My “limerent object”?


May 08, 2007

ATTRACTION + HOPE + ROADBLOCKS = LIMERENCE  (* reference)

ATTRACTION: The limerent sees a person as a prospective mate. Physical, emotional, intellectual factors differ from person to person. It must be emphasized though that most people don’t see a potential mate based solely on sexual attraction or physical traits.

HOPE: The LO has done something which has encouraged the limerent that a proper pairing could occur. This action could have been deliberately encouraging (a flirt, an invitation to dinner) or simply perceived as encouraging by the limerent (a smile, an innocent conversation).

ROADBLOCKS: This can be anything that would prevent a proper pairing of the two. Examples are: shyness, class, poor self-esteem, prior relationship or marriage, external rules (e.g. co-workers can’t date), or simply not being paired (e.g. married) yet.

Found this in another blog (survivinginfidelity.com/):

(MY REACTIONS ARE BOLD, CAPITALIZED AND ITALICIZED) ->

Limerence begins as a barely perceptible feeling of increased interest in a particular person, known as the limerent object, but one which, if nurtured by appropriate conditions, can grow to enormous intensity. UNDERSTATEMENT! understatement
In most cases it also declines, eventually to zero or to a low level. At this low level, limerence is either transformed through reciprocation or it is transferred to another person who then becomes the new limerent object. Under the best of conditions the waning of limerence through mutuality is accompanied by the growth of the emotional response more suitably described as love. … I WISH.

Limerence has certain basic components:

intrusive thinking about the limerent object YEP.

acute longing for reciprocation O, YES.  Skadi's_longing_for_the_Mountains

some fleeting & transient relief from unrequited limerence through vivid imagining of action by the limerent object that means reciprocation DEFINITELY.
fear of rejection & unsettling shyness in the limerent object’s presence
NO, WELL, SOMETIMES. NOT SO MUCH.

acute sensitivity to any act, thought, or condition that can be interpreted favorably, & an extraordinary ability to devise or invent “reasonable” explanations for why neutral actions are a sign of hidden passion in the limerent object
YES, 100%.
an aching in the chest when uncertainty is strong YES.hidden_passion.jpg

buoyancy (a feeling of walking on air) when reciprocation seems evident IF ONLY.

a general intensity of feeling that leaves other concerns in the background ABSOLUTELY.

a remarkable ability to emphasize what is truly admirable in the limerent object & to avoid dwelling on the negative or render it into another positive attribute. EXACTLY!

Limerent object perception

Crystallization (love)

Crystallization, NH4Cl crystallization from Stendhal’s 1822 work On Love, is a process in which the limerent object’s attractive characteristics are emphasized & unattractive characteristics given little or no attention, or even seen as attractive. The attributes are not pure inventions, the existing features of the limerent object merely undergo enhancement. YES THEY DO!!!
Objectively trivial aspects of the limerent object’s appearance or behavior may be seized on & the good qualities endlessly re-visualized in the limerent consciousness. Neutral aspects of the limerent object are perceived as charming & delightful. I’M IN A STATE OF LIMERENT CONSCIOUSNESS?

No matter what the limerent object does it can be interpreted favorably, at least up to a point. There is an amazing capacity to react positively to deficiencies. The limerent reaction may miss by a wide mark the truly important features or ignore serious problems in the limerent object. AMAZING, LIKE THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT ME.

Intrusive thinking. overthinking

During the height of limerence, thoughts of the limerent object are both persistent & intrusive. Limerence is first & foremost a condition of cognitive obsession. YEP. All events, associations, stimuli, & experiences return thoughts to the limerent object with unnerving consistency.

The constant thoughts about the limerent object define all other experiences. If a certain thought has no previous connection with the limerent object, immediately one is made. THAT’S ME! OBSESSIVE ALL THE WAY!

Limerent fantasy is unsatisfactory unless rooted in reality. Sometimes it is retrospective; actual events are replayed from memory. This form predominates when what is viewed as evidence of possible reciprocation can be re-experienced. YOU GOT IT!

Otherwise, the long fantasy is anticipatory; it begins in the everyday world & climaxes at the attainment of the limerent goal. The long fantasies form bridges between the limerent’s ordinary life Bliss & that intensely desired ecstatic moment. The duration & complexity of a fantasy depend on the availability of time & freedom from distractions. NOT BUSY ENOUGH I GUESS.
The bliss of the imagined moment of consummation is greater when events imagined to precede it are possible. In fact they often represent grave departures from the probable. YES, INDEEDY.

It is not entirely pleasant, & when rejection seems likely the thoughts focus on despair. YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN. The pleasantness or unpleasantness of the state seems almost unrelated to the intensity of the reaction. Although the direction of feeling, i.e. happy versus unhappy, shifts rapidly, the intensity of intrusive thinking alters less rapidly, & alters only in response to an accumulation of experiences with the particular limerent object.

