Being a middle-aged married man, the perils and pitfalls of dating are a distant memory for me now.
For people of my vintage, “going out” with someone was a different experience. Online dating sites had just got started when I was free and single, but were seen as a bit weird and suspect. “How could you establish any kind of a relationship over a computer?” we chortled. “Can’t you find someone in real life?”
Oh how naive we were.
Nowadays, online dating is the norm, and has grown to a $3.5 billion industry. It’s a good example of how technological innovation can dramatically transform social behaviour in a frighteningly short space of time. It’s pretty much impossible to predict the long term consequences of such changes on our social structures, but the short-term effects are already having a noticeable impact. I’ve been thinking about this from the perspective of limerence, and how the dynamics of online connections would influence the three big factors for limerence – glimmer, hope and uncertainty.
It’s not going to be trivial.
Expanding the pool
One of the biggest impacts of dating apps is to dramatically increase the size of the potential dating pool for everyone. It used to be the case that meeting someone depended on local networks of interactions. First, there was your direct social sphere: friends, friends of friends, and work or college networks. Then, there was what might be called “the scene” – those clubs, bars, and cultural hubs where single people hung out in the knowledge they might get chatted up. Now, you have electronic access to basically limitless numbers of single people in your local area, all only a swipe away.
This has undoubtedly been a boon for some people. For LGBTQ+ folks, it was a game-changer. Having your search limited to a relatively small subculture was challenging enough, but when you add the risks of a bad reaction from someone whose sexuality you weren’t sure of… well having a big database of people who have already confirmed their preferences was a massive benefit.
For straight men and women, the picture is more complex. We’ve touched on this before, but the dominance of online dating has had a strange impact on the supply-and-demand dynamics of dating. The bottom line seems to be a Pareto distribution of attraction: 80% of women are matching to the “top” 20% of men, leaving the remaining 80% of men chasing only 20% of the women. This feels like a horrible, reductive and utilitarian way to look at romance, but I guess that is one of the downsides of the marketisation of dating.
Whatever our egalitarian discomfort with the outcomes, opening up the competition for mates to such a large scale has permanently altered dating life for those that use the online apps. For limerents with a high market value in the dating app world, they should be able to get loads of dates with loads of people, but the first LO who comes along would eliminate the competition. Seems fine.
But what if LO was playing a high-churn game and ghosted you? How many arguments result when a limerent thinks they’re in a couple, but the LO still has Tinder on their phone? And what would that abundance of choice mean when it comes to making a longer-term commitment? Could any one person measure up to the amalgam of all the many positive encounters that someone has had through a busy dating history?
For those in the trenches of the 80%, the risk of ending up in an LO friendzone trap seems greater. There seems to be a big population of disillusioned folks out there, who see this new technology as a massive self-esteem wrecking database of false promises. Especially when some people seem to use the sites as a way to get ego-validation through counting matches, even though they have no intention of doing anything more than seeking flattery.
The scale of online dating seems destined to feed both hope and uncertainty.
First contact is totally different
Another big difference with dating online is how you develop a first impression about a potential match. In real life, you are confronted with the actual person – their whole appearance when talking, smiling, laughing; their scent, their mannerisms, their charisma. Online, you are served a photo and some finely crafted text as a micro-biography. Basically, you try to judge their attractiveness based on their photogenicity and sales patter. You have very few cues to work with.
The perils of this have started to become clear. Aside from the obvious manipulations – out of date photos, lies about vital statistics, or outright catfishing – the tendency to see what you want to see, and extrapolate the best from limited data is hard to resist. Some regular users set a rule that they will only exchange a very limited numbers of texts before meeting in person, to avoid the trap of falling for an online persona that is not representative of the actual person.
I suspect this trap is especially risky for limerents. Given our powers of idealisation, it seems all too plausible that we could build up an impressive glimmer for a nice photo coupled to some great text banter skills.
Another striking change in dating dynamics is the proliferation of hook-ups. In an ideal world, this would be no problem, as everyone would be open and honest about their desires and intentions and only those who were cool with casual would end up matching. In our actual world, it’s an emotional mess.
First there’s the problem of players and their games. Men who just want sex often conceal this in the hope that pretending they want more is a good ruse for getting what they want. Women who want more than sex also often conceal this, in the hope that they can seduce horny men into more commitment.
I am generalising. I know that, and it’s probably overdue to add that I do understand that population averages cannot be used to predict the desires or behaviours of individuals. But we have got lots of cross-cultural and cross-generational data that show that on average men seek casual sex more avidly than women. For now, let’s not get bogged down in whether those data have a biological or social origin – it doesn’t really matter when thinking about the consequences.
Second, I think many men and women underestimate the impact that sex has at a physiological and psychological level. Sex is not just masturbation with another person. Skin-to-skin contact, scent, taste, and eye-contact can all have profound effects on our brains. Bonding is not an exclusively psychological process, there are a lot of hormones involved. We are physical beings.
Some people are able to emotionally separate sex and love, but not everyone, and not always. Limerents would be well advised to take care not to delude themselves that casual sex with LO is consequence-free. It is much more likely to deepen the limerent obsession. It’s all too easy to talk yourself into thinking that “friends with benefits” works for you, because at least it means you get to be with them, but not many limerents are able to keep their feelings so compartmentalised.
What does this all mean…?
As you can probably tell, I’m still trying to figure this out. It’s a topic where the outcomes are not at all obvious to me. I know I have blindspots because I am not in the thick of the action, as it were, so this is a bit of an open end to the post:
For anyone in the commentariat – how has online dating affected you as a limerent?
All thoughts welcomed.
Crikey, I’m all over the comments of late, but here goes…
There’s so much one could say… and in many ways I think the impact of online dating has been pretty disorienting for those of us old enough to remember striking up a conversation in a nightclub as a route to… ‘personal relations’. 😀
Some users on apps make comments about not wanting to be in a position where conversation is flowing until sex happens then the other party fades away. But actually it’s very difficult. Because lots of people now obtain casual sex via these apps… so if I fancy somebody it is inevitable that I’ll start a conversation enquiring as to their well-being… which may then persist for a couple of weeks (at least) until you get to bed and have a nice time but decide you don’t really need to repeat it. Now, in the old days at the end of a night out, you knew that came with the territory… but via apps you’ll invariably have had a number of conversations (to keep in contact etc.) Before getting down to that, meaning that deciding to ‘move on’ as it were is at some level a more significant rejection. How significant I don’t know, because the usual pattern is a declining rate of response from one or the other until the message is clear. I have been on both ends of this dynamic, and it is causing grief generally – especially for people who are genuinely after relationships and end up going through this cycle repeatedly.
I also know people who flirt and sometimes go as far as agreeing to meet as an exercise in ego boosting. My recent LO was one such… but also a good friend of mine (who I thoroughly chastised! 😄).
I’ve never fallen limerent for an online hook up. Though one character I’m messaging atm might be glimmering a bit, which is a first for me.
