I’m an ENTJ everywhere else.
ENTJs are considered, assertive, persistent, and direct. When we see something we want, we go straight at it. We can take “No” for an answer but we don’t like it and if we ask a direct question and get anything other than a direct answer, we’ll interpret in the way we want to. We’re direct with people and we expect them to be direct with us. ENTJs make up ~3% of the population. That means ~97% aren’t ENTJS and an assertive, persistent and direct approach may not work with a lot of them. Depending on their methods, I can see where more extreme ENTJs might come across as creepy.
I was sent to supervisor’s school where we did some exercises to see what kind of management style we had. We took the same test under two different conditions. The first was how we’d do things when things were going well. The second was how we’d do things when things were under significant adversity. In the first case, my management style was a mentor-coach. I used the events to train and develop subordinates. Under adversity, my style took a big turn. In the second case, my style was to use any and all legal methods, “up to and including subterfuge”, to accomplish the task, It was pretty accurate.
They say how you do anything is how you do everything. I may have operated that way at work sometimes but I don’t think I ever applied it in the relationship context.
This string has hit a nerve.
LO #4 described herself as an “Avoidant INTJ.” She’s smart, articulate, outwardly confident, and has a delightfully snarky sense of humor.
This is what it says about ENTJs as friends, “The ENTJ thoroughly enjoys lively, intellectual conversations – welcoming such interaction as a learning opportunity for all parties involved. They have a tendency to be direct and challenging when interacting with others, which tends to put people on the defensive. This is in fact exactly what they’re after – the ENTJ wants to learn what you know, and understand as many of the nuances of your knowledge as the context of the conversation will allow. They go after this knowledge in a very direct, confrontational manner. With this approach, they will learn not only the facts of the knowledge, but also the background of the individual’s stance on that piece of knowledge. How well does the individual understand the topic? How invested is the individual in their stance? This method of “unsettling” people has the effect of livening up conversations and stimulating learning, when the other conversationalists are able to easily withstand the interrogations of the ENTJ. People who are uncomfortable with being challenged, or who are less than confident in the topic being discussed, are likely to be subdued into not expressing themselves with the ENTJ.” (http://www.personalitypage.com/html/ENTJ_rel.html)
The harder I pressed her, the shorter and more direct her responses became, that is when I got a response. When I found the passage above, the word “interrogation” got my attention. I went back and looked at the emails we exchanged. I was interrogating her. The other thing I realized was that the harder I was interrogating her, the less likely there was to be a response. And, it wasn’t just one email, it was many of them. I was backing her into a corner. I apologized to her and I backed off.
Keep in mind, I was in the middle of LE that I shouldn’t have been in at all. But, that’s the extent to which she was inside my head at the time.
“I know you’re not a big fan of the MBTI”
No, I’m not. It’s junk science, if I’m feeling generous about it.
“ENTJs are considered, assertive, persistent, and direct. When we see something we want, we go straight at it.”
That is also how men have been trained to behave for quite a long time and are/were rewarded for it. Women, not nearly as much nor as well-recompensed. You may want to revisit your upbringing and how you were socialized. What was squelched by others, what was encouraged.
“They say how you do anything is how you do everything. I may have operated that way at work sometimes but I don’t think I ever applied it in the relationship context.”
I’m hazy on your timeline, but have you had emotional affairs/LO’s while married? If so (and I’m not accusing you of it), that is definitely an act of subterfuge if you do not keep your spouse fully informed throughout.
Of course, keeping a spouse fully informed throughout the process (part of the email stream, told when and where to show up for meals, etc.) would probably force the issue and bring one relationship or both to an end. Or make it stillborn. It appears to me that it’s not nearly as much fun or as likely to give you shots of adrenalin when it’s not behind someone’s back.
“They go after this knowledge in a very direct, confrontational manner.”
“People who are uncomfortable with being challenged, or who are less than confident in the topic being discussed,”
The other word used to describe this style is “rude” and sometimes “arrogant”. It comes across as someone who doesn’t want to have a conversation, who isn’t listening to you because they are busy formulating a response without considering what you are saying and dismissive of what you have to say.
Unless you’re defending your dissertation or undergoing a board of scientific counselor’s review, this is offensive behavior to many people. It may indicate that you’re not privy to a lot of information simply because someone doesn’t want to waste their time trying to make you listen to them without interruption and without respect.
I imagine you have softened your style as you have matured, but I bet you got shut out of a lot of possible interactions as a result. Not saying you haven’t done well but you might be surprised at how much you missed.