Fear of rejection – Along with the emphasis on positive qualities perceived in the limerent object, & preoccupation with the hope for return of feelings, there is a fear that limerence will be met by the very opposite of reciprocation: rejection.

absolute_uncertainty.jpg Considerable self-doubt & uncertainty is experienced & it causes pain, but also enhances desire. HOW ABOUT THAT!
Limerence develops & is sustained when there is a certain balance of hope & uncertainty. UNCERTAINTY = HOPE!

The base for limerent hope is not in objective reality but reality as it is perceived. The inclination is to sift through nuances of speech & subtleties of behavior for evidence of limerent hope. GOT ME PEGGED.

“Little things” are noticed & endlessly analyzed for meaning. FOR THE TRULY OBSESSIVE AT HEART.

The belief that the limerent object does not & will not reciprocate can only come about with great difficulty. MEH. COMES AND GOES.

Limerence can be carried quite far before acceptance of rejection is genuine.  I CAN SEE THAT.
Excessive concern over trivia may not be entirely unfounded. Body language can indicate a return of feeling. What the limerent object said & did is recalled with vividness. VIVIDNESS IS THE WORD. vividcolor.jpg

Alternative meanings of those behaviors are searched out. OVER AND OVER.
Each word & gesture is permanently available for review, especially those which can be interpreted as evidence in favor of “return of feeling.” When objects, people, places or situations are encountered with the limerent object, they are vividly remembered. SEE THE REST OF THIS BLOG.

The physiological correlations of limerence are heart palpitations, trembling, pallor, flushing, pupil dilation & general weakness. Awkwardness, stammering, shyness, & confusion predominate at the behavioral level. There is apprehension, nervousness, & anxiety due to terrible worry that any action may bring about disaster. NAH! TOO OLD FOR THAT!
The super-sensitivity that is heightened by fear of rejection can get in the way of interpreting the limerent object’s body language & lead to inaction & wasted opportunities. Bodily signals may be emitted that confuse & interfere with attaining the limerent object. MAYBE.
A condition of sustained alertness, a heightening of awareness & an enormous fund of energy to deploy in pursuit of the limerent aim develop. The sensation of limerence is felt in the midpoint of the chest. ‘TIS.

This is ecstasy at times of mutuality & despair munchdespair.jpg at times of rejection. AGAIN, DEAD ON!

The Game

No matter how intensely reciprocation is desired it cannot simply be asked for. To ask is to risk premature self-disclosure. The interplay is delicate, with the reactions of each person inextricably bound to the behavior of the other. I’VE ASKED.
Progression toward ecstatic mutuality may not involve externally created difficulties but feinting & parrying, minor deceptions, & falsehoods. The uncertainty required by the limerent reaction may often be merely a matter of perception. PROBABLY.
Despite ideals & philosophy, a process begins that bears unquestionable similarity to a game. The prize is not trifling: reciprocation produces ecstasy. HOO BOY WOULD IT! ecstasy.jpg Whether it will be won, whether it will be shared, & what the final outcome may be depend on the effectiveness of actions & those of the limerent object; indeed on skill.

Reason to hope combined with reason to doubt keeps passion at fever pitch & too-ready limerent availability cools. Open declaration of true feelings may stop the process. NOT IF THEY’RE TOTALLY IGNORED.
Because one of the invariant characteristics of limerence is extreme emotional dependency on the limerent object’s behavior, the actual course of limerence must depend on the actions & reactions of both people. I CAN SEE THAT.
Sexuality

Awareness of physical attraction plays a key role in the development of limerence, runningto-shira.jpgbut is not enough to satisfy the limerent desire, & is seldom the main focus. The limerent object, in order to become the limerent object, must be a potential sex partner. ONE WOULD CERTAINLY HOPE.
Limerence can be intensified after a sexual relationship has begun, & with more intense limerence there is greater desire for sexual intercourse. PURE FANTASY NOW. However, while sexual surrender once indicated for the most part the end of uncertainty in the limerent object, in modern times this is much less frequent.
Sexual fantasies are distinct from limerent ones. Limerent fantasy is rooted in reality & is intrusive rather than voluntary.  INTRUSIVE IS THE WORD. Sexual fantasies are under more or less voluntary control NO THEY’RE NOT! & may also involve strangers, imaginary individuals, & situations that could not take place.chocolate-kamasutra2.jpg

People can become aroused by the thought of sexual partners, acts, & situations that are not truly desired, whereas every detail of the limerent fantasy is passionately desired to actually take place. YESIREE BOB!

Limerence sometimes increases sexual interest in other partners when the limerent object is unreceptive or unavailable, such as married people finding sex with their spouses more pleasurable when they become limerent over someone else. THAT HAS HAPPENED.

Limerent reaction

The course of limerence is a rise to a more intrusive thinking pattern.  THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN. This is invariably an expectant & often joyous period with the initial focusing on the limerent object’s admirable qualities: crystallization. happyhappyjoyjoy.jpg Then, under appropriate conditions of hope & uncertainty, the limerence intensifies further. At peak crystallization almost all waking thoughts revolve around the limerent object. Subsequently the “reaction” may peak for days or weeks, or it may begin to undergo a final decline, or it may drop & then rise again one or more times before the decline that almost always follows sooner or later. THEY GOT THIS RIGHT.

