Reader Feesh sent me a link to a TED talk by Guy Winch on “How to Fix a Broken Heart.”
It’s an interesting talk, because it has a lot of parallels to limerence. He explains heartbreak in terms of an addict being forcibly withdrawn from their drug of choice, and using idealisation and reverie as a way of getting a minor fix, keeping them trapped. He also recommends a similar psychological counter-attack: make a list of all your ex’s negative qualities and keep it on your phone for easy reference. Then, when wistful memories tempt you, look at the list and remind yourself of the downsides of the relationship.
Worth a watch.
Thank you for this. Filling the voids – when you want to just stay home and whimper – seems like a very difficult but logical thing to do. I like the thought of them being an “extra” vs. star in your life. Goals.
I’ve watched this before, as it was posted on limerence.net. It’s a good one and definitely relates to limerence.
Very good. During the worst times of limerence I had all of the feelings he describes — not being present, depression, obtrusive thoughts, barely functioning at work, more obtrusive thoughts. It was impossible to navigate, as LO was still around and I was unable to grieve, unable to let go. I didn’t know I needed to let go; how could losing this person be a positive thing? I eventually started to “manage” my addiction via mental gymnastics, but that was unsustainable for the long run.
No contact for 3 months was a letting go, though sad and difficult and it only decreased the frequency of the thoughts (which was still a victory). There is still work for me to do.
I know how you feel – Ive been in a similar situation at work and as many people know on this group who have been a good support, my LO left the company end of Jan and since then there has been NC. I keep wishing she messages me but she hasnt and I know deep down thats a good thing. Its a sign too that its been 3 weeks and nothing from her means that I had it all in my head that she may like me too. So although its sad at times – have some days better than others, I know its for the best.
I don’t think her not messaging means that it was all in your head. I know in NC there’s not much upside to the whole did she/ did she not debate as Limerence is about us at the end of the day, but I don’t think taking either side is healthy. Chances are she had some feelings for you, but was confused and conflicted and knew deep down it was pointless. She may well be going NC herself and still thinking about you.
I think it’s much better to accept that you were two people who liked each other but weren’t meant to be. That’s easier on the ego than it all being in your head, and hopefully allows you to accept that your feelings were understandable and that you eventually did the right thing by not acting on them.
I’m over 2 months NC now but she’s looked me up on social media, people have told me she’s upset that we’re not speaking, she even engineered a reason to be in the office today but luckily I didn’t bump into her. All that combined with objectively looking back at how we were together and her friend telling me LO had feelings for me doesn’t leave me in much doubt that it was real and wasn’t in my head. I find that a relief to be honest, but now I’m just trying hard to accept that we weren’t meant to be, for many, many reasons.
“Chances are she had some feelings for you, but was confused and conflicted and knew deep down it was pointless. She may well be going NC herself and still thinking about you.”
Thats so true – i never thought of that…. she is a VERY PRACTICAL person and she wouldnt do anything if she liked me anyway as I have SO… i know her well enough to know she would jut lock up her feelings. She can be cold and she even calls her self an emotional retard as she doesnt know how to express her self or what to do. I remember when I was friends with her without feelings and someone asked her out…she freaked out and asked me what to do, how to say no etc.
Anyway your point is valid that she maybe liked me too but was being practical and is now herself trying for NC to being back perspective – guess i will never know
How are things your end – still on NC?
“Anyway your point is valid that she maybe liked me too but was being practical and is now herself trying for NC to being back perspective – guess i will never know”
But, if you’re inclined, you can still get no small amount of mileage from that. That little dopamine button in your head doesn’t care how it gets pressed. Depending on what your LO told you over time, that thought can be pretty intense.
When I disclosed, LO #4 said she was “…flattered and might even be curious but circumstances are what they are.”
When I accused her of having a dismissive style, she came back with, “Based on what you said, I thought it best not to respond to certain things.” I went after that and I was very direct. In her goodbye, she brought it up and said, “I don’t like how that feels.” I don’t know what she didn’t like about it. I left that one on the table.
When she said goodbye, she said the didn’t think “…continuing to correspond would be appropriate.” She shot the elephant in the room by bringing my wife into the conversation, It was the first time she’d ever directly mentioned my wife. In the 5 years we’d known each other, she never once challenged what I’d said and I got pretty pushy a few times. It had less to do with the content than it did with my status as a married man.
