Information: Please take a moment and visit your profile to choose a flag.

I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Tell us your story. What has been your experience?
Post Reply
openheart
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:51 pm

I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by openheart » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:49 am

Okay, here's my story... I would love some feedback on this as I just realized today that I might be afflicted by this alien invader called limerence.

Quick background: I'm a recently divorced dad and still getting used to the dating world again, after being totally faithful to my ex-wife for a very unhappy, decade+ marriage. We wisely and mutually decided to end the marriage on amicable terms so we could both get on with our lives and maybe find some happiness on different paths. We are on basically good terms and we co-parent our son fairly successfully... we're trying to make it work for our son. It's been a very interesting journey, and as for my personal life, since I had never strayed, I was pretty shocked at how the dating world had changed since the last time I had been out there.

So I've met some great women in my short adventures in the dating world, and I'm grateful for the lovely experiences, but my heart never resonated with them and I sort of decided to take a break. I also tried online dating briefly, and it frankly doesn't work for me. So I figured if it was going to happen, it was going to happen the old fashioned way.

Anyway, on to the limerence part of the story... So I recently decided to take my son on a trip and while we were traveling we stopped at a particular restaurant that was the most convenient restaurant to our hotel... and we visited it a few times. The first time we ate there, I met the girl that would shake my world.

It was so completely unexpected and totally random. She worked there, and there was something incredibly attractive about her -- not necessarily physically -- it was about the way she talked, the way she interacted with us, her sense of humor, her attitude, her energy, her goofy and adorable expressions... I could go on and on... I was really attracted to her, but it wasn't a big deal until she said something unexpected, super-intuitive, and thought-provoking to my son, and I knew she was very special. That was apparently my Achilles heel.

Without going into detail, from that moment I started falling for her. She gave me her business card, so when we came home from the trip, I emailed her and thanked her. But the truth is I was already smitten... I thought about her every day since I came back from the trip, and the more I thought about her, the more I realized I really wanted to get to know her and see if she wanted to get to know me.

This brief exchange changed gears when I decided to up the ante and tell her that she blew my mind -- I was pretty blunt -- but I didn't want to put any pressure on her and make her feel uncomfortable, so I didn't bug her when she didn't reply. However, I thought about her every day for months, with no replies. I started to let it go, since I didn't want to be a creep to her.

Then one day curiosity got the better of me and I looked her up on Facebook. I didn't "friend" her -- so I only saw her public profile, which was pretty limited, plus I thought any more than a public profile would be too creepy -- but it got me thinking more about her and I decided to reach out again via email and say hi, and this time she replied. Obviously, I was encouraged. She apologized for not responding earlier and we had a little exchange which progressed to texting, but then she stopped replying to me, even though she implied that she would be texting me again. It was odd since I thought there was a slight spark of interest growing on her side... but I got the impression that there was something serious going on in her life and I didn't want to pressure her, so I tried to give her space. Probably not enough space, but I still didn't want her to feel uncomfortable.

I've thought about her every day since I met her and now I haven't heard back from her, and it has really started affecting me. I've analyzed my feelings for her, looked up psychological info, etc... and while the emotions seem partly irrational since I really don't know her, I still think she's an extraordinary, fantastic, amazing woman and I still want to get to know her... she's really shaken me up and I can't really shake her off yet, although I'm slowly making progress. So after a couple more text messages trying to get the dialog going, but still no response from her, I realized I must have crossed some line with her or she just wasn't interested and for whatever reason decided to pull back.

So I also decided to pull back and have promised myself I won't contact her again, unless she initiates it. That seems somewhat sane, but the truth is, I still think about her every day. It hasn't really disrupted my work or parenting or life (thank goodness), but it has progressed in a way that I haven't ever experienced. It's really powerful -- kind of beautiful in a way, but also unbalanced since it is not reciprocated -- and I can't quite rationalize my way out of it, and I'm very surprised it hit me so hard. I'm normally pretty rational and grounded. But since I have no real basis of evidence that the feeling is mutual, in all fairness I have to let it go. But this is easier said than done.

And for some strange reason, today I felt terrible, and after using my normal tools (mostly centered around mindfulness and detachment), I still felt this emotional longing for her... it goes pretty dang deep and I barely even know her! It actually hurt today... an odd feeling out of nowhere. Part of me is finding all sorts of justifications about a metaphysical or spiritual connection, but I'm not about to act out on this. It's pretty funny how this feeling can make a grown man feel all jumbled up... I try to laugh it off too.

So then I decided to do a little more research on it and I came across this concept of limerence.

So from what I can tell, I'm experiencing a fairly mild to medium form of limerance, but I can also tell that if I allow myself to dwell on it much more, it has the potential to actually impact my life. So I'm trying to stop it in its tracks right now.