This reactionary process actuates according to following six steps:

The limerent reaction begins at a point discernible at the time & later recalled. YES.

Sexual attraction need not be experienced, although (a) the person is a potential sexual partner, & (b) the initial “admiration” may be, or seem to be, primarily physical attraction. YES TO THAT TOO.
Once limerence begins, thinking about the limerent object increases & considerable pleasure is received from the process. BOY HOWDY!

There is an initial phase in which buoyancy, elation, elation.jpg & freedom are felt, which is ironic for this appears to be the beginning of an essentially involuntary process. HMM.

Attraction may be to more than one potential limerent object. NOPE, ONLY ONE. The reaction is believed to be because of the limerent object’s fine qualities. AND FINE THEY ARE, I THINK.
With evidence of reciprocation from the limerent object a state of extreme pleasure, even euphoria, is enjoyed. IF ONLY.

Thoughts are mainly occupied with considering & reconsidering what is attractive in the limerent object, replaying whatever events may have thus far transpired with the limerent object, & appreciating personal qualities which are perceived as possibly having sparked interest in the limerent object. mban1034l.jpg THE OBSESSIVE STRIKES AGAIN!
Involvement increases if the limerent object’s feelings are doubted. Only if the limerent object were to be revealed as highly undesirable might limerence subside. COULD BE ALMOST THERE. Usually with some degree of doubt its intensity rises further, & the stage is reached at which the reaction is virtually impossible to dislodge. This is called crystallization. UH OH.
The doubt & increased intensity of limerence undermine former self-satisfaction. There is inordinate fear of rejection. REJECTION IS EXPECTED, WITH SOME DREAD.

With an increase in doubt coupled with reason to hope that reciprocation may indeed occur everything becomes intensified, especially intrusive thinking. INTRUSIVE AGAIN. Either in a joyful or a despairing state, fantasies are preferred to virtually any other activity unless it is (a) acting in a way that seems to help obtain the limerent object, or (b) actually being in the presence of the limerent object. The motivation to attain a “relationship” (mating, or pair bonding) continues to intensify so long as a proper mix of hope & uncertainty exist. THESE PEOPLE KNOW THIS PROCESS COLD!
At any point in the process, if reciprocation is perceived, the degree of involvement ceases to rise, until uncertainty returns. Usually what might be an obvious sign of interest to a neutral observer is not so obvious. Gamesalice34a.gif in which the timid partners attempt to conceal from each other the full nature of the reaction that has seized them, the inevitable differences between their lifestyles, or “lover’s spats” prevent full reciprocation in each other’s eyes & allow the intensity to continue to increase. INTERESTING.
Tennov estimates, based on both questionnaire & interview data, that the average limerent reaction duration, from the moment of initiation until a feeling of neutrality is reached, is approximately 3 years. The extremes may be as brief as a few weeks or as long as a lifetime. When limerence is brief, maximum intensity may not have been attained. FEELS MAXIMUM TO ME!
Limerence generally lasts between 18 months & 3 years, but further studies on unrequited limerence have suggested longer durations, with lengths lasting no less than three years. YEP, ABOUT 3 YEARS NOW.

Advertisements

37 Responses to “My “limerent object”?”

  1. frank frederick Says:

    I’ve been there. It will be ok.

  2. DW Says:

    It’s always the ones that you cannot have, despite compatability, the other partner getting in the way!

    You should just follow your heart!!

  3. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    Yeah, it’s true. What’s funny is that I was this way when I was younger, but learned to match up the one I wanted with the one I could have, and was happy. Now, I’m back to wanting what I can’t have. I have to wonder if it’s because that way I end up with no one? on purpose?

  4. Deep in limerence! Says:

    Oh my goodness. This is me all over. My limerent object is alot older and the same sex as me. For ages I was at odds with myself! We are good friends (developed a relationship as co-workers – she is higher up than me was a bit like a mentor) – I shake like a jelly when I’m around her. I had to explain to my boyfriend that I no longer loved him as had developed feelings for her.

    I feel like I’m going insane over it. I told her how I felt – about 6mnths ago but she seemed slightly terrified 🙂 so I took back the words and played it down considerably. Since then – I’d resolved to be friends (her friendship means alot to me) and she has become alot closer to me and more open. She gets emotional around me too – both of us get easily teary around each other – we tend to confide in each other. I get the feeling she has “Let me in” so I feel a sense of guilt that I have such powerful feelings for her. The feeling of limerence has crept back….!!! I just feel like in emotional turmoil – have been for two years now.

  5. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    Well, good luck. It’s so odd the way we get into these things. Sounds like you may be doing OK – just need to stay cool.