3 months ago, I got a shotgun email from her and asked her to delete my old account, I thanked her and wished her a happy birthday. I got back, “You’re welcome and thank you!”
Last month, I sent her an email congratulating her on the 10th anniversary of her business, I never got a reply. Later, when I checked her business FB page, she posted about the anniversary. She responded to all the well-wishers. One of the responses said the didn’t remember until a former site member emailed and reminded me. I presume that member was me.
My (largely) post-LE brain had a field day. I’d like to know what she thinks but that defaults back to the question, “What would you do with that knowledge if you had it?” Nothing’s changed that would make corresponding appropriate, again. Whatever the reason, it’s pretty clear she doesn’t intend to re-open the acquaintance.
But, when I’m in the waiting room with my son, it makes pleasant distraction from what I’m going to hear when we go in.
All the best to you and your son. Hope whatever you hear is for the best.
NC has been very mixed so far. I’ve definitely made progress but there has regularly been 2 steps forward, 1 back. I’ve gone through anger, depression, denial so far. I think I’m in the bargaining stage of grief now. My mind thinks why don’t you meet up to clear the air? She was obviously in the office yesterday hoping to bump into me (my mind thinks), and she’s checked me out on social media so she’s feeling this breakup too and maybe we’d both feel better if we talked it out. I have to bring myself to my senses and remember it’s my brain looking for a way out of NC.
On the upside me and my SO are miles better together. The fun and flirting has come back and we’re getting on well. It doesn’t stop me thinking about LO, the heart still flutters when there’s some mention of her. It feels like a long, slow process but I’m still winning. Just.
On your dilemma- wow! If you take the job you’ll end up closer to her for sure. Would your SO move with you? If so you’ll have to introduce her to LO as your worlds will collide out there. There’s no chance they won’t. Maybe that event will pop the bubble for you anyway. You can’t not take the job just because of LO though. You’d regret it.
Three weeks of NC is great progress Kevin and I’m sure it will keep getting easier as time goes by. From what I know of your story, it sounds like you definitely had a level of reciprocation and it’s only the beast of uncertainty that is making think that you could have made it all up. It could be a sneaky trick by your brain, to make you try and to get back in touch with LO to get some certainty, but you know that wouldn’t be a good idea. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for your note – all 3 of us have similar stories I feel and we started to attempt NC or LC at a similar time. Hope your all feeling better since new years day when we all got in touch.
Yes 3 weeks is pretty good – im pleased with that. I feel I can control the NC its when she gets in touch which Im sure she will when back from holiday that will test me as I dont want to go into contact for illicit communications. There is a larger issue here though……You will remember that she is coming back from holiday and then starting a new role overseas. Well I now also have a role offered in the same country and company!…. We wont be in the same team like we were in her previous role but there will be some overlap!……. I really do want the role and the company is global – very famous and its a great opportunity. I kinda feel I can deal with the LO there but it does make it more uncomfertable with her there. Especially as she wont know anyone and maybe more clingy to me initially anyway…. and she is living on her own so no one initially to hang out with. So thats my development. Any thoughts on how to handle the situation. I do feel that her power over me has been reduced for sure at the moment. Timing wise, I wouldnt start the role for atleast 3 months – giving me more time to continue in clearing the cloud.
” Any thoughts on how to handle the situation.”
IF she should bring it up, tell her you are focusing on your family and career. That you simply don’t have the time/bandwidth/interest to live the single life for real or vicariously through her.
You are presuming that she can’t or won’t be able to get herself together and function without you. That *may* be the case, but propping her up won’t make her grow up any faster. It will hinder her. Plus you already have a grown-up companion on this strange journey we call life. Your wife.
If it’s not work-related, it’s the equivalent of licking radium. It’s all shiny and looks cool, but leads to serious problems.
To your point Vincent yes SO would come out too as we would rent out our house in uk and move together.
SO and LO will definitely meet as there will be no other initial social friends. They have never met before and I have never disclosed to SO. She just knows I have a colleague who has also got a job in the same company.
Your right I can’t not take the job as it’s a lifetime opportunity. Means I have to be stronger. I have been ok for the last 3 weeks. But that’s with NC. Been tough but can see light now.