‘“They say how you do anything is how you do everything. I may have operated that way at work sometimes but I don’t think I ever applied it in the relationship context.”
I’m hazy on your timeline, but have you had emotional affairs/LO’s while married? If so (and I’m not accusing you of it), that is definitely an act of subterfuge if you do not keep your spouse fully informed throughout.”
What I meant in the statement was I don’t remember using subterfuge when I was dating anybody. However, in the context of LO #4 and my marriage, you’re correct. I didn’t encounter the term “emotional affair” when I was in the LE and the therapist never used the term but just because you don’t label something doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. Both the therapist, and eventually, LO #4 brought up the deception in particular. When LO #4 first told me what was happening, a friend told me, “Get away from her and stay away from her! Stay involved with this woman and this will not end well for you.” LO #4 said, “If you have to hide our correspondence from your wife, it’s not good.” I wanted to retort, “Ya, think? That never dawned on you at any point in the past year?” But, she was saying goodbye so I took the pitch.
I was in an emotional affair with LO #4. When I learned about them, our relationship met 2/3 of the criteria and I think the only reason it didn’t meet more was the fact we were geographically distant and the criteria required actual contact. For example, dressing up for your EA partner doesn’t apply when you’re 2000 miles apart. One criteria that neither of us broached was even if we were dissatisfied with out partners at the time, that topic was off-limits. When her relationship ended, that went out the window for her after that.
In 30 years of marriage, only one woman got inside my head, LO #4. It took months with the therapist to find out why.
That’s the thing, It may have been about LO #4, but it was never because of her.
This post is going to get messy.
“Clarification, please. Did you let your roommate be threatened by him, when BF mistook him for you? Or did you come out of the shadows to listen to the guy and discuss the situation face-to-face?”
My roommate answered the door. He never in any way threatened my roommate and I wasn’t about to come out of the shadows to confront him. The guy never tried to enter the room. He stayed at the doorway. The entire conversation probably lasted less than 3 minutes. When he left, my roommate turned out the light and I made the comment I thought I’d been threatened. My roommate said there was no doubt in his mind. Somebody else must have seen it from the hall because several people asked me about it the next day. The hardest part about the episode was his thinking he intimidated me into not “messing with (his) woman.” I didn’t back off because of him, I backed off because of her.
“The other word used to describe this style is “rude” and sometimes “arrogant”. It comes across as someone who doesn’t want to have a conversation, who isn’t listening to you because they are busy formulating a response without considering what you are saying and dismissive of what you have to say.”
LO #2 called me “cocky and arrogant.” My wife says “rude” and “arrogant” still come out periodically but not nearly as often as when we were first married. That topic came up when I started working with a therapist years ago when I was exploring the relationship with LO #2. What we came up with was that cockiness and arrogance were my techniques of choice as a Dismissive-Avoidant to keep people at distance. They work!
Your comment “I imagine you have softened your style as you have matured, but I bet you got shut out of a lot of possible interactions as a result. Not saying you haven’t done well but you might be surprised at how much you missed.” is completely accurate. I was so good at keeping people at a distance, I became a social pariah in high school. I wanted people to leave me alone and they were more than willing to accommodate me. It took 2 years for me to dig myself out of that hole and one of the criteria for me asking a girl out was she wasn’t a direct participant in what happened. One reason I went to college where I did was I didn’t want to go to the same college with people I went to high school with. They knew me.
“He never in any way threatened my roommate and I wasn’t about to come out of the shadows to confront him.”
But he thought your roommate was you.
“When he left, my roommate turned out the light and I made the comment I thought I’d been threatened. My roommate said there was no doubt in his mind. Somebody else must have seen it from the hall because several people asked me about it the next day.”
I don’t understand why he didn’t say, “I’m not Scharnhorst” or you didn’t step forward and say, “Roommate, he’s looking for me.” Maybe he was huge and you were nervous. But it wasn’t the action of a forthright person.
It was many years ago, hopefully you don’t let other people take the blame in your place in other situations. Maturity takes hold for most of us. Presumably you’re a mensch today, if you weren’t then.
Hardest thing I ever did was stand up and admit that it was MY fault that someone’s windscreen got cracked. We were stupid kids (I think I was 10 – 12 years old – somewhere in there), tossing stuff off of the roof of a friend’s garage into the street. STUPID. I still stood up and admitted to it when the driver stopped, got out and understandably wanted to kick someone’s ass. To this day I wonder why he didn’t order me to come down, march me home and raise a ruckus. I deserved it. I hope his insurance covered it in full!
I didn’t let my roommate take the heat for anything.
My roommate only answered the door. My roommate didn’t have to say. “I’m not Scharnhorst.” When the guy asked for me, I answered him. The guy asked, “Is Scharnhorst here?” and I responded.
I engaged him in the entire conversation and my roommate never said a word. We were in bed when the guy knocked on the door and my roommate got up to answer it. We thought it was one of our dorm buddies. Aside from holding the door open and keeping me in the shadow, my roommate took no part in the actual conversation. I made a mistake in the previous post. The lights were off in the room and my roommate didn’t turn them on. I only saw the guy because he was framed in the door by the lights in the hall.
After he asked if I was there, the first thing the guy said was “My name is —- and I’m Crush’s BF.” immediately followed by the “I don’t want you messing….” statement. I saw no reason to get out of bed in my underwear, turn on the light, and invite him in. I responded with something like “Ok.” He said something like, “Good” and left.
Anonymous Limerent says
Hi, first I’d like to say to Lee: Personality types are not hokum; they describe what a person is like and their innermost desires/attitudes. However, I can sort of see where you’re coming from, if you mean that people can change.
Mainly, though, I would like to respond to Scharnhorst’s post on personality and high school.
When I arrived in secondary school, I was a nice person, the ISTJ-T I am now. However, during Year 8 I was influenced heavily my my two closest friends at the time, who were both very intelligent with a habit of insulting their inferiors. One thing led to another and I picked up this same trait; I started to insult everyone and think I was above them all. I may even have become a little extraverted.
This carried on for the rest of the year, with pedantry and insults running riot. As a result, I kind of built up a reputation for myself, everyone disrespected me and nobody liked me. I alienated myself from the school; a social pariah.
However, at the end of that school year, I developed my current LE for a girl and suddenly changed. I flipped right back; when I went back to school in Year 9, I didn’t insult nor correct anyone, and became a lot more tolerant of people. I forced myself to reconnect with my old friends, whom I’d met before my alienation, and still hang out with them now, half a year on.
It is taking me a while, but I’m slowly digging myself out of this hole. As you said, for LO to like me, there has to be someone for her TO like. (Here, I have put ‘to’ in capitals for emphasis, not because it’s an abbreviation.)
Thus I eliminated all aspects of my newly-changed personality, and replaced them with my old ones, the ones I have now (back to ISTJ-T).
Which, with regards to Lee, may have been the reason of my attack in an earlier post – 1. Because the pedantry reminded me of how I used to be, so I thought I knew what you were trying to insinuate, and 2. Because some recently-banished aspects of my personality still occasionally shine through. I am working on it.
But Scharnhorst, it’s nice to know that someone else actually has gone through what I am now. Are you sure it wasn’t some low level of limerence, though? You seemed to be obsessing over her quite a bit for a long time…
This site became part of my trying to make sense of my love life and it came very late in the process. Once I discovered limerence and began to understand it, I went back and looked at all the significant women I’ve encountered in my life. At first glance, there are about 9 of them.
The Crush is notable for a few reasons:
1. She was the first girl I was attracted to after high school.
2. It was my first and only case of coup de foudre. I never got to know her well enough to connect on any level aside from she was killer good looking. Compared to the spirituality and authenticity I sensed in LO #1, a walk thru the ocean of The Crush’s soul would scarcely make my feet wet. She may have had depth but I didn’t pick that up from her. I can’t think of anything beyond her looks that attracted me to her.
3. Based on Lee’s comments, The Crush may have been the second woman who tried to triangulate me. I’m pretty sure a girl in HS tried. That girl was a prominent figure in my not being able to buy a date from the time I was a freshman until I was a senior.
4. It was the only time I’ve been threatened by a jealous suitor.
In my Pantheon of Significant Women, she made the cut. One of the other significant women in my life was the woman I made a run at after I graduated. The relationship went nowhere. What makes it memorable 35 years later was the way she said “goodbye.” It was the nicest goodbye one could imagine. I think it was harder for her to say than it was for me to hear. That woman could charge other woman for lessons on how to dump someone. It don’t think it’s possible to deliver such bad news with such little pain. She was a genuinely caring person.
“Personality types are not hokum; they describe what a person is like and their innermost desires/attitudes.”
I disagree and there are many others who do as well. One big reason I don’t like it because many people who have taken the MBTI on multiple occasions wonder why their types change with each administration. Why, if personality is relatively stable?
