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Learning about limerance

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:40 am
Great Britain

Learning about limerance

Post by longing » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:53 am

Hello there.

I'm 39 and learned this term a couple of months ago when my friend mentioned it. I've read Tennov's book and found it really helpful. My friend offered the word because since September 2017 I've been highly sensitised to the limerent state, and I had started to judge myself as obsessive, mentally ill, having emotionally unstable personality disorder, being a 'playa'... a lot of this self-hating labelling seems to me to be one of my limerent symptoms.

My history...

I've been in therapy loads - 2006-2015 - and work in personal development now. So I have all the psychodynamics/theoretical awareness and it has helped me significantly in the past. But for now, I like Tennov's ideas about just accepting that some people are limerant, some aren't. That feels useful to me personally rather than going down the route of historical explanations. I want to learn to live with, contain and harness these feelings instead of seeking psychological explanations, or suppressing them or acting them out. That's just my personal and current stance, I know it won't be everyone's.

I've been prone to long-term limerent crushes throughout my life. The first significant one (A) lasted from when I was 11 through to when I was 16, another long-term one (S) was from 26-35. As a teenager I got limerent about musicians and film stars, would have recurring dreams of unlimited connection with the LO. I never use to disclose these crushes to anyone, never spoke about what it was like, and felt intense shame. I had never had a relationship with anyone that I'd been limerent towards - I was too terrified, tensed up, and avoided them because I would get overwhelmed.

I ended an 8 year relationship in December 2016, and am single now. I'd had therapy throughout that relationship and learned to feel my real attachment feelings. Now that I'm dating again, over the past 2 years, I've noticed something has shifted. I'm now not scared and do take the risk to have relationships with LOs rather than keep the crush totally secret. I'm glad about this, I'm more resilient and emotionally open, but... there's a whole new learning thing to do, right?!

In September 2017 I had my first actual relationship with an LO. I met someone at a festival who I hadn't even noticed before he seduced me and I became limerent towards him. He was separated but not divorced and the situation was extremely distressing, exciting and sexually overwhelming. Of course it was: it was massively uncertain, ideal limerence breeding ground. We had a text relationship for 4 months and hooked up 3 times. It was incredible: although I knew I had no intention of having a relationship with him, I was utterly addicted. I made a new text tone for him to reduce the thrilling body reaction I had every time my phone went off and the horrific pain when it wasn't him. I spent hours listening to

Then I had a second relationship with an LO. I met someone from Africa, who was temporarily in the US (I live in the UK) and he visited the UK, we got together and although we knew the relationship could go nowhere, we really liked each other and made efforts to meet in different countries. He didn't have a visa for the UK so couldn't visit me. Over time, my limerence overtook and I believe I stopped relating to him as him, rather I was relating to him as a rejecting projection. I became terrified that he didn't want me, against all evidence to the contrary. Our relationship would have ended due to the circumstances: but I believe that my distress and difficulty expressing it to him led me to act it out instead. He started to withdraw and it was one of the most painful experiences I've had. I poured myself into poetry, therapy, got support from friends, audio sleep hypnosis, went into nature... I'm good, I believe, at using pain for learning and transformation. I think this one might have taught me to learn to tolerate pain and heartbreak, to understand my self-hatred... and that I did love him as well as feeling limerent.

However. Life is boring without limerence, right? (I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek)


Right now I'm carefully managing some feelings I'm having about L, who I met a few weeks ago and who lives in another continent to me. We are connected through family - he's a second cousin that I'd never met. I can't decide how I feel about the family tie... that's probably another topic! I felt I could talk about everything with him, felt the familiar elation, there's the magic and the drama and the desire to book a flight and move heaven and earth to see him, text him about anything just to keep the connection... to pull and push... to disclose... Oh, hello, limerence old friend.

The idea that limerence can have a label, and I can learn to live with it, is helpful. I've been able to resist texting L - looks like I've learned something at least. I have noticed I'm distracting myself with lower-level dating/messaging, with people who like me and I like, but am not limerent towards. I'm also trying to consider what is is that I am limerent towards, what this energy can tell me about what I'm craving, and whether I can increase the spirituality/creativity/drama in my life in other ways. I'm curious to hear from other people who take the route of harnessing this vibrant, magical and incredible energy.

Selfishness towards maturity

One significant thing for me about this journey is that it helps me to consider before declaring love to people I don't really love. Or believing that these kind of feelings are love. When I"m in the throes of limerence, I can say and believe and do things that suggest I believe the other person to be a soul mate, perfect, all sorts of things... when really it's all about limerence symptoms and waaaaay too premature to know about what depth of connection there really is. I think I've probably misled men, and women, in the past by declaring how I feel, and then hurting them when the limerence dies and I can walk away with total ease. So I'm glad to be starting to put myself in the LO's shoes instead of being totally undisciplined and selfish with my declarations. I want to tolerate and enjoy these feelings, but not act them out.


I guess this is my introduction. It was helpful to write this, and if anyone responds, that will be a wonderful bonus. I particularly wish to hear thoughts about using this energy.

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Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:49 pm

Re: Learning about limerance

Post by NVTS » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:06 pm

Welcome Longing!

This last several weeks has me in a place where I really feel this energy you wrote about. Sorry to hijack your thread, but I feel that this is the proper context.

When I first met her: cute,smart,vivacious. She came highly recommended from others in our field to help.

In the 3 months that I got to work with her I witnessed her expertise and diligence. I never thought that I had those attributes and it was truly amazing to watch. This made me "step up my game" if you will. I started mirroring her actions and enthusiasm and it felt wonderful. Thanks Dopamine!

By the time she left I was in a full blown crush by my estimation and hadn't felt that about anyone in decades. I knew that I wouldn't be likely to see her or even work with her and thought " out of sight, out of mind" and I would slowly forget about her. WRONG!!!!

This is when the Limerence really kicked in and I discovered the term. I realized that I had experienced this since grade school, what a revelation.

Over the ensuing 18 months or so I have been part of this forum, in therapy, discovered that at least one close friend suffered from limerence and totally "gets" what I'm going through(he knows LO as well).

I have come to understand that positive energy that she seemed to trigger in me, all comes from me. It has always been there but I rarely let it flow because of how much I hated myself.

The gift that she gave me, the ability to start to find out why I despised myself and put an end to it; One of the best and strangest gifts ever!

So these days I allow that positive energy to flow from me in all aspects of life and share it with as many people as I can. Boy does it feel good.

I would love to be able to share this with LO, it's up to the universe to facilitate that.

So yes the conversion of the longing and pining pain into positive energy which reflects in my general attitude at home,work,and play is indescribably AWESOME! I know that there is still work to be done and I will gladly do it PRO BONO.

It is always a nice reminder to hear the stories of newcomers and to be able to relate in sooooo many ways.Again welcome! and keep sharing.
LO- married 48,work colleagues

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