A recent flurry of comments raised the issue of whether limerence is a good or bad thing, and why I generally blog from the perspective of “limerence recovery”, rather than being more positive and celebratory.
LifeIsTricky puts it well:
Ok so here’s the thing that I do not understand, why are you, and others, Dr. L, so bent against the idea that there is something significant, and perhaps spiritual or energetic guiding these attractions. That the glimmer and subsequent developments from that couldn’t be a very powerful and important piece for self development?
But honestly you only meet so many people in this life who truly light your world up like the Fourth of July, it seems foolish to stick with a SO and not follow the LO to the natural end of that LE. It would seem to me that this obsession with the idea that limerance is something to be controlled is a fear based, kind of puritanical and archaic way of looking at relationships. Living a life without wonder and magic feels sad, hollow and disappointing to me. And really I very sincerely believe that there is some significant reason why that person glimmers.
So, why am I so down on limerence?
Well, first off, I am definitely not anti-limerence. I’ve posted before about how it can be excellent. I am glad that I am a limerent, and the period of mutual limerence after my wife and I met is a highlight of my life. It does feel amazing. It’s no wonder that people seek it out as a spectacular natural high, use it as an energising boost, and enjoy immersing themselves into adoration of another person that makes life thrilling. No judgement from me if you want to live a life of serial limerence, learning from each episode and expanding your life experience and refining your understanding of your romantic temperament. The key issue, though, is whether limerence is mostly a gift or mostly a burden.
It would be a straw man to attack the arguments that limerence is always a blessing, or always a curse, but LifeIsTricky clearly sees it as a source of life-enrichment to be welcomed, whereas I treat it as an volatile force to be governed. Although these positions are not mutually exclusive (fire is both useful and dangerous), they are fundamentally different ways to approach limerence as a phenomenon.
I suspect that the heart of this disagreement is about how to interpret the very strong positive feelings that limerence brings, and that comes down to a philosophical difference about how trustworthy you think feelings are for making good decisions. Are you mostly a hedonist or mostly a stoic?
A pure hedonist would see limerence as a force for emotional expansion. Life is made better, deeper, richer by throwing yourself into extraordinary experiences. Romance should be embraced with abandon, as passions so powerful and invigorating are obviously transformative. The way to a fulfilled life is through opening yourself up to its most sensational (in every sense of the word) aspects.
A pure stoic would take the opposite view. The passions and emotions and sensations that grip us during limerence are a derangement of our faculties. Our judgement is impaired, our decision-making is poor, and the mania leads us into short-term pleasure but long-term pain. The way to a fulfilled life is through taming your animal urges and asserting your wisdom.
Most of us aim for the middle ground – neither wild abandon nor austere denial. We are equally wary of debauchery and piety. So, really, this debate is about which philosophical approach to life you lean closest to, and where balance lies for you.
I’ll set out my stall below, but just before I do, I’d like to try and fairly articulate LifeIsTricky’s position. My impression is that they think limerence is a golden opportunity to seize the day. That by opening themselves up to the force of limerence, their life will become richer, more exciting, more meaningful and that generally, they will be more alive to the world. In contrast, LifeIsTricky thinks that when limerents resist the intoxication, it is because fear has made us timid. Fear of failure (rejection by LO), fear of social disapproval (by family and friends), and fear of the unfamiliar have caged us, and stopped us from realising our potential.
It’s worth thinking about. Always examine your motives.
But here’s why I think it’s misguided, and why it’s right to be cautious of the enticements of limerence:
1) Limerent objects can be very bad for us
Anyone who has become limerent for a narcissist will testify that the “life enrichment” of limerence can involve some very hard lessons. Embracing limerence for an LO who is unavailable, selfish, manipulative, flaky or just unpleasant, can really ruin your life. I suppose there is a sort of Nietzschen argument that “that which does not kill us makes us stronger”, but wilfully putting yourself in harm’s way to toughen your emotional resilience muscle seems a bit masochistic to me.
2) We can be manipulated into limerence
Linked to the previous point, we know there are LOs out there that excel at leading limerents on, manipulating their emotions, and ensnaring them. Most limerents would be susceptible to a campaign of love bombing, intermittent reinforcement and emotional oversharing from an LO they were attracted to.
The triggers are quite predictable once you know them. This, to me, shows that limerence is not a mysterious, divine force that serves to lead us to enlightenment – it’s predictably rooted in psychology.
3) Brains are stimulus-response engines
That predictability comes largely from our neurophysiology. We understand how hormones and neurotransmitters influence our behaviour and our fundamental motivations. We understand why these mechanisms exist within us, from the perspective of reproduction and evolution. There is a materialist basis to limerence. Activate the right neural pathways, and bingo! Again, this makes me view it as a predictable drive that can be switched on just as easily when it will damage your life as when it can enrich it.
4) It is incompatible with long-term monogamy
Many of us desire long-lasting love in a form and blend that requires monogamy. Not everyone, of course, and ethical non-monogamy is widely accepted and perfectly feasible. But, despite the current promotion of more enlightened and sophisticated lifestyles, monogamy remains stubbornly popular. If you want it, you have to reconcile yourself to resisting limerence for other people.
5) It can lead to bad consequences
If you are not single when limerence comes calling, it is almost impossible to avoid bad consequences if you embrace it. Following limerence through the tipping points to an affair is inevitably destructive. Many other people are hurt by limerent self-empowerment, and many who embrace limerence as a route to fulfilment bitterly regret it. Even if you are in an open relationship and have tried to be ethical, limerence is such an unbalanced adoration that someone is likely to be hurt. Most poly couples have rules about how to handle this, but it turns out that people don’t behave rationally when they are emotionally devastated. “Stop crying, I got you to sign this legal disclaimer when we met!” turns out to be cold comfort.
6) It comes when it’s unwelcome
There are times when limerence is great (you’re both single, and LO is a good person), and times when it is not great. My email inbox is full of stories that mirror my own: “I wasn’t looking for this. I’m happily married. I never expected it to get out of control.” Limerence may well be teaching us all lessons about complacency and benign neglect of romance, but that doesn’t mean we should respond to the lesson by immersing ourselves in a new infatuation.
7) It doesn’t last
Finally, limerence has a definite lifespan. Eventually it ends, meaning either that you transition to a different kind of relationship with your LO, or that you accept they no longer have value for you romantically and so you seek a new LO. For me, the decline of limerence is another good indication that it isn’t linked to the intrinsic value of the LO, it’s a mechanism for accelerating pair bonding.
Overall, after assessing the good and bad of limerence, and accepting that it is a part of who I am, I reached the conclusion that it needs to be integrated into my life in a way that serves my bigger goals. Limerence felt great at first, but rapidly ran into the reality that I care more about my family than about romantic novelty. At that point, limerence became a problem.
That was the right decision for me, but ultimately, it comes down to this: you have to figure it out for yourself. There’s no right answer. Everyone has to make their own decisions and live with them. Real failure comes when you lie to yourself, rationalise away your doubts, and behave in opposition to your principles. The only solution is to do the deep work of examining your true nature honestly, and acting accordingly.
In the meantime, I’ll keep advocating for a purposeful, stoical approach to living with limerence.
Another fantastic post Dr L, and I agree with your angle that limerence is “the perspective of limerence recovery”, rather than being more positive and celebratory.””
I didn’t choose to be Limerent, it was a very unwelcome bolt of lightening that struck me at the most vulnerable time of my life. Yes, physically it’s been a great positive for me, I’ve lost weight and look the best I’ve ever done, my energy levels are through the roof and I’ve never been so productive in my entire life. I am like the energiser bunny on steroids! I do worry that my freight train tendencies will eventually hit a brick wall and what the consequences will be for me after this episode ends. Depression? God I hope not!
But limerence has also caused me copiuos anxiety, sleepless nights, stress, mind bending crazy bat shit thoughts, immense sadness of what will never be, internal conflict of my values and integrity, yearning for an LO that’s unavailable, loneliness, neglecting my wonderful SO and family, two stolen years of my life in ruminations I’ll never get back, anger, despair, embarrassment, shame, guilt, thoughts (although fleeting) of what’s the point of even continuing to live if this is how I am going to feel indefinitely and endless rivers of gut wrenching tears.
Limerence has mostly made me very unhappy, I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy, its destructive and destroys everything in its path if one or both parties are unavailable. There have been times I wish someone would just put me out of my misery, I yearn for tranquility and peaceful thoughts, but mostly indifference to my LO.
Vicarious Limerent says
I feel exactly the same way, Lee-Anne. Limerence has been a major destructive force in my life. I would gladly trade away all of the positives to be rid of it. I am simply not in a position to do anything about my feelings, and the effect it has had on my marriage has been terrible. I have most of the same benefits you mention (minus the productivity gains, since this has negatively impacted my work performance). One other plus for me is it has forced me to have to do something about the problems in my life. Maybe limerence will end up being a positive force overall in the end, but it sure doesn’t feel that way now.
Another way to look at this is that the inability to turn limerence off makes it kind of like the Midas touch. Yes, it’s lovely to have some gold, but when it stops you from being able to have anything else, it becomes torture.
limerence is not good at all but it will fade away .
Two absolute gems in this post:
“The triggers are quite predictable once you know them. This, to me, shows that limerence is not a mysterious, divine force that serves to lead us to enlightenment – it’s predictably rooted in psychology.”
“Limerence may well be teaching us all lessons about complacency and benign neglect of romance, but that doesn’t mean we should respond to the lesson by immersing ourselves in a new infatuation.”
I completely agree that limerence serves a positive purpose, which is to provide a lens into our needs and desires in life. We personify those wants and needs onto LO, but in many cases, there are other ways to get those needs fulfilled that are less destructive and/or actually attainable. This isn’t to say that pursuing a LO is always a bad choice, but I think it is okay to choose away from a path that could be painful for oneself and hurtful to others.
Excellent post Dr. L.
I would add that limerence has all the characteristics of addiction, and from what you and others have written about the neuroscience of limerence, it IS addiction. From personal experience, I know that when I go through periods of NC, I begin to think clearer that the fog has lifted. When I am in the throes of limerence, I may know that LO is bad for me but I still want it. Just like an addict. I don’t see how anyone can argue in good faith that any kind of addiction is a good thing.
Nevertheless, I completely understand the “seize the day” mentality. I have actually commented on several posts recently about that very thing. I don’t want to live “safe.” That is such an intense struggle especially for those of us in midlife. I have lived most of my life making responsible decisions and living safely. I don’t want to live the rest of my life gripped by fear and timidity. Just go for it, consequences be damned. If it turns out badly, I’ll learn from it. But for those of us in committed, monogamous relationships, the consequences are that you will blow your entire life up. For me, it once again comes back to the dual forms of regret. When I come to the end of my life, do I want to regret acting impulsively and destroying my family or regret living safely and always wondering ‘what if’ I could have been with LO? I honestly don’t know sometimes.
Good point, B. The “person addiction” perspective helps clarify the state that many of us end up in, where we’ve overdone the LO-seeking to the point that it’s become a dependency. As you say, difficult to find a positive spin on addiction.
My Limerent Brain Is An Idiot says
Here is your brain: 😐
Here is your brain on limerence: 🤡
No other comment shall be forthcoming.
Haha you crack me up. Insanity is the only word I can use when in limerence.
Michiel Mans says
LOL. And very true.
Anyway, this is how my limerent ‘dinosaur’ limbic brain screwed me. I’m a lot better now. Not losing my sense of humour helped.
Me and stupid me make stupid me
And me wasn’t that smart in the love department to begin with.
Limbic: “She’s pretty.”
Reason&Logic: “Yeah, she’s cute.”
L: “I love her.”
R&L: “Excuse me?”
L: “I love her and I want her.”
R&L: “Don’t be an idiot. She is just pixels on Chaturbate.”
L: “I LOVE HER AND I WANT HER.”
R&L: “You moron, she is 22 and you are 63.”
L: “Age is just a number.”
R&L: “And some numbers don’t match. Like 22 and 63.”
L: “Maybe she lies about her age.”
R&L: *sarcasm on* “Really? Girls on webcam sites sometimes lie about their age?” *sarcasm off*
R&L: “So, maybe she is 27. Is 27 proper 63 material?”
L: “I want her.”
R&L: “Stop whining. Hell, you haven’t even a clue where she lives.”
L: “In the US.”
R&L: “Great, that narrows it down to pin point. Besides, no she doesn’t live in the US. She lies.”
L: “How do you know she lies?”
R&L: “Have you seen the wall sockets in her room?”
L: “You check out the wall sockets during her performances?”
R&L: “When she picks her nose I discretely look away. Anyway, she plugs her toys into C and F type sockets, not into US A or B types.”
L: “I love her, I want her, I need her.”
R&L: “Aha, need has entered the premises. Look, she is cute and all that, but why on earth do you need her on top of the silly matter of falling in love with her?“
L: “It is not silly to fall in love with a girl.”
R&L: “No, it is not silly, but falling in love with someone of granddaughter age you don’t know and have never met is silly. Rather stupid even. Now, why do you need her?”
L: “I need to cuddle her.”
R&L: “No, you WANT to cuddle her. I do too, but she is off limits and totally out of reach. O, and she has a dog. Well, a deformed ratty mutant excuse for a dog. I hate dogs.”
L: “Don‘t like dogs either, but love hers.“
R&L: “If it’s hers you’d cuddle a Komodo skunk.”
L: “So you want to cuddle her as well?”
R&L: “Yes. And you know, I also would like to have a Ferrari 308, but I can’t and am just as happy without. Stop making such a fuzz about her. She only exists as hot pretty pixels.“
L: “Did you just say ‘hot’? You hypocrite, you are way beyond cuddle.”
R&L: “Listen you idiot, it is not about what we like or want, it’s about what is possible. And she is impossible.”
L: “Why? Because of the wrong sockets?”
R&L: “Okay, let us try some reason and logic. For starters. Do you understand her English?”
L: “She doesn’t speak a lot, but no, it usually is quite unintelligible. She is probably Russian, or from the Ukraine or something.”
R&L: “And when you actually understand what she’s on about, is it interesting?”
L: “You are not fascinated by her remarks on Calvin Klein underwear?“
R&L: “I’m only fascinated when she takes it off. Hell, us tuning into that is what started this love mess. Then her eyes and her smile and her laughs and that wobbly thing she does with her head followed, and now all of her is fascinating. Or so you decided.”
L: “Yes. And I’m in charge of such matters.“
R&L: “Listen. For the sake of argument. Forget about the age gap, the chance of a 22 year old girl falling for a 63 year old bald dude being too remote to contempla-“
L: “A bit of trivial remoteness has never stopped a determined person.”
R&L: “Have it your way. Know what? Let’s ask her out on a date.”
L: “We’ll, as you are the smart guy, and know about wall sockets and shit, you can figure out where she lives, find her e-mail address and such. In the mean time I’ll polish up on Calvin Klein and learn everything about the records she plays during shows.“
R&L: “But we hate her taste in music!?“
L: “No we don’t’, we love it. Can’t get enough Hip-Hop Digg-it City Flop Drop.”
R&L: “You still don’t get it, do you?”
L: “Why always them negative waves man, think positive for a change.“
R&L: “OK Oddball, I’ll put our dentures in, check oil and tires of the 308 and plot some routes to where she might be. Let’s start our search in Moscow.“
L: “Why Moscow”?
R&L: “It is full of girls that can knock you out if she isn’t there.“
My Limerent Brain Is An Idiot says
I had the very same internal dialogue about my LO, but unfortunately she’s live, and in person, and in my office daily, and indicated in the past that she had limerence for me.
I’m not the sort to hang out on Chaturbate but I wish my LO was there instead of here.