“Which, with regards to Lee, may have been the reason of my attack in an earlier post – 1. Because the pedantry reminded me of how I used to be, so I thought I knew what you were trying to insinuate, and 2. Because some recently-banished aspects of my personality still occasionally shine through. I am working on it.”
I fail to see the point in your remarks to me and tangentially about me (your anecdote about secondary school).
Anonymous Limerent says
Let me try to explain to you the indisputable correctness of the Myers-Briggs theory, followed by an expansion of why I did what I did; an extended apology.
First up, MBTI. Now, you said that people who take it can, more often than not, end up with different results each time. Yes, one’s personality does have some “relative stability” so personalities don’t often stray far away from each other; on that basis, you are correct – there is no one way to describe a person through the entirety of their life, just based on a test and theory.
However, the four-letter combination is like a pronoun: A clear, concise way of telling people, in a universal code, who you are and your attitude, without having to explain every aspect of your personality to everyone all the time. The test merely gives you four letters, not based on your responses, but as a summary of them. It’s like someone holding up a mirror to your inner self and taking a snapshot of it – that snapshot is what you show people is your inside rather than describing it to them.
So yes, Myers-Briggs groupings can change, but not because the test is faulty; because PEOPLE grow, mature and change. You’re looking at it too speculatively.
With regards to my previous apology, and your statement (“I fail to see the point in your remarks to me and tangentially about me (your anecdote about secondary school)”), I’ll clarify:
It’s like this. I used to be pedantic and picky about anything anyone said. Whenever someone went slightly wrong, I would correct them. So when I saw your comment critiquing my survey, I thought, “Hey, this person is questioning my mathematical and methodological strategies. That sounds like me a year ago; they must be an egotistical pedant who thinks they’re superior to everyone else (hence my snarky remark). I know, I’ll prove them wrong.” And, filled with fire, I viciously set out to better you without thinking of what you could’ve alternatively meant. I may have been a little too aggressive in my comment, though.
Although, I must say, your latest comment (the one I’m replying to) certainly doesn’t do this presumption any favours. If anything, it supports it…
Thanks, Scharnhorst, for clearing that up, by the way. I am grateful that I know understand why The Crush was not limerence.
An apology uses the words “I’m sorry” and is followed by what you are apologizing for doing. If it includes “just” or “but” it’s no longer an apology, it’s an excuse.
I don’t hold truck with Myers-Briggs. If you like it, that’s fine. I don’t find it useful.
Hey Dr. L., have you read http://www.mustbethistalltoride.com ? Interesting blog and I wonder what you think about Matt’s letter to shitty husbands (which isn’t as heavy-handed as it sounds, plus can be useful to wives too).
Drat. “For what you have done”, I mixed my verb tenses. 5 am and a bit drowsy yet.
Anonymous Limerent says
Lee, Lee, Lee-Lee-Lee.
I did apologise: “Lee,
I am sorry for attacking you earlier; I just thought you were attacking me and my methodology.” The words “I’m sorry” followed by an apology for what I did. But maybe you missed that while you were catching up on some shut-eye…
And an apology can be followed by an excuse, so long as they are clearly separated; one may wish to have the addressee understand why they did what they are apologising FOR HAVING DONE, and not *just* condemn it. The two can exist in tandem – shocker(!)
P.S. Yes, I did capitalise the grammatically correct version of what you said, than what you thought you should have said. Based on your last post, I presume you’re quite a sticker for grammar…
Anonymous Limerent says
Sorry, AutoCorrect; that should have been ‘stickler’.
Thank you for your apology on the other thread (The loneliness of limerence). No, I hadn’t looked at that thread since 3/19, so I overlooked it.
Anonymous Limerent says
Wow, that’s the first time you’ve addressed me in a comment made at your expense, as opposed to leverage.
I’m not saying ‘thanks’, though.
This post is OT and long.
Since you relate to the HS stories, I’ll tell you a few more.
Scharnhorst’s HS Adventure Part #1:
In HS, I was a seething mass of insecurity contained in a pretty tight pressure vessel. I had a cool exterior and my goal was to be sufficiently competent that no one could question me. I also had a razor sharp wit that dripped with sarcasm and cynicism. Oddly, people would come to me for advice, often relationship advice. I’d think, “Seriously, have you ever seen me with a girl?” But, there were no early marriages, pregnancies, or restraining orders associated with me so I guess I did ok. I didn’t really start growing out of those insecurities until I was 25. I know exactly where I was and what I was doing when it happened.
