Limerence or harassment?

Open forum ... what's on your mind? Want to vent or lament about your Limerent/Love Object? This is the ideal place.
barca20
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:56 am
Gender:
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by barca20 »

John wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:09 pm
Your LO's hot and cold behavior is sure to be feeding into your limerence. It is possible that she enjoys your attention and kindness toward her but doesn't want an actual relationship so she is pulling away at times. I also have a question; is the other person she invited to dinner male or female and are they a friend of her's or of your's?
It's good to hear that, John. Thank you. The other person is also a coworker, who is one of the most popular people in the office. Given his age, I don't think she and the other coworker would talk about me or she would have any interest in him. She is very comfortable with him, I am guessing that's why she's inviting him...to balance the awkwardness with me.

barca20
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:56 am
Gender:
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by barca20 »

So, this hot and cold behavior has gone up a notch.

As a recap (this sounds like a soap):

Last week she seemed to get upset that I wasn't talking to her, then when I talked to her, she seemed very happy and became very friendly. I breathed a sigh of relief that finally our interactions were normalizing and becoming professional.

Then she invited me for dinner at her home with some other people, yet seemed very uncomfortable about it later in person, so I turned down the invite, because I felt like she didn't really want me there.

Now, here's the update:

The next day, I had a family emergency, so I couldn't go to work for a few days. She sent me some very kind messages when she heard this and even brought me food. I wasn't there when she showed up, so she left the food outside my residence. I wrote to her to thank her for the food and told her that I will always be grateful to her and her husband (I'm good friends with both of them and I'm really trying to end this chapter in my mind).

So, I went back to work this week and tried to thank her for the food in person, she avoided me, completely! Not once but multiple times. She even told me that she was busy, so she couldn't talk to me; yet, she seemed to have time to talk to other people. She never even asked me about my family emergency in person, although she was very sympathetic about it on text message.

I don't know what is going on but this is now turning into unprofessional behavior to be honest.

It's true that I had feelings for her but I have never tried to act on it and tried my best to hide it (although I think she could figure it out).

I am quite angry at the unprofessional behavior and am thinking of completely eliminating any interactions with her. Would that be professional?

Fullofregret
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 8:32 pm
Gender:
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by Fullofregret »

I have to be 100% honest here. This sounds like the dreaded mutual limerence.

I have done the exact same shit your LO has done. Exact.

barca20
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:56 am
Gender:
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by barca20 »

Fullofregret wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:44 am
I have to be 100% honest here. This sounds like the dreaded mutual limerence.

I have done the exact same shit your LO has done. Exact.
Thanks for sharing your perspective. I really wasn't expecting to hear that.

Since you said you have done the same thing, can I ask what was going through your mind at the time when you were doing the same thing as my LO?

Also, if I want to stay strictly as friends and coworkers without having an affair, is there something I can do without being rude?

I will appreciate any thoughts or advice.

Fullofregret
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 8:32 pm
Gender:
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by Fullofregret »

What was going through my mind? (This is me talking to myself).

Day 1: [exchange three funny emails]. I think he likes me. Ride the high all night.

Day 2: Get yourself together. Yeah, he's hot, but you're married. You need to steer clear the next few days. You really crossed a line. He can tell you have feelings for him. Everyone else is going to notice at work. You're embarrassing yourself.

Day 3: God, he looks good today. Maybe just a little chat won't kill me. [Floats on air walking out of his office]

Day 4: get yourself together.

Day 5: I wonder if he wants an affair? Why won't he make a damn move? I've given him every signal. Now that he's divorced, he'd be the perfect affair partner. He must not like me after all. I need to ignore him and get over this. [Pretend to be busy and avoid].

Repeat.

barca20
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:56 am
Gender:
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by barca20 »

Fullofregret wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:50 pm
What was going through my mind? (This is me talking to myself).

Day 1: [exchange three funny emails]. I think he likes me. Ride the high all night.

