For all its explanatory power, limerence hasn’t made much impact on the psychological or medical literature. My suspicion is that other theories (mainly attachment and co-dependency) came along soon after Tennov articulated the concept of limerence, and beat her proposal in the marketplace of ideas.
However, I recently came across an interesting little niche of public health research where limerence has started to feature. It concerns sexual behaviour in young male homosexuals, specifically risk-taking in the context of condom use and AIDS. The lead researcher is Jose Bauermeister, a Prof of nursing at University of Pennsylvania. His research uses the answers to a suite of questions regarding romantic beliefs and sexual experience to identify clusters of behaviours that predict the likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex in risky circumstances (i.e. where HIV status of partner was unclear).
The most directly relevant paper for limerence is probably this one. It’s fairly recondite stuff for the uninitiated, but the headline result is that romantic ideation (seeking romance and having a romantic view of love) did not predict risk taking, but romantic obsession did. Bauermeister used the term limerence to describe this second category: those who were unsure of the strength of reciprocation, suffered intrusive and intensive thoughts, and strong feelings of dependency. Limerents were more likely to agree to risky sex.
The definition of limerence used here is at the more pathological end of things, but the conclusion does match many of the stories I hear (and lived) about taking personal or professional risks in an attempt to impress a limerent object.
So that got me thinking in general terms about what’s at the root of limerent risk taking. I mean, ask a neutral judge whether a risky gesture is actually likely to impress an ambivalent LO, and you know what they’d say.
So, we don’t take risks with a calculated bet that they will work. Like so much of limerence, it’s more of a compulsion than a decision. Those guys weren’t carrying out a cognitive evaluation in which they carefully weighed the following probabilities:
- cost = probability of contracting HIV
- benefit = probability that they will be so impressed by unprotected sex that they’ll fall in love with me
They were acting on a subconscious impulse.
For most limerents, the gamble isn’t nearly so high stakes as the danger of contracting HIV, but still, it does make one wonder what causes that subconscious urge to risk your personal or professional reputation? What hidden motives might be behind it? And what’s actually going on in your head when you’re evaluating risk?
Starting with the neuroscience, what does risk taking actually involve? There’s surprisingly little neurophysiological research on this, but one subfield that is well developed looks at risk taking in adolescence. Teenagers and young adults are known to be more risk tolerant (or reckless) than older adults, and that seems to be down to a combination of hormones (especially testosterone) and maturation of the dopamine reward system.
The dopamine system develops through adolescence promoting reward-seeking behaviour, and then our “executive” cognitive regulation systems develop in early adulthood. It’s an accelerator and brake system, but the brake takes longer to develop.
It’s interesting that social status seems to be a major reward motivator for adolescents, suggesting that the “reward” of peer group praise and “punishment” of peer group disapproval are especially potent. It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to say that LOs have taken on the giver-of-approval role in the minds of limerents.
We’ve kind of reverted to an adolescent state of too much accelerator and not enough brake.
The grand gesture
Overactive reward-seeking explains the drive to take risks to impress LO, but there is a simple cause-and-effect aspect too. Some grand gestures really are impressive.
Doing something that compromises your own situation to delight LO can work. A very generous gift, a large commitment of your time and energy, favouritism at work, sexual daring, physical protectiveness – these can make a meaningful improvement to LO’s life.
LO’s show of appreciation is accordingly very gratifying for the limerent, and very rewarding. And the downside of how other people will interpret your grand gesture is normally overlooked.
Another possible hidden motive is the desire to reveal your feelings. Sometimes the risk is so big, or the benefit so small, that it becomes transparently obvious that the limerent must be besotted. They are so grossly favouring LO with time or resources that there’s only one credible explanation.
I wonder if the limerent knows this at some level and is pleased that the truth is showing. It’s a way of maintaining a veneer of deniability, but still getting to disclose to LO indirectly.
The hope being, of course, that LO will reciprocate in kind.
A more extreme version of the slantwise disclosure is the chaotic impulse to deliberately blow everything up. Frustrated by the irreconcilable tension between mania for LO and responsibilities and commitments already taken on, the limerent does something reckless in the hope it will explode everything into the open and force a resolution.
