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Serial limerence.WTF?

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LostAgain
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Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by LostAgain » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:33 pm

I have recently emerged from a three year period of quite debilitaing obsession with LO after explaining reasons and going NC.
Now I look back with utter incomprehension and think WTF was all that about? :-?
I am bewildered as I can see all her faults,all her manipulative childish behaviour and not a little narcissism.WHY HER?
So I am tossing it out there to find out how many of us are serial limerents.I know I am and have been for decades.
I can look back and recognise some patterns but only some.I invite others to share some of the patterns.
My LO's superficially have little in common though my utter incomprehension at them being the LO afterwards is the same and I always feel like a twat.
I have considered whether one common feature was 'unobtainablity' but some would have been realisable and could have turned into affairs,which would have been very messy therefore I held back,or was too reticent to make a move. :|
I guess in each case there was never any chance whatsoever of coming together and therefore my fevered brain was able to insert whatever nonsense and fantasy it liked.(See above;feeling like a twat)
In each case I was unhappy,either in a relationship or less often as a singleton.The LE must partly have been a distraction or an unchallengeable wish fulfilment.
I have read the articles posted by David and others about deficits in childhood affection,self doubt,rescuing tendencies as a distraction.I can relate to all of these and see how such formative stuff fed into my weakness for limerence but I know it may happen again,maybe sooner rather than later.
Soooo,good people.Without too much of the deep background psychological stuff (though you obviously can whatever you want out there) what are the common features for all you serial limerents? :ymdevil: :ymdevil:

EXlfjb
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Re: Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by EXlfjb » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:59 pm

Without the psychological stuff... serial limerents are people who like to cling to pain in my books. Masochistic mindsets. That's if you think limerence is painful. If on the other hand you chase the thrill perhaps take up bungy jumping? I don't know anyone who wants to remain in lala-land.

Serial limerents are people who won't (for whatever reason) do their own heavy lifting. That reason could be fear of being authentic because they were never allowed or encouraged to be as children. It could be because of a mental illness. Who knows? :-??
Only the limerent will know why they hold themselves back.

One could rephrase the question and ask why one remains an alcoholic? What do they NOT want to feel/think about?

marko
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Re: Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by marko » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:59 am

Serial here, and I do find the romantic pining for another kind of pleasurable. This last one was quite a surprise and I'll have to be on guard. I'm pretty beat down at the moment, so in my given state it seems reasonable that I would do it again. I don't like that I catch myself slightly obsessing over a person that I just passed by and think, wow that was easy. An old acquaintance roller bladed by the house. I actually envisioned myself talking to her and asking her out--I thought damn, that was dumb. Yep serial.

mrsjones
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Re: Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by mrsjones » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:10 am

Also serial.

I've been thinking about this a lot and I think a consistent thread is the unavailable / unobtainable theme. In fact, I can recall many instances in my life where I have been so into someone until they started to return the attention and then I completely freaked out and didn't want anything to do with them. These days it is the opposite - I'm particularly susceptible to a man who gives me special attention, but then, I am unavailable, so I guess that makes it feel kind of safe. I wonder if this has anything to do with a concept that I heard an American psychotherapist talking about on the subject of love addiction and I can't remember what the term he used was, but he was talking about a self-protective measure that children used if they are growing up with one or more emotionally unavailable parents. He was saying that they learn to kind of over-perceive the degree of closeness that they have with this caregiver rather than admit to themselves that there is neglect or disconnection there and this can carry over to relationships later in life, resulting in the kind of scenarios where one person continues to devote everything in a relationship when the other person clearly doesn't give a crap. Perhaps some of us become limerent as a result of this self preserving mechanism - we have learnt to attach special importance and significance to relationships which barely exist.

:-?

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David
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Re: Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by David » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:24 am

L-F wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:59 pm
Serial limerents are people who won't (for whatever reason) do their own heavy lifting.
Only the limerent will know why they hold themselves back.
I suspect they fear their fear @-) @-)
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

For Relationship Coaching help see www.loverelations.co.uk
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FreeBird
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Re: Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by FreeBird » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:25 pm

Looking back, I think I would be considered a serial limerent too. Even though my current LO has been the longest in duration, I do remember some other LO/LEs that lasted from 6 months to a year. When I had my first full time job as a young adult, I pined and melted over one of the (married) attorneys for about a year. It had gotten so far beyond reality that I had asked "a friend of a friend" who practiced white magic to show me how to cast a love spell #-o Thankfully , my rational brain overpowered my limerbrain and snapped me out it soon after. And as a teenager, I had LE over famous musicians and actors as well.