Finally, another guy I know at least has on his profile ‘more what/where/when than ‘hi how are you?” Its direct, but at least it probably gets around the ‘Do we really have to become penpals before we even meet in the flesh?’ issue.
‘The bottom line seems to be a Pareto distribution of attraction: 80% of women are matching to the “top” 20% of men, leaving the remaining 80% of men chasing only 20% of the women. ‘
That sounds horrific! Glad to be gay in that sense…
Yeah, it’s grim, but it probably only reflects the differences in superficial attractors for men and women. The stats for longer term connections are not as bad (i.e. on average women report needing longer to get to know someone before deciding on their attractiveness).
“Commentariat.” I have never heard that word before. It sounds like we are revolutionary. I like it.
Secondly, how do you get the glimmer for someone you haven’t met face-to-face? I think you can find the person aesthetically attractive, but you can’t really determine chemistry from a photo. There have been so many times that I’ve met someone and was very attracted, but I never in a million years would have given him a second look if introduction was a one-dimensional image. The last crush I had … kind of a good ‘ole boy, a little bit bulky, always wearing a baseball hat, even has a bit of a mullet. Not my type AT ALL. But in person … great eyes, quirky humor, flirtatious, fun to talk to, a little raunchy. But if I hadn’t met him in real life, I would have dismissed him.
Actually this feeds into something I thought too, Marcia.
I know this guy who is physically pretty average by conventional standards, but really naturally witty, great energy about him. He was a big disgruntled because in IRL situations he often thinks of himself as ‘punching above his weight’ when it comes to flirting. He has great charisma.
Of course you can’t get that across with a handful of mugshots and a set of bullet pointed summaries… some people’s photographic skills are amazing whereas others are like a still from an ISIS hostage video…
Please date me before they cut off my head!
…opening the app Scruff to be confronted by a load of tiny avatars. My housemate calls it the wall of doom.
“Some people’s photographic skills are amazing whereas others are like a still from an ISIS hostage video…”
LOL. That reminds me of a line from actor Adam Driver’s monologue on Saturday Night Live. He says he doesn’t like to smile because he looks like a kidnapped person trying to send a message with his eyes! 🙂
Oh God Marcia,
So true. I hear from the pros that you have to take huge numbers to catch something natural. But yeah… whenever I smile for any kind of selfie it looks exactly like that kidnapped/caught in the headlights…Because you are after all looking at nothing (i.e. a phone) and trying to look what… alluring? Contented? Engaging? Fascinating? Enticing? All of these things? Honestly..!
I actually often just look a bit tired usually! 😀
“I actually often just look a bit tired usually!”
I had a friend try doing the Marilyn Monroe, eyes half-closed, come hither look. I’m not sure if she looked drunk, stoned or half asleep. 🙂
That’s hilarious Thomas and totally true of my experience of online dating.
I hate the flat pics on the apps. I swipe left and think: I’m sure some are great guys that I’d enjoy dating.
Nothing is a substitute for real life meets.
With previously BFs, I’d meet and learn to like them over time. You’d get to know them, their friends maybe even family. So much more authentic.
“So much more authentic.”
I agree, and I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but after I was laid off from a job several years ago, I got calls from two former co-workers. I thought I’d become better friends with the first one because we had so much more in common. But I didn’t. I became good friends with the second one. For whatever reason, we just clicked as people. But on paper, we didn’t make as much sense as friends.
“There seems to be a big population of disillusioned folks out there, who see this new technology as a massive self-esteem wrecking database of false promises. Especially when some people seem to use the sites as a way to get ego-validation through counting matches, even though they have no intention of doing anything more than seeking flattery. ”
That reminds of a joke I saw some time ago that went “to prepare himself for his role as the Joker, Joaquin Phoenix used a dating app for 15 minutes”.
I admit that this is one of the (many) reasons I never gave places like Tinder and the like a serious chance. I personally suck at self-marketing, and it feels to me that online dating has turned into a carefully calculated science where every move, every photo you post, very word you write on your biography or during chats, is measured to the last milimeter, and where people look for partners like they’re looking at a paint catalogue, so the moment you don’t follow any of those unspoken standards you’re dropped without being given much thought.
Not that I’m pushing dating apps here, but it isn’t as one sided as that. It’s great because you get to constantly inspect, rank, disregard and reject loads of people too!
It’s… ermmmm… fun?
Actually I think it’s as potentially harmful to get into the easy habit of rejection just as it is to imagine oneself being easily rejected. The commodification of lust/sex/love etc… I think it’s very hard to use dating apps without to some degree dehumanising other users…. who are after all only digital representations of themselves. I also think that increasingly that dehumanization bleeds into IRL encounters – but that probably depends on the app. The app I tend to use is (to be fair) pretty explicitly a hook-up app. So I’m not booking on candlelight dinners (should something be on the offing).
Though for the ‘results’ I think most people would agree that the whole process can be pretty labour intensive. A friend of mine who is usually looking for romance takes an approach like she’s doing HR… it’s a full time hobby of invitations of interest, short-listing, and interviewing dressed up as restaurant dates! Still no luck but I just think she’s too picky! 😀
“Actually I think it’s as potentially harmful to get into the easy habit of rejection just as it is to imagine oneself being easily rejected. The commodification of lust/sex/love etc… I think it’s very hard to use dating apps without to some degree dehumanising other users…. who are after all only digital representations of themselves.”
@Thomas. I agree with you that there’s something troubling about dating sites/dating apps (and other social media). The ease with which one can block or reject (or even accept) people on very doubtful grounds. I think technology does encourage us to forgot that we are dealing with actual people with actual lives/feelings. I think online interactions can encourage instant gratification and … um … a reckless insensitivity toward others?
I’m not talking about going NC on an LO if necessary. I’m talking more about people throwing good manners out the window just because a computer is involved. Even worse when people are drinking AND typing. I’m sure some trolling is just people who have overindulged in red and … whoops. (Not talking about anyone who contributes to this blog, btw).
“I admit that this is one of the (many) reasons I never gave places like Tinder and the like a serious chance. I personally suck at self-marketing, and it feels to me that online dating has turned into a carefully calculated science where every move, every photo you post, very word you write on your biography or during chats, is measured to the last milimeter.”
@Benjamin. Probably the reason I too don’t use dating sites – I don’t think I could live up to the impossible standards of a glossy paint catalogue. 😛
Also, the carefully curated lives and pictures we see on social media – doesn’t it encourage an unhealthy degree of self-consciousness and playacting? I.e. should I really eat this breakfast? (Eggs and bacon). Will it photograph well? Shouldn’t I pretend to prefer the gluten-free, dairy-free, wilted-kale-or-something, hazelnut-crumb option to get more likes? 😛
There is a lovely gelateria attached to a pizza place near me… last summer I watched a woman strutting all over the pavement in blazing sun trying to get a selfie with her ice cream… until initially it had mostly melted, and then slipped off the cone onto the pavement- splat!