Michiel Mans says
A limerent with a LO that’s limerent for the limerent. Sounds like just about the best thing that can happen. Unless you are married or something. But trust me, if she would be ‘just’ on Chaturbate, your brain (that stupid part) can make life as diffucult as if she was in te office and next door.
It really was astonishing (WTF?) to experience how a total stranger only existing as pixels became the most intensive to-be-in-love-with person ever (not be confused with the greatest love of my life). Anyway, good luck and strength with your limerent episode.
😵 when the LE first ends
😡 then, when you realize your LO was playing you all along.
🤔 when you begin to have a pragmatic, objective approach that’s not so emotionally charged.
😏 when you extract some life lessons from the whole ridiculous experience.
💃🏽 When you are finally healed and psychologically free and limerence-sober.
My Limerent Brain Is An Idiot says
Jaideaux — I dub the ‘Ninja Of All Things Emoticon’.
For me limerence very quickly becomes a living hell. The most mentally unwell I’ve ever been had been in the throws of limerence. What’s weird is the euphoria never really lasts long at all, but yet I still chase that very high time and time again. I have described it before as a form on mental self harm, doing things over and over knowing full well the outcome is pain. Every healthy relationship I’ve ever had has either never had limerence or just a touch at beginning but once the uncertainty goes, a healthy fulfilling relationship develops.
I read on another blog that a man described the lows of limerence just as painful as their fathers death. Which sounds absurd to some but I for one can empathise with that statement.
At the moment I’m very LC with LO, I dont initiate any form of contact with him and have been feeling a lot better. The last days I’ve been run down and poorly and my limerent thought have come back. All the insecurity, why wasn’t I good enough thoughts and sadness came flooding back. However this time I’m aware that this will pass and that the few weeks of freedom I have had have been awesome. Therefore, I will keep on going and walking towards freedom!
I wouldn’t call myself stoic, but all I ever wanted was a comfortable life. I don’t need complications. I don’t need temptation. I don’t need distraction. I don’t want my thoughts hijacked. I don’t want to constantly police them. I don’t want limerence.
I have responsibility. I have a wife who depends on me. I have a child that depends on me. Both of their lives would be markedly worse by my running off to chase an LO who is flaky, unreliable, has undetermined interest in reciprocation, and is herself unavailable as well. Most likely, in all honesty, my life would be significantly worse as well. My wife has improved my life in all manner of ways, including pushing me to be a better me. It’s very unlikely I would be the person I am today without her. Why would I give that up for “what if”?
My personal interpretation of “an adult” is one who chooses responsibility over temptation. While none of us make that choice every time in every circumstance, the intent to do so is what matters. Especially when the consequences are as high as the direct upheaval and likely destruction of several lives, and the ripples out into many many others.
My limerence is trying to subvert that. I absolutely cannot see how, in that context, it can be viewed as anything like a blessing.
Vicarious Limerent says
I totally understand what you are saying, Jackson. I really don’t think limerence is a force for good at all. I would dearly love my limerence to go away, but I had a strange 36 hours or so. Everyone is different, but maybe Dr. L. (or someone else) can explain some of what I am feeling and what is making me feel better.
Yesterday, I saw a picture of my LO on Facebook (we are NC). It was a lovely picture of her in a bikini standing on a beach at a tropical destination (I know where, but I won’t say). I found it hard to take. I also started to fantasize more than ever about visiting the pub where I met her and telling her exactly how I feel. That was yesterday.
But today I got to go out for an actual night out for the first time in 10 weeks (the last time I went out, when I met my LO). I met some new people and I got to blow off some steam. After recently losing quite a bit of weight and seeing some major improvements in the gym, something happened to me that hasn’t happened in 30 years: A woman grabbed my arse when I was at the bar buying a drink. I also had one of the hottest women in the bar dance with me. I was on cloud nine, even though I would never cheat on my wife. It felt great to be desired on some level.
Another strange thing happened that made me feel much better on the way to my night out: I mentioned to my wife how I loved the pub where I met my LO (aside from anything to do with her). I told her, “It isn’t like I can actually go there,” to which she replied (to my astonishment), “As long as you promise not to cheat on me, you can go there.” While I am not planning a trip to that pub anytime soon, it felt incredibly good to know I have options. I also heard my brother in-law hasn’t heard from my LO likely since I was in touch with her. On some ways, I am happy about that, but in others I am quite happy.
For some reason, I feel much less like an in prison. I am so much happier about the fact I have options. Can anyone understand this made me feel so much better?
Vicarious Limerent, you are happy because you were seeking validation and got it. I know the feeling because once life resumed for me this week after the holidays, like you I was out on the hunt like a beagle looking for treats. I too got some compliments and was on cloud nine.
As for me, week 8 with NC, it sux. The last two weeks of NC was initiated by LO and his SO not me, it pisses me off that he controlled it and not me. I’ve seen him out and about a few times, wish I could acknowledge his friendly wave with a flip of my middle finger, but that would be rude.
I seriously feel like throwing myself on the floor and having a tantrum right now, it’s taking every ounce of strength to remain calm and passive.
Why do I feel like I am being tested, if not by LO then definitely by his SO. It’s seriously getting on my nerves!
I am sorry Lee Anne to see you feel that way. Good luck to you! Be nice to yourself, do stuff you enjoy, spoil yourself !! I can relate its better to be the one initiating NC but unfortunately we have no strength to. In my case his SO wants to meet me ?!! hes kind of saying we should all arrange something etc Which made me think it was all in my head he just wants to be my friend. It has put me very very down
Vicarious Limerent says
Thanks Lee-Anne. I am so sorry you are going through a tough time. We are all here for you.
I could feel differently tomorrow, but today I feel like my limerence has been downgraded to a simple crush (which I can cope with). I still like the lady a lot, but the physical pain and the sense of pining away is gone (at least for now). I had major drama in my family today with my wife and daughter, and our family may not survive intact. But somehow I have a sense that everything will work out for me no matter what happens. I still want to work things out with my wife (and I am more determined to do so now) but I am at peace no matter what happens. I am ready to accept the role of being the emotionally strong person in my family.
Sorry for the typos in my post last night; I was a little tipsy at the time.
Sara, does his SO know about you? I think it’s odd she wants to meet you, just be in your guard in case of a nasty confrontation.
Vicarious Limerent, sorry to hear you had a drama in the family . Dramas always highlights limerence for me.
So, I was prematurely congratulating myself this morning that I managed to avoid bumping into LO at school this morning and went and had a catch up with a group of friends locally (they aren’t friends with LO). I double checked the car park to make sure all was clear, no LO’s car nor his SO’s car so I presumed they both had gone to work. Unfortunately an hour later when heading home I saw LO driving along the car park lanes. Before I could duck into a corner he saw me, I was very proud of myself as I waved back and hurried to my car on the opposite end. Shit it was tempting to stop and say hello , usually I do and we’d talk, but not today. I actually drove off, but it was hard, hardest thing I’ve done in two years. I think my heart rate didn’t return to normal for a full 30 minutes afterwards.
What shits me is that in all likelyhood he was doing the same, thought it was safe to pick up a coffee because usually by that time I’d be gone. He knows what my car looks like, but today I was driving SO’s car, he looked surprised/dismayed to see me, but I could be overthinking it all. It annoys me because now I am mentally picking apart this mornings “paths crossing”, arghhhh!
Hey VL, keep up the good work of taking care of YOU. I think that I also eat up validation from others with glee. It’s something that was lacking most of my life and DW doesn’t give it up easily. At my age (late 40’s) I shouldn’t be needing it from others but when I get a compliment about anything especially my looks…..😜🥰😁☺️. LO was a master at giving compliments to everyone and she had me on cloud nine with a few.
Now that I’m on the leeward side of this experience I’ve noticed something just as you have. I seem to be getting a lot of attention from the ladies and others have noticed. Last week I walked in to my place of work and one of the young and pretty gals who works there lit up with a smile and greeted me, a male coworker was standing next to her and looks at me and says;”do you have this effect everywhere you go?” I had to bite my tongue to keep the huge smile off of my face.
Anyway I do think that limerence CAN be a positive force for change once the inherent lessons are learned.
Vicarious Limerent says
Thanks Avalanche (sorry, I am just seeing this comment now). The validation was great, but the limerence did return in full force. Still, it felt great to realize I have options and it was food for thought (I too am in my late 40s). Establishing an actual social life again with real friends should help too.
So want to send the ‘ I miss you’ message….
Don’t do it! You’ll know you’ll regret it tomorrow. Just post what you are feeling here.
Thank you Emma, I find so much support here, ( new addiction?).
Day 4 of NC with LO and man oh man my body is in protest.
Good luck to you too, know that you are absolutely not alone in this situation. What ever you decide , you have the right to.
Better to write here indeed, it’s been only day 3 of NC and I’m irritable and snappy cause of the withdrawal.
I miss my LO i miss the hormones.
We decided to go NC while I either fix my marriage or get a divorce but that will take months. One one hand I’m afraid to loose my limerence, what if I don’t like my LO anymore after NC.
Anyone recognises this?
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Maria: I kind of recognize these thoughts, but this is the limerent part of your brain thinking. If, at the end of this, you are no longer limerent for your LO, then problem solved, no? No contact hurts like hell (and I say that as someone who really never had that much contact with my LO in the first place; it was just the thought of never seeing her again that seemed so painful), but it does work. Right now, you need to figure out if your marriage is worth saving and can be saved. That is your top priority. In many ways, you aren’t going to be able to make a rational decision while in a state of limerent infatuation. It is better to try to lessen the power of your limerence before you make any life-altering decisions. That will take time, and I am struggling with this very issue myself, but unless your spouse is an abusive and horrible person, you owe it to that person to give them a chance first before moving on.
I personally believe limerence generally doesn’t go away completely all at once. It is more of a gradual fading way in most cases. What you need to do is try to make it subside just enough so that you can cope and move on without obsessing over your LO. You need to be able to think clearly and objectively and not have it cloud your judgement. Remember, what you are thinking is based on a fantasy and isn’t entirely real. I would hazard a guess you will still have some degree of limerence in the coming months and you will still have feelings for your LO, but if not, so what? It is a huge cliché, but there really are plenty of other fish in the sea. Even though I have made no secret of the fact that I would definitely go after my LO if my marriage were to end, I realize I do have other options and it doesn’t have to be her – nor does it have to be my wife either. All the best of luck! This is really hard, but I am confident you will get through it. Dr. L has lots of great advice on this site that does help.
thank you so much @ Vicarious Limerent ! you are of course absolutely right, although i think, no know, my marriage was in trouble before the lE began, the LE is a result of my unsitisfying marriage, but you are def right, I owe it to my SO to let the fog be clear a bit. Of course I do idolise life with my LO and my brain in manipulating the hell out of me, sometimes I dont even believe myself anymore 🙂 I know if I dont care about my LO anymore, so what, im just addicted to the rush I guess 🙂
Thank you again for the reply
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Maria: I am in exactly the same situation with an unfulfilling marriage. The problem is I actually love my wife, so there is something to build on. My LE alerted me to the fact something really wasn’t right, and so it could end up being a positive catalyst for change. I am insisting my wife go to marriage counselling with me. We are also going to try to find some fun activities to do together and go on “date night” every week or two (once this pandemic dies down because at the moment we can’t really go anywhere). I am also insisting on some things I need in my life to make it happy and fulfilling, and I really don’t care at this point whether my wife approves or not. You need to think about yourself, and while it is important to build a life together with your SO, you should never lose sight of who you are as a person and your own wants and needs. I also think it is a good idea to decide on a timeline for improving your marriage so you don’t feel trapped. For me personally, I have decided that if I don’t see major improvements in about nine months it will be time to decide whether I really want to stay in my marriage or not. Still, if this lockdown continues for much longer, I may have to extend the timeframe a bit because it will be difficult over the next few weeks (months even) when people are thrown together and unable to really go out. Good luck!
This is a really good plan, VL. You are being clear-sighted about what you need and taking steps to make it a constructive part of your life with SO by embarking on counselling. I like the nine month review, too, but do try and carry your wife along with you on that – i.e. be honest about that fact that you want to marriage to improve and are actively trying to do this, but you need her to step up too. There’s a risk you can end up “doing the work” on yourself, but your SO becomes a bystander who doesn’t realise there is a decision point coming down the line. It’s tough if your SO isn’t motivated to change, but you stand the best chance of success if you can work as a team.
Good luck to you, and to Maria.
thank you again VL, ( im a therapist myself, the irony !) so I know what I think is dominated by hormones, its like the chicken and the egg, what came first, a not so good but not very super bad mariage and than LE or do I vilify my SO cause I need an excuse to be with my LO.
One thing im sure off is that I dont have a future with my LO, we would have a great few months, max, we have absolutely nothing in common, except attraction, ( im surprised that he doesnt see this, my LO things im his dream woman ( good change he is in L too) so the question is more, do I prefer to be alone than married, and my answer is yes, Ive been not really happy for over 10 years, , I tried to compensate with sereval things , obviously, more freedom etc but the lack of passion is breaking me up. So my LO is more of a catalisator than the cause, its more the symptome . Im in therapy too with my SO, but even my therapist thinks its kind of a lost cause. Am I worried that i might regret the discision, sure I am , but im willing to face that.
Thank you for your response, good luck to you too, you seem to have a healthy view and plan, good for you.
Vicarious Limerent says
Thanks Dr. L and Maria for your support and kind words! The one thing I struggle with is the sense of putting my wife on “probation,” but she doesn’t have to know about my deadline. Still, she does need to know this is serious and she has a role to play in improving our marriage. I can only really change myself, but she will need to make some changes as well for this to work out.
@Maria and Vicarious: I’m in a very similar situation as both of you. As Maria writes, “a not so good but not very super bad mariage” 😅😥
Thanks to both of you to describe it so beautifully and accurately. I love my SO too but at this point I’m really not sure our marriage will survive, but I’m willing to try everything I can.
My LE too is a catalyst. It’s an imaginary escape from that feeling of being trapped, stuck in a situation I can’t change. Your plan is tremendously helpful Vicarious. Just the idea of implementing something similar is a relieve. Having a plan instead of feeling so hopeless.
Much love to my fellow “unhappily married but trying hard to do something about it with respect for their SO and themselves” limerents!
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Emma: It is comforting to see there are so many others who are experiencing the same thing. Many of us also seem to be around middle age (I am in my late 40s, and I am definitely having a full-blown midlife crisis). I am glad my approach is something you can adapt as well. My marriage is also not good, but not absolutely terrible either, yet I am quite unhappy in it. My biggest fear is I will be able to improve my marriage just enough to no longer be thoroughly miserable, but not enough to truly be happy either. Perhaps that is where the idea of establishing “non-negotiables” is so important to me. If my wife won’t accept most of them, I am not sure I can continue in my marriage, but I am willing to give her a chance. She deserves that because I do love her (I am just not sure if I am still IN love with her).
Something I am having a hard time dealing with right now is how syrupy-sweet my wife is being towards me. I know she is doing this because she is afraid of losing me, but it doesn’t seem genuine. Still, I am having a difficult time either embracing this or rejecting it because it isn’t really genuine (yet I do want to try). For the longest time, I wanted more affection from her, but now that I have it I am not sure I still want it. Am I being selfish? Am I still subconsciously looking to leave her for my LO? More on my LO next week because I have been thinking some thoughts about her (positive developments from my perspective), but I wanted to give it a good week after our intense discussions earlier this week before posting an update (I have thought I had turned the corner before and that turned out not to be permanent).