Will have to use the new job to stay distracted from LO. I guess my concern is that as she will be single there and I may see her meet someone and I will have to witness that. Guess that could happen if we were still in existing work place. But I guess I feel she will be more vulnerable as on her own in new country.
Anyway. Job is amazing and I have to be strong and rise above all of this. We are a bundle of our thoughts so really it’s all about substitution of thoughts from LO to other things that make me feel good.
The uncertainty can get worse during no contact, but the thing is – it doesn’t actually matter whether or not LO reciprocated. I know our limerent brains are desperate to know, but Scharnhorst’s point about “what would you do with that knowledge?” is a good one. Knowing for sure won’t even necessarily help (it could make it worse), and it doesn’t change the fundamental fact that for most of us, LO is someone we should not or cannot be with.
I think the key thing to remember is that No Contact is a purposeful decision that you made for a good reason. It’s fine to think back fondly about LO and hope that they are doing well, as long as you maintain the clarity that NC is best for everyone.
In her goodbye, LO #4 said, “I don’t wish you any ill-will.”
How kind of her….
In contrast to LO#2’s parting shot:
“You told me I had the potential to go through life as a very unhappy person (true). I hate you for that.”
Yes, I also watched this one when things went sideways for me a few months ago. I continue to be stunned by how this experience has totally derailed me. I knew it was going to hurt but I certainly wasn’t prepared for the severity of the feelings of loss and longing.
Will try list of LOs negative traits – that was easier to do when I saw him every week.
Addict analogy useful in some respects, but personally brought up fond memories of LO showing me how to label Methadone prescriptions on the new system in a cosy corner of the dispensary… less than helpful!
Still trying to identify some of the voids. I’ve filled some, but changing my job (having done 14years with one company in various different locations and roles) left just as big a void as going NC with LO. I think the LE has been helpful in highlighting the voids in my marriage.
Some useful advice there. Just need to keep going!
I wrote last week and was in a really low place. I can’t believe the change after doing this online hypnosis.
It is self hypnosis ‘love removal process’. (Sounds like rubbish I know). I have never had hypnosis before so can not comment on if it actually is hypnosis. I would however describe my experience of using it as as a visualisation for putting thoughts and feelings into the past and gives a sense of a a new version of yourself emerging. If there is one thing us limerents are good at its visualisation!! It lasts an hour, I made sure I was in a quiet place at a time when there was going to be no disturbances. I have listened to the audio clip a few times (on head phones) each time over a few weeks, it becomes more effective. However I then went a few weeks without doing this and was back in a low state, obsessively limerenting again. So I went back to the hypnosis again. After listening to it a few times I now know the process and have been able to do it without listening to the audio and in 10-20 mins with similar effect. I also found the most helpful time was after I had been swimming (physically tired and let go of built up anxiety) and then did the visualisation in the sauna, so I was in a really relaxed physical and mental state. I’m going to keep doing this 1-2x a week as it really has helped. The only tweek I have done to the process is that near the end it talks you through seeing a version of yourself with LO, I found this unhelpful as my brain want to be limerent again! So instead I visualise a strong, confident, relaxed, balance and happy version of myself with my SO. I also think the process could be used to put any unpleasant events/thoughts/worries into the past not just limerence. I haven’t tried this yet but I will try to use the technique to build my confidence too.
The other problem with limerence I have found is that when I’m battling to push thoughts out of my mind it feels like a mental battle and I’m left with a feeling of the thought is ‘floating around the back of my head like a grey cloud’ trying not to acknowledge it, sort of pushed away but building up a sense of high anxiety. So the other technique I am using through the day when it’s not practical to sit and do a visualisation eg at work is a mindfulness technique. In mindfulness you attempt to focus on the present moment ask yourself ‘what can I hear, see, touch, in this exact moment’ and if a thought comes into my mind not to force it away but to acknowledge it’s there, say it’s ok to be there and then focus again on the present moment. This can be done in seconds.
I’d also recommend a book the chip paradox by Steve Peters (someone mentioned it in earlier post), I don’t have much time for reading so I downloaded as audio book. This too has been helpful.
I hope these help I would love to hear from anyone who tries them
Good luck x