She looked really exasperated in a way that suggested it was related more to the lack of a sufficient selfie than the loss of a delicious ice cream.
It was funny, but also very weird to think about the behaviour.
Though I think we have also curated our photo record as long as there’s been the option. Every time somebody points a camera it’s ‘smile!’
I found a CD of photos (yep… remember photos saved on disks?!) from a holiday around 2006 with my ex. It was a holiday to Greece and there were lovely things we did… but overall it was awful. We fought, and argued and fought and argued semi continuously. At one point he took the car and drove off leaving me in a secluded beauty spot, I had to walk 3 hours to get back to town.
But in every single photo from that holiday we are smiling. It is completely inaccurate as a record of the emotional experience of that holiday which was incredibly, unforgettably stressful.
So all those family albums full of smiles. A great many of them will be 100% genuine. But a number are probably inaccurate (at best) and downright dishonest (at worst)… whatever our motivations for such things I think those impulses are magnified once we are no longer only misleadingly curating our private record but also our public image though…
That’s also the reason of why I don’t use social media at all. Instead of just posting photos of your holidays and the like, nowadays people create a completetely fictional character, made out of their “best” moments. And in the end they end up putting all their effort in keeping that charade alive like its their full time job. Not be too judgemental, but it sounds like too much work for what is worth.
That being said, I think dating sites have the advantage that all the people you meet there are in search of the same thing (narcs notwithstanding). If there’s one thing I hate about conventional dating is walking that fine line where if you show too much interest you look needy, and if you play it too safe it looks like you’re just looking for friendship. Then again, I’m a dork, so that’s probably on me (and being a serial limerent doesn’t help, either).
“There is a lovely gelateria attached to a pizza place near me… last summer I watched a woman strutting all over the pavement in blazing sun trying to get a selfie with her ice cream… until initially it had mostly melted, and then slipped off the cone onto the pavement- splat!”
Oh nooooo! That’s a crime against ice-cream. Delicious ice-cream must be consumed immediately – it’s the unwritten eleventh commandment! 😛
“I found a CD of photos (yep… remember photos saved on disks?!) from a holiday around 2006 with my ex … in every single photo from that holiday we are smiling. It is completely inaccurate as a record of the emotional experience of that holiday which was incredibly, unforgettably stressful.
Yes, I get what you’re saying. When I was a child, I went on many holidays with my family. Us kids had a reasonably good time, playing in hotel pool, and I think my dad spent the bulk of his time washing our clothes endlessly and hanging them out to dry. A holiday for us kids was certainly not a holiday for my poor father.
“That’s also the reason of why I don’t use social media at all. Instead of just posting photos of your holidays and the like, nowadays people create a completely fictional character, made out of their “best” moments. ”
I also find that what a lot of people post is so … uninteresting. I guess if you have something to promote … your own a local coffee shop, you are in a local band and have an appearance schedule, etc .But I don’t think most things need to be documented. I guess I’m old school. We would get the camera out when it was a big moment. Not to take a picture of a steak we cooked. I have a friend who texts me several pictures a week. I don’t know why. Random skylines, him in front of a coffee house, random flowers. It’s minutiae, and then I I get the feeling I am supposed to respond when he sends them, which I don’t want to do. 🙂
Isn’t technology wonderful? Rejection in real time by the thousand!
In the “good old days,” us desperate people put ads in the Personal column of one or more news papers and waited weeks for any hits. The “Seattle Weekly” had pages of them.
I put an ad in the “Men Seeking Women” section. The paper rejected my first one and sent the check back. They printed the second one. I got 4 hits. 3 from women and one from a man. I went out with two of the women. I played phone tag with the third but we never did get together. I didn’t respond to the guy’s letter.
I wondered why he responded when I was in the “Men Seeking Women” section. My ad mentioned I was looking for a Queen of Wands, my tarot card soulmate.
“I wondered why he responded when I was in the “Men Seeking Women” section. My ad mentioned I was looking for a Queen of Wands, my tarot card soulmate.”
@Scharn. Well, “Queen of Wands” could be open to (comic) misinterpretation by someone unfamiliar with the tarot deck, and a lot of people are. I wouldn’t know any of the characters or symbols. However, your admirer shouldn’t have been reading the “Men Seeking Women” column in the first place!!
It’s a good anecdote at any rate. 😛
Then again, was there a men seeking men option?
Depends on the timing/local culture.
I was staying in a farmhouse in rural Lanarkshire in 2000, and the addition of men seeking men to the local paper was causing a lot of uproar at that time. Let alone the fact that nobody had even thought to add a women seeking women at that stage at all.
So I can imagine in the past LGBT people using hetero services but encoding what they were after…
…and tbh ‘ex submarine/queen of wands’… I’d have expected a better return on that Scharn! 😀
Joke of the Day:
Q: What’s round and hard and full of seamen?
A: A submarine!
I was kind of disappointed in the return. One of the women was an in-house fashion designer for Nordstrom. She was interesting but she was divorced with a young child and I got the sense she could be kind of all over the map. The other date was DOA. I remember it took a lot of effort just to make it through dinner.
At the time, ~1987, they had the 4 basic options, MsW, MsM, WsM, WsW. I haven’t seen a “Seattle Weekly” in close to 20 years. I don’t know if they still publish it. I’m sure they’d have refined the options by now.
Even in the 80s, Seattle had a pretty openly gay culture. LO #2 claimed to know a fair amount about it from her time working retail at a large department store. She seemed to be familiar the gay bar scene. She once said we should leave a restaurant because I was getting more looks from the men in the place than she was. I was clueless.
The ad they rejected went something like this, “Engineer, 31, with more ambition than brains, seeks rich, attractive woman to help support commodities habit. Cover your shorts and let’s explore the pit together!”
I was playing the commodities futures markets at the time, gold, silver, platinum and sugar. Apparently, nobody at the Weekly understand the the reference.
In the second ad, I thought I’d go after my metaphysical soulmate.
“Aquarian Goat Knight of Swords seeking Gemini/Libra Rabbit or Pig Queen of Wands…” There was more to it but that’s the crux. I still think I’m a Monkey vice a Goat and I prefer Geminis to Libras but, hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
Going way OT, the only Libra I know well is my cousin. She’s a few years older but I had a crush on her growing up. But, she was my cousin. She’s been divorced 3 times. A few years ago, I was visiting her mother. Her mother she wanted to tell me something that might sound strange. She said that growing she’d watch us together and wish we weren’t related. My aunt said that she thought we’d have been so good for each other. I told her that it didn’t sound all that strange to me.
Ah, the good old days….
There are 5 blogs in DrL’s “Limerence for/Limerent for” series, celebrities, co-workers, ex, close family friends, & therapist. The search would be easier had DrL been consistent but it is what it is.
If he’s running out of material, he can add “Limerence for a Family Member.” But, maybe there’s not a lot of material out there on that.