Serial Sufferer says
#4 – not only is it incompatible with long-term monogamy, but it’s not really all that compatible with polyamory (https://livingwithlimerence.com/2018/08/02/limerence-and-polyamory/). Theoretically it could be, but the reality of limerence is that it’s all-consuming. When I’m in limerence it’s hard work to think about anyone or anything else. That’s not polyamory, that’s mono-amory. A very important moment for me was when I considered seriously the logistics of having a stable loving relationship as well as limerence. Limerence will either end with rejection or progress to a relationship or linger in miserable uncertainty (https://livingwithlimerence.com/2019/03/17/the-definition-of-limerence/). Let’s assume the desirable path: ecstatic union. Ecstatic union happens and as limerence fades, I now have an SO. Next limerence inevitably happens and ecstatic union happens and now I have… uh… two SO’s? Sure, if that’s what you want, that’s polyamory, but note that I’m now limerent on neither of them. Nope, I’m facing another limerent episode (because I am, after all, a serial limerent and unable or unwilling to control it). Because we assumed that all my limerent episodes result in ecstatic union, I end up with a lot of SO’s, and it’s like Strega Nona’s bowl of endless pasta. Limerence just keeps giving me more SO’s.
The other option of every limerent episode resulting in ecstatic union is that each previous SO fades away. Well, I love my current SO deeply (limerence –> ecstatic union –> affectional bonding) and I can’t accept that option of losing him AND causing him and myself a ton of suffering, for what – for ephemeral limerence?
Besides, you KNOW there’s a fundamental faulty assumption there – most limerent episodes will NOT end in ecstatic union. Even in the depths of limerence and certainly when out of limerence, I have always been able to accurately assess the worth (or compatibility) of each limerent object and none of them measure up to my current SO. I can clearly see that even if it worked out to ecstatic union, the affectional bonding would not be as strong as it is with my current SO. Ephemeral limerence isn’t worth sacrificing the strong affectional bond I currently have.
That’s just my point of view. LifeIsTricky sounds, to me, like a person in limerence desperately trying to make it possible to have it their heart’s desire (aka more limerence). I’ve been there and I’ve had those exact same thoughts and rationales. Tell me again if you still believe that and feel that way when you’re NOT in limerence. Depending on the outcome of your current limerence, it might be a few years.
Slightly off-topic I want to share an insight of my last limerent flare-up. I realized that the limerence wasn’t, and never has been been, specifically been driving me toward a fling or an affair. Limerence creates a desire, a craving, for a specific emotional high that I get when I share something intimate – such as interest in having a fling or an affair. My obsessive ruminations dwell far more on disclosing something or other than on any physical interaction or happy ever after scene. I feel that now I understand that, I have a tiny hope of identifying limerence in the future before it consumes me.
@Serial Sufferer – thanks your insight helps with my below dilemma. It does help to lay out the potential viscous cycle that can happen. I’ve been limerent about 3 times in my life, so wasn’t sure of a pattern that could exist, but can see things a bit clearer now. Thanks.
It seems to me that most of the commenters here are serial limerents, maybe I’m wrong. What is odd for me is that I have never dealt with this before. I made it all the way to middle age without even a hint of desire for someone else (and I married my SO very young), no temptations whatsoever. Now I not only feel the pull of my LO, but I think I even have 2 other potential LOs “in waiting.” I have no where near the intrusive thoughts about them but I do find myself thinking of them sometimes and wondering if things don’t work out with LO, maybe they will move up in the queue and could be my next LO. Does this mean I am destined to be a serial limerent for the second half of my life??
Hi B. The interesting thing about my case is that only until the 3rd episode did i realise that i had been limerent twice before, in my late teens, then 20s and now recently. In the first 2 I was single (the the people I liked just didn’t want me back or had partners themselves, sad stories). My recent one i was not single, it just happened to me and sparked off my research into crushes and unrequited love/love addiction/insecure attachment issues, and then the golden word popped up finally, ‘limerence’, so perfectly describing something I had experienced before. I’ve never acted on anything (I’m unavailable as is the person I’m limerent for), but the distraction of knowing there is another human out there who i feel like I’m basically in love with (i realise this isn’t likely the case) is always with me. Very annoying, and undermines my otherwise pretty good relationship. The doubt it causes in my mind over whether my partner is really right for me is so constantly unsettling.
B, wanted to say I’ve wondered the same thing. I’ve never had this experience before and am late 40s now. I want to say mine was triggered by difficult circumstances (emotionally/physically absent SO, ill child), but I’ve dealt with similar and frankly much worse in my life and never fell into anything remotely like this. And I’ve had similar thoughts about “LOs in waiting”! My theory on that is if I have to let go of the highs I get from LO, my limerent brain doesn’t want to be without ANY highs so I’m subconsciously on the lookout for the next dealer.
That is fascinating. I think you are exactly right about that.
And how F’d up is this: I have a perpetual group text with my LO and my LO “in waiting.” We are all friends. I have disclosed to LO but no one else knows. She likes me but is not willing to be anything more than flirty friends. I use the group text to justify messaging her on nights/weekends because there’s plausible deniability by virtue of someone else being involved. But all the messages are for her. I think she knows that. I think she uses it the same way, because she is the “plausible deniability” type LO. God I’m so pathetic.
Same, late 40’s never been Limerent before (had a crush on a celebrity the year prior but nothing compared to what I am currently going through, that should’ve been my warning!) and went through a very difficult patch when it hit me. This LE took me completely by surprise, and I am not overly fond of surprises.
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Lee-Anne, B & FlyByNight: It is so strange how common this is in one’s late 40s! The midlife crisis is very real for so many of us! I have been limerent before, but not for 20 years, and definitely not while married. I guess part of it is coming to terms with the fact our lives as relatively young people are coming to an end.
Firstly, thanks to Dr L, your blog brings comfort to so many. I’ve always thought that many of us on here are mostly bored with our existing relationships, consciously or unconsciously. Eating the same food every day for years would naturally get boring, however many different combinations of spice you add to it. Humans, as hormonally driven beings, have a drive to want more, more good sex, more validation, more adventures, more authenticity. Constantly changing partners is not conducive to a stable healthy lasting family life (what most of us apparently want, i know i do), and I find it so puzzling how so many of us have such counterproductive urges, knowing that it’s not what will really makes us happy. Its hard to know if its legitimately time to end it with a SO, or if limerent episodes are just tests of integrity and moral fibre. Any wisdom anyone?, I just want to ‘not’ want my LO anymore, its never really been a source of happiness in my life if I being honest. But the constant pull of my LO derails me everytime.
It’s a puzzler alright. Why does addiction happen when it’s destructive? Why do we struggle to resist urges we know will lead to harm? Why do we keep doing compulsive things even after we don’t even enjoy them anymore?
Brains misfire. Our executive is often in conflict with our subcortical drives. We’re bad at dealing with stressors healthily.
But hey, no one said life was easy! Just gotta keep battling on.
Lifelong Limerent says
I would also agree with you Dr. L in “advocating for a purposeful, stoical approach to living with limerence”. I have recently learned that I am a life long limerent having come across the term “Limerence” while googling the crazy way I was feeling about at person (LO) I had just met. How liberating it feels to learn that there is a physiological as well as a psychological explanation to this insanity. Upon careful reflection I have learned that a lot of my life choices were influenced by past LE’s. It is a little disconcerting. My current LE is very intense. I am trying to wean myself off of it because I do have a SO and do not want to jeopardize my relationship as it would be extremely painful for all and have life changing consequences. I find this blog and comments to be extremely helpful in dealing with the way I am feeling.
Dr. L, since you are a neuroscientist I am wondering if you could answer a question for me. Do you think antidepressants like bupropion can affect limerence? I take it for depression and seasonal affective disorder. If limerence is an addiction in which dopamine plays a vital role and bupropion is a NDRI then my brain must be swimming in norepinephrine and dopamine. I truly feel like an addict. At least now I feel I have the knowledge and perhaps the wherewithal to deal with it.
It’s very likely, Lifelong Limerent. Any drug that alters the neurochemistry of mood, reward, or arousal could affect limerence. But, it’s going to be pretty hard to predict what impact, and how big an impact, any given drug would have. It may be that bupropion would enhance the strength of limerent reward, but the fact you are prescribed it for depression and SAD could suggest your “normal” levels of dopamine and NA release are low despite limerence. It will also depend on which stimuli are most effective at triggering reward for you.
Note: I’m not a clinical neuroscientist (or a medic) so this is based on neurophysiology knowledge. The key message is that no treatment has been tested for limerence as far as I know, and treatment of mood disorders is very complicated and unpredictable…
My experience is that the SSRI that I am taking really helped to reduce the limerence. I was depressed when the LE started but I hesitated to get help. Several times a day I would get teary eyed which made my life very difficult. When I needed to pull myself together and not cry, I would think about my LO, and that would help stop the tears from coming. I would imagine something nice that he would say to me to cheer me up. Fortunately I finally got some professional help and went on an SSRI. What a difference that made! I wasn’t crying all the time, so the need that I felt to fantasize about my LO reduced significantly. Can I get him out of my mind though? Nope, his name pops into my head like almost every hour, but often I can just keep it to that.
Mrs A says
Much food for thought in this post. Limerence for me was a kind of drug. It served as a painkiller for a while. LO distracted me from various pains in life, until it became an entangled mess and the cause of more pain itself. Perhaps many of us are just seeking answers to existing problems (marital or not) and hope that a “well-matched” LO can provide some solution. Funnily enough, I wasn’t being hedonistic or stoical, only practical in a misguided kind of way. I started by giving myself certain understandable excuses, like that I needed different kinds of friendships apart from my spouse, that a spouse cannot be expected to satisfy all of one’s needs. Depending on the problem, someone else might be better placed to fulfil that need. I also thought it was rather beautiful to have a close friendship, another person to share deep connections with. But none of this work in practice, not least because these ideas were unilateral. So they ended up being nothing more than poor excuses and I simply wasn’t honest with myself about the glimmer. The addiction kicked in pretty early on, before I could admit to myself what was going on. Maybe we all have unresolved emotional issues that crave for a solution, and limerence will always represent a temptation for me, a high-risked escape that has little to do with reality.
Wow! all those excuses you mention, I had the same exact excuses! (only that I don’t have an So, but my LO had/have one). I lied to myself while knowing so well I was lying.
I tried to “build our friendship” and did my best to create and orchestra “moments” or situations to build emotional closeness. I lied and said to myself it was just to “have a stronger friendship” but I was totally aware I was kidding myself and it was all so stupid. It all fell apart real nicely in the end, with total shut down NC from both of us just like that with not much explanations.
Yeah, nice “friendship” we built there. I know we both knew we were not friends and never would be. We just used each other as ego boost and plus me being limerent and ocd.
Well limerence is negative because its not “real”. The LO is just an object to make you feel things, where you can poor down all your emotions. Its a vicious circle, you focus so much on that person your brain believes the person is important. You invest emotions etc because you wanna feel alive and all the longing and drama makes you feel alive. Much like self harming.
Its just an addiction. Attraction that leads to Person addiction. An other human being is your drug, your cocaine. Let that sink in for those who wants to fool themsleves that limerence is “magical”. Yeah so is cocaine and heroine ( I assume)… sigh
Well for me, I ve had relations that began with LE and relations that did not, what I learned is that I have to live with it and I will prob never marry again. Thats fine, and problably tell my next LO ( assuming it will happen again, im a limerent) Im not there yet to say that my LE is negative in fact, my mind and hormones are manipilating me saying it feels too good to be bad . I ve been in threpay but we could not find the reason, im not traumatised, not abandoned , I will just take serious notice of it and keep the damage small, i hope.
I like Dr. L’s comment on “accepting that [limerence] is a part of who I am” and how it is important to “integrate it into my life in a way that serves my bigger goals.”
For me, I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic, which means that I can easily get carried away in my daydreams and an hour is gone before I know it. I don’t even want to think about how many hours have gone down the drain thinking about my LO. I’ve been working on how to channel these thoughts and feelings lately into something productive instead of trying to fight the daydreams altogether.
I was never into writing, but lately I’ve started working on a novel using my life and my LO/LE as inspiration. This fictionalization of themes that I have been dealing with in using made up characters and a different plot helps me grapple with the hard things in life that I am dealing with, most prominently loosing my baby due to a miscarriage. I want to write a book that will help others not feel so alone and crazy who have also experienced this. A miscarriage can really shake one’s world up and be hard on relationships. For me, the LE was definitely a part of my grief process. The funny thing was is that after writing some about my LO/LE, I also found myself fictionalizing my relationship with my SO and that has definitely helped me dwell on past memories (were were limerent for each other). This has definitely put a spark back into things for me.
Has anyone else tried writing like this and did it help?
I’m sure glad that Dr. L channels his energy into this site and great blogs like this one! It’s a huge help to know that I’m not alone in this.
Oh, hell yes! Have you seen Nocturnal Creatures? God, I want that last scene…
Whoops, I meant Nocturnal Animals. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. So good!
No, but it looks like a good film. Probably would make my limerence worse as I sometimes fantasize about finishing the book and then delivering a copy to my LO! But NC is way more important!!!
Vicarious Limerent says
Honestly, I think my LE could be fodder for a screenplay or a romance novel. Of course, a fictional ending would need to be constructed. Sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction.
At the height of my LE, I felt a bit like I was constantly saying “I would prefer not to” as I had a very difficult time getting any work done at my job or joining family activities at home. I frequently stood in the dormer window, staring out at the landscape, and both happily and sadly ruminated on a fictional life with my unavailable LO. I wasn’t staring at a blank brick wall, I was looking through the magical glass that revealed the perfect life with LO if I was just willing to smash through it and reach her. I pushed against the glass a bit and noticed a crack starting, and then I realized that it would be my marriage and my family that would shatter if I did intend pursue my LO. I was imprisoned by my LE. I wanted out, but out of what? My marriage or my limerence?
Finally marriage counseling (MC) seemed to be helping end the LE; however, one simple “Just checking in” email from another woman led me to discover that maybe it wasn’t the MC or NC that was ending the LE, my limerence had transferred to a new LO, effectively ending the first LE. Very long strings of expletives were uttered at my realization that this was not over and that now I’ve got a complicated situation with more people involved. During an MC session, I disclosed to my SO about both LOs and worried about how this could impact future physical therapy if I would need it (limerence really creates a mess when it gets intertwined with health issues). SO and I are still sorting things out in our renewed commitment to each other — negotiating and renegotiating boundaries and rekindling the romance. Maybe not so weirdly, but I have thoughts of limerence and marriage as both being inspiration and prison. More subjects for writing in my journals.
I don’t need to write my own. Art imitates life and I can find enough examples all around me. When I was younger, my life seemed almost “Felliniesque.” ‘”Felliniesque” is just another word for “absurd but amusing.”‘ (https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1997-10-26-9710240229-story.html) Except for the times it wasn’t all that amusing.
Clip of the Day: Goose Dies – “Top Gun” (1986)
“Top Gun” is a metaphor for my relationship with LO #2. I’m Maverick, she’s Goose.
We had a death spiral but it took a lot longer to play out. The end was the same. You have to listen closely to hear it but pay attention to the rescue diver at the end. He says it all.
Fading Light says
Hi Lisa, yes i also feel that writing the story of my LE could help me.. well at least it would keep me busy and busy means not ruminating about LO.. but i’m not too sure how healthy that would be to keep myself busy.. writing about my LO/LE.. as my ultimate goal is to forget about him. What i do, that makes me feel better, is to write to him (but keep the word document for me) and tell him all the things i hate in him, how much he destroyed my life, and how much he does not deserve my love. Writing down negative feelings about him help me. I’ve also started applying some of DrL recommendation, that is to imagine the worst possible outcomes if LO would become my SO. So, i write down terrible things, like he may sexually harass my kids, or be an embarrassment in front of my family and friends. I actually enjoy doing that a lot as.. yes, all these things could happen. I realize that i’ve always imagined a perfect future with him, made of great conversations, deep connection, cuddles and kisses and enjoying common hobbies together, but what if… the reality was different? What if he ended up cheating on me with the sexy neighbor or make no efforts to get on with my friends and family? I found this writing exercise very helpful, as it fulfills my need to think about LO, because writing is a powerful way to work on emotions, and because, as a result, i start to understand that even if LO and I were together, life good be a nightmare as well.