Day 2: Get yourself together. Yeah, he's hot, but you're married. You need to steer clear the next few days. You really crossed a line. He can tell you have feelings for him. Everyone else is going to notice at work. You're embarrassing yourself.

Day 3: God, he looks good today. Maybe just a little chat won't kill me. [Floats on air walking out of his office]

Day 4: get yourself together.

Day 5: I wonder if he wants an affair? Why won't he make a damn move? I've given him every signal. Now that he's divorced, he'd be the perfect affair partner. He must not like me after all. I need to ignore him and get over this. [Pretend to be busy and avoid].

Repeat.
Thanks for sharing what was going through your mind. It was helpful and made me wonder if my LO's situation might be a bit different. To be honest, I consider myself above average in terms of looks, certainly not hot. So, I don't think she'd be physically attracted to me, the way you were attracted to your LO. On the other hand, I'm emotionally and physically attracted to her. She lost some weight recently, got a new haircut, and has been dressing up very nicely (I can't imagine that has anything to do with me, perhaps she wants to feel good about herself).

The unfortunate truth is that I do not find any joy in anything I do nowadays due to other events in my life. I have friends but they don't quite get me. I have spoken to therapists but I have not been happy with any of them. These days, I don't talk much to my family. I've been always been a loyal son but my family is quite narcissistic. For example, whenever I talk to them, they are either complaining about something or asking me to do something for them, instead of asking me much about myself. My LO is the only one who seemed to get me. So, if she seems unhappy or uncomfortable around me, it makes me feel low for the entire day. She has a good life and I do not want her to give it up for me and I don't want her attention either. But I don't want her to feel sad or awkward because of me.

So, here is a bit more update to this story. As I told you before, she brought me food to my home when I had an emergency but then she avoided me in office. I went to her office another day to return the food container and we ended up having a chat that was slow at first but very natural by the end. During the chat, I felt at times she was staring at me and I didn't want to give myself away by looking elsewhere, so I also looked straight at her. I ended the conversation with a specific compliment on something unique about the food she made, which made her smile instantaneously, she then looked down and tucked her hair behind her ear, smiled and then looked up at me. This made me wonder if there is attraction on her side too. But then, when I left her office, she thanked me for "stopping by", which made me wonder if the real reason she made the food and invited me to her house was to normalize our professional relationship, since I have not stopped by her office for a long time now.

Anyway, I left her office thinking that if her goal was to normalize our professional relationship, we had just accomplished that goal and there wouldn't be any further awkward interactions. Yet, the very next day, when I saw her again in office, she ignored me in the morning BUT...later in the day, came to my office for something related to work that's important and was surprisingly friendly. She kept looking at me several times during that interaction as if she wanted to ask me something but I couldn't tell what it was.

The following day, I sent her a work-related email, and had a back-and-forth as we were trying to resolve a work issue. She responded instantly to each of my messages (which she usually doesn't do) but the responses were a bit too blunt.

So, that's where things are. I'm good at remembering events, but as someone who was always shy around women, I have little faith in my ability to understand them. So, sometimes I feel like maybe she has feelings for me too, or at the very least she enjoys my attention.

I've made a resolve to myself this morning (I guess I'm using this space as my journal now): she is married to a good man, so I will avoid her as much as possible (e.g. hide in my office when I know she's nearby) for the next month or so....I'll be very formal and brief in our interactions if it's unavoidable. What this episode has shown me is that relationships may not be for me after all. I feel like giving everything up and starting my life over as a Buddhist monk.

barca20
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:56 am
Gender:
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by barca20 »

I'm going to post an update, just to get this out of my head.

In the morning, I took a firm resolve not to talk to her. I've avoided her the entire day. I thought about her husband and how it's wrong of me to think of her this way.

I saw her a bit earlier and she started talking to me. She was very friendly and when I saw her friendliness, I froze for some reason. I've never been so awkward in my entire life. I muttered some words but I don't think they made any sense.