  6. Deep in limerence! Says:

    Ta for wishing me luck.
    I get really down when there is no evidence of reciprocation. The only way I pick myself up is when I feel hope. My biggest hope is the fact that despite her negative initial reaction to my announcement of my “crush” she has continued to be “friends”. I have asked her if this is because she feels sorry for me or like she has a duty to “support” me but she says it isn’t.
    She’s had a terrible experience with a failed marriage – so when she blows cold – I put it down to the intensity of my feelings towards her – frightening her a bit. She has actually said “I am independant, you must understand that I have lots of other people in my life – if we are going to have a relationship – you must share me” which I have listened to – I have as you said “stayed cool” and tried not to appear possessive (which I’m not! – but understand she might fear that). Everyso often I despair a bit – thinking I’m insane and it’s all for nothing (the feelings are so consuming) and say something that gives away how much I care for her. There’s a moment of relief and hope when I do this but then she often ignores the gesture and I panic about it – thinking I’ve upset her or driven her away. But she seems happy to remain friends – and I am left in uncertainty! And from what I’ve read – uncertainty is the fuel for limerence.
    It’s so obvious that I like her. I’ve told her, hinted, flirted etc. She knows I think the world of her. (I wrote that in her xmas card – to someone special!) xx

  7. Deep in limerence! Says:

    Part of me just wants to say “I can’t be friends with you”, because I am getting consumed by this intensity of feeling. But then I feel like I might be giving up on what could be the love of my life! I did actually say this to her when I felt that she pitied me a while back. I don’t want her pitying me – it makes me feel helpless and childish. That’s what I told her.
    She got really upset when I said this to her – she misconstrued my words – thought I wanted to put a distance between us – said she felt berated!! I phoned her – explained to her – “I don’t want to be friends if it’s based on you feeling sorry for me” (calmly) She was sooo nice – she said she perhaps used to feel that a bit – but that she didn’t anymore. She said she’d got really upset when she recieved my e-mail – didn’t go out as she’d planned and been really tearful. She said if she told me the real reason my email had upset her so much – she’d cry. I’d written a line “just because I love you so much – doesn’t mean I will try and possess you!” This was the only line I could think of that upset her. I was horrified to have upset her so much (not my intention at all) – but part of my hope increased because it suggested to me that perhaps she cared for me more than a friend.

    Sorry for blabbering on – just so good to actually talk about this!! xx

  8. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    Sorry I haven’t responded sooner. I was so busy in Iowa, and haven’t been looking through the comments even after I got back.
    It’s easy to over think things. I get into that sometimes, thinking of the ways something I said or did could be misinterpreted, and I’m often wrong. One gets too caught up in these things, and spending time worrying about what was said is just making things worse. In my opinion. – T

  9. mermaid6106 Says:

    Hi O’Maolchathaigh,, how did you get over being in limerence? I’m struggling right now with this, it will be 3 years in July. I keep seeing him every month as we live 5 hours apart. I’m lost…

  10. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    I’m not entirely sure. I spent a lot of time telling myself how stupid I was, and how I had to move on, but it never seemed to help! I think it was declaring my feelings openly. I had asked her out, and been turned down, but that didn’t stop my feelings. Finally I sent actual flowers to her home on Valentine’s Day. She lives with her parents, so they would know, and her whole family would find out, and she had to know my feelings, especially since I included a card about the legend of Ferhad and how tulips grew from his every teardrop in the desert where he went to die after rejection by Shirin. Taking that action was exciting! My heart actually beat faster and faster, and I experienced a real high. No response from her at first, and then finally she indicated she didn’t like it. That was pretty clear. I guess I had to push her to recognise how I felt, and when she understood it, and made it clear it was unwelcome, I felt it was over. I like her still, but the limerence does seem over. Perhaps it ran its course anyway.

  11. mermaid6106 Says:

    I am also spending a lot of my time telling myself how dumb I am, wasting time on this guy a lot older than me who is only interested in his music, he’s a recording artist and has his “missions” so called ” Christian missions”. Anyway, we have seen eachother and the hardest part of it all is, that he tells me he loves me too. His actions are different when we’re apart. Do you know of, or do you think any books out there can help? thank you,

  12. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    This may be a bad guess, but in the case of a friend I know, she had such a relationship with a guy who acted like this, and it turned out it was because he was in another relationship, and was not being honest. Men do go for multiple relationships when we can. If his actions (?) are different when you’re apart, then he may be lying to you. Time to bail.
    Assuming, however, that that isn’t the case, have you told him, clearly and honestly how you feel? Many people, women in general (stereotypically) don’t say things right out, but assume certain things unsaid or alluded to are understood. Now, with men especially (stereotypically), one must be absolutely plain and painfully clear about exactly what you say to us. Pretend you are trying to explain your feelings to Mr. Spock. Either he hasn’t understood your feelings, or he is stringing you along. Books? No idea. Try the survivinginfidelity.com website.

  13. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    mermaid6106, try this also:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2054274_deal-unrequited-love.html
    Has helpful hints, that you might want to think about.