“I suspect this trap is especially risky for limerents. Given our powers of idealisation, it seems all too plausible that we could build up an impressive glimmer for a nice photo coupled to some great text banter skills.”
I’ve shared info about my LE and how limerence developed due to a perfect storm (my vulnerability; barriers such as distance and his uncertainty; manipulation on his end).
I use dating apps, despite many unpleasant aspects, because it’s the best way to find dateable people.
My LO was one of the first men I met online. We were in a social group/dating app and although there was distance, we connected right away. His photos were great. We talked on the phone and video-chatted.
That first week was vital to starting limerence. He seemed to be open to a relationship as well.
We met a month after we started talking. He had hid extra weight during video chats and with photo tricks. I was surprised but I wasn’t angry. I cared too much by then.
He treated me very well during the time we were together. But other deceptions came to light.
In person, he was different than even in video.
I knew we wouldn’t work in the day to day, but mentally pushed that aside.
A few weeks after we visited, he stated explicitly that he did not want a long distance relationship. I asked directly *before* I visited if this was a weekend or whether he was open to more. He said he was open to more.
After that, I plunged into limerence. He’d become an emotional support because we talked all the time.
Being intimate with him definitely made the bond stronger.
I tried NC, then friendship. Nothing worked.
This agony went on for two years and it’s only recently that I feel as if the attachment is fading. This site helped me more than anything else has.
I still have compulsions/desires to check his FB but do not do so.
If he had been local, we would have met once and no more. He was putting on a show of caring before I arrived. We didn’t share the same values. As time went on and we stayed in infrequent touch, it became clear that he had many issues, including perhaps a personality disorder. He may have cared for me as much as he was capable of doing. I don’t analyze that aspect anymore. I don’t analyze or justify his actions the way I used to. Rumination continues but not as badly as before.
I keep to some pretty simple rules went online dating: If there’s chemistry and mutual interest, we meet within a week. Otherwise, I delete him. Endless texting is a stall or validation seeking.
“He may have cared for me as much as he was capable of doing.”
I have stopped excusing people with statements like, “This is as much as he can do.” My dad was a pretty checked out/emotionally unavailable guy and there would be weeks, sometimes months, when I wouldn’t hear from him. But he was never without a wife. When one was out the door, he was actively on the hunt for another. I found out from the soon-to-be 3rd wife that he was calling her every night. It was a painful thing to hear, and I’m not saying he was necessarily any less checked out with the wives than he was with me, but he WAS capable of initiating and maintaining contact and keeping a relationship going, efforts he barely made with me. He put his time and energy into what he prioritized. My point is, at least from what I have learned in my own life, that it’s often not that someone isn’t capable of more but that they are choosing to not give more. It’s not a lesson I never wanted to learn. I found this to be a general rule with all relationships . .. romantic, familial, friendship. I spent years giving people free passes because they were “so busy.” No one is that busy that they can’t shoot off a short text or type a few sentences in a an email.
Sorry if I am not being clear. What I meant was … my father wasn’t capable of much, but what little he was capable of, he was giving to someone else.
I’m sorry about your dad. How hurtful.
I agree with you. People give what they want.
LO didn’t care enough to try.
When some of us are in limerence, we are creative with excuses for our LOs. Anything to avoid the painful truth.
“I’m sorry about your dad. How hurtful.”
I appreciate that. But let’s talk about something positive. How is it going with your new dude? Didn’t you mention you had started dating someone?
“When some of us are in limerence, we are creative with excuses for our LOs. Anything to avoid the painful truth.”
Oh, yes. If I had just been honest with myself, I would have accepted the writing on the wall about a month after meeting my LO. It said one thing: RUN! 🙂
Absolutely…and don’t look back.
Yes, it is going well. Early on so I’m not too invested yet.
Thank you for asking. 🙂
“Early on so I’m not too invested yet.”
That is the best way to handle things in the beginning, though I find it hard to do if I really like someone.
Vicarious Limerent says
LO #2 is quite active on online dating sites. The thing is she is quite open about some of the details (but very secretive about others). She kind of rubs my nose in the fact that she is sleeping with multiple men. I don’t condemn her for dating or having casual sex. I am not in a position to be with her and I do not grudge this woman some happiness or fun. I do not believe in slut shaming or double standards about these types of things. She is a beautiful woman who appeals to much younger men, and if she can hook up with a bunch of men, good for her! But what I don’t like is her rubbing my nose in it. I also feel like I would be less jealous if she slept with 100 men than if she found one man and fell in love with him. The problem is it is starting to look less like casual hook-ups and more and more like she may have actually met someone she wants to settle down with. I want this woman to be happy, and I know I am not currently able to be with her, but I so wish it was me she was falling for (things with my wife took an even bigger turn for the worse lately and we are even more on the rocks than we ever have been before). This is really hard!
I’ll echo Marcia, Thomas, and other posters perhaps in saying I can’t imagine getting the glimmer from someone I haven’t met face-to-face. I have to see the person in the flesh, watch them move, eye contact, smile, laugh, natural scent, etc, etc, in order to have an emotional response to them. I guess I’m both lucky and unlucky in the sense I can’t fall for someone I haven’t met in person.
My limerent imagination needs something concrete to work with. I can’t fantasise about invisible strangers. Photographs are no substitute for reality. 😛
I no longer participate in online dating. I meet most people through “The Scene” and in my town the scene is small. I did try online dating years ago and was horrified by how empty and meaningless and unsatisfying it was. Yes, the pool of potential dates is bigger, but it seemed to me like a giant pool of very poor-quality matches. I’m not being a snob. My biggest problem with online dating was … everyone seemed to lie outrageously on their profile about literally everything!
I met a nice-looking man with a good job in his early 40s, for example, who posted a picture of himself in his early 20s. I met a fellow who weighed 30kg more than he said, and he was already overweight in the original estimate given. I came across people who were in relationships or married, claiming single status. There were people suffering from eating disorders or medical problems claiming to be foodies. I have no problems with people being imperfect. But everyone was lying!! It was shocking to me, and a bit sad. (The eagerness to lie was oftentimes more offensive than the fairly trivial things people felt the need to lie about.)
I also feel sorry for straight people, in that one’s chances of finding a partner seem ridiculously small unless one has money (the guys) or looks like a supermodel with extensive plastic surgery (the girls). Sometimes, I watch reality dating shows on TV and, once again, I’ve never seen girls (or guys) who look like that. I hope they don’t represent anyone’s concept of reality. Where do these people come from? Who earns six-figure incomes straight out of high school? Is everyone in the world bar me a genetically blessed overachiever? 😛
I know, psychologically, I’m more like a girl than a guy in that I don’t really enjoy casual sex. As a limerent, I know casual sex is something I should avoid. I certainly want more than casual sex from any LO or potential LO. The fact that a LO may not understand this from the get-go is very frustrating, depressing even. Still, the onus is on me to set clear boundaries. I have come to hate evasive phrases such as “let’s just see where it goes”. (Um, lemme guess. Nowhere fast?)
“let’s just see where it goes”. (Um, lemme guess. Nowhere fast?)
My personal favorite: “I don’t want to be a label on it. ” Or “Let’s take it slow,” to which I should have replied (when it was said to me), “If we are taking things slow, you need to remove your hand from my undercarriage.” 🙂
“If we are taking things slow, you need to remove your hand from my undercarriage.” 🙂
@Marcia. Right on, my dear. 😛
I’ve found online dating useful, actually, for helping me to move on from my LO (NC was not possible, as LO is a co-worker). It forced me to turn my attention to other men, other possibilities. It felt agonizing (who could ever live up to LO’s divine perfection?!), but necessary. For me this has been an important step toward purposeful living. Online dating is a regular reminder to me that the world is full of romantic prospects who are kind, interesting, and available. It has helped weaken the spell.
That’s a very good point, Alona. My own LE keeps dragging on despite it being completely over (no reciprocation, LO being unavailable, NC since November) and I think it’s because right now in my mind there’s no one that can (realistically) replace LO on the romantic landscape. Getting to actually see the plenty of fish that are still left on the sea can definitely help our brains move from what is basically a lost cause.
Yes, I think of online dating as a strategy for retraining my brain to see the scenario differently. LO completely eclipsed the picture for months. No one else existed, next to him. I felt like I was helpless, but, if I am truly honest, on some level I allowed this to happen—or at least I allowed the dynamic to continue. So going online marks my taking ownership of the situation, assuming a little control. I will steer my own ship.
“Online dating is a regular reminder to me that the world is full of romantic prospects who are kind, interesting, and available. It has helped weaken the spell.”
I wonder if you can speak on this a little. I haven’t tried online dating, but I have accepted dates with men irl during an LE, and I have found that, on the one hand, I have this deliciously tantalizing LO, who is highly skilled at intermittent reinforcement, randomly dropping all this luscious sexual innuendo on me, and then disappearing for a bit, leaving me reeling … and the guy I meet at a party who is texting me several times a day, every day, right after meeting me, and wanting to meet up right away. Or the guy who does the opposite, and you go out on 1 date and don’t hear from him for 2 weeks. Now, in both cases, I find that I lose interest in really quickly. I mean, these guys aren’t the LO, and the former is doing too much while the latter isn’t doing enough. For a limerent who thrives on uncertainly, I’d almost say the second type of guy generates a little more interest, just because I can’t quite figure him out. The first kind is is so obvious, there is nothing left to anticipate.
What I can say about online dating (compared to trying to meet people IRL through parties or whatnot) is that online dating has sheer numbers on its side. It is far more efficient than going to various social functions and hoping to meet someone appropriate. (I understand women have something of an advantage in this respect; the online dating world is harder for men, from what I gather.) To be chatting with not one or two, but several potential dates is a buzzy kind of distraction that helps loosen the bonds of limerence.
At the same time, there’s a thread of ruefulness that runs through it, because I wish I weren’t having to force myself to move on.
There’s also a bit of egoistic satisfaction, though, because LO knows about my online dating, and, even though he’s established that he and I will never be more than friends, I can detect subtle twinges of jealousy. For someone who maintains he only wants friendship, he is pretty darn preoccupied with my dating life. He’s die-hard avoidant, though, so this stands to reason: the moment I pull away, he pricks up his ears. I feel a bit exasperated, and also vindicated. So it goes.
I can’t say I’ve adored every single date, or been totally delighted with every single guys I’ve met, but I think the benefits are cumulative. It’s like working out, or flossing: you don’t get in shape overnight, or fix your teeth in a single session. Eventually, positive results emerge.
“I have this deliciously tantalizing LO, who is highly skilled at intermittent reinforcement, randomly dropping all this luscious sexual innuendo on me, and then disappearing for a bit, leaving me reeling.”
@Marcia. Maybe this is the problem with so many LOs? They are just too darn good at playing the game of flirting or teasing or dangling-the-carrot or whatever it is one wants to call it! They are just too good at playing the game, and nobody except them can ever win the game! 😛
I totally agree… in my experience it has been mainly the benefit of finding alternative sexual partners…
As we are all adults here i can say that ruminations on LOs has always been a key part of my masturbation during LEs. It is a difficult habit to shift because thinking of LO is such a guaranteed and well trod route to turning myself on and having a satisfying orgasm… and comes with the limerent rewards as well.
By actually seeking new physical encounters with new people that has helped enormously with diluting the ‘sexual gratification =seeing(I wish!)/thinking about LO’ connection. I still would say that LO fantasies have an extra special quality, but a) this HAS diminished, and b) I have alternatives to use.
It isn’t only with this LO. Every LE has been greatly reinforced by the capture of my private-self sex-life… and actively working to move past that has been useful.
At the same time, I do feel a bit bad thinking that part of what I’m doing is being driven by what might seem a selfish motivation to get over my LE… rather than truly being available to find somebody nice for my myself or available to be baggage free for someone else…
I hear you when you say that you “feel a bit bad thinking that part of what I’m doing is being driven by what might seem a selfish motivation to get over my LE… rather than truly being available to find somebody nice for my myself or available to be baggage free for someone else.” A couple of thoughts spring to mind.
1. Everyone has got baggage. Are we ever baggage-free? Maybe there’s the odd unicorn who has Kon-Maried themself into emotional minimalism, I don’t know. It seems unlikely. I wouldn’t trust anyone who claimed their attic and cupboards were empty!
2. As far as availability goes, I’ve always thought it best to be completely honest with potential partners about the kind of connection one is looking for (i.e. short-term intimacy vs. long term relationship), so no one ends us feeling used or manipulated into a difficult emotional situation.
Thank you Alona,
That makes a lot of sense… and it is the approach I’m taking…
It’s still a bit emotionally taxing at times!
When I dabbled in online dating all those years ago (and, yes, it was an attempt to move on from LO/LE), someone told me: “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone new.” Perhaps this is good advice – as long as it isn’t taken too literally. I don’t think promiscuity is the solution to anyone’s problems. But getting out there and seeing the world is full of interesting people – maybe that’s a step in the right direction? Other humans exist apart from glorious, wondrous LO!
I also asked my fellow online daters what their favourite break-up song was. The response? “Ding-Dong The Witch is Dead” from The Wizard of Oz. Admittedly, this was a group of (older) gay men who had weathered a lot of disappointment in their personal lives and developed thick skins to cope with such setbacks. Still, at the time, the choice of song struck me as being at once dark and funny. 😛
I think there’s something to this: “someone told me: “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone new.” Perhaps this is good advice – as long as it isn’t taken too literally. ”
It’s important, I agree, to break one’s narrow focus on “glorious, wondrous LO!” If a casual roll in they hay helps to reorient one’s perspective, so much the better!
Getting over someone by getting under someone new may not be the best way but it can definitely help.