This is probably most common with unhappily married limerents. Rather than the painful process of difficult confrontation with their spouse, they do something so extravagant that it can’t be ignored by LO or SO – again revealing a truth without having to actually admit it openly.
Sadly, this is a terrible strategy. For one, if it works it’s just a different kind of very public pain, but for another it might not even work. Everyone might just pretend it never happened.
Never underestimate the human capacity for willful blindness.
So, risk-taking among limerents is common, and understandable. That’s why it’s so important to train your executive brake as a self defence mechanism.
It’s really not worth going through adolescence more than once, if you don’t have to.
In a completely unrelated question I have for you about your thoughts on a different article you did.
In another article you say you should avoid the company of people that give off the glimmer and that you shouldn’t try to be friends with them.
“ This is the moment to nip things in the bud if you do not want to succumb. An active decision to avoid the company of the potential LO is a wise move..”
Now I understand that if you’re deep in a le with an lo being a friend is unauthentic and damaging to the person dealing with le. However I feel like with relationships; im assuming for example that when you got with your wife that it started off as you guys being friends and getting to know each other, that being friends with someone who has a glimmer and developing a relationship with them is important. And like yknow then it can get to where you like them and should disclose after a while where you’ve developed those feelings but are you saying that you should avoid anyone that you would actually like or that causes a glimmer for you? It kind of seems like you’re not going to end up with anyone you could actually be limerent for in a relationship with in that mindset. Here’s the article.
And again you’ve said that you were limerent for your wife and had the glimmer for her so if you had completely avoided her, because of the glimmer, you never would’ve ended up with her right? I do understand that trying to be friends with someone who’s an lo is dumb but I don’t think trying to be friends or develop a relationship with someone that you have a glimmer for is a bad thing as long as you disclose when you’re feelings get high and then take your advice about what to do after disclosing and ambiguous answers and such.
Sebastian howard says
Btw on this article it doesn’t surprise me at all that limerents would be willing to do more risky sexual situations than non limerents, simply because when you’re limerent your head over heels for lo and will do just about anything for them.
Vicarious Limerent says
I think you want to try to spot the glimmer and avoid becoming limerent if you are already in a committed relationship, but if both parties are available why not? In that case, I would imagine limerence might be a huge aphrodisiac, and even the non-limerent person would likely be quite receptive to the attention! The only problem is coming down from the limerent high and recognizing the person isn’t as “perfect” as you originally thought. In my case, I am married. I wish I could spot the glimmer, but I still lack the kind of self-awareness that would tell me someone is a potential LO (thankfully I have only been limerent once in the past 20 years — for someone I barely know!).
Sebastian Howard says
Well that’s a much more helpful clarification if the point is that it’s about someone who is already married rather than someone who is single. I figured he was talking in more general terms about anyone.
Yes, that’s the point – the key part of the sentence is “…if you do not want to succumb.” i.e. if you are in a position where you do not want to become limerent.
If you’re both single, then there’s no need to resist if your LO is of good character. If you repeatedly become limerent for dodgy people (e.g. narcissists) then that could be another reason for not wanting to succumb.
But generally, if you are interested in someone romantically, then it’s a good idea to be open about that from a fairly early stage, rather than posing as “just a friend” in the hope that they will come to see your virtues later.
Sebastian Howard says
Yeah that makes sense to be upfront about it, thanks for clarification. But I didn’t mean like posing as a friend really, I more meant like, I think that you don’t develop super strong feelings right away or if you do you don’t want to come across as aggressively strong right away either but I see your point. I wouldn’t try to come across as just a friend or whatever to someone I liked or an lo
Sebastian Howard says
But I also think that plays into your thing about uncertainty and disclosure where like if you’re unsure you disclose. Idk I think I’m generally pretty straight forward about it unless it’s an inappropriate situation (friends gf or a girl that’s married, etc) but at the same time I’m not going to disclose right away either because you kind of want to feel it out and not come on super strong super early if that makes sense.
I guess early stage doesn’t necessarily mean right away though.