  14. grizzly44 Says:

    Well, limerence sux big time, and this is my second separate experience with it. The first lasted about 10 years, and this one has been about 2.5 years so far.

    I’ve checked that link before, but I can’t get through step 4 since everyone else has moved away and I am not a socially outgoing person.

    This has to be the worst experience possible on this earth.

  15. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    Yeah, it sure seems that way. I found some evidence recently to back up the three-year limerence time period mentioned in the article:
    “…one of the many factors that stimulate attraction and feelings of deep affection is the hormone oxytocin, more specifically the density and activity of oxytocin receptors. Dr. Vincent goes on to say that these oxytocin receptors are very prevalent only for about three years in humans. Not only that, but as the oxytocin receptors become less dense and/or functional, receptors for vasopressin seem to take over, producing more of an “enemy” response rather than affection (though she admits the “enemy” thing is a substantial extrapolation).

    According to the good doctors, this seems to fit with evolutionary pressure derived from the extreme vulnerability of human infants, which require(d) two parents to take care of and protect them full-time. However, after 12-18 months the infant becomes significantly less vulnerable (able to stand and perhaps throw off a bird or small animal attacking it), at which point only one parent would be necessary. And at that point, the oxytocin effect more or less ceases, yielding to increased vasopressin receptor activity- essentially a biochemical foundation for why people tend to “fall out of love” after a few years.”

    While ten years IS a long time, I think three is more the norm. My first experience with a love gone bad affected me for nearly ten years, but my recent experience with limerence turned out to pretty much end after three years. This oxytocin research may well be good evidence that limerence does really last three years. I think we may be able to prolong the feeling, especially with reinforcement. In a relationship, people probably establish the relationship deeply enough to overcome the three-year mile-marker, and have a different kind of feeling that keeps them together. It seems to me that limerence, while a real thing, concerns one-way feelings, and without any kind of reinforcement or actual relationship with the object of limerence, those feelings do fade away. The research on oxytocin may explain why it takes so long to overcome it when we know in our brains that it ain’t gonna happen.

  16. grizzly44 Says:

    Yeah. I agree.

    Looking back right now, I think that my limerence the first time probably started later on.

    Earlier, when I knew that the girl actually did like me back, my shyness kept me from asking her out. My waiting led to there being no chance at all. I guess I put myself in the limerent situation. Perhaps it lasted only 5 years, once getting to the point of giving up but not moving on.

    Fortunately, I was long over her before finding out that she was married and had at least 2 children.

    That being said, I don’t think it was as unbearable as this situation. I kind of had a “wow” moment which led to the present difficulties. It’s frustrating when I keep telling myself to let things go, but can’t convince myself that there isn’t some remote possibility of a future.

    Maybe my upcoming start of phychiatric therapy will held my body overcome the oxytocin and help me move on.

    I greatly appreciate your posts. It was informative reading which really was a mirror of my own feelings.

  17. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    I hear that frustration! O boy, do I hear that. Given the science around this, I don’t know if my period of limerence just ended, or I was able to bring it an an end. Sending her that huge bunch of flowers, and then having her tell me she didn’t like that, and it was inappropriate was the breaking point for me. I exhausted all options. Actually, since it was often “unbearable” as you say, it came as a relief to have her finally put my fantasy to rest. It was good to run across the oxytocin story too, because I can believe that maybe I’m not all that crazy after all. 🙂

  18. saturnlo Says:

    My limerence has lasted 14 years, beginning at the age of 13.
    Limerence can be sustained 14 nearly unbearable years if the LO knows how to sustain it and wants to.
    From 13yrs-16yrs limerence. At 16yrs my LO decided to be my “boyfriend” and we became sexually involved. After two months he broke up with me but continued contact – catapulting me into limerence from 16yrs-19yrs. At 19yrs my LO’s best friend started dating my best friend. Him and I were around each other often during that time. He would occasionally kiss me or let me think the relationship could happen and then change his mind which kept limerence going from 19yrs-21yrs. At 21yrs my LO and I became sexually involved again but I became annoyed and cut off contact with him (as painful as it was) when he did not want to label it boyfriend/girlfriend. I met someone else. I was not limerent over this person, however. I missed my LO and would occasionally cry when I thought of him and dream of running into him somewhere. After one year, my LO called and we resumed contact. I dated the other person for five years and got married.
    This year my LO said that I was the one he wanted more than anything else. I got divorced and began to see my LO again. At the age of 26 it is still as awful as before. This time even the emotional “highs” are wearing on me. I feel too old to be having these emotions, and am struck with this “I thought I was past this!” anger.
    Also I am angry at him for being non-limerent. I am jealous of how many things he can get done, and how he can go without seeing me and be “okay” with it.
    I would love to get so many things done, but all I can do is think about him! So I start stupid fights with him. Now I read that I am only “intensifying the feelings”. Great…..