My junior year, there was a girl who appeared to like me. She was an entirely suitable candidate. She was easy to be around. She was also had a boyfriend who was a senior. One day a friend came up and asked what was going on between her and me. I told him nothing was going on. He said, “Precisely, everybody can see you two really like each other so what’s going on?” I told him she had a boyfriend. He said, The only reason she’s with him is because she’s not with you.” He then pointed out some apparently obvious to everyone but me examples of my hot and cold behavior toward this girl. I told him that if they ever broke up maybe we’d get together.
He said, “I’m going to teach you something about women. (He was 17 and I’d never seen him with a girl). First, a woman is unlikely to give up what she has until she has the next thing lined up. Second there are two things you don’t do, insult their current BF or ignore them.” I told him I had never done either. His response was that I was constantly threatening to do both. I didn’t understand his last remark then and I still don’t. I told my father what he’d said. My father said, “For a 17yr old kid, he’s pretty smart. You should listen to him.”
Anyway, we maintained the status quo. When we returned as seniors, I don’t remember what her status was but we’d drifted into the friend zone. I dated another girl in class. After we graduated, I ran into the first girl in town and we went out a few times. She admired my ability to parallel park (true). We were going in different directions to college and her parents moved to the East Coast.
We kept in touch. My junior year in college I happened to be out her way and spent a few days with her at her parents’ house. The following year, I got a letter from her saying she was getting engaged and wished me well. I haven’t heard from her since and haven’t been able to locate her on social media.
I have pictures of two girls from HS in an album. She’s one of them.
End of Part #1.
Scharnhorst’s HS Adventures Part #2:
My chemistry teacher was an attractive married woman in her 30s. I was her lab assistant during my free period. I was on a date one evening and saw her and a guy at the movies. We acknowledged each other but didn’t talk to each other. I presume the guy was her husband but the rumor going around was that she was having marital problems so maybe he wasn’t. That was outside the scope of our student/teacher relationship.
On Monday, I showed up for my lab assistant job. She said she didn’t know the girl and I were dating. I asked why would she? She said she thought she was pretty plugged in to what her students were doing. I told her, “I play my games, I let other people play their games, and I don’t tell anybody anything.”
She smiled, leaned back against the wall on one foot, crossed her arms, said. “Don’t ever forget that.”
End of Part #2.
“First, a woman is unlikely to give up what she has until she has the next thing lined up.”
Oh no – that is what a person with BPD or one who lacks integrity does (some very unlucky souls have both issues). I hope you avoided most people like that!
Anonymous Limerent says
Scharnhorst, the parallels between high school you and last year me are scary (except for the ‘advice on relationships’ part); they are exactly the same! However, I get really nervous when talking to someone I like (currently LO); on a scale of 1-10 I would score a -π…
Interesting about this girl, though – she seems like another crush if you didn’t have a limerence for her. Maybe there was more than one “The Crush”? Maybe you were in denial because she was unavailable?
My attachment style is Dismissive-Avoidant. It was really strong in my late teens & early 20s. My defenses border on narcissistic or so the therapist said. My father told me. “There’s nobody you can’t live without. There may be people you miss terribly if they’re no longer in your life but you can live without them.”
LO #2 told me her greatest fear was to grow old & die alone. I replied with my father’s quote. I still believe it but I was smart enough to never repeat it.
In HS, I was an unsuitable candidate. I wasn’t about to let anyone close enough to me to see how insecure I really was. I knew the relationship with the girl i dated as a senior wouldn’t make it past when we went to college. And, that was ok.
The girl I was referring to in HS never gave me the first hint of triangulation. I’d seen it before and I’ve seen it since. It wasn’t there.
LO #2 used me as leverage against my successor. She told me what she was doing and when I pointed it out to her, she claimed to have no idea why someone would object to it. Seriously.
Anonymous Limerent says
My attachment style is dismissive-secure (viewing my current self as my adult personality style). I tend to distance myself from LO because I don’t feel comfortable around her. I also hate my limerence because I view emotions as unimportant, so for my LE to completely control my thoughts and life like this is greatly depressing and surprising.
“I also hate my limerence because I view emotions as unimportant, so for my LE to completely control my thoughts and life like this is greatly depressing and surprising.”
Emotions are very important and there are a whole range of them you may not have encountered, yet. Loneliness may be one of them.
I think I told this story before. In 1981, I was a 25 yr old Naval Officer assigned to a nuclear submarine. I’m an only child, both my parents were dead and my closest living relative was over 1000 miles away. When I reported aboard, the only people I knew were the people on that sub. I bought a house and I lived in it exactly 10 days of the first 180 days I owned it. I would be at that port for at least two years.