Similar conversation on another blog: https://livingwithlimerence.com/2017/03/03/uncertainty/
The character of the LO should be a factor – some should be avoided. Especially for those that always gravitate towards unsuitable LOs that are good LE enablers – they may want to avoid their LOs completely. There is a post saying that somewhere I think.
@Allie – is this the post you were thinking of: https://livingwithlimerence.com/2019/07/19/spotting-trouble-los-to-avoid/?
Unsuitable candidates come up in a lot of the blogs.
Here’s another one that has an interesting take on them.
In general, most people don’t really understand risk or the difference between unintended and unforeseen consequences.
When you crawl into bed tonight, it’s not that the person next to you can’t kill you in your sleep. You’re betting that he/she won’t kill you in your sleep.
This affirms so much why I have always said that limerence makes me feel like my emotional maturity with respect to romantic relationships got arrested around age 14. The tongue-tie, the feeling of panic, the approval seeking all feel precisely the same as how I felt at my 8th grade dance when I ended up locking myself in a bathroom stall after being dumped by my boyfriend.
Dumped at the dance? Yeez.
Definitely better off without that prince.
While I can’t think of anything particularly risky that I did to impress LO, I can relate with the idea of doing grand gestures as an implicit manner of disclose to them, because I did that with LO#2, a lot, back in college. I should mention also that before that, being a rather shy person, I always tried to win my crushes with the classic “be a friend to them until they fall for you” tactic, which, obviously, always backfired. So when I started to develop limerent feelings for LO 2 (although I didn’t know it was called that back then), I rode that LE as hard as I could, being as obvious as possible in my attraction to her until everyone in classroom was in the know. The fact that the whole thing lasted three whole years (two of college and the one immediately after) where I was constantly asking her out, getting rejected, and asking for second chances soon after only added to the whole humiliation conga, and she’s still kind of a running joke among my friends when discussing my love life.
A good and interesting article! I liked the points about how the risks that the limerent is prepared to take are due to the reward factor of impressing the LO or the LO revealing that they too, are interested in the limerent. One particular point I found interesting is how limerence can make a person impulsive, especially if it means taking, in their view, a risk if the reward is worthwhile enough. I can definitely relate to both the risk taking and the impulsiveness that this article highlights.
The motivating factor with me, with the risks I’ve taken, are a combination of satisfying my limerent urges, to try and interact with my LO in the hopes of becoming closer to them, or them realizing they are interested in me. For example, one of the big risks I’ve taken in pursuit of my limerence is the staging of coincidental encounters with LOs to meet the above three aforementioned points as it carries the severe risk of coming across as creepy or stalkerish.
Even though I recognize the dangers it poses, the benefit, is thus, that I am able to satisfy my limerent urgings, and, hoping that that encounter will then lead to the LOs becoming a bit more aware of how I truly feel for them, leading to something happening between us.
However, not all of my encounters have been staged; there have been a fair few times when I’ve seen my LO going somewhere unexpectedly, and despite my best efforts to stop it, I have impulsively gone outside to ensure they see me. As my line of work allows me to work from home and can also be done outside, I make sure I appear to be about to do some outside work to lessen the suspicion.
I’ve been extremely lucky so far, and it’s the one area of my limerence, that, if I am unlucky enough to have LO5 after my limerence for LO4 fades, I need to prevent from repeating, because it makes me really guilty, at times, feel powerless as the reward I get when I am successful in seeing my LO and getting acknowledgment from them.
Vicarious Limerent says
I haven’t done anything truly risky with my LO, but I have deliberately put myself in situations where I increased the likelihood I would bump into her (although generally not too obvious situations, other than a couple of exceptions). I suppose there is always a risk she thinks I am stalking her (I am NOT because I know someone who was charged and convicted for this type of behaviour and it didn’t take much, and I would like to avoid that at all costs; I also would never want to alarm or scare her). I have only once been to the pub where I met her since that night, but I went early in the evening with my family for a special meal we were interested in. Still, it felt illicit and like I was doing something wrong just being there (as I suspected, I don’t think she was there and she may not have even been in the country that day since she went on a holiday around that time).