After several months of NC with XLO #2, she called. She said she was coming to town for the holidays and wanted to know if we could have a drink. I thought my last communique had been pretty clear but I caved and agreed. It had been pretty dry since we split so I wasn’t in the strongest position to deal with her.
About a week after XLO #2 called, a co-worker said his SIL was coming for a visit and his wife thought we’d get along so he asked if I wanted to meet for pizza and we could go from there.
We hit it off pretty well. Our first date started on Friday at 6pm and ended Sunday at 10pm. The only reason she left was her was sister told her she couldn’t hold off their mother’s calls anymore and didn’t want to tell mom that her daughter was shacked up with one of her husband’s coworkers.
We spent the better part of the week together. At the end of it, I was in a much better position to deal with LO #2. Another woman had found me attractive and was better at some things than LO #2 was. What she wasn’t better at, she made up for in sheer enthusiasm.
The woman recorded my answering machine message for me. There was a good chance LO #2 would change her mind but, if she didn’t, she’d hear another woman’s voice. If she did, I thought her response would be something like “Cute,” “Funny, or “Ha Ha!” Nope, when we finally connected, the first thing out of her mouth was, “WHO is that woman on your answering machine??!”
It was great.
Pre-marriage, I did some online dating, but the two times I met men online who I developed strong feelings/limerence for was on a different website, not a dating site. I think -not- having photos and that awkward cultivated profile made it easier to fall for them. The first one I fell madly in love with before we even met in person. I was 19 and had never been in a relationship before. He sent me one blurry photo before we met in person and when we did meet he was much less attractive than I had expected and I was shocked for a moment but got over it quickly and managed to integrate the person in front of me with the person I had exchanged all those deep intimate emails with, and he started to look more attractive to me as I did.
The second one wasn’t someone I had viewed as a potential romantic partner but when I met him in person he was much more attractive than I had guessed from his one blurry photo and he wanted to have sex with me, so that happened and I became limerent.
I tried online dating again recently after separating from my husband in an attempt to get over LO with limited success, but not none. It was just a distraction, but that’s basically what I needed. I think it would be very hard for me to become limerent for someone on an online dating app, except maybe after meeting them in person and developing more of a relationship. In my last try I didn’t end up actually meeting anyone (some wanted to, but the fact is I just don’t have time to go on dates) and there was only one man I felt myself thinking about in a slightly obsessive way that seemed like it might turn into limerence, but it ended quickly because he seemed to completely lose interest in talking to me when it became clear that I wouldn’t have time to meet in person any time soon. He also described himself as “demiromantic” on his profile so that definitely wouldn’t have ended well.
Why a profile pic makes limerence unlikely–either they are too attractive and I assume they definitely wouldn’t be interested in me if we met in person, so there’s no hope from the start, or they’re not attractive enough and I assume I would never be attracted to them (yes, I’m shallow) even though, like with the guy I met when I was 19, it’s perfectly possible that I would find myself attracted to them in person when seeing their whole person and not just a photo.
“The second one wasn’t someone I had viewed as a potential romantic partner but when I met him in person he was much more attractive than I had guessed from his one blurry photo and he wanted to have sex with me, so that happened and I became limerent.”
@Esmeralda. It’s interesting you become limerent for this chap after sex. I wonder if this is a common experience, especially for females? (I.e. sexual activity with a partner leading to limerence?) Also, I wonder if the unspoken folk wisdom that “sex can lead to limerence, especially in women” informs some of the cultural prohibitions traditional societies enforce against premarital sex?
I went to a Christian school, and they told us that we shouldn’t have extramarital sex because sex is like glue – it binds two people together. We were meant to save that glue for marriage. I guess what they were really talking about (in a frustratingly vague way) is the potential for people to fall into limerence?
I experienced an extremely painful LE for someone I had zero sexual contact with, so I find the “sex is glue” argument rather less-than-convincing. However, for most people, and maybe for women especially, the idea has a ring of truth about it? Women seem to take longer to bond with a partner than men, and a woman’s attraction to a man is often a reflection of how well she feels the relationship with him is going. Men find it easier to separate the emotional from the physical.
I think it was a combination of things but the sex was part of it. This man was 20. He had never been in a relationship before. And he was unsure of his sexuality. He said he was more sexually attracted to women but more interested in having a relationship with a man, and I simplistically assumed he was probably gay and just hadn’t fully figured it out yet. I mean, I consider myself a straight woman but I still find women sexually attractive…. Anyway, in our email exchanges before meeting, we talked about sex and sexuality (initiated by him). I told him about my most recent relationship where I felt like my boyfriend was just using me for sex, and said that I didn’t want to have sex with someone who didn’t really care about me again because it was a painful experience. He said he didn’t want to have sex with anyone except the person he was going to spend his life with, and I didn’t exactly think he was lying, but I thought that in his youthful naivety he was overly romanticizing and might not end up being so fixed to that ideal (obviously he wasn’t). But having had that conversation, and when we met, aside from sex, he also said things that led me to believe he wanted a serious long-term relationship with me, so when he ghosted me it was exceptionally painful. I don’t know if it would have been less painful if we hadn’t had sex, but probably.
I guess for me “sex is glue” not in the sense that it holds forever, but in the sense that when it comes unstuck it leaves a mark that’s impossible to wash away.
“And he was unsure of his sexuality. He said he was more sexually attracted to women but more interested in having a relationship with a man, and I simplistically assumed he was probably gay and just hadn’t fully figured it out yet. I mean, I consider myself a straight woman but I still find women sexually attractive….”
@Esmeralda. My heart goes out to you. What a tricky situation to be in! I can see how this guy’s remarks would have set you up, as a young woman and a limerent, for masses of uncertainty. No wonder you fell in limerence, with or without sex being a variable.
Also, I get what you’re saying about straight people finding the same sex attractive at times. I’ve reached the conclusion people can have crushes on the non-preferred sex, but can’t become limerent for the non-preferred sex. I think that’s a useful distinction to keep in mind. It’s certainly helped me keep my sanity. 😛
“He also said things that led me to believe he wanted a serious long-term relationship with me, so when he ghosted me it was exceptionally painful.”
I suppose the flipside (which we rarely hear about) to gay men having inappropriate fixations on straight men is all the straight women in the world who feel they’ve fallen madly in love with some kind, delightful but curiously detached “sexually confused” man in their life! I think the novelist Nancy Mitford is a famous example.
Having said that, it was still wrong of this fellow to lead you on. We might go easy on him because of his age. You should certainly go easy on yourself because of your age. (Who really knows what they want at 19 or 20?) It sounds like you and him had some ideals in common and ideals aren’t necessarily a bad thing. You obviously weren’t feeling emotionally connected to your preceding boyfriend.
“I guess for me “sex is glue” not in the sense that it holds forever, but in the sense that when it comes unstuck it leaves a mark that’s impossible to wash away.”
Yes, maybe that’s what the teachers at my Christian school were driving at, albeit in a very roundabout way. You express that thought beautifully.