It's exactly what you all have said: my LOs are unobtainable which drives me crazy and gives me that "high" :-ss
Mayberry:Gateway to danger :ymcowboy:

Paul45
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Re: Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by Paul45 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:49 pm

A lot of situations in life are like self-fulfilling prophesies. If we think of ourselves as limerent and don't learn from the LE then we're setting ourselves up for a repeat. I prefer to think of myself as a person passing through a limerent phase rather than a 'limerent'. I know it's just semantics but self-perception can make all the difference and be a tool for breaking out of this.

I'm still working my own way through limerence but with the awareness now of knowing what it is, I'd be deeply disappointed with myself if I get hijacked by it again. 'Pleasurable' isn't a word I'd use to describe unreciprocated feelings: agonising, tortuous, delusional, mind-bendingly awful and debilitating in my experience.

openheart
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Re: Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by openheart » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:26 pm

mrsjones wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:10 am
Also serial.

I've been thinking about this a lot and I think a consistent thread is the unavailable / unobtainable theme. In fact, I can recall many instances in my life where I have been so into someone until they started to return the attention and then I completely freaked out and didn't want anything to do with them. These days it is the opposite - I'm particularly susceptible to a man who gives me special attention, but then, I am unavailable, so I guess that makes it feel kind of safe. I wonder if this has anything to do with a concept that I heard an American psychotherapist talking about on the subject of love addiction and I can't remember what the term he used was, but he was talking about a self-protective measure that children used if they are growing up with one or more emotionally unavailable parents. He was saying that they learn to kind of over-perceive the degree of closeness that they have with this caregiver rather than admit to themselves that there is neglect or disconnection there and this can carry over to relationships later in life, resulting in the kind of scenarios where one person continues to devote everything in a relationship when the other person clearly doesn't give a crap. Perhaps some of us become limerent as a result of this self preserving mechanism - we have learnt to attach special importance and significance to relationships which barely exist.

:-?
Something for me to ponder here -- thank you for posting this. Both of my parents were emotionally unavailable... my father in particular. My father physically due to work (and other reasons too) and my mother through judgmentalism at the time (although she's grown tremendously since then, after realizing in part the impact that had on her kids). My upbringing was in a definitive religion... which I've since been able to move beyond. These points are well taken, I feel like there's a probable link in my case.

Skex
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Re: Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by Skex » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:39 pm

Not a Limerent myself, however as an outside observer I think that David did hit the nail on the head when he talked about fear, but I don't think that it is fear of fear but rather the fear of looking inward at one's self, at your fears, insecurities and painful experiences and ultimately your value.

To start let me say that I do not believe in love/sex addiction. What I believe is that people who never developed healthy coping skills due to their FOO environment and experiences develop unhealthy coping mechanisms that work for them in their childhood and because they were raised in environments where good coping mechanisms were not modeled and encouraged they stuck with the ones that worked for them.

My wife for example came from an alcoholic home. Her mother was selfish and self centered and her father escaped into alcohol. As a result she grew up very insecure about her value as a person. She had to learn how to fake normalcy and hide her true feelings because when she expressed them as a child she was dismissed or ridiculed for doing so.

It's not her fault that her parents were fucked up and to be fair it wasn't their fault either since they were working from their own dysfunctional history exacerbated by her father's experiences in war-time.

When I would get fixated on some new hobby or video game it would trigger memories of her father's detachment and her fear of rejection would cause her to pull back and detach emotionally because she was projecting her unresolved relationship issues with her parents onto me.

Because I didn't know what was going on in her head when she came to me and said how much time I spent on my hobbies bothered her I assumed that she meant what she was saying so I tried to find a happy compromise by limiting the time I spent on my games and worked to move that time into times where I didn't think that it would impact her.

What was really going on is that she was feeling neglected and saw my finding time to do something away from her as me not loving her. She related it to her experiences with her father who would escape into alcohol and emotionally detach. Or her mother who would lock herself in her room and leave my wife and her siblings to fend for themselves.

Then I finally decided that there just wasn't a way for me to balance my gaming and other commitments in a way worked for her and focused more attention on her, she started to feel smothered and told me to not be up her ass all the time. So I tried again to find a balance but because her problem wasn't really about me it really didn't matter what I did, she'd be dissatisfied.

The problem was that while she was communicating with me, she wasn't really expressing what she was actually feeling. She would always couch her complaints about how I spent my time in terms of spending time with the family. Likely because she didn't think that she was important enough to ask just for herself and the fear that if she did explicitly state it that I'd confirm her fear directly. At the same time when I did focus attention on her it would trigger her fears that eventually I'd detach again and rather than invest herself into it she pulled back herself.

In the end her problem was that she didn't think that she mattered or that she had value to others. However she still had that human desire to be wanted and to feel desired. This mixed with her fear of rejection and she wound up with this cycle of self sabotage where she assumed that she would always fail and that since she was destined to fail she'd never really try to succeed ofter subconsciously doing things to undermine that success because if she wasn't really trying then she wasn't really failing.