I'm pretty confident that I can knock this feeling out with time and patience, but there's a part of me that brings up ideas that make me want to hang on for a little longer. I even started questioning myself every once in a while with irrational arguments to contact her again, but another part of me knows it's best to keep trying to let it go. The internal conflict is fascination to observe, but a little painful to live through.

I'm just so surprised at myself, at the strength of the emotion. Sometimes I feel like a total moron for thinking about her. Other times I think it's destiny. Other times I just feel grateful that at least I can feel something like this. Today was strange because I actually felt a pang in my heart... and that was a little alarming. It's an unpleasant vacillation of emotion.

So I am interested in your thoughts. I just bought Tennov's book and look forward to reading it -- I'm a pretty grounded person, but I don't feel on totally solid ground right this instant, and thought I'd reach out to this forum of folks who might understand what I'm experiencing. Thanks in advance for your comments!

Ivanhoe
Posts: 493
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:49 pm
Location: Southwest US
Gender:
Age: 67
United States of America

Re: I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by Ivanhoe » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:58 am

Hoping David responds. 😀

I'd probably contact her, lie that I had to be in her city on business and ask her for a date at the best restaurant in town. If she said no - that would be it. Move on, she ain't interested. If yes - tough luck. 😂
65 (feel 50); Male

"Grief makes children of us all. Any intellectual difference is destroyed. The wisest know nothing."
- Emerson

Wyldgirl
Posts: 557
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:22 am

Re: I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by Wyldgirl » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:47 am

I think something like this is a kind of safe way to explore the possibility of something new after the loss of a relationship. I'm not sure it's limerence yet - it seems like a normal way to jump start yourself back into feeling risky emotions. I could be totally off.

Ivanhoe has a good point!

User avatar
David
Site Admin
Posts: 3190
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:22 pm
Location: London UK
Gender:
Age: 60
Contact:
Great Britain

Re: I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by David » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:28 am

Welcome openheart.

Labels can be good and can be bad.

Whatever the diagnosis, this nexus does represent an opportunity for you to do some even deeper introspection, if you choose.

Im all for mindfulness and detachment and yet I see many people using these techniques to avoid deeper feelings (you can read more here on spiritual bypassing written by a Buddhist psychotherapist
TRIC_interview_uncut (2).doc
.

I wont write much more as i've written lots elsewhere on the various theories and insights onto why we get love infected / addicted.

A final reflection. It feels like this woman enjoys the attention you are giving here, as long as its on her terms. Its why people flirt, to hook in some new narcissistic supply. It doesn't take much for an attractive woman with a warm smile who is unconsciously playing the victim to hook a man in whose a white knight rescuer who is looking for love and affection and gets this confused with his sexual impulses.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

For Relationship Coaching/Therapy see www.loverelations.co.uk

Heart_Open
Posts: 705
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by Heart_Open » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:20 am

Ahhhh openheart.... this could get confusing :) But I am intrigued... it would be interesting to hear why you chose your name?

Welcome to the forum - I would think about taking Ivanhoe's advice. You are obviously going to be wary starting a new relationship, but perhaps you just need to jump right in!

sydney0845
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by sydney0845 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:29 am

I can't offer much advice, other than to maybe continue as you are, ie not being too pushy, but trying your best to see if there is anything there without being too pushy.

I will say this though - I think "it was about the way she talked, the way she interacted with us, her sense of humor, her attitude, her energy, her goofy and adorable expressions" is a fantastic description of what attracts me to my LO. And like you, there was a fairly specific, random thing that she said very early on, and the way that she said it, that just made me realise I really liked her pretty much from the off.

openheart
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:51 pm

Re: I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by openheart » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:06 pm

Thank you everyone for your thoughts! I'll reply to each post individually -- I have a feeling that this is going to be a great learning experience for me as I try to figure this out. Very glad to have found this forum.

At the very least this will help me explore this part of my heart that I've had to shut down during my very unhappy marriage, but now need to learn how to open it back up.

openheart
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:51 pm

Re: I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by openheart » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:11 pm

Ivanhoe wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:58 am
I'd probably contact her, lie that I had to be in her city on business and ask her for a date at the best restaurant in town. If she said no - that would be it. Move on, she ain't interested. If yes - tough luck. 😂
I've had this thought pretty much every day. :-) I've tried to figure out how my next big project can be legitimately based in her town, I've thought about various excuses to go back there, etc... but the truth is that the more I like someone, the less subterfuge there can be. With this woman, I wouldn't be able to hide that from her. I'd want to be 100% transparent, and that's why I came out so bluntly to her early on... If I did manage to convince myself to actually do that, within 1 minute of seeing her, I'd spill the beans.

openheart
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:51 pm

Re: I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by openheart » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:33 pm

Wyldgirl wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:47 am
I think something like this is a kind of safe way to explore the possibility of something new after the loss of a relationship. I'm not sure it's limerence yet - it seems like a normal way to jump start yourself back into feeling risky emotions. I could be totally off.

Ivanhoe has a good point!
I've trying to understand what I'm experiencing. This is really all new to me. But I think you're on to something about the loss of a relationship with my ex-wife.

As I've mentioned, my marriage was very unhappy, but I stuck with it because I made the commitment and frankly, I felt like I needed to exhaust every avenue to make it work, especially after having a son. But ultimately it was too painful, and it had to end. Thank goodness we were for once synced up together on that decision so it didn't have to be even more painful than it already was. It ended more or less gracefully.

But during that marriage I realized I had to shut down parts of my heart to survive. And it has been tough (and beautiful) to begin to open that up again. During my short time dating again, I ran into one woman who was profoundly accepting of me, and that was a great step in my healing. That relationship eventually ran out of steam (for various reasons) so I kept my heart open for other new experiences, but never resonated with another woman.

But then I met this girl on this trip, and she literally blew my mind. Just floored me. It's the strongest feeling I've had for someone for a long, long, long time... in fact in some ways it's the strongest feeling I've had for someone, ever. I totally put myself out there to her, and don't even regret coming out so openly, even though it might have been a bit alarming for her. I'm really conflicted. I want her so badly it hurts sometimes. And I don't mean sexually, although I am very attracted to her. Especially her quirks for some reason. But I know if it's not reciprocated it obviously isn't going to work. I just feel that I have some of the symptoms of limerence, but maybe I don't. I'm not sure. I need to learn what's going on. Whatever this is, I long for her in a way I can't explain or understand.

BUT, going back to your point about the loss of a relationship -- this woman is in so many ways NOT like my ex-wife. I've been trying to understand what gets me the most about her... but her profoundly sensitive words to my son that I mentioned in my first post were so perfect, there's a part of me that probably wished/wishes that my ex-wife could be (or could have been) so sensitive and wise. This kind of thinking is so attractive to me, and I have probably been so starved of it for my whole painful marriage that when I saw it out in the real world, it hit me pretty hard.

So in a way, I do think that this woman fills some sort of vacuum inside my life... and even though I know I'm not trying to replace my son's mother with another mother figure for him (my ex-wife and I are co-parenting pretty well so far, and I would never want to take her away from my son), it just makes me want this other woman even more, that such a thoughtful, charming, attractive, funny, goofy, intelligent, grounded, kind woman even exists. She blows my mind just writing this response to you. And the fact that she was able to intuitively communicate so beautifully with my son is just beyond awesome. Sigh.

openheart
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:51 pm

Re: I briefly met a girl and she shook my world... your thoughts?

Post by openheart » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:47 pm

David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:28 am
Whatever the diagnosis, this nexus does represent an opportunity for you to do some even deeper introspection, if you choose.

Im all for mindfulness and detachment and yet I see many people using these techniques to avoid deeper feelings (you can read more here on spiritual bypassing written by a Buddhist psychotherapist TRIC_interview_uncut (2).doc.

I wont write much more as i've written lots elsewhere on the various theories and insights onto why we get love infected / addicted.

A final reflection. It feels like this woman enjoys the attention you are giving here, as long as its on her terms. Its why people flirt, to hook in some new narcissistic supply. It doesn't take much for an attractive woman with a warm smile who is unconsciously playing the victim to hook a man in whose a white knight rescuer who is looking for love and affection and gets this confused with his sexual impulses.
Agreed entirely that this is a great opportunity for more introspection. I welcome it, and frankly need it, or I'm going to keep thinking about this woman more and more.

Will check out the mindfulness document you posted, thank you.

Yes, I think this woman probably enjoys the attention I gave her, and I have most likely idealized her into some super being, and yes, I am probably a white knight in my own mind to some degree -- that's part of the reason why I stayed in my unhappy marriage to honor my commitment and try to rescue both of us from the unhappiness we felt -- but I don't know if my looking for love and affection is getting confused with sexual impulses. I'll look into that, but I'm not highly driven by that part of my being -- I'm very much interested and mainly driven by emotional connection and authentic self- and connected-expansion. While I have been starved of sex during my marriage, I've had enough moments now since the divorce where I was able to observe my motivations in action, and chose emotional connection over sex every time. But I will definitely look into that angle.

This case is definitely new to me, I don't understand it yet. It's bypassing a lot of my normal, rational circuits and goes right into my heart and I can't wrap my head around it yet.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest