A defining feature of limerence is persistent, intrusive thoughts about LO. And it doesn’t even let up when you are asleep. Frequent dreams about LO are very common, and can be quite informative. Now, I’m no Freudian (or Jungian) and don’t want to make too much of this, in terms of trying to interpret the symbolism of the dream or what it means for your deeper psyche, but sometimes the dreams are so hilariously literal that they can be useful. The stimulus for this post was a previous comment by J, who had this dream:
Last night I couldn’t sleep, was in a lucid dream state about LO could not get my mind to stop no matter how hard I tried. It was easier and more pleasurable to let the LO fantasy happen. I then had a dream of injecting heroine into my leg behind my SO back, but the injection site was bleeding!
Closely followed by an important P.S.
Ps I’ve never taken heroin!
I don’t think you need to be a genius rocket surgeon to interpret that one.
So, can our crazy dreams be useful for managing limerence? I think so, particularly in terms of how the experience develops over time, and what it tells you about the subconscious awareness of how LO is affecting your life. To illustrate this, I’ll adopt the strategy of bores everywhere and tell you about a couple of my dreams.
Now, early on in the limerence cycle, these dreams can be mostly positive, and often sexy.
As time goes on, the mood music changes, both in real life and in dreams. For me, one of the best ways to recognise how toxic the limerence was becoming was when the dreams turned into nightmares. This was also actually really helpful in the deprogramming process, as the more affecting nightmares would cause me to spend a good portion of the day still feeling the emotional hangover. On those days, time with LO became negative reinforcement. So, in the hopes that reliving them may help other suffering limerents, here are a couple of mine:
1) The trap
I was working in an office that I sometimes shared with LO, and we were chatting away. After a while, I left the office, and discovered that instead of emerging into the usual corridor, I was in a musty bathroom. In confusion, I wandered into the next room, which was a small lounge, with a blaring TV, and a window view out over a rainy city. It dawned on me that I was now living with LO in a tiny flat. With a creeping sense of claustrophobia, I tried to get out, and followed the only other route: a narrow, dimly lit corridor. It led around the back of the office (where LO was still working) in a short, closed circle, and back to the bathroom. There was no way out. I was trapped.
2) Gone swimming
I was with my wife and kids at the swimming pool, and having fun. Then I noticed that LO was at the far end of the pool. With some trepidation, I pointed her out to my wife, and said “Come on, I think I’d better introduce you all.” Somewhat reluctantly, she agreed, and so I swam over to LO. I greeted her, and explained that I wanted to introduce my family, and turned to find that they hadn’t swum along with me as I’d expected, and in fact I couldn’t see them. Somewhat embarrassed, I explained to LO that they must have gone over to the slides, or the small pool, and said that I would go and find them and bring them over. Dripping and cold, I then hurried around the various other parts of the pool, and into the changing rooms. I searched with awful, escalating, panic. My family had vanished. I woke with my heart hammering.
I’ve learned to listen to my subconscious mind when it screams at me. Dreams can be useful. Try and catch the worst and remember them for later reprogramming purposes.