Lisa for the record, i might have been through this limerent phase because of the miscarriages as well. Between the birth of my 2 kids, i miscarried 6 times and gave birth to very premature twins who died shortly after their birth. This was such a huge trauma that even today i’m not sure how i’ve made it through this terrible times; I had my daughter and she needed a mother, that’s how i’ve held on to life.. then finally i got another child, alive, and life went back to normal.. almost.. and i fell full speed into a limerent episode. Maybe i just needed to be happy, be “high”, feel alive. Who knows.. Our past experience make us what we are today. I hope this limerent episode (3 years) will turn into something positive and open the door for a better future.
PS/ if there are women reading this post and sad for not having kids after several miscarriages, dont give up on hope.. i got 2 babies alive out of 9 pregnancies, so even if odds are against you, just keep going as long as you can.
Life Long Limerent says
Sometimes a poem says it best:
Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with take warning, I am surely far different from what you
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it is so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this facade, this smooth and tolerant manner
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a heroic
Have you not thought O dreamer that it may be all maya, illusion?
– Walt Whitman
So I’m guessing I’m not the only one here who has wallowed in love poetry? Thank god! At the deepest point in my LE I had like 5 poetry books on my nightstand. Not sure if I delved into poetry for consolation or commiseration. Sometimes it helped, sometimes it hurt, but at least I always felt a little bit less alone in my craziness. I was never into poetry or literature before this. At least my LE gave me appreciation for something new.
Life Long Limerent says
I find this poem to be soothing. I do not think of my LO when I read this poem I think of myself, and isn’t that what we should be doing focusing on ourselves and not another? Do we not see a reflection of ourselves in the person we are drawn to?
so, people that have followed my story know that I secretly suspect that my LO has quiet BPD (totally undiagnosed by a professional this is based on what he has told me which puzzled me a lot and things did not make sense, and when Lee prompted me it so absolutely fits everything he’s told me). Here’s the thing: I’ve read that the worst fir a BPD person is to be abandoned by their “favorite person”, and I feel that this is as what he’s seen me (in a non-romantic way). I really feel the urge to reach out to him to just tell him that I have not abandoned him, that he’s not alone and that I am there even if I am not. But that I assume that he is well, and that I needed this distance from him for my own sanity. I actually do think he’s a good person, and that he doesn’t deserve to feel “abandoned” and struggle with everything BPD entails. At the same time I want to be an ass and not reach out and leave him alone, because of him I became a person I don’t want to be and have done things to my SO that are not ok (that SO doesn’t know about). And I feel that I owe it to SO (even though he doesn’t know) to cut all ties to LO and leave LO in this alone and that I have the right to throw LO to the wolves… I’m a bit conflicted, any advice?
As I am re reading what I wrote I wonder if this is just my brain twisting things around. There is nothing good coming from staying in contact with LO, it made me a bad person, it messed with my feeling of self-worthiness and caused me to be emotionally unstable. I feel I have every right to put me first, and my SO second. And if LO thinks I am an ass so be it. I cannot solve his problems, especially not when they impact me negatively.
Hey Sarah. It seems as though you answered your own question in the second half. Thing is, you did message your LO at Christmas and he didn’t seem interested in continuing the conversation. Personally, I think he has moved on and if you message him you will feel as though you have let yourself down. Perhaps, he has a new favourite person. I caved into my LO the other day when he sparked something emotionally inside me. It’s set me back a little, really there is nothing good that can come from messaging your LO.
Besides if your LO thinks your an ass then that’s his problem. Like you said, you have an SO and you are married. If he can’t see that you have done what you have to then clearly he is very imature. Besides, you haven’t ever ghosted him and you’ve always been nice to him. So I don’t feel the guilt feeling is necessary, it’s more than likely your limerent brain chasing a hit. Keep going and stay strong.
Yeah I think I would definitely regret it after reaching out. You’re right, maybe he already has a new favorite person (and part of me hopes for that, aka I hope he’s doing ok and has moved on) and therefore, I don’t need to reach out. And yes, I never ghosted him, I was always there whenever he needed me, even when it hurt me deeply.
Sarah I would advise against this, this will be of no benefit to you and it will ruin all the hard work you have put into recovery. This is the people pleasing aspect of us limerents which always creates doubt. After 5 months of NC I ran into my LO yesterday, I tried to open a corridor door at work and she was leaning against the door and at one moment I could see absolute fury on her face when she saw me followed instantly by a smile and saying sorry for the obstruction, I said sorry and walked away. There was a birthday cake party later at work in her honor which I also did not go to. All these things that I have done over the past 5 months are totally against my nature, I feel so bad. This is the first time in my life I have walked away from a friend, and I do not know how to cope with this. The only comfort is that I feel less bad than how I felt while I was being friends with her and pining over her 24/7. But the last 24 hours have been a mixture of continuous reverie and feeling bad. But I have no intentions of ever breaking NC which despite this little encounter is still very much ON.
Fellow lim wow this is such a great work. It’s very hard to do but you are doing so well! You are much stronger than I. My only light is that when LO moves I will not have to see him only in passing. Ride these intrusive thoughts out!
Yeah I am a people pleaser and this is against my nature too. But I definitely also feel better now than when he was around.
I know this feeling well sarah! My LO made me so special. That I am so funny, witty and amazing. If I am honest .. I miss that to. But remember this is our egos talking. We are special to our family, especially our children. That is real. Not the illusion of limerence. I holding face with limerence at the moment but when he moves I can finally move on from this.
I’ll go on to add that LO doesn’t have many friends and I probably was the closest friend he had, but I didn’t mean as much as I thought I did to him
Same, Rachel. LO has not many friends, and wonders why. He’s a people pleaser and goes beyond to be helpful etc. he says he does everything for his friends and never receives the same attention back from them and eventually they abandon him.
Song of the Day: “Hold On I’m Comin'” -Sam and Dave (1966)
First, you can’t save somebody who doesn’t want to be saved.
Second, why do you feel it’s your God-given mission to save him from himself? It seems this is more for your benefit than his. What are you trying to prove to whom? What’s in this for you?
I would agree here. The harsh reality is it does sound as though it’s for your benefit and your clinging on to this BPD in order to stay somewhat attached to LO as you was his favourite person… Try and let him go. He is not yours to save.
Yeah, and even if he figures it out and she pulls it off, it’s unlikely he’ll appreciate her for it. It takes a burning bush for that kind of epiphany. I really don’t think his eyes will pop open and he’ll say to himself, “What was I thinking?! Sarah’s been in front of he the whole time and I was to blind to see it.” Nah, that will never happen. He’ll turn his attention elsewhere and some other woman will reap the benefits. I’m offering odds, if anyone’s interested.
Now, in the odds busting event that he has that epiphany, what happens then? She kicked that snowball off the hill. Now what?
Second song of the Day: “Who Will You Run To?” – Heart (Aug 1987)
LO #2 made her great confession in June. This song came out in August. If fit in spades. From what she’d told me previously, it wasn’t if the relationship with my successor would collapse, it was when. I wondered who she’d run to. I took it as a sign that maybe I really meant something to her and she might come around but, no, that wasn’t it.
In December, I found out…it was me! I told her I wasn’t going to pat her on the head, tell her she was wonderful, and put her back together so she could do this to me again.
I told her, “I rebuilt you once. I’m not doing it a second time for another man. You crash, you burn.”
Oh how right you are. It is not my god given mission to save him, as no one other than him can do that.
And yes, you guys are spot on with questioning my motif. What’s in it for me? It is nice to feel special to someone and be a favorite person, and I guess by reaching out I want to see if I still am that special person. Completely selfish reasons, I have to admit.
Thanks, Rachel, Scharnhorst and FellowLim, it’s good to hear someone else’s opinion, I needed to hear that!
“You crash, you burn… not fixing him for someone else!” Exactly Scharnhorst. I have already given him love advice with his LO and how to get together with her (even though he managed to blow that one up), helping him and for her to live MY fantasy. That was painful and I will never hurt myself that much again.
Thanks Rachel, nothing better than getting advice and support from people who are going through the same nightmare. I agree with Sarah it is hard not being the favorite person anymore, and for the person you gave so much time, effort and energy to wrongly think of you as bad, immature and a poor friend, it hurts. But they just do not understand we are only trying to save ourselves from oblivion, I know this because at the height of my limerence I came very close to the precipice.
I remember seeing a comment on here, I think it was from Vincent. He said something on the lines of..
“At first I thought I was loosing everything but in reality all I was loosing was a huge attack on my mind”.
It is hard to walk away from someone who has done nothing wrong, whom we like and care for but like you said you were close to end, as was I. I guess recovering is a long old process which comes on waves. This is just one of them waves in which you will ride out and it will pass.
And this is exactly why this site is so valuable. I just needed to hear another rational opinion than my own little biased voice in my head. And there’s no one to talk to as no one knows.
You have to keep going Sarah. LO told me on recently that he still thinks about me constantly. Just dropped it into conversation. My head is a pickle again. But I’ve gotta push past this, cuz it doesn’t really matter what he feels or thinks.
This site is the best! I to can understand how we get lost in our minds not being able to talk about it freely makes it so much worse in your mind.
Can you imagine if you messaged and he either didn’t reply or was into somebody else .. you would feel awful. Or he misses you and you end up like me… Being set back further. Out of site out of mind. Keep doing self care and give yourself a big treat for not messaging him.
Ah your LO is an idiot… totally manipulating you 🙁 when is he moving?
Yeah any scenario would be bad. LO moved on – pointless to contact.
LO has not moved on but is mad at me – pointless to contact.
LO has not moved on and misses me – back to limerence hell – pointless to contact.
Hopefully soon. 2 months or so.. I’m as LC as I can go at the moment.
Hey Rachel, LO just texted me to congratulate me on my professional achievement (it was communicated officially today). He didn’t greet me with my nickname in the text (it was not a lovey-dovey nickname, but something unique that only he called me), he just used my normal name. Quick small talk (that I ended). Ah Katie Perry’s song really holds true. We went from strangers to lovers to strangers. It’s ok though, I am ok. I’m glad he reached out, as that’s what colleagues would do, but it is another sign that anything that was ever there is gone and in the past now. Quite neutral, we can be civil, no grudges, just colleagues. It is what it is… and that’s ok. And that relieves me from any “obligation to save him”. I am not special to him, we have moved on.
I am somewhat pleased that he reached out as long as it doesn’t give you any sort of high. You do sound very grounded by it all.
I agree at least you know now he doesn’t need saving he is fine. Hopefully soon you will be totally free from him and he will be a memory.
Yeah it’s kinda funny, my little outburst of “i must reach out to save him” thought the other day… sneaky little limerent brain trying to get a hit.
Seems like an alcohol addiction though, you are sober but never completely over it, and the craving resurfaces every once in a while out of nowhere. Crazy.
Maybe you are on a “mission from god” and what you’re doing is a “holy thing.”
Clip of the Day: “The Blues Brothers” – 1980
But, probably not.
For that I’d have to believe in god 😉
Last song today, I promise!
“I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor (1978)
For those of us old enough to remember, there were a few good things about Disco
Anonymous Limerent says
How is it that I can spend a whole day with my friends, not seeing LO once, and being happy, and then one lesson at the end of the day with her can make me want to kill myself again? This is fucked up.
It’s just because she talked. She didn’t do anything particularly special. She just talked. And now I’m on the verge of breaking down (not crying though as I haven’t been able to cry since this LE started over 1.5 years ago).
And she has made ut very clear that she does bot even know I like her. Not the faintest clue from hundreds of locked eyes and awkwardness on my part. She doesn’t know anything about it while I’m here, depressed, over something that she hasn’t even picked up on. I don’t know how I can do this anymore.
Vicarious Limerent says
I feel for you, but I also find it hard to relate. I am completely NC with my LO and have been for quite some time. I could see how running into her might set me off, but I can’t imagine how it would be worse than no contact at all. I know NC (wherever possible) is the prevailing philosophy/ideology on this site and among this community, but for me it just makes me think about her more. I could have still been her Facebook friend, but I screwed that up. I kick myself daily for that! The pining away (yes, I know I said that was gone, but that only lasted a day), and constantly wondering what she’s up to is killing me, especially when I know I could have still had at least some contact. Absence does make the heart grow fonder for me anyway!
I get premonitions that I will run into her sometimes, but it never happens. I still don’t know what I would say if I saw her. One day, I probably will break down and show up at the pub where I met her, but I don’t want to go alone and sad with the express intention of seeing her and only her. I would at least like it to appear to be a chance encounter and a “Fancy meeting you here!” when I’m there with other friends. Funnily enough, when we were messaging back and forth a few weeks ago as I was unfriending her, she mentioned something about “if our paths ever cross again.” For some reason, I don’t remember the rest of that part of the thread, but I know it wasn’t anything negative. I wish I could remember the rest, but I deleted the entire conversation off of Messenger (yet another regret).
I know I don’t really know this woman, and that I am married and need to focus on my wife and improving my marriage. I also know this is all a chemical reaction in my brain and is entirely illogical, but it still feels pretty real to me — at least most of the time anyway. I know there was some good to come out of this, but the negative aspects far outweigh any benefits.
VicLim, I tried everything but NC and I was convinced that NC is not what I wanted or needed; it wasn’t an option for me. It took a couple of months for me to realize that NC is an option and eventually became my only option. With everything else, I wasn’t improving, I went further down the negative spiral, NC was eventually my way out. And I finally saw improvement.
Vicarious Limerent says
Thanks Sarah. Perhaps NC will eventually feel like the best course of action, but it sure feels like crap now – especially since I could have had a nice Facebook friend who would have been none the wiser and would have just assumed everything was perfectly innocent. I screwed that up and even overreacted to my wife’s jealousy (she claims she wasn’t jealous and was just teasing me at the time). Now my wife knows, my LO partially knows and I feel awful.
Before I disclosed everything, we would pass the back of my LO’s house on the main road and my wife would say, “There’s your girlfriend’s house.” When I protested and reminded her the lady liked my brother in-law, not me, my wife reminded me that I “wouldn’t mind” either. My wife also knew I was acting strangely for weeks. She knew something was up, so I had to tell her. I had friended my LO on New Year’s Eve when I was drunk and feeling sorry for myself (and everyone else had went to bed). I was thrilled she accepted my friend request so quickly and easily, but I began to think I made a mistake the next day. Friending her was a mistake, but unfriending her was an even bigger one; the biggest mistake of all was telling her why. Now I don’t think she is even in contact with my brother in-law.
Hi VL it’s easier said than done but you have start managing your thoughts. You have to keep telling yourself that this is an illusion and one which will cause more damage if your not careful. It seems like your doing it for nothing at the start but eventually your subconscious will get it.
Also work on the deep stuff DR L talks about and start making purposful changes to your life.
Sarah, reaching out won’t help you but I know how you feel. I am dying to reach out but so far have crushed the urge by coming here. I am also a people pleaser, my goal this year is to stop trying to save everyone or feeling responsible for other people’s feelings and happiness.
Vicarious Limerent, I agree, NC sux, I hate it. I feel like I am constantly walking on edge wondering if I will bump into LO unexpectedly, I don’t like surprises. I prefer to know if I am going to see him, that way I can control my reaction.
I am back to not sleeping well, waking up at 3am or 4 am and then fretting (it’s not even ruminations anymore) till 6:30am if I will see him today or not. I am now even happy if I see his children because I know he must be nearby, that’s sadder that being happy to see him.
