• With some advice from forum veterans, I’m splitting this LONG story into 3 parts
• Please chime in with your wisdom, insights, observations, questions!
• This is part 1
• Here is the link to part 2: http://limerence.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=6129
• Here is the link to part 3: http://limerence.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=6130
• And if interested, here is a link to my backstory, that led up to LE: http://limerence.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=6138
SMITTEN AT FIRST SIGHT
To this day, I fondly recall meeting my neig hbor. tell myself it must have been a ‘love at first sight’ kinda thing when I met my neig hbor 5 years ago. At some point in time, she became my LO (first I’ve had, I reckon). I’m pretty sure, I was smitten from the beginning. I was immediately attracted to her (body, mind and soul). In the months and years that followed, what I experienced and felt for/with her couldn’t hold a candle to any other times I may have had interest in and feelings for a woman thatI may have had before – all of which were mere child’s play compared to this.
I am not in the majority where it is said that males are often only on the emotional side. I found her very physically attractive, and then over time also developed the emotional ‘investment’ in LO (if that is the right word… maybe ultimately attachment). I was also drawn to her: personality, intellect, sense of humor, value system, good Christian wife and mother, and so on.
Our neig hbor/friend relationship graduated to friend/friend (or so I always thought). Frequent texts, periodic smoke breaks in the driveway (we both work from home), and occasional phone calls. Communal socializing w/ other neig hbors, cookouts, kids playing together, birthday party outings and more.
My SO also had/has some neig hborly friendship with my LO as well. They text each other,chit-chat, pray for each other… My SO went to my LO’s most recent baby shower.
The attraction to LO only grew over the years. I work in my garage sometimes when the weather's good, and I used to see her out and about in the neig
hborhood, etc. We’d connect via text a lot, but also a lot of driveway talks and a few phone calls.
I remember one night talking in her driveway – meaningless chit chat and mischief, cracking jokes and laughing together. I was lit from the attention and exchange… Being around her was so exhilarating, I remember my heart literally racing and feeling such attraction to her. I was really developing feelings for her. This was several years back, but in hindsight I think it was the dopamine effect already hitting me, though not sure if LE yet?...
LO and I continued to grow closer to the point that we began confiding in each other, sharing secrets, sharing a cry and/or other moments with emotional currents.
I guess I’m not sure if I was limerent yet back then (at least I don’t think so… maybe Stage 1 as taught by Dr. Joe Beam??). I think PIOO preceded PILO. Or does it work the other way too?
She. Is. So. Sexy. LE influence or not, I do declare: I have NEVER seen or known anyone so sexy. Her body language, posture, voice inflection, tight clothes and makeup. Her hair is unbelievable. Takes my breath away. Kryptonite. Under LE influence, she (to me) is the most beautiful and sexy woman I have ever seen or known… Helen of Troy, or Marilyn Monroe, you name it.
Nothing physical between LO and me ever happened. No PA history between us.
To this day, I’m fairly certain this attraction was only on my side. Although no PA, there was definitely EA on my side - hardcore. But again, even with the emotional side of things, I’m not ENTIRELY sure about her side… but I really feel this mostly is one-sided, and mostly just me. I doubt there was ever much reciprocity.
THE PERFECT STORM FOR A MIDLIFE CRISIS
I believe that a full-on manifestation of LE (or at least latter, deeper peak stages of LE) was kept at bay due to other checks and balances of life. But then came a perfect storm of circumstances that led to me battling multiplied stressors in the last year or so that was mentally and emotionally challenging. The elements of the perfect storm included:
- A “Dopamine Famine” – this catchphrase should be a whole other separate post of mine some time, but suffice to say: I very suddenly lost A LOT of sources of pleasure, validation, affirmation, support
- Friendship Attrition – many friendships ended or diminished (deaths, divorces, moves)
- SO Multiple Affairs – I don’t THINK my SO is/was ever limerent that I know of. But she has been disclosing another new affair every few years… she’s had 3 guys over the last 6 years or so (2 PA’s, and 1 EA). So far as I know, they were successive, and not simultaneous.
With this perfect storm, it’s easy to see how vulnerable and susceptible I was/am to limerence. LE erupted into the stratosphere, as I realized that, symbolically/metaphorically, the attention from LO, and how she made me feel when she validated me was likened to a feel-good drug filling the vacuum at a time I was in a dopamine famine… LO’s friendship also came along precisely in the seasons of my life where I was losing a lot of friends… and LO gave me so many of the things SO could not/would not/cannot.
With the trauma multiple SO affairs being confessed to me (and other mounting issues), I kinda found myself in full-blown midlife crisis mode, questioning a lot of things this year. And with that, I think where things were previously somewhat kept at bay with LO, I now found myself with an attitude to cast my fate to the wind, as it were… or at least I adopted a more open attitude, and I think in my heart and mind I dove in or dug in moreso concerning LO – allowing myself to more fully embrace my feelings and desires, after having felt so repeatedly hurt by SO.
(stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this story)