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Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Open forum ... what's on your mind? Want to vent or lament about your Limerent/Love Object? This is the ideal place.
Arewehuman
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Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by Arewehuman » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:07 pm

Dear all,

I have looked through the forum entries and found little information about the other side of the story - how it’s like being a limerent object and how to deal with disclosure in a gentle way. I found a particular story where the lady was quite angry at someone who was limerent towards her (it looked like a bad scenario), but otherwise little information. This may be due to my poor forum search skills - so if there is a particular section, I apologise, and please send me there!

I understand that limerence is in a way more one sided than equal, as the suffering, the secrecy, the pain comes from the lime rent one and the LO frequently has no idea what is happening. But I would like to share a recent story with you and ask for your comments and advice.

I found out recently that I am the LO of an acquaintance. He was upset and I asked him what the problem was, and after a good negotiation period I got it out of him. I thought it had to do with his marriage/career and that I could help, but it turns out it was about his feelings towards me. The disclosure was tough and I tried to soften my reaction about not reciprocation. I mentioned the option (before knowing it was me) that he can go NC towards this person, which he strongly refuted. I explained that my feelings are not shared, in the kindest way possible.

The crux of his issue, it seems, was based on reciprocation: whether my actions were signs of reciprocation or not. I realise that this is a classic issue with limerence, the not knowing. But what he wanted to know was whether in this long period of limerence I gave him fake signals or not. It turns out that he misunderstood my intentions. He gave me examples of cases where he thought I was telling him I reciprocated, which I remember as regular daily interactions. Having been limerent myself I understood where he was coming from, and tried to be gentle.

There are two things on my mind now: the first is that I keep blaming myself for perhaps being too friendly, that I acted too badly. He gave me an example which I can now see how it could be misinterpreted (and some may say socially inappropriate behaviour towards a married person!) but for me it was just a regular thing that friends do - sharing with him details of a thing that makes me happy. I would have shared it with other friends had I known they cared. It turns out that he had fights with his wife over this, which makes me very sad and disappointed in myself for not seeing that my behaviour was inappropriate and leading. I can now see the side of the LO and how friendliness is often innocent, as opposed to knowing that person suffers as he cannot have me and continuing. I can also see how disclosure can be terrifying and it often doesn’t change the mind of the other person if they are not sharing limerent thoughts, so in a way, it only complicates things.

The second thing is about what to do now. My initial thoughts are to go NC and to let him resolve things with his partner. I am obviously the issue there, and I can see how I might have inadvertently added fire to the dispute. But until the disclosure I had no idea about these feelings, which apparently went on for such a long long time. He does not want to go NC though, and said he will deal with it in his own way and that he may continue with the thoughts for a while until they die down. I can also see how a NC would be a hurtful thing to do - total rejection and wish for no contact instead of gently letting things blow over. Before knowing what this was I also promised that things would not change. But how can I then socialise with him and his SO like nothing happened? Any thoughts on this?

It seems that there is no gentle way to tell someone you do not reciprocate their feelings. It also seems that some can hide their emotions excellently, but in the end we are all fragile souls wanting to be desired and happy. I wish I could take all this pain away from him… and I am hoping that the disclosure of non-reciprocation would lead him to a good place, to a place where he stops torturing himself with doubt and desire. If there is anything I can do, if you have any advice, please tell me. Thank you!

JupiterTaco
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Re: Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by JupiterTaco » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:28 pm

I'm not the poster child for handling it well. I tend to ghost and avoid if I can and be strictly civil if I can't. One thing that is so difficult is that anything compassionate the LO does can fuel the fire and continue the process. That's why it's so important to keep strict boundaries with vulnerable people as well as find a way to place it back on the sufferer because it generally is their problem, not the LO's. LO was merely a vessel. Other than that, strict boundaries give the LS less to work with and give them more opportunity to look at themselves.
"What made you think you could just walk in there and find...what we need?"-Ed Masry
"They're called boobs, Ed."-Erin Brockovich

Cookie
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Re: Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by Cookie » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:37 pm

It's weird to be on the other side of the equation. It's happened to me, and the last time was -- oddly -- with a friend I had entrusted as my only confidant about LO. I poured my heart out to this friend one night, and he proceeded to tell me about his feelings for me over the last decade. I was stunned but said I couldn't possibly reciprocate and was obviously too messed up to do so anyway.