I think that she acted out the way that she did because the shallow nature of the interactions did not expose her to emotional risk and the attention fed her starvation for validation. She felt sexy powerful and in control with the added bonus of sticking it to me for failing her and by proxy sticking it to her parents.

It was a shallow validation that she got but it fed her desire to be desired without being threatening.

I suspect that most of the limerents here have similar issues in their past and psyche. Fears of rejection combined with the normal human desire to be wanted. You fixate on the unattainable because a fantasy can't hurt you in the same way that a reality can. The shallow infatuation and thrill from a new relationship provides reassurance of value without having to expose your true self in the same way that a longer deeper relationship does.

There is a certain exquisiteness in pain. When I describe an orgasm I like to explain it as that peak point of discomfort and relief. It's like that when you really desperately need to pee and there is that instant when you first start when hit that point of release. It's painful yet immensely satisfying.

I wonder if that euphoria of pain isn't a large part of what feeds your limerence? From what I've read here you have all expressed this crisis of value. You want to feel wanted and desired yet you don't quite think that you deserve it. So you focus your attention on those who for some reason or another you don't feel worthy of or perhaps those you know instinctively aren't good for you, who will eventually hurt you by leaving you or abusing your affection in some way.

By focusing on shallow unrequited or tragic love you avoid the risks associated with real deep authentic love out of the subconscious fear that your inner feelings of worthlessness will be confirmed. It is serial in nature because the low personal investment allows you to avoid the real personal investment that would require an admission of authenticity and openness of your true self that carries a very real risk of confirming your deepest fear that a true real love would require. That if you really open yourself up to someone and they see the "real" you that they will find you as disgusting and worthless as you feel inside. yet as long as they are only rejecting your projected shallow image then they aren't really rejecting you.

Does that resonate?

As far as the fix? You have to find some way to learn to value yourself. To be secure in the idea that you matter, that you are just as important and valuable as anyone else. That your family were just fucked up people dealing with their own shit as best they were able and that their expression of value or lack there of towards you was a result of their own insecurities and dysfunctional coping mechanism and not a reflection on your value.

It's an easy thing to say, but not such an easy thing to do. Because to do it you have to first face and acknowledge those fears, you have to consciously feel and express them and those self defense mechanisms, those dysfunctional coping strategies have their own survival instinct. Your subconscious sees them as useful and beneficial because they protected you as a child and it will struggle desperately to protect itself.

That said here is a little secret, we all have those fears and insecurities. No matter how stable or loving and healthy a home environment we come from, no matter how together and confident we appear on the surface, we all fear that ultimately we're worthless, because objectively we are. Individually we're irrelevant to existence. Things chugged along just fine before we existed and things will chug merrily away long after we're gone and most of us won't leave any lasting mark or memory. Even the those who do manage to make a mark of significance will eventually fade into obscurity.

Paradoxically we are all the most important thing in the world to ourselves because if we weren't here we wouldn't even be asking the question of our value. Coping mechanisms healthy or unhealthy are just our ways of dealing with that dichotomy of being. Most "normal well adjusted" people are just as insecure and fearful of not being valued, we've just learned ways to deal with it that aren't (as) self-destructive. We learn to find our own personal value and meaning. Things that matter to us that we can focus our time and energy into; our hobbies, our families, our careers, political activism. Things that we feel create value and provide meaning for our lives.

This is why you will never find validation from outside, you have to find value in yourself because in the end the only one you are irreplaceable to is you.

openheart
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Re: Serial limerence.WTF?

Post by openheart » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:05 pm

Skex wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:39 pm
Does that resonate?
On several levels this does not resonate with me, personally. No disrespect intended. Not that there aren't plenty of things I agree with in general in these comments, and these are certainly real issues that many people face -- limerents or not -- and there's good advice for many circumstances, so I appreciate the ideas of course. But I feel there's a big disconnect here in these observations with how I understand limerence in a broader sense from Tennov's book.

Having said that, I do feel that there are many posts in this forum that are using a subset of Tennov's description of limerence, or some post-Tennov variant/morph of "limerence" so this probably would resonate with plenty of people. I'm starting to believe in my brief foray here that a common definition of limerence used in this forum has indeed morphed from what Tennov wrote about in 1979. I need to read more about how the word limerence has been modified and evolved in 38 years, since I've started with her book as the basis of my understanding. Could be that it has changed like the word "meme" has been adapted and changed since Dawkins coined it in 1976.

But anyway, from my POV, the general concept is not resonating with my situation. I think there are many more layers, and plenty of people who have already done a lot of work on fear, risk, self-value and authentic self, that there is something else operating underneath. What that is, I don't know yet, and I'm working through to figure it out, at least for my own situation.

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