One day, we were pulling into port. I was on the bridge. The pier was lined with women and children waiting for the sub to dock so they could be with their boyfriends, husbands, and fathers. I felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness. There was no one waiting for me. No one knew I was gone, let alone cared if I came back. My house would be exactly as I left it except everything would be covered in a fine layer of dust. I wanted someone to care about me. I wanted a reason to come back. I knew that if I wanted to stop being lonely, I had to stop pushing people away. Just because I wanted that didn’t mean I knew how to pull it off.
A year and a half later, I met LO #2. For the first 2 years we were together, I was happier than I’d ever been in my life until then. She was the first woman to say, “I love you” back when I told her I loved her. It didn’t work out for us and a part of me may always be sad it didn’t work. She got me to believe that happiness was possible. I got what I wanted from life but I found it with a different woman.
My point is, you don’t know what your emotions will surface, nor when. Life can be pretty good if you let it.
As John Fogerty put it,
“Sometimes I think life is just a rodeo
The trick is to ride and make it to the bell’
The phrase “I view emotions as unimportant” hit a nerve with me.
I am a very emotional person who used (until very recently) to be quite dismissive of her feelings. Part of this was due to patterns learned in childhood, where it was not OK to cry over somethimg which my parents thought was no big deal, but really upset me.
Part of my work with therapists has been confronting these beliefs and reprogramming myself that it is OK to have and express feelings.
I’ve still got work to do, but what I do notice is that when I allow myself to feel things and really get in touch with my emotions and let them out, my limerence fades. Yes I wish it would go completely, but it becomes less obsessive and easier to handle.
What I’m trying to say (but being quite long-winded about!) Is that maybe this LE is a life lesson in understanding the importance of emotions and honouring them?
Or maybe not. I know everyone is different.
I’ll tell one more story about emotions.
After she declined my marriage proposal, LO #2 became a gypsy nurse and began moving from city to city. I saw her twice in the first few months after she left and I could feel us growing apart.
She came back for the holidays. We were in bed together when my eyes popped open and I thought, “It’s over. We have no future.” She was lying next to me and I didn’t think it was possible to be so physically close to someone and be so distant from them.
The room closed in. My house wasn’t big enough for the two of us. It felt like I was under water. I wanted to run and keep running. I couldn’t get far enough away from her. I lied and told her I had a stomach ache and decided to sleep on the couch rather than wake her up. She bought it. I’ve never felt that way before and I hope to God that I never feel that way again. I had the same feeling about not being far enough away from her when she sent me a FB friend request 25 years after we said goodbye. The opposite coast wasn’t far enough away.
One definition of Hell is eternal separation from God. If that’s true, I’ve seen a glimpse of what that might feel like.
We broke up about a month later. It took another year for the end game to play out and that was likely only because I met my wife. The year between breaking up and meeting my wife was the worst year of my life. Not even losing my parents hurt like that did.
Anonymous Limerent says
Wow, that was a rather sad tale.
Believe it or not, I already have felt loneliness, on two occasions, one continuous (although neither probably to the magnitude portrayed in your anecdote):
1. Every day, I walk to the bus stop from school. None of my friends take the bus so I walk alone. The only thing I can think about is LO, so I feel as though I’m doing the same thing alone every day, as if no one understands my life at the moment (which they don’t, as I conceal my emotions). I feel as though I haven’t a friend in the world, that my own only put up with me at school, not outside it.
2. The day I first realised I liked LO. Now, this might take a bit of explaining.
I was in an English lesson and we’d just a few days ago made an unprofessional, jokey parody to Dua Lipa’s ‘IDGAF’ – NOTE: Hearing the actual song haunts me with bad memories to this day – as a ‘goodbye’ to our current teacher and we were sitting, watching it. About a week ago, on July 4, I’d experienced a coup de foudre for a girl in my class during Science but hadn’t recognised it/was in denial of it subconsciously.
Anyway, while I sat and watched the end of the video, I noticed that I was only staring at her on the screen, sitting by the window. This made me suddenly realise that I actually had feelings for her and, instantaneously, something clicked. It was like someone has flipped a switch in my mind to turn me immediately back to the way I was a year ago (remember, at the time I was like you in high school but the year before I was nice, like I am now!). My brain must’ve known in an instant that, if his girl were to like me back I’d have to be likeable again.