I MAY have seen her outside a supermarket in her town back in April, but I am not sure if it was her (I have bad vision for distances without my driving glasses and I have a bad habit of not recognizing people I know). Still, I was with my wife and it was her who wanted to go there because they were out of something she wanted at the location near us. Just this past Thursday night, I was driving past the back of my LO’s house (which backs on to a very major street). Truth be told, I didn’t have to go that way, but I sometimes find myself driving by there. Still, I have plenty of reason to go by there, and I do get minor butterflies in my stomach driving by, but I don’t feel too awkward because it is such a major street and I never see her anyway. The problem was that the major street was blocked up ahead by a huge accident and no one was getting by in either direction. Rather than waiting forever to get through, I did a U-turn and drove down my LO’s street past her house. I could have went further back and taken the next street, but I told myself it would be alright. I guess I was also mildly curious since I hadn’t driven by since before I met her. So, I drove by with my windows rolled down and my music playing fairly loudly. Just past her house, a car was taking forever turning and I was getting really nervous because I wanted to get the hell out of that area quickly. Immediately after the car turned, a woman caught my eye across the street. She was walking her dog — a dog that looked just like my LO’s dog, and the woman looked like she could have been my LO (although she was dressed in what may have been her work clothes). I am pretty sure it was her. The thing is she looked directly at me as I drove by. I wonder if she recognized me? I had told her about my musical tastes and I was playing that type of music quite loudly.
Was I doing anything wrong? Was this a type of risk? In some ways, it felt exhilarating, but also very nerve-wracking. She doesn’t know the depths of my feelings, but she does have an idea that I like her. On the other hand, I certainly would never stalk her and I felt nervous just driving by. It isn’t like I do this on a regular basis; it was the first and only time in seven months, although I had driven by the back of her house many times.
I dont think i took any risk to impress my LO. Texting secretly is a risky thing to do! Same as secret lunches .. i always wondered maybe someone saw me with LO? But again its just a friend..
So i dont think it applies to me!
Anonymous Limerent says
“I wonder if the limerent knows this at some level and is pleased that the truth is showing. It’s a way of maintaining a veneer of deniability, but still getting to disclose to LO indirectly.”
I did this for four months at the start of my limerence. For this reason. I was in my delusional stage (you know, the one where you *know* they like yiu back, they just need some prompting to admit it), but in the Christmas holidays I realised it was doing more harm than good and it was putting me through a lot of pain. That didn’t stop me untilSeptember next year, but it’s the thought that counts.
This is definitely the case, especially for me where I was (am) too nervous that I could never tell her how I felt, so I just clued her in instead. Mainly just by looking at her a lot to send the message, which I think she got, because I didn’t want to do anything too obvious.
Since I realised I had to stop, I have stopped looking at her (for the most part) and I just avoid her now. I really hope she sees I haven’t been acting like I was before and she just thinks nothing of the whole thing, but I can’t read her mind.
“Never underestimate the human capacity for willful blindness.”
Oh, god, ain’t this true. I cannot count number of times I was trying to obviously impress my LOs while I told myself, “I’m just behaving normally. This is what a friend would do!”
At least with LO3, I was old enough to stop myself. But I was still plotting these dumb things to impress her! And she was 23 years younger than me!
Limerence sucks :/
Clip of the Day (redux): https://external-preview.redd.it/y9zqIBchUez-EIzXZPhxmRWoDixoGjx0LjW8Xq8NTQY.jpg?auto=webp&s=d7b3cdb884b7efaa2e8c30604ed66162b55a0db1
“Careful! We don’t want to learn anything from this.”
So much wisdom crammed into 7 panels!
I thought I would give a quick update on my current situation regarding LO4’s departure and the effect it’s having on me. It’s been a couple of days since LO left and so far, I am holding up better than expected. I do miss seeing them around and am looking forward to when they’re come back and visit their parent, but today, I haven’t been longing for them as much, nor have they been taking up my thoughts either.
I have, however spoken to LO over the social media platform we use; it was nice to speak to them, and I won’t deny that I had a little bit of the limerent-induced buzz from it too, as expected with my limerence still ongoing. However, the best part of that conversation wasn’t the limerent-buzz; it was my LO following up on what they said would be the case: That we would communicate via that social media platform and following through on it.