My experience is that somebody might glimmer, but sex is a key part of moving into an LE. My sexual experience in these cases is really heightened… I’ve wondered in the past if I might have a sex addiction, but I think limerence explains it better as the addiction is really to the person. Like whatever the mechanics of what is playing out, the involvement of the LO is what makes the experience head and shoulders above virtually any non-limerent encounter.
This has led to the accusation from LO that I’m only there for the sex… which based on my behaviour at these times can be difficult to deny. Tbh it is that euphoric high that I probably miss most… so…
…which suddenly leaves me feeling like I’m a bad person. But it’s just how I’ve let it play out I suppose.
“This has led to the accusation from LO that I’m only there for the sex… which based on my behaviour at these times can be difficult to deny. Tbh it is that euphoric high that I probably miss most… so…”
@Thomas. Could it be that your brain interprets sexual activity with LO and reciprocation of limerent feelings as the same thing?
I find that I rarely develop limerent interest in someone who clearly indicates sexual availability right from the start. There’s no challenge involved. Maybe there’s no uncertainty? I’ve only had one LO who was sexually available and yet … unattainable in some other way … and so I became obsessed with him.
What was his trump card? How did he “keep me on a string”? I think he strictly controlled the amount of time we spent together, and a part of me experienced that as a subtle form of rejection.
I agree with Sammy. I have been strongly limerent for people I never had sex with. Now, sex can heighten the limerence, for sure. I’ve also had sex with people I had a decent level of interest in and the interest grew after sex. But if it was what I would describe as a “Why not? It’s an offer. I’ll take it” situation, sex actually pushed me over the edge to not wanting to see the person again.
Definitely with you on the ‘take it or leave it’ situation… after all, I suppose the brutal equation is ‘take it or leave it’ the night before= ‘been there done that’ the morning after.
But for me a glimmer cannot be progressed to an LE without physical consumation. If that doesn’t occur fairly promptly then I guess that’s that. Though tbf I only glimmer strongly where there is obvious reciprocation and my LOs are usually superficially available.
From my statements in the first paragraph you can see why I might identify as avoidant in some way. I certainly don’t rose tint my sex life…
…except for the parts which have involved LOs… which is less rose-tinting and more like a $million CGI overhaul. 😀
I’m an avoidant, too. I think with the “why not?” situations, I wasn’t that interest to begin with, and then being forced to get in someone’s business that closely … becomes icky. And there is no morning after. One leaves that night. 🙂
Ditto.. all my LEs started and intensified without sex. When I had sex with LO2 it pretty much ended my LE as it was perfunctory and completely lacking any emotional connection. Sex with LO4 was pleasurable but not really LE enhancing owing to the wham-bam-missionary style a.k.a. lack of sexual skill.
As I understand it, sexual pleasure and orgasms cause the release of lots of Oxytocin which is a pleasurable bonding hormone – the same one that gets released by a mother into her bloodstream and milk during breastfeeding (correct me if I am wrong DrL!).
“As I understand it, sexual pleasure and orgasms cause the release of lots of Oxytocin which is a pleasurable bonding hormone”
Idk. I’ve sometimes bonded after sex with guys I didn’t have an orgasm with and not bonded with ones I did. For me, the more I like the guy, the less likely I’ll have an orgasm (at least the first time we hook up) because I’ll be nervous.
Yep, that’s right!
Well sex with this LO was terrible because he had never had sex before. I think he was just using me for practice and to see if he was really into women. It was other aspects of him and our time together that fueled the limerence. He was so childlike and open, but at the same time so intelligent and handsome. He also had a dark side that was very arrogant and self-important and I think that slight fear added to the limerence.
Arrogance, in just the right measure is totally one of my weak-spots. Especially when combined with that certain fragility…
Maybe it’s like I can indulge in a rescue fantasy while also buying into their self-important bravado… which I go out of my way to massively reinforce.
Oh yes! Echoing you all – supreme confidence is sexually very attractive. As for feeling fearfully respectful of an LO… bring on the swooning couch.. or a cold shower.. or both 🙂
Yup, an orgasm is not the be all and end all is it… but it certainly helps 😉 I think hugging and skin-skin contact also causes the release of Oxytocin so it is not just the big O that strengthens the bond between two lovers.
Sexual nerves/fear seems to act as an aphrodisiac for me – makes my passion more raw and real. Glad I am not a man though as much less performance anxiety as a woman.
“Yup, an orgasm is not the be all and end all is it… but it certainly helps 😉”
Yes, agreed. I just never defined sex as “bad” if I didn’t get off. I just always figured that if I didn’t … do something to help things along myself or show or tell him what I needed, me not getting off was on me. Points taken off, of course, for horrible kissing or bad execution in making a pass or hideous … uh … movement in the act itself … yes. All those foibles would make me not want to go for a second round. 🙂
“Sexual nerves/fear seems to act as an aphrodisiac for me – makes my passion more raw and real. Glad I am not a man though as much less performance anxiety as a woman.”
I usually avoid commenting on the public site (especially on a subject like the following that I find pretty embarrassing!), but this brings up an interesting question about the role of masturbation in an LE. There was a point in mine where it became a fairly significant coping mechanism for me – LO contact was pretty intensely and uncomfortably sexual and I was sort of trying to take the teeth out of things. It was entirely conscious – I’d literally do it before I would see her to try to take the edge off. I wonder if I was doing the opposite!
Just a quick note to ask that we cool down the tone a little. While the discussion is totally on point (snigger), I wouldn’t want the site to get flagged as spicy content by the all seeing eye of Google.
More robust conversations can of course take place on the private forum…
We’re a right bunch!
The comments are really good (especially k’s – I could do a whole post on that), but it turns out that dating is a topic that brings out the spicy anecdotes.
Just want to be sure that we don’t get put on any naughty lists.
Thanks Dr L – I would certainly find that to be an interesting post if you can sneak it past the censors!
French Lady says
Hi to you all, Interesting conversations all around. I met the person I fell in love with on a dating site. He was out of my league socially, and one wonders why he was on such a site. I think we both became a little addicted to the whole thing. It is very exciting indeed, to have all these possibilities. For women , there is indeed the 20/80 rule, at my age , late 50s , most women and men look not very enticing, so if you do, then attractive men, who would, normally date younger women , will go for you, even if they might me just looking for an ephemeral good time. Mainly, these sites are a waste of time . When you meet up in the real world, despite them being nice and you being what was being marketed , there is no glimmer. When you do meet someone, that it is very rare . I am questioning why many people doubt , that their LO is not special as such . Deep attraction is rare and is usually a combination of physical, emotional , a smell , the feel of a skin etc… The only reason limerence develops is because for some reasons , there is not total reciprocity. Unrequited love, happens to many people, but as the saying goes, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I certainly would not want to have spent my life without ever having experienced it ( only twice in my life ) and being most bored, in a stable but loving relationship. FYI both my LO and I are avoidant, from what I can see , he dismissive and I fearful. If one can keep perspective then yes it is painful but makes life worth living for a short time. Some people are special for a given person.. and in a certain time of ones life. Subjective view yes, but I don’t think much is ever objective when talking about emotions, be they due to a chemical imbalance or not.
