At times over the past 4 years Ive wondered if my strategy of avoiding my LO just allowed the my projection of my fantasy onto my LO? Had i made an effort to get to know LO, would i have continued to project onto her the "idealised Anima"?
What is the anima/animus? Why do we unconsciously seek it? From wikipedia: The anima and animus can be identified as the totality of the unconscious feminine psychological qualities that a male possesses or the masculine ones possessed by the female, respectively. It is an archetype of the collective unconscious and not an aggregate of father or mother, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles or teachers, though these aspects of the personal unconscious can influence the person for good or ill.
Because a man's sensitivity must often be repressed, the anima is one of the most significant autonomous complexes of all. It is said to manifest itself by appearing in dreams. It also influences a man's interactions with women and his attitudes toward them and vice versa for females and the animus. Jung said that "the encounter with the shadow is the 'apprentice-piece' in the individual's development...that with the anima is the 'masterpiece'". Jung viewed the anima process as being one of the sources of creative ability.
This got me thinking about could increased contact break the fantasy and help us see the LO for who they really are? In other words, somehow help us interpret our projections so we no longer project? And yet, in order to do this we would need to be aware of what our own projections are. In order to do this we would require a significant level of consciousness on our part. And perhaps when we have reached this level of consciousness, we by definition would no longer be projecting onto LO and would then loose the desire to have the contact.
It reminds me that limerence is all about us and we are the only ones that can work this through.
And there in lies a key lesson from limerence, to become more self aware, more conscious and to take back our projections. Shadow work and psychotherapy can help with this. Feels like a lifetime's work.