It’s been 8 weeks since I last spoke to him, his last words to me were (jokingly) “I am not eating your cookies I don’t trust you, you might poison me (referring to some food I had made for school), you must be so sick of me by now”. This was after he initiated NC with his disappearing act for 4 weeks and he reappeared as if nothing was wrong.
I swear I am this > < close to strangling the man, it's taking a monumental effort to pretend nothing's wrong. I am concerned if I do bump into him and he passes some sort of jokey sarcastic comment that I'd lose my shit. I really don't want to lose my shit, I am petrified of never seeing him again, I 100% prefer seeing him in dribs and drabs with the knowledge that he doesn't hate me than lose my shit, he looks at me like I am mental AND I never see him again. So treading a fine line over here 🙁
“I am not eating your cookies I don’t trust you, you might poison me (referring to some food I had made for school), you must be so sick of me by now”.”
How did you respond to that?
Song of the Day: “Here You Come Again” – Dolly Parton (1977)
This is one of those songs that when you hear it, you look at the sky, shake your head, and say “F–k y–, just F–k you.”
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Lee-Anne: There is NC and there’s NC. Still seeing someone in the local neighbourhood doesn’t entirely feel like no contact to me. In my case, I haven’t seen hide nor hair of my LO since the night I met her (other than pictures and very brief contact through Facebook). I understand and empathize with your situation. It must be really difficult when you could bump into him, yet you aren’t supposed to talk. But this whole feeling that the person might as well live on the other side of the world is an entirely different level of no contact. In my case, that probably should highlight the fact she is basically a stranger to me, but that just makes me think about her that much more.
“”I am not eating your cookies I don’t trust you, you might poison me (referring to some food I had made for school), you must be so sick of me by now”.”
I immediately responded with “Well in that case I better warn you not to eat the chocolate chip ones”, to which he chuckled.
That Dolly Parton song is spot on!!
The song that jumped in my head this morning was
I Know There’s Something Going On – by Anni-Frid Lyngstad 1982
I love ABBA and chocolate chip cookies! I know she went solo but I don’t remember that song.
However, having said that, when no contact your mind can slip into a rose tinted version of your LO. You need to fixate on the negatives. Or make some up. Everything on this site Dr L recommends does work, it’s just doing it which is hard as it’s going against your desires.
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Rachel, I do realize how illogical this all is. I also repeat mantras to myself and listen to songs that make me think of my wife. I am aware of some of my LO’s flaws, and I do remind myself of them, but they just make her seem more attainable. I am also trying really hard to fix my marriage and life, but the prospect of only incrementally improving my existing life seems so bleak and unappealing. I don’t actually believe my wife will let me make the radical changes I need to feel whole (she fights me on most of them). I know I have basically zero chance of ever being with my LO, who is little more than a mirage constructed in my mind, but I sometimes feel like I should be with someone a little more like her. I feel very sad and conflicted, but I wish I had the fortitude to do what is necessary (either by moving on or insisting on the kind of life I want).
VL, I can relate. I’m also completely NC with my LO and there is little hope of ever running into him again. But I find myself still clinging onto that hope 1.5 years later. Whenever I am at place where there are lots of people or doing something in the area where he lives which is like a half an hour away, I find myself searching for his face. When I see someone in the distance who I think might be him, my heart still skips a beat and my cheeks get flushed. It’s so bad that a few times people who are with me have asked me if I’m feeling ok. How awkward of your wife to make that joke about your “girlfriend’s house”! I hope you can make it clear to her that it’s not funny and that you really want to work on your relationship.
Anyways, like you, I have no idea what would happen if we ran into each other again. Because of this, I keep playing over scenarios in my head and thinking of what I would do and what I would say to him. I’ve written down probably 50 versions, but that didn’t help. In reality, probably we would just both look surprised and then maybe smile shyly and go our own ways, but I hope a short conversation in which we would both tell each other something to get the message across: “I still can’t get you out of my head.”
We are both happily married with kids and an affair would have been disastrous, but I still wish I could have had him just a tiny bit in my life. Even just as an acquaintance or strangely as a couples friend. He told me a few things about his wife and it made me really want to get to know her because we’ve both had a lot of the same life experiences and I know that he and my SO would get along really well. He had so many similarities to my SO and I got the feeling that I was a lot like his. Fortunately we were wise enough to know that we couldn’t have any contact because we were so physically attracted to each other.
One thing that helps is to keep myself as busy as possible and really work on myself and my marriage. To do the hard psychological work and dig deep. What does my attraction say about what I value? What does it say about what I need? I’ve discovered a lot about myself through this journey.
It doesn’t help me at all to try to find flaws with my LO, everyone has them and he was really a decent guy that many people would respect. Rather, I try to learn from what I admired about him and be more like that myself. For example, my LO was someone who loved to give gifts, and so now I put thought and energy into that. He was a good listener, empathetic, and was not shy on compliments, so now I am working on being more like that with my friends. I was amused when he talked about the fun things he did with his kids that my dad also did with me when I was little, so now I work harder at home to free up my SO so that he has the time to do those things with my kids, simple things like playing card games.
I also try to be more to be honest about what my needs are. Because I’m a people pleaser, I’m not always in tune to them and I definitely don’t communicate them well until it’s often too late. I realized from the LE that my needs in terms of physical intimacy in my marriage were not getting met completely. In the past I had difficulty talking about sex because I grew up in a culture in which sex was not talked about, except that you should abstain before marriage. After several discussions about our sex life and also really putting effort into it from my side (planning trips away, new sexy lingerie, candles, trying out new things etc.) and being vulnerable to say what I want and like, it’s gotten so much better. My SO said recently out of the blue that the last year has been the best one for our physical side of the relationship, which in turn has been good for the emotional side as well.
Although the LE seems to be gradually slightly fading, I still check his profile picture like 5x a day. I don’t know why I do this, it’s kinda like an OCD thing, and I don’t often feel anything when I do it. It’s strange how the brain works. But now I’ve made a pact with myself that I can only look at his photo after I’ve worked out (yep, focusing on myself). I’m trying to replace a harmful addiction with a beneficial one so that maybe an ounce more good can come out of this terribly frustrating overwhelming LE even though I know the pros will never weigh out the cons.
Aw Lisa I used to do this with checking the profile. It sounds like your still clinging on. If you want him out of your head you just stop checking his profile. I used to check and check and check for no reason. Like you said OCD. But if you really want out, take it from me, really try and stop checking his profile. Mark the days off on the calender and reward yourself. It’s keeping you hooked.
I also check his profile, or more specifically any photos I can find. I was really good recently, I hadn’t checked his photos for two weeks when out of the blue he photo bombed two pics a mutual friend posted. I’ve gone back to checking his photos daily which I can find on mutual friends pages. Sigh……..
Just a thought but be careful about checking the photos/info of an LO after a workout. It could act as a ‘reward’ and could end up creating an association with exercise which could be toxic. I would maybe allow yourself once a day at a time of day you hate, then every other day until you stop although, sort of wean yourself off. Looking at photos might undermine any progress which has lessened your addiction and strengthens the neuro connectors which promote limerent reward?
Thanks y’all. Any tips on how to stop this stupid habit would be really appreciated! I’ve tried the whole calendar and rewarding myself thing 2-3 times already, but that lasted at most a month after which I suddenly relapsed back into it again. My thoughts about only checking his profile after exercising was that it would be more of a motivator than a reward. The true reward of exercising is how I feel afterwards, which is usually way more self confident and at peace with life. I’ve used exercise in the past as a way to help get and stay out of depression. I thought that checking his profile at that time would somehow slowly wean me off of it because I would only look at it when I was feeling good (and didn’t need a boost) as opposed to random times of the day when I needed a kick. Or is this crazy?
Vicarious Limerent says
Thanks Lisa. Tell me about it. I think I see her face in every crowd. Every woman I see with long, straight blonde hair looks like her at first, but it never is her. I find myself going to public places in the town where she lives (the town next to mine) just to slightly increase the likelihood of bumping into her. There are four gyms I can go to in my local area, but I have been going much more frequently to the one at the mall in the next town (I don’t think she is a member of that gym, but because it’s at the mall I imagine bumping into her). The funny thing is the one place I know where I am likely to bump into her (the pub where I met her) I am terrified to visit because it would be too obvious. I don’t have great eyesight for distances, so I am worried I wouldn’t recognize her if I do see her (I only wear glasses for driving). Obviously, I know where she lives (not the exact house, but the complex where she lives), but I wouldn’t be caught dead there. She only lives maybe a 10 minute drive from my house, but it might as well be on the other side of the world (although I do have reason to drive by behind her house and I do have some business in her general vicinity).
It seems that she and my brother in-law are NC now. I worry that I discouraged her from pursuing him in my messages to her early last month (she may even blame me or think I want him to myself so we can party together when he is in town – nothing could be further from the truth). I wanted to save her dignity because she was contacting him every week asking him to come to town and see her (and he was making excuses why he couldn’t come), so I told her not to come on too strong and that maybe they might need to be friends first. I didn’t want to stop her from contacting him outright, but she may have read between the lines. The thing is, he says outright that he isn’t interested in her at all. So, why did he lead her on? Why was he kissing her in the taxi ride home? I feel sorry for this poor woman. She deserves better than this (and better than him, frankly, since he is a shallow, immature little boy). But who knows – she may even have a boyfriend by now. In any case, this may all be water under the bridge for her at this point.
I can totally relate to your wish to have you and your spouse be friends with your LO and his spouse. For the longest time, I just wanted my LO to be part of my life in some capacity – ANY capacity. I knew she was off limits to me, but I imagined her hanging out with my wife and me. I thought about her coming to our house for dinner and maybe hanging out with her at the pub even when my brother in-law wasn’t in town. I even thought about the possibility of her joining my family some day. I know for sure it wouldn’t be awkward and I would be a total gentleman if she was dating him and I was ever in her presence. I explained some of this to my wife before I fully disclosed, and she said to me, “You just want to party with her, don’t you?”, to which I basically agreed.
The more it looked like my brother in-law wouldn’t go for it, the more the vicarious nature of my attraction turned into a deep longing and a personal limerence for this lady. This was totally the opposite from what you would imagine. Rather than being jealous of my brother in-law, I really wanted him to be with her. However, I was envious rather than jealous. I can’t get the idea out of my head that he had a chance with this amazing lady (one I would give my right arm to be with if I were in his shoes), yet he just doesn’t see her value. Life is so perverse, isn’t it? We all seem to want what we can’t have! She wants him and he isn’t interested, and I do want her, but I am unavailable.
I once had a serious crush on one of my classmates in university (it was probably limerence). When I found out she was living with a guy back in her hometown and practically married to him, I was really sad (by this time she knew my feelings). One thing she said to me really stuck with me, and I have been thinking about it a lot lately: “Don’t be sad. We’re friends, and there’s still a lot to be said for friendship.” I do think people can be friends even if there is an attraction there and one or more parties is unavailable. I just wish I could be my LO’s friend.
Firstly, mindfulness helped a tonne. Notice that you have a craving to check his profile and then let it go. Becuase that’s what it is essentially a craving…. Another hit of dopamine even if you don’t realise. Even if you don’t get the hit your still very much keeping him in your mind…
However the only thing which has worked for me was coming off social medial all together for a couple of months. It breaks the habit. I am now back on and I have checked his profile once in that time but it hurt like a bitch, to see the happy posts and also no message to see why I had deleted my account. It ready set me back the last time I looked and I’ve realised nothing but pain comes form checking. Besides it was keeping me more attached to LO.
Anonymous Limerent says
Thanks for all the advice, guys! It’s been a great help! I now know exactly what to do in this situation to make living my life actually tolerable again! And it’s all thanks to your generous comments telling me how to bear any of this! Thanks again, guys!
If I ever need anything again, I’ll go elsewhere.
@VicLim: that’s exactly what I did initially, become friends with LO, introduce him to SO and integrate him in my group of friends. I wanted him to be a part of it. SO didn’t like him (some people say he sensed competition) But SO was not interested and annoyed by anything I said, did and whom I met, it was a pattern. So I started seeing him alone. Didn’t lie to SO but SO was so disinterested he didn’t care what I did. So we’ve hit one tipping point after the other (still one of the best articles by DrL) until… well now. Back to strangers, moving on with life.
My Limerent Brain Is An Idiot says
I appreciate your sarcasm but your case is a difficult one.
You can’t/won’t go to counseling.
You won’t seek help from your teachers at school.
You can’t go to your parents.
You won’t/can’t initiate any contact with LO.
You can’t go to friends.
Do you have a Pastor or priest you can talk to?
I worry for you because it doesn’t seem that you can do it solo.
Anonymous Limerent says
You are right and I have considered that this is why nobody is helping me. But I really have nobody to go to. And I am not Christian.
I know I’m basically stuck but I’m just annoyed because it just gets worse every day. I don’t honestly think I can cope much longer but really, what can I do? It’s not my fault this is still going, I’ve done everything I can. I just feel like I need someone to help, but I can’t have anyone, so that’s sort of out. And my friends help to some extent but as soon as I’m on my own n the same room as LO, it only takes a few minutes of her talking to completely debilitate me.
I just really don’t know what to do here. I appreciate that not many people can really relate, so they can’t give advice. I just feel really tormented right now.
This sounds so hard for you. You really do have my empathy. Have you thought about seeing a GP? I know you said that there is nobody to talk to but there is always somebody. Is there a helpline? I want to help you, I really do but Im not sure how we can? My advice would be to do as everyone says on here… Concrete on yourself, join clubs, exercise, devalue your LO?
Talking online helps but having a conversation either on the phone or face to face with somebody who your trust could really help you.
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Anonymous Limerent: In some ways, I can relate because I did have limerent feelings in high school and university. I also had little self-confidence (try being bald at 21). The only thing I can tell you is it does eventually go away. 30 years later, I still wonder what those ladies are up to in their lives and I try to find them on social media. I also smile when I think of them and remember them fondly, but I no longer feel limerent towards them and haven’t for many years. Time does heal all wounds!
I know there is a tendency to write off crushes among young people as “puppy love,” but I remember how real those feelings were. In my case, I am still not immune even being married and in my late 40s. Part of the problem with us being unable to provide any real advice is we are all sufferers. I suspect many of us wouldn’t be on here if we had this resolved. All the best of luck to you!
This is the limiting belief you need to work on Anon Lim. You are negative to the point of hostility about the idea that you seek support from teachers or GP or other potential responsible adults, and you are stuck in the same cycle of behaviour, which leads to the same outcome. You are going to have to try doing something differently if you want to have a different outcome.
I do get the fact that you don’t trust the authority figures in your life. But at some point you are going to have to take a chance or find someone new (coach, uncle, older cousin, counsellor?) who seems more trustworthy.
You’ve done the experiment of trying to tough it out, and it isn’t working. Now what?
My Limerent Brain Is An Idiot says
Please don’t be so quick to dismiss the pastoral suggestion. For instance, my church has a full-time Youth Pastor. Those in that role are trained in general counseling basics, and can provide you with some listening ear and wise advice, especially if you inform them that you’re a non-believer upfront. They’re free, and confidential.
If they try jamming a religious solution on you just walk out and never go back.
Or listen to them. I believe God helped me overcome limerence via the two-thousand-year-old, tested and true, method:
Desperate times called for desperate measures.
It helped me, although YMMV.
Of course, you’re having a virtual conversation with a self proclaimed idiot, so there’s that to consider…
Anon Lim, torment is my middle name. Please don’t feel that nobody cares here, it’s just that sometimes there’s so many people and comments that it gets a bit confusing who to reply to and where. It doesn’t mean we dismiss what you wrote.