Greeting from confined Paris
HI French Lady,
Greetings from faraway Australia. Yes, we’ve heard here that some European cities have gone into lockdown…
Your observations are worth making. However, I feel you’re mostly talking about mutual limerence between two people who may have loyalties elsewhere, and not about a single person developing limerence for an indifferent LO?
Personally, I would like to become limerent … but only for LOs who can feel the same way back. (Or at least tell me straight up they’re not interested). I think a core feature of limerence is the demand for reciprocation. We want something out of the other person. Despair is a not-uncommon by-product of real and/or perceived rejection. In this sense, limerence is different from a crush or mature love. Limerence, by its very nature, is needy. The flame insists on being fed.
It’s fine to think someone is special. But what if that special person doesn’t want to be in one’s life anymore, and yet won’t set any boundaries or ask the limerent what’s going on? What if the LO is gloriously oblivious to the limerent’s troubled state of mind? This situation can potentially be very, very embarrassing for both parties, no? The LO feels oppressed, the target of escalating pressure from a previously reasonable friend/relaxed lover. And the limerent doesn’t thrive either, his/her mental suffering prolonged and intensified due to uncertainty.
I think it’s a tragedy that the man I most wanted in life possessed absolutely zero romantic feelings for me. Yet limerence prevented me from seeing his point of view in a timely fashion. I got so caught up in the delicious fantasy of “we’re going to be together someday” I started believing a scenario that was impossible and only desired by one person (me). I feel I let down two people as a result. 🙂
” I feel I let down two people as a result. 🙂”
You brought up an interesting point. I think I’m angrier at myself than I am at my LO. The signs that he was going to toy with me and not follow through were all right in front of me within a couple of months of meeting him. And the signs got even more obvious about 8 months in. By 1 1/2 years, he practically dropped a piano on my head … I can be angry that he continued to heavily flirt with me (and I am), but, at the end of the day, I should have cut my loses after about 2 months and gone NC. Fingers crossed, I won’t make the same mistake again. I read this the other day — Don’t invest in people based on how much you like them. Invest in them based on how much they invest in you.
French Lady says
Dear Sammy and Marcia, My LO being dismissive avoidant, also toying with with me somewhat , we will never be a real couple. The relationship is thus in my disfavor and I have the “limerent ” syndromes, even if I think he also had or has them. This stems in my case from his intermittent reinforcement and also from
my attachement style which is fearful. My point was more to say yes internet dating can make you addictive create these feelings and also it is my belief that what is called limerence on the site here , really is about what used to be called unrequited love. I am trying to think about if this love addiction. Is it not also not a positive thing despite some nasty side effects ? To be able to feel that intensely ? What if we mostly get it for someone , who would be special for us for real ? I personally am not compatible with many men, have checked this out on the Internet dating site , where I have spoken with lot’s and have met about 15 men. With none of them, bar LO have I felt anything much , even if most them were great guys . Ladies, so even, if your LO’s are not reciprocal, my question is ? Does that negate the value of what you feel , have felt and how to make peace around those feelings, by keeping remembering the good and letting go of the bad such as anxiety depression etc. A happy day to you
“Ladies, so even, if your LO’s are not reciprocal, my question is ? Does that negate the value of what you feel , have felt and how to make peace around those feelings,”
If you had asked me several years ago, I would have said the feeling of limerence was so wonderful and the experience so life-changing, who cared about the negative stuff? But I don’t feel that way anymore. If the person can’t show up in any meaningful way, I’d rather never experience limerence again. The pain far outweighed the good part of it, not to mention the YEARS of wasted time.
Articles of the Day:
I thought these were hilarious. But, by then, I’d been married for over 20 years. I don’t think McMillan is up there with Cynthia Heimel but she’s pretty good. If I was still in contact with her, I would have sent them to LO #2. I sent them to LO #4. I don’t think she saw the same amount of humor in them that I did.
I think LO #2 was a #10 of the second blog in spades. But, she couldn’t handle if she found it. She had a pathological aversion to happiness. I got the same vibe from LO #4 but never got close enough to confirm it. But, LO #2 got remarried after 20 years so maybe she learned something. Then, again, McMillan took a few tries.
French Lady says
Thanks Marcia for the feedback, I will let you know if I shall feel that way.. in a few years, if we are still on this site , which I hope not, as this would mean that none of us have ever really moved on :-). For the time being, I am more in a mode, what the heck, I shall be 60 this year, if not now, then surely never. Have met lot’s of nice men on the dating site, but they don’t do it for me. I was married for 30 years, devastated when we split up, and now quite enjoy living on my own. Don’t really want a guy around, I guess full time, been there done that.. In a few years let’s see. At least I feel alive again.. and am for now prepared to pay the price. Have a great evening
I’m a lifelong limerent. I have gone from LE to LE. But from your vantage point, having only experienced limerence twice and not looking for anything serious right now .. yes, enjoy limerence in all its delicious sexiness. 🙂
French lady says
Hello Marcia, I sympathise if this is a lifelong issue , I would feel exactly the same, if I were in your shoes
Limerent Emeritus says
Clip of the Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMFQl2JZCvc – “Almost Live”
For all you limerents who can’t remember a time without email or cell phones.
The title of this sketch is “Modern Dating.” This sketch was done in the late 80s or early 90s. Email was just becoming available and tech magazines were beginning to talk about “cell phones.” Texting didn’t exist. The reason I got my first answering machine was so I could screen calls from work wanting me to come in early to cover somebody’s shift or work the weekend. The value in screening out cold calls and an ex-girlfriend came later.
At its worst, I had several of these kind of exchanges with LO #4 over email.
I went onto a hardcore LE with someone I met on tinder… Thee worst by far that made me realize I had to do something about these repetitive men I chose, the uncertainty etc Dating apps promote all this for sure, so us limerents need to be extra careful
Dating app type thing can do this without doubt.
Things went badly sure and this was mostly my fault, and while it wasn’t the decision itself that irked, the way she went about it. Coulda been worse ie ghosting, but hey I’m quite direct.
She took 16 days after the meet to let me know with a mid afternoon message. I made errors with excessive comms but the reasons that she gave were rather vague and sketchy.
Proceeded to ignore my disappointed yet pleasant messages which accepted the decision itself but tried to get expansion on reasoning, blocking me when I called her a gold digger.
She is also deceptive. The whole Open Relationship yet being married, different name on there, pictures that don’t show on Reverse image search. Gotta wonder if it’s a secret profile??
Noticed we were in same FB group, messaged asking for answers and she got pissy, do not contact me again etc.
Quinn if you ever read this, I hate you with a passion. High handed, jumped-up deceptive yet beautiful individual that you are.