  19. O'Maolchathaigh Says:

    Wow saturnlo! You have taken limerence to a new high! This back and forth with your limerent object has made your connection intense! and probably unbreakable. Now, inasmuch as you are actually able to be with your object of affection, I think you’re better off than most. If you feel the feelings, maybe you shouldn’t worry so much about how he feels? Just let it be. If he’s there with you, isn’t that worth it? Sheesh! Limerence is not common to all people. If I was you, and I know I’m not, I’d grab onto this one and be happy. If it makes you happy to love this person, and you can actually be together, than run with it! IMHO.

  20. fallofdenial Says:

    Wow…I did this exact same thing when I was limerent: printed out the Wikipedia page and went over and over it with a highlighter and sharpie writing out loud.

    I know it’s hard to do, but the only way to make it stop is to eliminate the doubt. Ask her out and don’t let her answer any way but “yes” or “no.” I asked my limerent object on a date after a year and a half of debilitating agony and it was over in about two seconds because she said, in as many words, “No, sorry.”

    The good news is that once you’ve been through it once it will probably never happen again, and you’ll be MUCH bolder in future interactions with the opposite sex. I’m now on-track to a normal relationship with a very nice girl (much nicer than my L.O.) and I’m the one taking the initiative!

  21. romeomontague Says:

    No posts since February, but somebody might read this.
    I am married. She is married. She works at a desk about 10 paces from mine. It’s never going to happen, I know that. It’s been about 14 months since it started. It was intense in the first 6 months. It’s calmed down now but still strong. I am OK when I am not at work and I am OK at work when she is not there. When she is at work I can barely stop thinking about what she is doing, where she is, who she is talking to etc.
    I do think about her outside work, but I am quite happy when I am away from her. Wish I could quit that job and forget her. But I’m stuck.
    I think I have this under control, because of the reading about this condition that I have done and has led me here. It’s like I am watching myself do this stuff, and shaking my head disapprovingly.

  22. O'Maolchaithaigh Says:

    Ha! You should see all the posts I’ve removed (marked hidden). This whole experience went on for over three years. Saw the woman all the time, even had lunch with her nearly every Friday. She was the reason I started blogging! I wrote and wrote and wrote about her, and the intensity of what I felt. I also felt like I was watching myself from a distance; couldn’t believe I was doing it. She made it very plain we’d never go out, even to a movie. I couldn’t even compliment her on her looks; she said that was inappropriate. Never stopped me from thinking she was absolutely gorgeous, and the only woman in the entire world I wanted. It wasn’t even her looks, but the way we seemed in sync on every idea, everything we read, watched or did, even the way we did things compulsively or obsessively. Man! Did it ever seem like she was totally unique, and I had to be with her. Took years to finally get over the intensity of those feelings, but it seems like a bad dream now. I can’t believe it took me years to get over her, and we never even had a romance or physical relationship. From my research into the phenomenon, it seems like three years is the norm, and even then it is a physiological reaction that runs for three years – they think it comes from the need to bond with children long enough for them to be able to learn to walk, talk feed themselves, etc. It is a sort of chemical bond. No amount of trying to reason my way out it ever worked for long. Finally, it just stopped.

  23. romeomontague Says:

    “It just stopped”
    Those three words gave me a little lift there. Thanks. And thanks for revisiting, considering you are over it, I think if I was over it I would just want to avoid it.

    I won’t be going to lunch on Fridays, I keep my distance! Although I really do admire and love to look at her, I can see her faults. She doesn’t tick all the attractiveness boxes, but the sum of the parts is very special. I try and focus on her faults, I read that was a helpful thing to do. Doesn’t work.

    Three years? I hope you and Ms Tennov are right about that. I can live with it for another couple of years if I know there is light at the end.

    Thanks sir, I am feeling better tonight. (I know that there are worse things I could be suffering but…….)

  24. trytosaygoodbye Says:

    Boy oh boy, have I found my soulmates on this site.

    Some people just suffer (and that word sums it up) from the ability to be limerent. My Significant Other, when I’ve explained it, looks at me as if I’m mad.

    My first experience was at age 18. He rejected me as a friend, and I didn’t dare ask for more. It was incredibly, obsessively painful for about 2 years, until I fell in love and actually had a relationship with someone (which was nice).

    The second time, I was 33, he was older, we were both married. This was the big one. I lost weight, I obsessed, I interpreted his actions favorably (he fancied me, liked me, I am sure, but probably – hopefully! – not as I liked him). I saw him ONCE after the sudden realization that I was dramatically in love with him. I never told him. And he occupied time in my head EVERY DAY for years. Even if I saw him now, I think it would mess with my head. He really looked after me, in a way no-one ever has before or since, and that was very powerful indeed.

    And of course there’s a LO#3. But at least this one knows how I feel. Unfortunately it’s reciprocated and pretty much forbidden on a whole bunch of levels – but hey, without that it wouldn’t be limerence would it?

    I’d recommend therapy, which has taught me that I am in a relationship with someone who is not strong enough and not supportive enough. In other words: it is not that I’m mad. I just need to find someone who is more like LO#2 or LO#3 than what I have. Or encourage my SO into behaviors that make me feel loved.