The part I can relate to in your situation is not being able to verbalise what I am going through with a friend, sibling etc. I am afraid I’ll be laughed at, embarrassed because I am a grown woman, married with children but Limerent for someone who’s not available, ashamed because logically I should not be feeling what I am feeling as I have a SO
I think what you lack is confidence, I’d gladly swap some of my confidence for your freedom to be able to express your thoughts. If you express your feelings to your LO even via a written note the worst that can happen (yes it will be devastating) is a rejection, but at least you will know and never wonder “I should’ve/ could’ve expressed my feelings.””
If I did that I’d hurt and destroy my SOs trust, probably get rejected by LO, ostracised and humiliated by my friendship group, have his SO chase me down with a pitch fork and wild look in her eyes.
So my advice to you would be is try and find someone you trust to talk to and take a chance on life. She’s not going to fall into your lap, you’ll have to work for it. Tomorrow is Valentines Day, great excuse to express how you feel, even if it’s just a lovely poem or card.
Anonymous Limerent says
Yeah, I didn’t ‘express my feelings today. It was the last day of half-term though, so I shouldn’t see any LO for a week.
On the bright side, today wasn’t too bad. Not much of a big deal around Valentine’s but I did hear my LO mention yo a friend that she was alone on Valentine’s day. So that was great(!)
Anyway, I’ll try to put her out of my mind this week.
I am by no means a Taylor swift fan but I’ve just come across this song.. the words are really uplifting about LO’s being forgotten…
Good one! Limerence freedom!
Fading Light says
Hi all! Tomorrow is Valentines, what a terrible day. How many of you are craving to contact their LOs (knowing this would be very very wrong), how many of you will need to put lots of energy to NOT get in touch with them.
Are you expecting to be very sad to spend that “lovers” days away from your LO (even though you know your LO is certainly not having thoughts for you). Are you able to honestly and genuinely, with all your heart, focus on your SO on that Valentines day, without having a little voice in your head saying “i wish this was now LO, not SO”? How do you cope with all that.. i’m scared of tomorrow. Stupid Valentines day.
LO #2: Exchanged token gifts and go to a nice place that we wouldn’t normally go for dinner. But, Valentine’s Day hasn’t been an issue since. Then, again, LO #2 is an Ex.
LOs #1, #3, & #4: Valentine’s Day was outside the scope of our acquaintances and I never thought about them in that context. I doubt they did either. None of them were Exes.
SO: Pretty much the same as LO #2. As long as we’ve been married, now, it’s more like when we go through the drive-thru at McDonald’s, it’s “Can you Super-Size it for the little woman? It’s Valentine’s Day (Jeff Foxworthy)!”
SO and I have never been overly keen on Valentine’s Day “If you’re in the right relationship, every day is Valentine’s Day, just without the commercial crap”
Temptation to contact LO is of course through the roof. The only ways I can do that now are by phoning or going into our former workplace, and I’ve heard from a reliable source that LO is off this week (sending my mind buzzing with 100001 irrelevant questions that I won’t ever get to ask).
So tomorrow is just another Friday.
Vicarious Limerent says
My only worry is I won’t be able to give my SO the attention she deserves tomorrow. That and the fact I am attending a counselling session for my limerence (and other issues, including possible depression) mean I am worried I won’t be able to give her the attention she needs and craves. There is no extra temptation to contact my LO on that day, although I am starting to have a sneaky suspicion she is in a relationship by now and might be enjoying it with someone.
Fortunately, at this point in my NC it is not a problem. My SO and I usually mock all the forced romantic activity & $$$ spent to impress. And i don’t have any desire to contact former LO. So it’ll be just another Friday.
“There is no extra temptation to contact my LO on that day, although I am starting to have a sneaky suspicion she is in a relationship by now and might be enjoying it with someone.”
Hold that thought and you pretty much guarantee you won’t be able to give your SO the attention she deserves.
Oh, and take the day off from this place. Coming here won’t help either.
Vicarious Limerent says
Yep. I need to find a way to take my LO off my mind. As much as I appreciate the thoughts and support on this site, understanding I’m not alone and reading about people’s experiences and perspectives, I am starting to think coming on here isn’t helping me. Checking to see if anyone has posted anything of interest or commented on my posts is beginning to become an obsession in itself. The more I post, the more likely it is I will be found out by my LO, SO or someone else who is familiar with my situation.
Have you read https://livingwithlimerence.com/2019/05/18/freedom-from-limerence/?
Vicarious Limerent says
Thanks Scharnhorst. I had read that post when I first discovered this site, but I had forgotten most of the details. It is very appropriate. I think from now on, I will only check this site every couple of days or so, with the goal of reducing it even further in the future. As much as I say I want to recover, I am addicted to the thoughts of my LO (and even the painful aspects). I need to dramatically reduce her importance in my life and stop thinking about her so much. One of the things I found really interesting about that post was the part where it mentions that many of our motivations as limerents can be focused on trying to impress our LOs. I find that I have conversations and plan things I believe might impress my LO, even though I know she isn’t and won’t be there to witness any of it. The truth is I really don’t even know what would impress her other than possibly losing weight and transforming my body. That is because I hardly know this woman.
Before my LO walked into my life, my marriage and family life were on the rocks (they still are, but we’re working on it). That was causing me deep sorrow and pain, but my biggest obsessions were my job and career (and education, which I saw as a way out). Just as I finished up my third degree (I had one week left to hand in my final assignment), I met my LO. I was already at the point where I realized this new degree still didn’t qualify me for anything. I have been stuck in a job and industry that don’t interest me for the past 13 years now, and I had painted myself into a corner where I am so specialized that I don’t qualify for anything else (there are maybe three people in the country who do the exact job I do). I can’t even get a job back in my original profession because I have been out of it for too long. To top it off, there are so many organizational changes at work (all of them negative) that things are becoming bleaker with each passing day. I was getting sick and tired of ruminating about my job, career and education and trying to plan an exit strategy. My wife was getting fed up with me talking about it, and I was getting sick of looking at job postings and planning on taking additional qualifications. My LE was an escape from all of this (and more), and a way for my mind to stop focusing on my earlier obsessions (which were driving me nuts).
The thing is, the problems still haven’t gone away, and focusing on this woman has distracted me from solving the very real problems in my life (which also include lack of any meaningful social life, financial difficulties, feeling trapped and trying to be the “glue” that holds everyone in my life together – all of whom seem to hate one another). I also have a brother with serious health problems and constant suicidal thoughts and a father who is not doing too well either. As much as I am not sure how to solve some of these very real issues and problems, I can’t ignore them and need to come up with some actual solutions.
Before I solve my other problems, though, I need this woman out of my head. Telling myself I can pursue her if (and only if) my marriage is truly over has been one thing that has kept me sane, but I need to put even that thought to the back of my mind and focus on getting her out of my head first, and secondly trying to make serious attempts to improve my marriage and life. However, I do realize I have other options, and I am not willing to spend years on this. I will pull the plug if I can’t get to a happier place and my wife is unwilling to work with me to do what needs to be done. But I still love her and need to give her a chance first.
That’s a great post Scharnhorst, and so true!
If impressing LO’s was an Olympic sport I’d win a gold medal 😂
I am blessed with golden hands, there isn’t much my hands can’t do, I sculpt, draw/paint, can make anything food related, sew, can pick up a tool and make things etc The only side of my brain that is used excessively is my artistic side, I am highly creative, don’t have much intelligence in the maths or science departments though.
I’ve noticed that I use my creative side for devious means in my Limerence. Over the last two years LO has gotten to know me and my talents quite well as we share many hobbies and interests , and boy did I wallow in his very vocal compliments. Nothing gave me more of a high than hearing him admire my work, it made me want to excel even more and show off more. I knew he always saw what I created if not directly through my social media, then surely via our mutual friends. In the end his family and friends started asking for my creations and the pinnacle of my Limerence high was when he asked for one of my creations. It was almost like a mind orgasm, “boom”!
I became the proverbial dog and pony show at our meet ups, never directly because I never bragged about what I had made, but I was quite crafty how I used our mutual friends as vehicles to show him how wonderful I was. His SO once commented that all she heard was my name in her household and another time she actually said she wished she was me with my talents.
What I can now see in hindsight is that I was passive/aggressively competing against his SO for LO’s affections, forcing him to compare wonderful me with dull SO, not one of my proudest realisations. Eventually his SO got super fed up and we had a big fallout, it was a big catalyst and tipping point for me in my Limerence and has kept me in captive orbit around my LO ever since. His SO and I reconciled (I am not only obsessive/ compulsive but also tenacious and patient) after 12 months, I stopped being an overt show off and she became more tolerant of me. Currently we are cautiously friendly, I still think she roasted LO’s nuts late last year after he and I became a little too chummy.
It’s amazing the extent we’ll go to. One of my biggest hurdles that goes back to adolescence was getting past the cognitive dissonance. Thinking you know what’s best for someone and/or trying to fix/rescue can be really arrogant and narcissistic. Since I don’t like to think I’m either of those, I had to come up with a way I could tinker with someone and reconcile those things. You’re not tinkering with them, you’re helping them. I also knew that if I succeeded in actually modifying their behavior, either I’d no longer be attracted to them or they’d no longer be attracted to me. The therapist said that was actually a little scary.
So, how did you reconcile the cognitive dissonance? Or, didn’t you have to?
“What I can now see in hindsight is that I was passive/aggressively competing against his SO for LO’s affections, forcing him to compare wonderful me with dull SO, not one of my proudest realisations”
I did this to and sometimes I did consciously to my shame! It’s not an attractive thing to do and goes against my personality, but I was desperate for him to see how I was the better choice. Messed up hey …
Scharnhorst – “”So, how did you reconcile the cognitive dissonance? Or, didn’t you have to?””
With great difficulty, because I first had to recognise what I was doing before fixing it. In our fallout his SO actually said to me “why are you always so nice to everyone” and “stop giving me things”. In hindsight it was actually his SO that perpetuated the initial behaviour by continuously rejecting me. The more I gave her the more she pushed it away, similar to a cat that brings a mouse to its owner only to be bewildered that the owner screams and throws the dead mouse away. It drove me nuts, she was very good at making me feel unworthy, still is (and I was happy to retaliate and punish her for it) , I still catch myself seeking her approval. LO on the other hand was singing my praises, it was the only valid way he could compliment me without over stepping the marital boundaries.
One day (recently) I caught my reflection in the window on my way to our group catch up and I didn’t recognise myself. Here was this fit, slim, immaculately groomed (dressed to the nines) woman going to a catch up while everyone else was slovenly dressed. My nails were done, my hair blow waved, I looked great but felt like shit because I realised I was dressing for him not me. That started my obsessive mind going over what else I was bloody doing for him not me.
To change my behaviour I kept it simple, I didn’t do my nails for a couple of Friday catch ups, then followed on with less make up (now I barely wear any). I started alternating “dressing up” with wearing regular sports gear. Yesterday I deliberately changed back into shorts (it was super hot) when I full well know LO prefers skirts, moot point because he wasn’t there, but I still felt good because my primary message to his SO is “I’ve stopped competing for your husband’s attention” . It’s probably why she felt relaxed in my company. It’s hard work though, each time I do something I consciously ask myself “Am I doing this for him or me?”, I am happy to report I do 80% for me and 20% for him, so getting there.
Rachel, yes very messed up but I get why we do it, can completely relate.
Oh and here’s another gold nugget of information to all the Limerents out there.
I’ve realised that part of my LE and conflict is this, I desperately want my LO’s SO to lose her shit and confront me, finally verbalising what’s been hovering between her husband and I for two years. While the other part of me is happy for her to ignore it and pretend nothing is going on, that way I happily continue with what I am doing claiming to be oblivious.
In the meantime her and I continue with our game of chess, I think it’s her turn to make a move.
I’m also not sure that i’m not more addicted by coming to this site to see all the people who are also limerent rather than by my LO…. I sent an anti valentines this week blowing up my friendship with LO by responding to his ‘I miss you’ message after four weeks of very LC with ‘I’m glad i’m busy, I think we over-connected and it was messing with my mental health’. To which he responded that he was glad one of us had some sensibility and that he was sorry to have suffocated our friendship…. I did ask some advice from my sister and a friend but they both thought I should just enjoy the friendship, which would never have gone anywhere as we’re both loyal to our SOs. I guess they just didn’t get the obsession part and I didn’t want to push that and look too crazy.
‘inappropriate crush’ was what I googled before finding this site last year. I was initially relieved and pleased by having this LE as I transferred to it from a repetitive Limerence daydream for someone else I hadn’t seen in ten years. Actually I realise now it’s probably better for me to have the distance than someone too close to home… better still would be to live more purposefully and not waste hours on this… but that part is easier said than done. I get a dopamine hit just through rumination.
I have to agree with a few others on here who have said this website and comments feed in itself is strangely addictive. I guess if you are addiction prone and …well i guess desperate for some sort of peace in the total stress of limerence, coming to this blog just to see there are others with the exact same thoughts and feelings is so comforting. Realising that you’re not alone and in some way ‘freakish’ is a small consolation. Valentine’s day is a hard day for those who have LOs and unrequited crushes/obsessions, lets all not be too hard on ourselves and if we do nothing else tomorrow, do one thing for ourselves that we know will make us happy, even if its a cup of tea and a few pages of a book for 10 mins, be kind to yourselves people.
Good news/Bad news.
Good news: I had a severe dilemma in my head a few years ago about sending LO secret admirer stuff on Valentines Day.I had to lean on the help of fellow limerents to NOT do any of the cockamamie things I had planned, and it worked!
Bad news: The overall commercial nature of this “holiday” had me going bat shit. Why was I so obsessed with the idea of trying to impress LO?, Why couldn’t I have these feelings for SO?
I suppose that since childhood I had seen my peers enjoying V Day in ways that were out of my reach and it didn’t help my self esteem (which was already in the negative territory).
Fast Forward to now, I have little if any urge to send anything to LO. SO and I are both cynical about the commercial nature of V Day . We will likely spend it just as another Friday night.
Time, NC, full disclosure to both LO and SO have helped me to get to this point. We are all a bit different in that coming to this forum frequently has different effects on us so if you need to limit your exposure here or not ; do whatever is best for YOU. This is truly a journey of self discovery for which there are no easy or instant answers.
My Limerent Brain Is An Idiot says
I like this site. It’s kind of a safe space for me, and you all here are the only ones who know about my limerence.
And I think we all help each other.
And Dr. L’s content is great.
If I thought the site was prolonging my limerent addiction, or causing me new issues, I’d bail immediately.
But I’m here because I enjoy it and it’s fun to follow everyone’s progress.
Vicarious Limerent says
I agree, and I am not criticizing the site or its content. Finding a community of people who are going through this has been a Godsend. I just find for me personally that I have become a little too obsessed with checking this site for new posts and comments, and I think I have been guilty of oversharing to the point that there are 4-5 people I know who would DEFINITELY recognize me if they read a couple of my comments on here. I need to cut back on my visits to this site – which I will start doing as of tomorrow. Being reminded so much about limerence in general may actually be fuelling my own LE.
VL I too had this belief that it was holding me back from freedom. In doing so I came off here for a months or so and ended up in a huge relapse. This site keeps me focus and allowed me not to fall further into my story line. Having said that tho.. it is very addictive, I guess once the limerence fades and other things occupy your mind you will naturally come on less and less. I have a very addicted and obsessive nature. Anything that interests me takes over my life. That’s why it’s important to find something to fill the LO void. It won’t give you the high you crave but eventually it will fade and we all know that if we have been limerent before.
Personally there are a few people on this site whos comments have helped me more than they would ever know, also DR L’s blog and EDC has taught me stuff about myself and brought limerence out of my subconscious which I am truly greatful for. I’m thinking myself about just limiting myself checking so much… But hey if coming on here 100 times a day stops me from slipping into a relapse.. so be it. Besides your all so lovely this community is very empathic and supportive!