If ever she had doubts about my feelings for her, after today there would be no doubt.

I basically ran away from her in the end, I never had a brain freeze like this in a conversation before.

No contact is not possible and transference is not possible.

Anyone else has been in these situations before? Any tips? I tried thinking of her husband constantly during our conversation but it didn't help at all. I thought about God but sorry to say that it didn't help me either.

AMA210
Posts: 1990
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: Midwest
Gender:
Age: 55
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by AMA210 »

Hi. I think that is called the "unable to speak a coherent sentence when in the presence of LO". It's an actual thing. I had that also when completely stuck in the mud. I don't know why it happens, but just being with them causes the words to come out all wrong. There were times that all I could get out was I'm sorry. I would take a breath and then start over again. Its rather embarrassing to experience, but it will get better. Have you gotten to to the "rehearse" stage yet? It is basically when you rehearse the lines you will say to them, over and over again, like practicing lines for a play. Sometimes, when you have it planned out just right, it never seems to go the way you planned.

On a lighter note, it's really difficult when this is happening in the workplace. Other people start to notice when either one of you starts hanging around the other more and depending on how long it goes on, becomes very difficult to keep the feelings from spilling out.

I hope the situation improves.

barca20
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:56 am
Gender:
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by barca20 »

AMA210 wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:53 am
Hi. I think that is called the "unable to speak a coherent sentence when in the presence of LO". It's an actual thing. I had that also when completely stuck in the mud. I don't know why it happens, but just being with them causes the words to come out all wrong. There were times that all I could get out was I'm sorry. I would take a breath and then start over again. Its rather embarrassing to experience, but it will get better. Have you gotten to to the "rehearse" stage yet? It is basically when you rehearse the lines you will say to them, over and over again, like practicing lines for a play. Sometimes, when you have it planned out just right, it never seems to go the way you planned.

On a lighter note, it's really difficult when this is happening in the workplace. Other people start to notice when either one of you starts hanging around the other more and depending on how long it goes on, becomes very difficult to keep the feelings from spilling out.

I hope the situation improves.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I've been in the rehearsal stage with her. I usually mentally rehearse most conversations with other people as well, since I've some social anxiety.

What throws me off is that I am quite certain she knows I like her. I also know that she was avoiding me previously, but more recently, she initiates conversations with me. In the past, she used to ask me more questions, but now she listens more and doesn't say much, despite initiating.

I hope the situation improves too, it doesn't help that she's reaching out more nowadays when I'm trying to avoid her.

AMA210
Posts: 1990
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: Midwest
Gender:
Age: 55
United States of America

Re: Limerence or harassment?

Post by AMA210 »

@barca20: Glad to be of some help. Beyond the established "I like you" stage, it seems the more one tries to avoid someone else, just the opposite occurs and one sees them all of the time.
In your position, I would ask myself what am I getting from this or what needs are being met by these interactions?
Do both of you like your jobs? If not, then that is a really good reason to continue the bantering because it distracts from the work itself and makes the job more tolerable. This was the case with the co-worker, which isn't the LO. I don't think there was any limerence with that.
This is just a suggestion, but if you really want to maintain the distance from her, are you able to suggest going for coffee after work to talk about a project. That alone might be enough for her to avoid you.
On the other hand, if she would agree, then just don't follow through on it. I also did this with co-worker, and he ignored me and ran away for 4 days.

I am concerned because of the fact that you see her every day because you have to work with her and I know, from recent experience, that it can escalate very quickly. Also, if you or her gets upset about something, its very difficult to hide that and pretend that everything is fine. And, on top of all of that, is the possibility that a co-worker will notice and/or mention something to HR and I'm sure you don't want to lose your job because of this. That was always a big fear I had--that he would tell HR about our "friendship", as he was in a higher position than I was.

:)

Post Reply