    So enjoy the lightheadedness when your LO speaks to you; the warm glow of love in your belly; the fantasies; enjoy that it is in your head and no-one can take it away from you, painful though it is. Regard it for what it is: a TEMPORARY delusion, lasting for a few years, to encourage the species to procreate. In other words: you are in love. And love is there to remind you you are alive.

  25. O'Maolchaithaigh Says:

    Ah, well, yes. It was wonderful and terrible while it lasted, but it has been over for some time now, and I feel empty, and unlikely to ever fall into such a trap again.

  26. hoarelogic Says:

    Very nice discussion. I met my LO a quarter century ago. We spent maybe 16 hours over 3 encounters together, 1/3 asleep, half the remainder lit. The 3rd encounter she spontaneously, without explanation, and immensely pained, ended our relationship.

    We reconnected a few years ago via online social media. BANG! That first interaction resulted in the limerent physical response as she ‘definitely’ remembered me. When we met she was amazingly functional but in free fall with alcohol and drug addiction. She is a survivor.

    I encountered this concept of limerence 24 hours ago. I find that right now, I am saying “Limerence” every time I have an intrusion.

    Best to all.

  27. romeomontague Says:

    Well, 2 years later I thought I’d have an idle read about limerence again, I was reading one comment and feeling quite sorry for the commenter and then realised it was me that wrote it in June 2009.

    I was in the grips of a powerful unwanted attraction. Luckily now its amost completely gone. I am good friends with the girl and amazingly, the position is reversed – she has told me that she is attracted to me. We won’t do anything about it, times are good. I remember what it was like, there were some euphoric moments but it was 90% misery. I don’t want it back.

  28. crypticqueen Says:

    Wow…it’s been a while since anyone posted here, but “trytosaygoodbye” said it best…did I ever find my soulmates here. I didn’t really know until recently that there was anything different about the way I fall in love. I thought everyone felt this way – blind suddeness, overwhelming, all-consuming. After all, songs and poems talk about it – are they all written by the limerant? But I know now that it’s something innate and chemical in me, and there is something very comforting in knowing that there are other people out there going through the same things. And enjoying the same things. As “trytosaygoodbye” said earlier, there are a lot of amazing parts of finding a LO…just as in finding a true partner.

    “So enjoy the lightheadedness when your LO speaks to you; the warm glow of love in your belly; the fantasies; enjoy that it is in your head and no-one can take it away from you, painful though it is. Regard it for what it is: a TEMPORARY delusion, lasting for a few years, to encourage the species to procreate. In other words: you are in love. And love is there to remind you that you are alive.”

    I have one LO that I see occasionally, and it has been 7 years. That one will never go away, because I will never verbalize it / offer the chance for the rejection. It’s tied to my professional standing, so I can’t. And that is a very good thing. I know from experience that the only way to eliminate the feeling is to say it out loud, be rejected, suffer agonizing pain, and move on. But what I have learned from this LO is that, unspoken, it will mellow a bit over time. The rush is still there, but it’s lessening. The sad thing is, I miss the rush.

    New LOs come along, and I can see the process playing out as though I am at a movie watching actors. It doesn’t always make sense, the choice / not choice of LO. Sometimes, so much like me it’s scary, other times people I admire or would like to emulate. Always the opposite sex (so far) and always people I want desperately to be with. I think the limerance actually escalated after I got married, as it added a level of interference / obstacle that makes the limerance that much stronger. I can almost always see and feel the trigger moment when the normal person I barely know becomes a Limerant Object. And I feel a thrill just knowing that it’s going to feel so good and so bad at the same time. When I am not in LO state, I miss it. I feel like I need it. And everything is better when I am in LO state. I do more, I am in a better mood, I feel better, my relationship with my partner is better.

    I am trying something new right now, which is stopping the development of a limerant attachment in a very clinical and detached way. I can see the potential for it to develop, and I am going to see if doing certain things will stop the formation. Or if I’m already too far gone. Like and interesting experiment. I’ll have to see how it turns out. I suppose it could be a disaster in the making.

    Thanks to all of you for posting here, and for sharing. It means a lot to know that I’m not alone in this addiction.

  29. O'Maolchaithaigh Says:

    No, this all appears to be more common than we all imagine. Strange that this blog continues to be read. Odd that people find it useful. I wrote because I was all fucked up. That is over. Recently I met someone. We connected right away. Passionate kissing, passionate sex, cuddling in bed, cuddling on a big chair watching TV. However, she told me I must not fall in love with her, because she will hurt me. I believe her. She says we are friends, only friends. Already we see less and less of each other, but when we do there are fireworks. I know we can never be in love, live together, marry, etc. I don’t even know how long this “friendship” can last. I want to fall in love with her; sometimes I think I am. It can never be, of that, I am certain. Classic setup for limerence, with a twist. But I think I am better able to handle this now.