Rachel, I too have an addiction/ obsessive personality, my reason for coming here is to keep me focused and strong. I find it comforting to post my thoughts rather than risk going cray-cray at LO.
Vicarious Limerent – that’s a lovely but very sad song.
So my Valentines Day started with waking up at 2:30am this morning and not being able to go back to sleep. I was tossing and turning and stressing the whole night because yesterday I saw LO, his SO (they didn’t see me) and MY whole group of friends get together for a catch up. It’s the first time he’s been social in 3 weeks and up till now he’s been avoiding our old haunt like the plague. I was the only one not invited, I was gutted. I may have cried a bucket of tears and I felt like complete rejected shit the whole of Thursday.
I knew if he was catching up on Thursday he’d likely not show up on Friday and he always caught up with me in a group on Friday, always without fail. So at 2:30am I was worrying, what if he doesn’t show up, what if he does, what if non of my group show up, what if his SO doesn’t show up. What if LO and SO are isolating me from the group bla bla………..OMG the thoughts were relentless, I tried blocking the thoughts, counting sheep, visualisation etc, I finally fell asleep at 5:30am, just before my alarm went off. So I woke up not just feeling like shit but looking like shit, my heart was racing so much I felt like vomiting. I was so annoyed with myself! Anyway, my whole group was there minus LO, he didn’t show but his SO did. I was so relieved, his SO sat next to me and we chatted for awhile. I was so thankful there was no animosity, it’s the first time she’s looked at me without murderous intent. I felt so much calmer and immediately all the negative ruminations quietened down , I almost didn’t think of LO during my entire work shift today.
I also think Dr Ls blog is amazing, and it’s such a relief to see that others are caught up in the fantasies and ruminations i’ve found myself in, so I wasn’t meaning my comment as a slur. I think Dr L said himself that just the act of running the blog means that he’s obsessed with the phenomenon of Limerence. Or maybe I imagined that. I find it a guilty pleasure. Like reading a romance novel. I suffer from Limerence because it invades my thoughts and stops me being productive. I really enjoy it though, just as I enjoy reading this blog, which is why I don’t quite want to give it up. Fantasy Limerence has been such a reliable companion for me over the last 11 years whenever things have seemed hard or dull I can escape to a 2nd life one which is not comfortable like mine but is thrilling. Still i’d be rid of limerence if given the option.
It is a bit of a risk that continuing to think about limerence does keep LO central in your mind, but for me it has comfortably transitioned from thinking about LO (which hardly ever happens for me now) to thinking about limerence. It’s also a subtle form of deprogramming to be thinking about LO in terms of a problem to solve (the usual perspective of the site), rather than as a wondrous gift to be cherished.
The other big bonus for me was that the skills needed for mastering limerence – purposeful living, deep work on my psychological drives – turn out to have massive benefits in all areas of my life. So, I’m happy to stay immersed!
Vicarious Limerent says
Before I leave this site for tonight, I thought I would post a link to a song. Every single word in this song is totally applicable to my wife and me. It is a beautiful love song about the love of your life and the commitment to stay together no matter what. It is by a heavy metal band, but it is a softer ballad – What If I Was Nothing, by All That Remains. A lovely song for all of you limerents with SOs on Valentine’s Day:
I posted this before, but I didn’t see any responses, so I thought I would post it again.
I don’t relate to that one.
My parents had a dismal 0 for 5 collective track record in marriages and neither of them lived to 55.
My father told me, “There’s nobody you can’t live without. There might be people you’d miss terribly if they were no longer part of your life but you can live without them.” He was right.
After her great confession, I told LO #2 that if she’d married me, I’d have built my life around her. She said she didn’t know that. I told her she knew it but she didn’t want to believe it. Six months later, we were in the car when U2’s “With or Without You” came on. She said that’s how she felt about me. She said that she couldn’t live with me but didn’t want to live without me. Seriously. Since anything other than “yes” is a default “no,” it was going to be without.
Wow, Scharny, one of my former LO’s (who was also limerent for me but we could not be together for complicated reasons…even though we were both single) dedicated that song “With or without you” to me. To us. It made me cry for several years when it came on the radio.
When I hear it now it evokes a wave of wistfulness, but no tears.
The heart does heal eventually.
I actually had a moment of realization today which is obvious when I state that now, but it was a revelation for me this morning.
So background: I had something going on today that made me a bit nervous, an important milestone, and I started to fantasize about LO. And I thought why the F*** am I thinking about being intimate with LO again?!? I thought I was done with that. But then I realized it’s not LO itself, why I was doing that. Dreaming about LO was my coping mechanism for this type of nervousness to get me thinking about something else and keep my “stage freight” under control. So LO fantasies just popped up as I guess that’s what I did the last 2 years. As soon as I realized that connection, it made me feel so much better and actually was able to steer my thoughts in a different direction. At first I thought this was a relapse (that I didn’t understand why it happened), but I realized it’s just an old habit that I used to cope. So now LO is safely stored away again. 🙂
And btw Rachel, that Taylor Swift song is awesome, I have it on repeat 🙂
“Free rent, livin’ in my mind
But then something happened one magical night
I forgot that you existed
And I thought that it would kill me, but it didn’t
And it was so nice
So peaceful and quiet
I forgot that you existed
It isn’t love, it isn’t hate
It’s just indifference“
Which is why you never say, “I don’t care.” It’s a lie because care isn’t indifference.
What you say is, “It doesn’t matter anymore.”
Yey…even more progress. Your on a roll.
Yasss that song really lifts me also! I do also see the old ‘comfort’ habbits appearing. Thing is I’m struggling physically with pain and am also run down and exhausted and I’ve ran with those comforts… I know what I’m doing and I just think I’m to tired to care.. but even noticing them is a step. So I’m seeing it as a win. Hopefully LO will move in the next month or so. Feeling very fixed. Sadness and it’s a definite end but also the sense of huge relief that I have good chance if this ending.
It’s a good thing he moves. It’ll help you.
I was said when the day of my internal move arrived, and I wasn’t going to see LO daily anymore. In the long run, it helped my recovery sooo much. And then he moved internally to a different location which made it really hard for us to meet up, so it naturally faded out.
Fading Light says
Hello, I survived Valentines… my LO sent me 2 valentines e-card. One at 4pm, and .. since i did not reply, another one at 4H40. First one had many pink hearts on it, the other one said ” I will love you till the end”. I did not reply any of them, though it broke my heart. I find this blog super helpful, and spend hours on it, reading the posts and the comments, because it helps me remember that Limerence is an addiction, and that the urge to get back to LO is always there, like a drug addiction. I started NC with LO 15 days ago. We had a PA during 3 years, we are both married with kids, and both limerent about each other, both not too happy with our respective SOs, but our SOs are good people, and nothing to really complain about. We just dont really connect or get on with our respective SOs, when LO and I get amazingly well on and have a wonderful time together (typical limerent bliss state). LO always told me he would never leave his wife (divorce is expensive, kids would be very upset) but he could also not live without me. Each time we have tried to break up and go no contact, we were back in contact within 48 hours. We were both addicts about each other, but 15 days ago, after he had promised couple of month ago that he would divorce the wife and start new with me, he again changed his mind and decided to salvage his marriage. It’s been too much pain for me, i was so madly in love addiction with him that i couldn’t bear the thought of him getting closer to his wife. Also during the last 3 years i had seen several of his flaws and had started to wonder why was I so in love with someone that was not “a good person”, or someone that if i had known about his personality before i fell in love/limerence with him, i would not have dated. So, i initiated NC 15 days ago, i still love him and wish to be with him with all my heart, but i know now it is not love but limerence, i know he is not such a great person (but i still badly need him), i am trying hard to focus on negative things about him and remember all the pain he caused me, all the betrayals and the lies, but i still love him and still wish nothing more than being in his arms again. I’ve cried so much the first 10 days of NC that i owe it to myself to keep the NC going, or the 10 days of crying would have been a waste of time. Anyhow, he sent me the 2 valentines e-card, and i craved to reply back and say i love you i want you back in my life and i’m ready to endure all the pain that goes with that… But thanks to this blog and all your comments, i know this would have been very wrong.. this would be like relapsing into Heroin or Cocaine again. Funny how i can obliterate all the past pain and tears, just for the hope of having my LO in my life again.
Sometimes i start wondering, maybe this is love, not limerence, then i re-read this blog and get more confident: this is limerence. Of course there is love as well, of course we get along amazingly well, but there are also lots of things that dont work between us, and this is were limerence is a problem, because limerence is hiding the truth from my brain. Limerence makes me believe that a life together with LO will be amazing, perfect, happiness, no problems only solutions.. But now i am able to look at the truth with a different angle. I can see what problems we would run into if we were to be together. And i’m beginning to accept that, maybe, i would not be as happy as I’d thought if i was in a commited relationship with him. It is still very difficult to resist the urge to contact him and say ok, let’s go back to where we were, let’s meet and have the best time of our lives again. Let’s be on whatsapp every 5 min of the whole day.. let’s be each other drugs, as we are junkies aren’t we?
My wish is to get read of the limerence, the obession, the physical and mental craving to be with him, and then once the limerence gets less intense, maybe i can look back at our 3 years of affair, at his true personality, and maybe i still love him, or maybe i realize this whole affair was pure madness, a mad play from my brain… I want to see clearly out of the limerent affair fog.. Deep inside i wish that i will still love him once the limerence has faded away, and i wish he still loves me and is ready to divorce.. but i need to find the strength to not contact him or not reply to his contacts at all.. Until limerence has died. I am also trying hard to get my life back, get my bliss from other activities, without thinking of him. Over the past 3 years, each and every things i was doing, i was wondering what he would think of it, what if we were doing it together, i sort of had him like a virtual friend or magical friend, virtually sitting on my shoulder like a pet parrot or pet monkey, doing everything with me. Now i feel very lonely, even though i have family, friends and lots of hobbies, but i miss that little friend that was sitting on my shoulder all day.. I miss not sharing every moments of my days with him. This makes me very sad and get the urge to contact him again. But thanks again to this blog, i wont… My goal is to get out of the limerence fog, and see what reality looks like. Maybe i still love him, but in a much healthier way..
Your LO is so disrespectful to you it is making me angry. To say he didn’t want to be with you and then send you stuff like that… Please do not go back there. He sounds like a pig. He wants to have best of both worlds. You are doing amazing and are being so so strong. Once the fog clears and your emotions settle you will begin to think clearly.
I also used to think I loved LO, please take it from me.. this kind of connection is not love.. far far from it.. you will never be happy with this man even if you did end up with him. He doesn’t respect his SO nor yourself. God it makes me so angry how people treat each other. He make his decision and he needs to leave you alone to heal. But he doesn’t want that as you were his supply for what ever he was getting from this affair. Stay strong you are doing amazing. These thoughts you are feeling are normal. I wanted to end my life at the lowest point as I thought there was no way out.. but believe me there is.
Also, my LO was very similar. He didn’t want anything to happen between us. So everytime I pulled away, he missed his ego strokes and would worm his way back into my life. I would work hard to get to a point where I was feel better (not over it but my head was becoming more peaceful) and he would keep messaging me or saying things like he missed me and how attractive I am. Bla bla bla. This is not an uncommon behaviour of LO’s and if you keep breaking NC this could take ages to escape.
I agree. He wants his adoration and romantic excitement from Fading Light, but also the nice security of his wife at home. All the gratification and comfort he wants, with no sacrifices on his part.
Fading Light says
Thank you so so so so much Rachel, for sharing your experience and helping stay strong with no contact. Something you said resonated even stronger ” you were his supply for what ever he was getting from this affair” : yes he is using me as a supply for something that is missing in his life, he is sucking my energy away from me, he treats me as a source of energy or hapiness or whatever this is, but he is just taking something from me and not giving anything in return. He is just using me, i kind of see that clearly now.. but i still have to fight very hard to not break the contact. I also like when you say” worm back into my life”, yes that is exactly what he is doing, i can see how he is “worming back”.. little steps, same strategy as usual, and before i know it he is back texting me 24/7 while keep his happy family life. Rachel, your help and support and you sharing your experience is super helpful here, as i am so close to relapsing. I must stay strong. thank you.
Fading Light, stay strong. If he continues to harass you and you are getting fed up you can always tell him if he doesn’t stop this horse shit you will contact his wife. That should scare the crap out of him. Goodluck.
Fading Light says
Yes, i may end up threatening him that i will tell his wife he is still contacting me. HIs wife knew about me, he had told her about the 3 years affair and that he wanted to try a committed relationship with me. She was sad but said he can go if that’s what he wants. Now that he chose to stay in his marriage, she would be devastated to learn that he still want contact with me so yes, sure i have the power to make him stop. The hard thing for me is to understand and accept that him and I had different perspectives and different treatment of our mututal limerent/love affair. While i was certainly using him to feel better every day, i also was ready very early in the affair, to end things with SO and commit to LO. While in his perspective, he always said he would never leave his SO, but was not strong enough either to end our affair. So sick and weird that after 3 years of him telling me he would not leave the wife, but he loves me, i was so blinded my limerences that i thought we would reach a point where he is ready to leave SO. Which happened 2 months ago, but then he changed his mind again and stuck to his initial plan to stay with SO and never commit to me ever. Now i see his true personality, and see that he has been using me to fulfill his own selfish needs, and that i’ve been used, as an object. And even though when we parted now 16 days ago, i told him i wanted no contact, ever, that i wanted to forget about the love i had for him, i wanted him to mean nothing to me anymore, i wanted to break the bond and did not allow him to contact me so i could heal….next thing he does, with no respect for my pain and feelings, he worms his way back in my life, because he misses me and he doesnt care for all the pain he caused so far.. he just needs me, and would do anything to get this “high” back, no matter at what cost for me. This is so selfish. But while i am writing this line i’m thinking… what if this time he would not go back to his wife?? maybe i could give it a try? ahahah;. Limerence is striking back. I’ll hold to No Contact. As long as i read this blog and all your comments, i think i’ll be strong enough. I’ve told myself anyhow that he wants back in my life, he has to first divorce the wife, and then send me a novel long letter of acknowledgment and apologies for the selfish and immature behavior so far. That sounds like something he will never be able to do, as his tactic is to look down, droopy, sad and expect i will run to his rescue to cuddle him and restore his energy and happiness in life. He likes to look like a cute teddy bear who sits there and waits for cuddles. And that trick works wonder on me, i love teddy bear;s.. My, why is life so tricky, why can’t we just see things as they are, simply a selfish bastard using me. How come we reach our late 40’s with so little experience in that matter?
LO kind of pursued me and I was clearly Inna susceptable place for a LE (feeling lost, run down, troubles with SO). When I tried to take things further with him he literally seemed so confused by my actions. My head was a mess.. he would tell me that he wanted me constantly. So when he said that this isn’t what he wanted, I was confused upset and felt like an idiot. You would think that this would have been a point where things cooled off, oh no he ramped up the communication, flattery and connecting with me emotionally. I wish I was strong enough back then to tell him to do one.. but I realised after time all he wanted was my attention as he knew he had the upper hand. I’m a good few years younger, attractive, have a lot of friends and a really caring nature. He is just a middle aged man, who probably never had the attention I was giving him before in his life.. he was using me. He had my mind and he was running with my emotions and my life. I’m at the stage now where it still hurts and sometimes I wish he’d ‘wake up’anf realise its was me he wanted all along. But in reality, I don’t want him really. I got tangled in this LE so deep I did not know how to escape. Also my LO lives very close to me I still see him pretty much daily. Our children are friends and I have also been somewhat friends with his SO. What a mess huh. But I’m pleased to say I’m getting my life back. It’s taken time, a lot of tears and a hell of a lot of anxiety but I’m in a better place. I lost who I was. I didn’t even know what I enjoyed anymore. My life was LO and I was so lost. I was so far off the path I wanted in life I had to start to take back control slowly.