But in that moment, with no friends due to my past year’s escapades, and my only friend (who was also like me at that point, except sans-limerence) now devalued and pushed away, plus the fact I knew I now liked someone who’d never reciprocate my feelings, I felt like the loneliest guy in the world.
This is when I changed my ways entirely, though, so when I went back following the six weeks’ holidays, there was no more solitude for me, just a challenge to remake an old friend (if one, then more would follow). So it wasn’t all bad and it turned out substantially well in the end, but I did have to go 6 weeks with no friends…
“I didn’t let my roommate take the heat for anything.
My roommate only answered the door. My roommate didn’t have to say. “I’m not Scharnhorst.” When the guy asked for me, I answered him. The guy asked, “Is Scharnhorst here?” and I responded.”
Oh good, thank you for clearing that up. The way you wrote it originally wasn’t clear enough to me.
“After he asked if I was there, the first thing the guy said was “My name is —- and I’m Crush’s BF.” immediately followed by the “I don’t want you messing….” statement.”
She had no reason then or now to be honest with you, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if she didn’t sic him on you. If only to have him puff up and then do the circle and spray ritual.
“The Crush never blew hot and cold. It was pretty much all cold. I saw her frequently enough on campus to keep me in the game and she did go out with me once, maybe twice, the first year. One time I ran across her while walking with my friends and the reception prompted my friend to ask if anyone else got goosebumps from the chill in the air. I bought her roses for her birthday, March 12. You could get a dozen for $5. Thinking back, that might have been a little over the top but she didn’t seem to mind.
But, I can never say she offered any real encouragement. She did give me a ride to the airport at Xmas break but that was about it for reinforcement. I was one lovesick puppy that Xmas break. My father met her 4 years later at graduation. He said he understood why I was attracted to her.”
She didn’t shut you down either, so she may have enjoyed keeping you on a string, using you to wind up BF (does he really love me? How would he respond if someone else were interested?). Young women and young men can be really insecure/stupid/manipulative in these matters. I dislike passive aggressive behavior and LO #1 demonstrates a number of the hallmarks.
There is no reason to try to unravel it now from her side, but you may want to consider if she used you to test BF’s interest or ‘force’ him to make a commitment. Not that it matters any longer, of course. You and Mrs. Scharnhorst are still an item after all.
I hope you two have a lovely weekend.
When I challenged her, she didn’t hesitate to back him up. I don’t think he was present at the beginning of the second year when she looked me up but I think he appeared not too long after. I remember running into her at the Student Union. She was with a guy who could have been him. I don’t remember if she introduced us. If she did, neither of us remembered each other.
To circle back to William’s question on how you can tell the difference between a crush and a LE, maybe you can’t if the events don’t play out in a way that supports limerence.
With the Crush, the initial attraction was purely physical. After she told me about her BF in the Army, the infatuation disappeared. When she reappeared the following semester, it might have gone into limerence had we’d gone beyond the superficial but events overtook that. I don’t know if she’d have become an LO or not because it never got that far. At the time, I didn’t get the vibe (i.e., glimmer) from her that I saw in 3 of the 4 LOs.
Ulysses Alves says
You make me laugh a lot reading your posts! I’m enjoying them very much. I think I’m limering for a friend of mine right now.
Fortunately she has never love bombed me, but rather rarely sends me any messages, although she responds well when I send messages and start the conversation with her. She talks much more in person than virtually, and, like you said, I think I started this limerence thing after I realized she might be interested on me.
I’m now trying to assess, cognitively, how much interest she really shows towards me so I can decide if it’s safe to invest in a possible relationship with her.
But, as you’ve said very convingly in another post, the best thing to do is to disclose my interest to her. This way, I end the doubt for good, and also won’t be suffering with unresolved feelings.
Are you both single? If so, ask her out on a date. Emphasis on ‘date’. Not hanging out, not grabbing lunch sometime – a real date.
That sounds like a good plan. Definitely disclose your interest, but probably best not to disclose the limerence…
It’s a purposeful way to approach the situation.
“Now clearly most limerents aren’t anywhere near that delusional, but limerence makes optimists of us all. Small signs of reciprocation are used as hope anchors. Signs of disinterest or distaste can be minimised as blunders or tactical errors that can be repaired in the future by better strategy.”
In other words, the limerent treats their LO as if the LO was also limerent for them, although that might not be the case. (The LO could be non-limerent, for instance, or limerent for some other party).
“In other words, the limerent treats their LO as if the LO was also limerent for them, although that might not be the case.”
Allie 1 says
I agree Lee.
