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I'm the author of the blog article "About Limerence" - I thought I had my own limerence under control

Tell us your story. What has been your experience?
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operatorfeels
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I'm the author of the blog article "About Limerence" - I thought I had my own limerence under control

Post by operatorfeels » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:52 am

Hi all. I think some of you may already know me from a blog article I wrote many years ago: http://bthaw.blogspot.com/2011/08/guide ... rence.html

At the time I was in a serious bout of limerence for a teacher I never had/even really met (we spoke once) and it lasted from when I was 11 until I was about 18 when it finally starved itself out. Phew. Ever since then, I never had an LO, but I did have a few crushes. In the back of my mind, I always knew limerence/my attachment style was lurking in the background so I never seriously let myself be invested because I knew my "triggers" so to speak.

Until recently. I have an LO, and I think it's the worst bout I've had, so please excuse me as I get this off my chest to a community who I know would understand. I thank anyone in advance who reads this all, because while I'm trying to summarize everything as best I can, I know it'll still be a short novel haha.

Last fall semester for college I had a TA for a lab that I thought was attractive from the first day. So much so I did some google stalking right after the first lab and found out he had no social media accounts, and he was actually older than he looked (late 40s). Then I thought to myself: "do I really want to be distracted and nervous during a difficult lab?" Definitely not. So I generally ignored him and kept it to just attraction.

Everything was fine until halfway through the semester he embarrassed himself and I found it really endearing and cute. It was literally like a switch in my brain. I thought "uh oh". Limerence crept in, but I was realistic because while he was easygoing, he was also pretty aloof and was one of those lecturers who doesn't make direct eye contact while presenting. There weren't any secret clues for me to try and pick up on because I never asked him questions, so I was invisible to him. I liked him as a person but I had never been so physically attracted to anyone so much in my life before.

Then it occurred to me that for once in my life, I'm in a position to actually do something about this. While TA/student relationships are taboo, they're not prohibited and I was never going to take a class in this department again, so I decided I was going to ask him out once the semester was over. I had to make sure he knew who I was/my name though lol. I did some light flirting near the end of the semester and then had a one-on-one review session for his final to make myself known to him. To summarize, it went well and I could tell that he enjoyed the attention and played into it, to a point where I believed that I had a pretty good chance of him accepting my offer to go out to coffee. I was afraid of coming off as a silly student with a crush, but he started being friendly to me after that so I figured if he didn't discourage it, then everything was fine.

To make the addict comparison, I got HIGH. I felt like someone who had relapsed. I forgot how good it felt. Better yet, I experienced something I never experienced with limerence before -- knowing my LO was attracted to me to some degree, even if it was just on a superficial level.

I emailed him for help for the lecture final exam (it's not his job and I acknowledged that he'd be doing me a favor) and he ignored it. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that him not responding affected the time I spent studying. I emailed him again a week later, once the semester was over, asking if he was going to be on campus so I could thank him in person (and I was going to use this opportunity to ask him out) but he said he was already gone for winter break.

I waited for 2 months to ask him out - the longest 2 months of my life. I was hanging around outside his lab (I found out when his lab ended...) and caught him on his way out. Internally I felt a bit self-conscious and creepy, but he was very friendly. I asked him how his break was and the bombshell came -- he said he went back to his hometown and visited his parents and his girlfriend. All I could say was "...You have a girlfriend?" - he confirmed he did and then I just said "Nevermind, then" and he explained that they've been together for a few years and said "she puts up with me in grad school, so"
It's funny to me in hindsight but in the moment I felt incredibly stupid and mortified. He was nice enough to change the subject and asked me how my own break was and how I ended up doing on the lecture exam, but I just wanted to get the h*ll out of there and was pretty short with him.

I was crushed. It was the lowest of lows I ever felt in limerence. I barely ate anything for a week. And he didn't even actively reject me because I never asked him out, but I was really not kind to myself. I even got paranoid that maybe he lost interest because he googled me and saw my article on limerence and got spooked. I was overthinking everything - especially what he said about his girlfriend. Their relationship has been exclusively long-distance from the start and I thought what he said about it was pretty odd. Puts up with him? I could make him feel wanted and loved. Every human needs touch, and I figured he must be touch-starved since he lives here without his parents and girlfriend.

I'm ashamed to say this but I used all that to rationalize asking him out regardless. I ran into him again a few weeks later, made a joke about not trying to make an a** of myself and he was genuine and said "you never made an a** of yourself" (this made me feel much better) and "just, you know, I have a longterm girlfriend". I completely ignored that and still asked him out to coffee. He told me maybe, so I said that I could give him some time to think about it, and can I give him my number? He goes "Ehhhhhhhh...I'm going to err on the side of caution"


I wasn't as dejected the first time around, but he explained that he's been really busy writing his dissertation and is trying to finish in a year so he can go back to his home country. Basically telling me in a roundabout way that he's not going to make time for me and it's not going to happen. I realize that he probably enjoyed the ego boost like most people do but isn't going to risk a longterm relationship that works for him if he's gonna move back in a year. I told him I had to try and he said that he was flattered that I asked. We walked for a little and he talked about grad school and asked me a few questions. There was a break in the conversation so I sheepishly joked "I'll leave you alone now" so I could make my exit and he was like "no, no, it's ok". I accidentally grazed his shoulder (the only time I ever touched him) and he sort of whimpered "uhm" - even though he just turned me down, I still got a high from eliciting a reaction like that from him.

He rejected me in the most considerate and nicest way possible. He was too kind to tell me outright no and he never made me feel like a creep, but I almost wish that he was cruel with it or at least brought up his girlfriend as the main reason why he's rejecting me because it'd make it easier if I resented him. There are some other red flags about him (my friends wonder what I see in him) but the patience and consideration he showed me just makes me admire him more. And for some reason, I still have hope. I'm definitely not approaching him ever again, but there's a part of me that just goes back and overanalyzes what I could've done differently even though I'm very proud of having the courage to act on my feelings like that.



So, lesson learned again. The positive thing about this is compared to my previous LOs, I was a bit more practical about how I interpreted "signs". And, once again, I could've gone down the rabbit hole of just being limerent with him from afar so on a certain level, I'm content with knowing I made an honest effort to try dating him. At this point, I'm hoping it'll starve itself out in a few months.

And I look forward to being on the forums here. :) It's been a few years since I've kept up with limerence.
Last edited by operatorfeels on Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

Idiotic
Posts: 1566
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:58 am

Re: As a serial limerent, I thought I finally had limerence under control.

Post by Idiotic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:56 pm

Hi. I remember your blog. Great insight from someone so young. Like you said, you did your part, asked him out , he was in a relationship so that's not on you.
I guess you have to let time play it's part, since you are quite aware of what's happening to your mind.
Boy...youre gonna carry that weight, carry that weight, a long time - Golden Slumbers(The Beatles)

Cookie
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:08 pm
United States of America

Re: As a serial limerent, I thought I finally had limerence under control.

Post by Cookie » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:51 am

This is a really cool and honest post all around, Operator.

I think if more of us would walk right up and stare it down, we might not squander years of wondering what might be.

And it's good that this LO didn't leave that door open for you, as many of them do. The trickier navigations come when the LO says, "I have a longtime girlfriend, but..."

You are building resilience here! Something you'll likely need later.

Good luck with the schoolwork.
Female, age 52
Limerent for as long as I can remember
Have had 7 "real" LOs in the last 25 years
(...had a recent 8, but he was easy to release. Progress?!)
Last real LO is male, age 44, married AND has another GF!

operatorfeels
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 10:40 pm
Gender:
United States of America

Re: As a serial limerent, I thought I finally had limerence under control.

Post by operatorfeels » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:34 am

Idiotic wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:56 pm
Hi. I remember your blog. Great insight from someone so young. Like you said, you did your part, asked him out , he was in a relationship so that's not on you.
I guess you have to let time play it's part, since you are quite aware of what's happening to your mind.
Thank you for that. I'm grateful that it's been helpful to people.
And exactly. The slim chances of me seeing him again combined with no social media and knowing he's not interested will make it easier to starve out in time.
Cookie wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:51 am
This is a really cool and honest post all around, Operator.

I think if more of us would walk right up and stare it down, we might not squander years of wondering what might be.

And it's good that this LO didn't leave that door open for you, as many of them do. The trickier navigations come when the LO says, "I have a longtime girlfriend, but..."

You are building resilience here! Something you'll likely need later.

Good luck with the schoolwork.
Thanks, Cookie. I see from your signature that you're also a serial limerent - I relate to having limerence for as long as I can remember too. I look back on the 7 years I wasted during my formative years on an LO that was a stranger and just scratch my head.

It was absolutely terrifying to be vulnerable but, as you said, I knew if I didn't, then I would waste a lot more time wondering what it could've been. I was pretty fortunate with this LO - I can tell he's a good/honest guy deep down. Can only imagine what kind of hole I'd fall down into if he would've encouraged a no-strings-attached relationship.

Bridget
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Re: As a serial limerent, I thought I finally had limerence under control.

Post by Bridget » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:44 am

I agree with Cookie! You approached him and risked losing your fantasy twice. That’s impressive too me! No you can starve the LE. Good luck!

operatorfeels
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 10:40 pm
Gender:
United States of America

Re: As a serial limerent, I thought I finally had limerence under control.

Post by operatorfeels » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:55 am

Bridget wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:44 am
I agree with Cookie! You approached him and risked losing your fantasy twice. That’s impressive too me! No you can starve the LE. Good luck!
Thank you, Bridget. That's an excellent description to use. Now that you mention it, there was a point before I ended up actually asking him out where I thought to myself, "I wish I had just kept the fantasy" - and I almost ended up not going through with it. It would've been so much safer for the limerent brain. Of course, how badly I wanted him and the chance to have him outweighed anything else.

Pudding
Posts: 730
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:45 am
Canada

Re: I'm the author of the blog article "About Limerence" - I thought I had my own limerence under control

Post by Pudding » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:38 am

First of all, thanks for the original website post you made. I found it when I was deep in LE and didn’t know what the hell was going on, and it really helped to explain things for me.

Secondly, I think what you did was very brave. You’re not attached and the relationship you had with him wouldn’t make things forbidden, so I think you made the best choice in asking him out. It sounds like he thinks only positive things about you but that he loves his girlfriend and you can’t fault him for that, so what can you do? Move on. You’re young and will have so many more chances to find Mr. Right. This just wasn’t him.

Kudos to you!
F 38
LO is M 36, my son’s former teacher
LC beyond my control ~x(
LE began in the fall of 2015

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