Can you block your LO? I feel you recieving these messages are giving you hits. You have to cease all contact. I know if I could I would have been free a lot sooner. You have to be firm with yourself. Love and respect yourself and be kind to yourself. This is the start of a new you.
Your LO reminds me on my very first boyfriend that broke up with me to go back to his ex, but still saying like he wants to be good friends. Eventually, after a few months, he was back with his ex, but kept on spending time with me, texting me, literally lay in my bed next to me, but when I tried to kiss him he acted all confused like “what are you doing, you know I sm with my SO” but all along he kept me close, crossed some lines to an EA I would say, giving me the hope that he would come back to me. Well, when he was all “oh no, we’re just friends” and I realized he was just toying with me, using me, I kicked him out and went NC. It’s a horrible feeling, and we’re not wrong to think that way, THEY are wrong in leading us on, probably well aware what impression they give us.
Fading lights, stay strong, you deserve so much more than him, he’s toxic for you. It hurts, so much, but you can get away from him and life will be so much better. But it needs time.
Fading Light says
Hi Rachel, your story is a lot similar to mine. I can’t completely block him as we work together in the same team. We all work from different geographic locations and dont “see or meet” in real world, but we are on the same team and can’t avoid to communicate for work, and i can’t block him on work email and skype. But i know i can try to block my feelings for him, that would probably be the best thing to do. Every day that goes without contact is another step towards success, but i keep thinking of him a thousand times per day, even if all my thoughts about him are negative, this is still an obsession. I think i need to invest all my energy and passion in something more meaningful, but to now, i haven’t found any. It is probably because he represented a “perfect goal”, fully idealized, while my real hobbies all have their limitations, because they are “real” and not “fantasies”. It is very hard to re-learn how to live without the highs of the LE.. glad to hear your emotions are back under your control somewhat, but it must be very hard to have your LO living near you. I would hope to cross his path all the time in your situation, would hope to see him each time i go out.. I wish we could remove this “limerence” software from our brains, it is like a virus or a malware that we unintentionally downloaded..
For me, my one and only limerent episode (ongoing) is definitely a destructive force. It has no hope of ever progressing to any kind of a happy outcome…there is no will for pair bonding, or anything else…at my age76, and my LO’s age just 31, how in the world could there ever be a positive outcome….he lives on the other side of the world, and contact is all down to me….so I must assume, that for whatever reason, limerence can happen with no clear objective in sight….except for perhaps recognition from my LO that I do actually exist……..I’m still trying to figure it all out……
The biggest problem is probably facing the truth that “highs” of LE are exceptionally unnatural, aka, real life is pretty straightforward and somehow boring. For limerent brain it’s very sad truth.
Tru Nensi, but totally unacceptable for my limerent brain! 😩 I’ve always had problems with routine and repetitive things, but the lack of intensity is the worst to accept I think.
Recently I’ve decided to try some high adrenaline hobby, like hiking. I think it’s worth trying.
…because that intensity, when matched, even for a moment, produces the warp drive of the brain (and by projection, the love in one’s heart).
I’ve struggled with this too. One thing that’s happened to me is that I try to harness this limerent energy (and separate it from the LO). At first, whenever I used to think about my LO I would get tingles of energy around my body. Now, after practicing different kinds of meditation I can get those same tingly feelings when thinking about my SO, for example. So i think the whole experience has enhanced my life overall.
Is anyone’s self-imposed staying at home, out of any physical contact with humans, making the limerence worse? It certainly is for me.
I'm Taken says
Yes, it did, because I think the enforced restrictions of meeting others causes the fantasy/creative/imaginative side of your mind to compensate for the lack of socialising and we all know what fantasies do… plus you just have more time to think. I am trying to recover from my first LE by following Dr L’s FTTF email course , reading the articles on this brilliant website, reading Dr L’s book, plus following NC with the therapist, who was my first LO – having good days and bad days. Hope you are finding some peace.
Paradoxhighway, yes, definitely, not working and spending so much time alone in a small world is like it keeps on giving fuel to my LE, I try to keep myself busy but even than I catch myself keeping busy with things that (in my mind) LO would approve.
Mia, me too!! I’ve caught myself several times this week doing things that I know he’d either see or like.
I’ve also lapsed back into ruminations and no amount of exercise, walks or meditation is making him budge from my mind.
I haven’t seen LO since lockdown but I did cave the other day and wished him a happy birthday, which he acknowledged….sigh
Well at least, we do things Lee-Anne, exercise, meditate and walk, learn how to juggle (don’t ask, it’s pathetic) and learn about jazz because it sounds attractive to have some knowledge.
Sometimes I can laugh about it, sometimes I cry about it. I try to see the plus, at least in the end we are fit and know things about jazz :).
Oh me too Mia, Lee-Anne, PH, ImTaken…me too! My constant habit is having imagined conversations with LO about everything – am seriously going crazy! But as you say, at least I am also getting fit, self aware from all the meditation and learning new stuff from all the reading 😀
Mia, emerging from this as a healthy, calm, juggling, jazz enthusiast sounds like a massive win to me!
True that Dr L, if only the word “calm” would fit in there as well Somehow. 😄
You have a great sense of humour Dr L, I don’t think any of us mentioned the word “calm” 😂
My positive for today, I did a 9 hr work shift today without once thinking of LO
Mind you there was no time to think about him, but gee it was refreshing, not once did he cross my mind, yay me. First time in 3 yrs this has happened, usually he’s on my mind every waking moment.
Amazing Lee-Ann I hope that continues
Haha Allie, I think we all have complete conversations with gestures and all out loud, in our car, on the street, in our house, I even had people ask me who I was Talking to! I think I even talked to and kissed my pillow last night 😬
Oh guys! I’m the same. Very hard to admit it! 🙈 Mia, the pillow!! Me too! Thanks for being brave enough to write it!
Difference is I absolutely have no courage to do whatever to keep me busy or work on improving myself in other things. I’m just sitting here waiting for time to go by. Very depressed. Ruminations are getting better though with the forced NC. I kind of stopped crying almost. But can’t find any motivation to replace my obsession with anything else.
It’s not new, it’s just intensified by the lockdown. Hopefully by the end of it the Limerence will have faded.
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Emma: I find exercise helps. I have focused a lot on it the last few months, even though some of it is me subconsciously (or maybe more consciously) thinking it would be likely to impress my LO. Still, if there are benefits to the limerence, that can still be a good thing, even if the motivation isn’t entirely the best. Even with the gyms being shut down, there are a lot of videos on YouTube on working out without equipment or at least with resistance bands (which you can order online). I also find that engaging in an earlier unhealthy obsession (my career and education), seems to be the lesser of two evils. Even though I was sick of ruminating about my career before meeting my LO, I now realize that was better than obsessing over a woman I barely know who is unavailable to me. Five months ago, I so wished I could stop obsessing over my career. Now I can’t stop thinking, “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” Obsessing over something real and meaningful, while unhealthy, wasn’t nearly as unhealthy as obsessing over an unattainable person who was a fantasy constructed in my mind in many ways. Good luck in finding other pursuits to help keep you busy!
Oh Emma, I’m so sorry, you are not alone, I really thought a month in NC would feel better, but it looks like it’s getting worse. Also due to quarantine. The days are pretty bad but the nights are terrible. I’m taking a small dose of anti depressants, I don’t know how I would feel without them. And yes I keep busy
, well I try (staring at my phone time is also there) but even than, LO is there, 24-7.
Thanks for your lovely messages VC and Mia, it means a lot.
Mia, I’m also on antidepressants, but I don’t feel it’s helping much. I was changed medications a few months ago without too much success.
VL, a year ago I worked a lot on my health and managed to loose 17 pounds. Motivation was purely for LO of course. I’ve regained all since. I feel like it’s not worth it anymore as LO isn’t reciprocating anyway so what’s the point. I need to find motivation for myself. I’ve never been very good at that to be honest.
Vicarious Limerent says
@ Emma: It is hard to leverage motivation to please your LO for self-improvement. I suppose I am in a slightly different situation from you in that I am not in contact with my LO, at all, in any capacity. I don’t even know if I will see her again for the rest of my life (although recent events have led me to believe it is likely I will run into her at some point). Yet, subconsciously at least, I am still motivated to improve my appearance. If I am honest, that is at least partially because my LO liked my brother in-law, who is muscular and well-built (in many ways, we look similar, except I still have a paunch (although I am working on that and have made major improvements); we sometimes get taken for being brothers). This isn’t going to sound very nice, and I want to reiterate that I am not looking to cheat on my wife in any way, but I was also able to transfer my focus on diet and weight loss to some attention I was starting to receive from the ladies in general. Having attention from and being appreciated by the opposite sex (or the same sex, if that’s your thing) isn’t a bad thing and can give anyone a boost in confidence. I was able to make it more about myself than my LO or others. The trick is somehow leveraging the desire to please one’s LO for personal self-improvement, but even just making a conscious decision to think about and get involved in something else is helpful.
Is limerence a mental illness? If not, you said it’s a part of who you are. What does that mean?
Have you read https://livingwithlimerence.com/2018/01/14/is-limerence-a-mental-illness/ ?
If you search on “mental illness” in the search the site block, you’ll get 6 hits.
Struggle struggle struggle today.
It’s raining I’m alone all day and I’m taking it in. The boredom I normally try to avoid. I can’t seem to get myself to do anything useful. My limerence is raging, demanding LO.
I really thought it would be over by now, 5 months of not seeing him, but it’s not over by far. I keep telling myself: this is my process, it has nothing to do with Lo. I’m working on underlying issues. It has to get really bad before it gets better.
Keep telling yourself.
Hij gebruikt me gewoon voor seks.
Het helpt om gevoel voor humor te hebben.
I have a good but not great phrase book.
Hahaha dank je wel Sharn!
(Im soo not there yet to think he only used me for sex )
Your phrase book is pretty good I must say 🙂
The book has a section on swearing & insults in Dutch but the applicable ones are pretty crude.
I’m not ready for DrL to toss me off the site quite yet so I left those out.
So sorry to hear you are having a difficult day Mia! My heart goes out to you. You are so strong and can ride this storm. You are doing all the hard work of recovery and as you say it will pay off eventually.
I have a little mindfulness practice for when I am craving LO (or experiencing any difficult emotion): There is the part of your mind that craves, and there is another part of your mind that knows you are craving. Try to focus on being that other observing part of your mind and watch the powerful thoughts and feelings play out in your mind and body. Pay careful attention to how it feels in your body to crave. Be curious about your full experience of these emotions, but as an observer. Make a mental note of your observations. When you notice you have been pulled down into the thoughts and feelings again, gently pull your attention back into observe mode again. For me, after 5-15 minutes of this the feelings reduce to some degree and I feel calmer.
I’m going to do it Alie! Thank you!
I gave myself a kick on the but today and went to a museum.
Still a S* it day but at least I saw some art.
I am too sorry to hear you are struggling, but with the bad days come the good. I have another suggestion. When your feeling bored, recognise and accept your feeling. You’re bored and that’s ok. It sucks but that’s life. Doesn’t mean anything. Your mind demanding your LO is your little spoilt toddler from within. It’s great you went out to a museum, you are being proactive. Remind yourself of your strength to get up and go out. Try being as mindfull as you can be when you are out. Take in the views, feel the weather, take deep clean breaths. For me, it was these small little treasures that got me through the day. If you have children then bonus. Take a day and focus on them, totally and utter focus on the time with them. Limerence can wait until the evening.
Be kind to yourself and remind yourself of all the positives you are doing. Focus on that and good will follow. As soon as I switched my focus on how amazing it is going to be after the limerence I really started to see big changes. You need to speak to yourself as if you are a caring, loving parent to yourself. Well done you! You are made of strong stuff for sure.
Thank you Rachel! That’s what I’m doing, taking it in, without fleeing. Grief, pain, boredom . And try to find balance between being bored (which normally I avoided) and doing things. I have to have a lot of alone time also to feel.
Also feel the negative feelings without judgement. I have to learn that.
I love your mindful tips, it’s exactly what I did in the museum, look at little details I would normally miss and let myself be amazed.
Self compassion is something I think should be educated in school, so I try to practice that indeed.
Thank you all for being this tremendous support. Thank you Rachel. I hope you are well.
One other thing that really helped me is when I started thinking about LO, I would firming remind myself that this is about me and my issues. Absolutely nothing to do with LO and I believed it. I started to focus so much attention on myself and now I love it. Its so much better! Also I got a new dog. I found that also putting my energy into something pure made my feelings towards LO die even more.
@Mia, I am really sorry to hear you’re having a really hard time at the moment; I deeply sympathize with what you’re going through and my view, while limerence may be an issue with us limerents, we can only remain positive and not become too frustrated with ourselves, as difficult as it is when we suffer from these periods.
As tough as it is for you, I truly believe you will be able to overcome this rough patch and beat your limerence. I hope today is better for you and sending hugs your way! 🙂
So sweet! Thank you LG. Us limerents sure know how to care for others.
I know I will get through this, overall I’m already so much better than 2 month ago when I was still in limerence hellish prison pining over LO. Today doing the emotion surfing and breathing the cravings away. ( It’s like labor all over again 😀 )
Got two little baby Guinea pigs to care for, to smother with my limerence 🙂 and one day I hope I will be able to help others on this website who are going through the roughness.
If you have read previous comments I said the exact same thing…. 😍
And you do 🌼
@Mia, you’re welcome! 🙂 At least by coming here, you’re able to talk about any issues your limerence is causing you and have the support you need by people who understand what you’re going through! Limerence is a lot less lonely when you’re able to converse with those who know what it’s like; coming here and talking about my limerence has certainly helped me these past couple weeks to say the least.
@Rachel, I didn’t actually see your comments to Mia before I posted mine, but having gone and read them, I think they were very kind and supportive! 🙂
Just answering here on my own…
Limerence is a bad thing because it is destructive. It is wrapped up in this beautiful package of hope and love and glee and happiness and sunshine and rainbows, but it eats you from the inside.
I wasted so much time from my LEs. At their most innocent they were distracting. At their worst they were horribly embarrassing. But I’m glad I had so much time to think about them when the current LE popped up, because it would have cost me my marriage and my job.
Good for you! I love your described limerence.
Even the name “limerence” sounds beautiful, should have a different less flattering name.
I’m happy you cope better this time.
I actually made a ” plan of signals “.
So I listed the signals: when is everything okay, when start the little glimmer signals and what behaviour are signals for the spiraling down.
And made a list what to do in what stage. Don’t ever want to loose myself in a LE like this one .
I only cope better now because I had 20 years between the last LO and the current LO to think about what happened. But, wow, even knowing what was happening when the LE started, the pull towards the current LO was INCREDIBLE. I can see why LEs can destroy marriages. I’m glad I had all that time to think about what happened, or I would be in a mess of hurt now.
The force and the strength of a LE are incredible. At the highest (or lowest) of my LE I could have sacrificed litterary everything, my job, myself, my family. Even I cognitively knew what was going on. Thank god it never came that far, but it’s scarry.
I was motivated to overcome limerence (and see limerence itself in a somewhat negative light) because quite honestly I was sick of feeling “inferior” to other people – especially the type of individuals I invariably became limerent for!!
Obviously, I have some issues to work out that have nothing to do with limerence. (My inferiority complex probably stems from my family of origin and the way my narcissistic mother treated me and my father and sisters). Still, I feel limerence actually worsened these pre-existing emotional problems. If you already have poor self-image, for example, idolising someone else isn’t going to help matters.
@Sammy you must must read the book “will I ever be good enough” by Karen Mcbride. It’s designed for the daughters of narcissistic mothers but the info is rock solid for anyone. I hope this link works…
Thank you for the link. 🙂
I hope you find it interesting and helpful Sammy!