One of the things that has been feeding into my anxiety about LO’s departure is that, because our friendship is, to use a word “young”, once they moved, it would wither away and die due to LO not staying in contact. Trust is an area where I suffer from, as too many people I’ve trusted over the years have disappointed me, so while it’s something I am trying to work on, when LO4 said that we would stay in touch via that social media platform, I have been skeptical until days like today proved that they would do just that.
I don’t want to get my hopes yet as it’s early days, but it does give me a bit of optimism that we will be able to build a meaningful friendship, a friendship that doesn’t involve me being limerent for them and a friendship that can last long-term, as opposed to relying on them staying in the vicinity of where I live, as has been the case for practically most of the friendships I’ve had, few that they may be. I will keep you posted how things progress on this situation.
Apologies for spamming this thread about a topic that isn’t related to the article at hand!
This makes me think of a couple of incidents with LO when I was starting to wonder whether it was reciprocation of my feelings, or me reading too much into things. I convinced myself at the time it was more likely the latter, but with hindsight I’ve no idea.
The first one the LE was relatively new. A Sunday colleague had called in sick, so LO was trying to arrange cover. I offered, as I knew LOs SO would be very unhappy if he worked 7 days that week (also I could do with the overtime money!) Part way through the shift he popped in and gave me a hug and a huge bunch of flowers as a “Thank you” – which seemed a bit over-the-top. I joked along the lines of “I still get paid for this shift right?”
Second one was the day it had started raining just before my break. In our work area was a company issue jacket that noone knew who it belonged to. I was going to borrow that to pop out. He then said “No use my jacket (which was in the men’s locker room upstairs) I politely declined and said it would be quicker if I just took that one.
The third (and most risky) was whilst I was working my notice. Our lunch breaks were usually arranged by start time, except for LO who’s role meant it was fixed at 1pm. Going by usual arrangement, I was due to lunch at 12 that day. He kept asking the other colleague to swap lunch breaks with me, even though I didn’t mind what time I went.
I was very conscious
Anyways, all very much in the past. LO keeps being mentioned by mutual acquaintances, but I’ve not had any contact for over 6 months now and extremely limited before then.
Sophie, I have to ask… what is it that makes we limerents not see the obvious?
I’m a 49-year old man. The only time I gave a girl flowers was when I was interested in her (she wasn’t an LO). It was at the end of a performance she was in, and I was making an excuse to be forward to test the waters with her. I certainly would NEVER have taken the risk of giving flowers to my female employee, and you can bet he never told his SO about that.
The only time I offered to let a (different, non-LO) girl wear my jacket was when I was interested in her. I certainly would not have asked her to wear my own jacket when there was one right next to her she was going to use.
Trying to change the lunch schedule… no, not so much of a sign if you were on your way out the door. However, in terms of the other stuff you said, then there likely a motivation that he wanted to be with you personally.
Of course, as limerents we want to see these as signs and we always focus back to the anchor memories like these. But as a grown man who’s done these things – the flowers and the jacket is a huge sign of interest.
What I feel is interesting is that we limerents seem to have been so wounded in the past by our other interests that we automatically think that there’s no way our LOs could legitimately be interested in us. I do the same thing.
But not every relationship is bad, even if we’re limerents. If you’re both not married, why don’t you reach out to him? Friend him on Facebook. See where it goes. Dr. L. might disagree here, but if you get to know him as a person and not as an object, I think you’ll have a better chance of curing your LE. I’ve often lamented that my own LO never opened her mouth enough for me to convince myself that she wasn’t worth my time.
HOW TO “GET OVER” BY DESENSITIZATION:
Brilliant. “The cure to unrequited love is not to ignore their flaws, but to get to know them better.”
Exactly!!! This is why LO3 was so difficult for me. She barely opened her mouth and I couldn’t see who she really was. Although I think there were a few negative occurrences that I’ve chosen to ignore, but there weren’t enough of those, either, for me to make a determination about her.
When I was 27, however, LO2 was a wakeup call for me. I asked if she wanted to get coffee and she dismissively snapped, “No. You’re a nice guy, but no.” I was like, dang, I wasted my time on THIS nasty woman???