For me, it is not about whether LO is limerent or not, it is whether they have romantic feelings for me, and that they want to explore a relationship with me. Mutual limerence occurring, being consummated and resulting in lasting love is so unlikely that it is just an unrealistic pipe dream and does not factor at all for me. Not sure I would want to have a limerent SO either as they are certain to become limerent for someone else eventually.
Life has taught me that if you have prolonged uncertainty about whether someone is interested then the answer is no.
“Life has taught me that if you have prolonged uncertainty about whether someone is interested then the answer is no.”
Yep. If months and months go by and you still don’t know, you have your answer. Most of the time, the answer is right in front of us. We just chose to ignore what’s right in front of us. And to me, there are no “shades” of no.” “I’m interested, but I’m not acting on it” is still a no.
Allie 1 says
“there are no “shades” of no.” “I’m interested, but I’m not acting on it” is still a no”
That is so true Marcia. If only the idiotic ever hopeful limerent part of my brain would accept this. But if it did, I would be utterly miserable d*** it.
LEs are just a lose-lose scenario whichever way you handle them aren’t they. Mental note, don’t become limerent again!
“That is so true Marcia. If only the idiotic ever hopeful limerent part of my brain would accept this. ”
Oh, I have been there so many time, making so many excuses … but, but, but he said this …. but, but, but he did this. Meant nothing. I’ve learned that anything less than a “hell, yes!” is a no. This is true even if the person is with someone else. If they aren’t moving things forward with you (universal you), they are choosing the other person. Dabbling in flirtation and/or texting/calling/emailing but not moving things forward does not count.
I was thinking of the nebulous category of “maybe” (as opposed to “hell, yes.”) I had a friend who was married but not happy and she became very close friends with another guy. For 2 years, lots of texting, lunches and “I love yous,” but he never made a move on her physically and never asked her to leave her husband, which she would have. This guy’s behavior was very confusing. I don’t think he was lying to her or playing her. He was getting something out of their friendship, but he didn’t want any more than what they had (he was single). For a limerent, this kind of behavior is very confusing. Limerents wants the whole 9 with someone but forget there are people who only want 4.5.
Limerent Emeritus says
“Life has taught me that if you have prolonged uncertainty about whether someone is interested then the answer is no.”
With most questions, for example “Do you want coffee?” anything other than “Yes” is a default “No” and those are the only two valid answers to the coffee question. It doesn’t mean, “Is there coffee?” Will you make coffee?” “I want coffee.” It took a marriage counselor to make me understand that when asked by my wife, it could be more nuanced. There are still only two valid answers but I learned that battle wasn’t worth fighting.
So much uncertainty can be eliminated by knowing how to ask the right question and not accepting responses when you want answers. If you want uncertainty, keep things vague. If you want to amp it up, be a little Passive-Aggressive at it. There’s nothing like a Passive-Aggressive petulant to keep someone on their toes.
Slightly tangential…Passive-Aggressive petulants can be no small amount of amusement if you know how to handle them and they can’t cause you any real harm. But, that game can get really old really quickly and they can stick to you like gum on your shoe.
One time LO #2 went into one of her periodic PA snits. She caught me on an off day and I started batting her (rhetorically) back and forth like a ping pong ball. She couldn’t stand up to me. When it came to dealing with PAs, I grew up with them and I dealt with experts PAs in the Navy. She literally backed herself into a corner of her kitchen and said, “DON’T TALK TO ME LIKE I’M ONE OF YOUR SAILORS!!!”
I told her, “Then quit acting like one of my sailors.”
But, I have to say this about LO #2. Whenever I asked her a direct question, she gave me a direct answer or enough of one that I could work with. She never waffled. Not once.
Q: Will you marry me?
A: No, I won’t marry you.
Q: When are you moving back?
A: I don’t think I am.
Q: Do you want to get back together?
Q: Will this relationship ever be what I want it to be?
A: No. You should find some sweet young thing who adores you and not waste your time with a crusty old broad (33) like me.
Q: So, what you’re telling me is that I’m a pretty decent guy and there are some things you really like about me but you want to look around some more and if you don’t find anything you like better, you might come back and settle for me?
A: There’s some truth to that.
Taken in summation, no uncertainty there.
In contrast, LO #4 was often vague in her response to my questions, if she responded to them at all.
It’s consummation or nothing. The rest is just flirtation or killing time.
“I’d experienced a coup de foudre for a girl in my class during Science but hadn’t recognised it/was in denial of it subconsciously.”
Wow – I think I’ve just learnt a new word/phrase!! “Coup de foudre.” 🙂