  30. crypticqueen Says:

    I don’t think it’s strange that this blog continues to be read. Google brings it up early in a search for limerence.

    I am glad to hear, for your sake, that you found someone that you can have such a wonderful time with. I would NOT be able to avoid falling in love.

    That is an interesting twist. How do you “not fall in love with her” even if she cautions you against it? And in my experience, the fact that it can never be is only fuel for limerence. I am glad to hear that you are better able to handle this now. Good for you! I am better able to handle this every year older I become…maybe it’s something that is learned with experience.

  31. Sri Krishna Chaitanya Says:

    Limerence is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person typically including compulsive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship and have one’s feelings reciprocated my question can all experience Limerence or people with OCD ,hyperfocus and addictive personalities only experience Limerence

  32. Sri Krishna Chaitanya Says:

    thanks for your blog i understood limerence very well and the last point you said is absolutely correct unrequited limerence minimum last for 3 years and mines will last for 7 years i think so!!!

  33. skatrinska Says:

    Like the Lady Gaga song says “six whole years.” I remember vividly the exact moment it happened – the day I went “through the looking glass” – October 28, 2009. It does get better, but you need to distance yourself from the L.O. I prefer to channel my limerence into my writing.

  34. skatrinska Says:

    Update: Seven long years my Limerent Object (a co-worker) has occupied my thoughts and I have told him often how I feel…”only in my dreams.” I never wanted to jeopardize our friendship because just being around him at work made my world a little brighter. But last week he informed me he has taken a job far away and Friday (today) is his last day.

    I came into the office Tuesday the 17th and set up time to meet with him at the end of the day to say our good-byes.

    He began first. He wanted to tell me how special I was to him, and pulled a note out of his pocket that I had given him 4 years ago expressing my feelings in a politically correct sort of way (we are both happily married). But apparently he read through the lines, and kept the note.

    I then told him how I feel. Fully scripted and rehearsed 117 times – I could win an Oscar, my lines were so perfectly delivered. I described my feelings as ‘deep and lasting,’ but stopped short of the “L” word.

    And then we stood, and hugged. We hugged a long time. That’s when I took the leap…and used the “L” word. When I did, he hugged me tighter.

    Then he let go and told me cheerfully he would “see me in the morning!” (he said he didn’t want to say “goodbye”) and he left the room, and I left the building.

    And now I feel strangely content and oddly free. If I never see or hear from him again, I will die a happy person.

  35. limerentafterall Says:

    I know this blog is ancient but just wanted to say thanks for putting it out there. I’ve recently become limerent after a decade of hormonal shutdown: I theorise that a medical procedure may have been what fixed the hormones, but it may also have been lack of exposure to a LO that pushed the right buttons – my gut is actually on the hormones though.

    All through my teenage years and into my mid-30s I had repeatedly suffered limerence, in most cases unrequited: in fact amusingly one that was unrequited a decade later after the limerence was well gone, he finally decided he wanted to sleep with me and OMFG what a disaster. So for anyone feeling it for the first time I can say it definitely can fade and getting what you thought you wanted after the limerence is gone is not always a good thing.

    This LO is barely a month in and has been particularly intense probably at least partly because of the hormone shutdown for 10 years. I was completely confused at the beginning because it has been so long since I had felt it, and I actually told him what was happening, including the medical stuff, as soon as I realised it was limerence (and I never knew the word previous to this time, so has been extremely educational).

    I said very clearly to please be straight if he didn’t feel an attraction and wanted me to leave him alone, our life circumstances are both afaik complicated, and he has pulled back hugely (not completely, and some interaction is still intensely sexually focused) but so far refuses to completely reject. Because of the doubt about the reasons for the pulling back the limerence continues even with extremely low input. I’ve actually told him I wanted it to continue because it’s been amazing for my health – not sleeping and not eating has meant I’ve lost weight rapidly, weight that had been very resistant, and I’m eating healthy when I do eat! I’ve expressed sincere gratitude to him, and I do feel that, but when there’s no contact I do get despondent, even though the positive health effects are still happening.

    So for me this time there’s definy been an upside, but the uncertainty (I really have NO idea if he’s playing cards close to his chest, freaked out by me, holding back because of life circumstances, or is actually a narcissist playing with me for amusement) really is hard to take. I have fantasies about approaching him in real life (all of our interaction has been online) and confronting him, and I know, when and if this opportunity arises, I won’t chicken out, I want to be able to look him in the eye and know if it’s real or not, because even now, there’s still regular hints of a possible future. The wacky thing is, he lives close to me and has seen me, but for complicated reasons, has refused to meet. For now it’s a waiting game and I both hate it and love it. To be honest, hate it more than love it.

  36. O'Maolchaithaigh Says:

    Amazing story. I actually started this blog looking for feedback, for any ideas that might help me understand what was going on, and whether or not I was completely insane. I only found the information on limerence later, but I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been online all the time trying to add something to the blog besides my own confusion.

    His refusal to meet you does seem troubling.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: