Here is a place to share different beliefs as well as share your own POV.
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- Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:00 pm
- Location: East Coast US
- Age: 53
In one of my final throes of what I'll call an extinction-burst ("a predictable and common blast of defiance from the recesses of a brain which has been denied or deprived of familiar rewards" (link at end), I came to the conclusion and then confidently articulated the fact that my so-called limerence was not limerence at all. It was true love - the real kind of love - that is selfless, honest, giving, patient, and wonderful. The kind of love that transcends understanding or reason, and defies explanation. Well - there was an explanation, but an incorrect one. That is, that my so-called limerence was some kind of experience, or process, or outcome involving or arising out of a fairly well understood set of antecedent conditions. Nope! In my case it was just Love, pure and simple.
One thing I hate is a know-it-all or someone that confidently articulates an opinion that is just dead wrong, I guess it's my way of identifying with some parts of myself that I don't like. Again, sorry to share that less dignified part of myself with you all, but having had some recent insights I wanted to return here and share a bit of reasoning that seems more logical and grounded. I'd like some feedback if you could muster a few minutes of typing - whether that's identifying with something I've said, or calling me out if I'm presenting threadbare or stillborn ideas that evidence my ongoing infection.
#1. Thinking of my own situation and a lot of others, and building on David's base theory, I think that for limerents, a cluster of necessary but not sufficient vulnerabilities/experiences/setting conditions exist. Without these pre-cursors, limerence does not develop. But the conditions by themselves are not sufficient to produce limerence - there needs to be a catalyst, a final ingredient, some activator required to cause limerence to form. Examples from different branches of science - vinegar and baking soda... or worse - chlorine bleach mixed with ammonia. You get the idea.
Perhaps also a bit or plutonium brought very quickly together with another small amount of plutonium - critical mass and then a very destructive outcome.
#2. A high number of people limerence seem smart, successful, articulate, and are generally high functioning people. One person on this forum (I forgot his name) commented that people in their late 40's early 50's have this happen. Perhaps a person reaches a point of comfort in life and general success that it permits earlier, unresolved problems to rise to the surface. With basic necessities and also some luxuries able to be obtained, well it's like you've got the house cleaned up and finally now you have time to get to the leaky pipe in the basement.
#3. I've thought, reading a lot of stories, that those with limerence are empathic people. Along with this, I've gotten the idea that the LO has many narcissist traits. Then the scarier thought that maybe people more susceptible to limerence also have some narcissistic traits - I'm not talking about you here, I'm talking about me. I wonder if the limerant and the LO have similar personalities like cogs on a gear, but are just slightly out of phase so that the gears seem to mesh. My experience "it feels so good and easy to interact with this person".
#4. Having some unmet needs and/or desires from childhood, but now experiencing some success providing for their own needs (and wants), qwe don't like the idea that something so clearly envisioned is unobtainable. There has to be a way, you see, because I want it. A child doesn't know that it's impossible for mum and dad to give them a real-live pony for their birthday. And they don't care. They want the pony and that's that. The girl from Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory very simply wanted the golden goose - what's so hard to understand? Daddy - I want the golden goose NOW. Being of reasonable means and accustomed to meeting for ourselves many of life's wants and needs, perhaps people with pending limerence take out their cheque book or bank card and say "OK, Wonka... how much for the Golden Goose... come now... everyone has their price". Confronted with the reality that they are unabie to obtain what they want (the LO), the person starts to regress and become obstinate, creating an approach-avoidance cycle. The child says f I can't have the pony, then I don't even want a birthday party at all. But as adults we know that's just silly. So permitting a persistent sense of "maybe it's still possible" which drives a longer duration of limerence.
#5. Making a decision. I've not heard of many people trying this, but when I mentally imagine myself doing it, my limerence fades to some degree. I make the decision that the idea of the LO is about as real as a very vivid dream. When you know something was a dream, a fantasy, then it makes it OK to grieve the loss of the idea. Because that's all that's being given up - an idea - and a false one. But sometimes myself and my limerent co-sufferers still don't want that very beautiful idea, that wonderful fantasy - to be fake and unattainable. If it were fake, lots of things also would be true, namely that something else is wrong, or that I'm missing something else, or not seeing the many good things right in front of me. Am I not being emotionally fulfilled from within my marriage? That's a pretty complicated, scary prospect. Easier perhaps to imagine that the reason I'm not fulfilled is because I'm simply with the wrong person. You see if I was with the right person, it would be easy and natural to feel fulfilled and wouldn't take any serious, or difficult, awkward or long-term effort on my part. One analogy is having an old house that needs a roof, foundation repaior, walls patched and finally, new furniture. But that means getting on top of my outstanding bills, paying off debt and then saving up money to buy new furniture. So instead, going out to dinner in a fancy restaurant and fantasizing that this is my dining room, and all these other people (the other restaurant patrons) are my guests. Ahhhhh..., there.....now I don't need to do all that work on the house (analogous to my relationship).
Well those are some initial thoughts. I think that if the core set of antecedent conditions could be better understood and studied *as they relate to limerence*, we'd be that much more to fully understanding this conditiion - syndrome - self destructive pattern of limerence. Lots of good foundation laid and maybe even the first floor framed up by you, David. I'd love to see some funding for more formal studies, government grants laid out for this. I'd argue we don't need to know anything further about the i.e., reproductive habits of one-eyed mice and other nonsense that big grants are afforded for.
Bye for now - I've made a commitment to get the roof of the chicken coop sealed up before tonight's snow... so I'd better get off the computer before the Mrs. gets back!
Thanks again for all your help....
Link where I got the extinction burst quote: https://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/07/07 ... ion-burst/ (a view of negative behavior cycles not exactly defining limerence, but similar enough to explain some of it!
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Think of the complexity of any primate. We have a BILLION chemical reactions per second just to carry on living. As humans we have a unique ability to contemplate, use tools, and enter into agreements. So similar to a rat or a rhesus monkey we have a primal reward system. (Un)Fortunately we have self awareness AND an ability to manipulate our environment. As humans we probably have twice as many chemical reactions going on our bodies than the most closely related species of mammal. The fact that humans are able to think abstractly and deeply and have concepts of love, bonding, etc; adds a level of complexity and randomness to an already complex and random situation. I think that there is no “one truth” to explain why we ended up on this forum, but we learn and support each other in trying to understand ourselves better.
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