It’s a different story, though, with regards to how we’re willing to ignore their obvious shortcomings even when we encounter them.
Thanks for sharing your views on that @Matt.
In an alternate universe where we were both single, I certainly would have just seen where it went. In the real world where we were both married with children (I’ve heard on the grapevine he’s getting divorced, but NC means I don’t know for sure) then I just had to believe he wouldn’t be interested and that my marriage is worth more.
I can’t friend him or message him on Facebook as he’s blocked me – at my own request! That’s the only way I’ve managed over 6months NC! I did get to know him rather well as we’ve worked together in the past, both in the time leading up to and including the LE, and also a secondment 8 years beforehand (in fact I really disliked him then, he had changed a lot in the intervening years – parenthood had a large part to play in that I suspect). I can still easily list of his faults as well as his good points.
Ooooh!! I’m a little late to this forum and no idea what your statuses were.
I have my own “alternate universe” fantasies with LO3.
Risk-taking behavior has defined my LE. I think it was mostly due to my stage in life (mid-life, of course). I started to wrestle with anxiety and then depression, mostly from career-related stuff. I hated the monotony of my life, even though it is a great life. So I began to take risks. It started as reckless spending, buying things I really have no need for. That is the classic “mid-life crisis” of course. Then came the excessive drinking. Somewhere along the way, the glimmer occurred and my LE started. As I was becoming accustomed to taking risks, I did what any limerent would do in the fog of limerence: disclosure. I have never done anything like that in all my married life, but there I was, discussing with another woman the fact that I had feelings for her. It did not go extremely well, but it did not go poorly either, so the net result was more uncertainty and deeper limerence. The risk-taking grew into buying expensive and meaningful gifts for LO, private messaging, and a gradual increase in flirting. The drinking got to the point of binge-level. Some other risky behaviors as well, some that I’m too ashamed to admit, even to this anonymous community.
I guess I just grew tired of always being responsible and taking the safe, cautious approach. I wanted to live a little, consequences be damned. I have posted on here before about the concept of regret, and how I think I would rather live with the regret of having made bad decisions in my LE (and picking up the pieces from that) as opposed to the regret of coming to the end of my life and realizing I had just played it safe all those years.
Vicarious Limerent says
I can completely relate, B. I am in midlife myself and for me the midlife crisis is very real. Somehow the thought that I only have a short time left as a relatively young man is driving me to rethink everything. I am also dreading “The Big 5-0,” which seems so ominous. I too am fed up with my job and career, and have been in a career reinvention phase for years. I also really want more fun in my life — true fun, not some reasonable facsimile thereof. My marriage and family life are also boring me to tears, I hardly ever see my friends and there is a ton of fighting going on at home. The pandemic hasn’t helped matters either because I had met some new friends just before COVID-19 hit, and I wasn’t able to see them for months as a result.
Some of what is driving this for me is the idea that I want to return to being who I truly am, not the person my wife wants me to be. This includes activities and interests I want to pursue and a deep desire to make changes in my life relating to my weight, fitness, career, finances and social life. Obviously my interest in my LO told me something as well, but I believe I can keep myself busy with other things to try to distract me from her at least to some extent, at least until I can try to sort out my marriage. In many ways, I would love to buy a fancy sports car (not that I could afford one) and go chasing after my LO as part of a classic midlife crisis reinvention, but I know that would be stupid and irrational. I have to focus on less destructive pursuits to bring me happiness. For me, it is exercise, night life, courses, home improvements, new friends and learning in general. I am even thinking about taking up art, music lessons and developing fluency in a second language. Dr. L’s assertion that purposeful living is one of the best antidotes to limerence is very true. It helps a great deal, even if we still ruminate and fantasize at times and some of our pursuits may be at least partially designed to impress our LOs.
“Some of what is driving this for me is the idea that I want to return to being who I truly am, not the person my wife wants me to be.”
One of the things I think drew me to LO was that she reminded me of an earlier, younger version of myself. There are just certain things about her that I recognize from my past. It’s like she represents a version of myself that I lost along the way as I grew into a responsible adult. Strangely, I found myself wanting to emulate her and be like her. I think my subconscious confused this with wanting to be WITH her.
As I have slowly begun to emerge from my LE, I am recognizing this more and more. In a way, I am grateful for this LE, as I’m starting to see that it helped me identify something about myself that I am missing and should return to. But in my fog, I somehow mistook that for wanting her as a person, rather than fix things deep inside of me.
I really relate to your post B. I feel like I have been asleep for the last 12 years and my LE has awoken me. I now want to take a few risks and live life more fully while I still can. On top of that, the idea of living my life out without ever consummating real desire again is a particularly bitter pill to swallow.
“I would rather live with the regret of having made bad decisions in my LE (and picking up the pieces from that) as opposed to the regret of coming to the end of my life and realizing I had just played it safe all those years”
Oh yes…I so agree with this. I just wish I had had the opportunity to make those mistakes!
Yesterday my best friend had a casual meeting with my LO, because my LO still had some stuff he borrowed from me (we are friends, but I haven’t seen him in more than four months). He bought bottels of wine for both of us, because we both moved to another house. I feel really guilty about that bottle of wine, because I do not want to do anything with him and now I am feeling like I have to recipocrate his gesture. He also mentioned his girlfriend yesterday and I noticed that it still makes me sad to hear that their relationship isn’t over. I thought I was really getting over the limerence, since I can restrain myself from looking for contact and since I am no longer waiting for his texts. So I am really disappointed in myself that this still has an impact on me. Is this normal or should I be over him after four and a half months of low contact?
I honestly don’t think it’s weird at all. Especially if you two had something more than a friendship. But even if it was entirely one-sided, I don’t see it as weird. I mean, I consider myself a guy for whom LOs having SOs acts as a pretty good antidote for limerence and I still need a couple of months to fully recover, more so when you can’t cut LO entirely of your life and have to deal with periodic reminders of their relationship from time to time.
HI Valentine, its perfectly normal. unfortunately we can not decide when feelings “should be over”. Thats the thing with grief, it does what it does and on its own time. You can not force yourself to be over LO. Grief takes time and your body will organise that. And feelings are never weird or wrong. They are just feelings.
Please dont be dissapointed with yourself, your body is healing through grief and it means you have a functioning body. 4 months is not that long to greef someone and to get fully out of an addiction. I think I might still feel sadness when finding out LO is taken in 30 years for all I know! And i know I will struggle with my feelings and addiction prabably forever, and thats fine, doest mean that i will not be okay eventually. Give it time, you seems to be really on the good track.
And to add Valentine, i have not seen LO in 5 months and since I started processing (and sleeping after 8 months of not sleeping) i have vivid dreams about LO almost every night, leaving me missing him like crazy when I wake up. But i know its part of the process, there is nothing I can do about it execpt, let myself cry and have compassion with myself that i miss him so bad.
File this one under “risk taking” I suppose:
I very recently hosted a little get-together at my home with work colleagues. Our annual company event was cancelled due to Covid and I’m in management so I figured I would have a small scale and very relaxed dinner party instead and invite some, but not all, of the employees. Basically only the cool crowd, including LO of course. And her SO. If I’m being honest with myself, the entire thing was my idea only so I could be at a social gathering with LO outside the office, and in my home no less. But I tried to lie to myself that I was doing something noble for the employees and office morale.
I am reminded of my glimmer experience, which was at a similar social event where I first saw LO outside of the office setting. Was I trying to recreate this? Trying to get that high again?
But the risks involved did not escape me. Having LO, her SO, me, and my SO in such close quarters, telling stories etc was fraught with danger. (I have disclosed to LO and know the attraction is mutual). A little slip up and someone could suspect something. Was I subconsciously wanting that? For the limerence to be discovered? I’ve read from others how a SO’s discovery of a crush can be very effective at killing the LE. Limerence thrives in the hidden, secret places. But when a light is shined on it, I can see how it would quickly die. Maybe I wanted that to happen. Maybe I wanted to get to know her SO better (only met him once previously). Maybe the more I saw them together and spent time with them, the more I would respect their marriage and stop trying to interfere.
Alas, it was a good time and there were no uncomfortable moments. But now I’m thinking about LO constantly and have suffered a setback I’m afraid. I have no one to blame but myself.