We didn't speak for a long while after talking every day for 10 years (we are work colleagues). Gradually, we have rebuilt a civil dialogue and are friends again. He has a new LO, and I've actually been able to offer advice on the impossibility of it. Which, of course, he has ignored. :|
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WishMagick
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Re: Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by WishMagick » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:04 pm

I REALLY wish that I had advice for you, but I am not in a position to give advice because I am currently VERY limerent and I have been 4 other times in my life...

I think I have been a LO once in my life, as someone revealed to me once that they desired me and was basically obsessed with me over the course of almost a year?? But I never had a relationship with this person and I never saw him again after his disclosure (but I am sure that I made his life worse if he was in fact limerent because we had a sexual encounter [not traditional intercourse, but other things] ) immediately after his disclosure x_x

I didn't do the right thing in that situation at ALL, but it was different to what you've described, as you don't reciprocate, and I did, in that moment...

But this, what you said here:
Arewehuman wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:07 pm
I can also see how disclosure can be terrifying and it often doesn’t change the mind of the other person if they are not sharing limerent thoughts, so in a way, it only complicates things.
I want to tell you that is very helpful for me to read at this moment. You said it in a way that really resonates with me. I have been going back and forth in my head about disclosing to my current Lo and this what you said here "it only complicates things" feels so true and right.

I just want to let you know that you've helped me a lot posting this. Thank you. I really hope someone responds to you with some help or insight. I wish I could help you!
Last edited by WishMagick on Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Married - 38.5 yrs old
LO is married - 32 yrs old - lives next door!!!
Semi-LC. Slowly recovering.

I'm a SAHM and indie musician. "My unyielding melancholy brings all the existentialists to the yard"

Arewehuman
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Switzerland

Re: Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by Arewehuman » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:29 pm

Hello JupiterTaco, Cookie and Wishmagick. Thank you for your replies.

I have a few other words to add to this story, which has been one of the most harrowing, helpless, tender and sad experiences of my life so far. For two reasons:

First, I insisted that he tells me what went wrong. It was a cat and mouse game of no, I cannot tell you, yes you can. In the end I won and he told me, but it turns out there are no winners here. I told him that nothing would change and that I am wise enough to give him advice. I couldn’t do the latter and now I am struggling with the former. Instead of being the medicine, the healing patch, it turns out that I was the venom which inadvertently poisoned his mind. So instead of wise words I sat in silence for a long time, trying to find a solution to make it all better. There isn’t one.

Second, I had in front of me a person who had laid his heart, fragile and already hurt, at my feet. Who asked me if all he had dreamed and hoped for such a long time was true, or if he was being -the word he used- ‘paranoid’ and it was all in his head. So the answers were validation or embarrassment. The examples he gave me of moments of hope were all understandable - nothing ridiculous. Like that time I mentioned a song and he listened to it, turns out it was about love. Like that other time that I walked arm in arm with him. My intentions were never of teasing or of allure. It wasn’t even a hollywoodian rom-com of friends hanging out together. It was the comfortable, logical thing to do at the time, but I did not realise how naive I was in my assumptions of ‘normal’.

I desperately tried to find an answer to his impossible question. I spoke to him calmly and in a kind way that unfortunately I did not mean for my actions to be interpreted other than friendly. The let down was gentle yet I could sense something crumbling inside him. Not just the lack of reciprocation, which I can tell was wanted, but the whole universe of moments in which I, the impossible to attain yet soothing person, took him from the miseries of everyday life. The hope that kept him alive for a long time, the safe place where he could run to when things turned bad.

I explained that this was the best scenario: that no reciprocation meant a painful but easy way out, that things were not to be complicated and that one day he would let go of these thoughts and feelings. I even explained the dopamine effect. I also said that had I reciprocated things would have turned horribly difficult, with either an impossible love or with the loss of everything we had built. He seemed to dwell on this Romeo and Juliet together in adversity, which was sad to see because I could tell that he was still, in a way, hanging onto the dream. I also mentioned no contact, which he said he does not want. What I should have mentioned was that I was idealised in his mind, and that whatever outcome, it would still lead to dust and shards: that I was not really the impossible, flawless woman of his dreams; that he would leave his wife to find another very human woman, who is crazy when PMSing, who tells him off for simple things, for being tired and cranky and wanting everything and nothing.

So I took the confession out of him. And then I crushed the dream in my hands. It probably could have gone worse: when I was in my 20s I had a similar confession but I reacted very badly, I accused him of ruining our friendship and stormed out of the car in the middle of traffic. This time I was wiser and kinder. But no kindness can compensate for ‘I am sorry, but I do not feel the same way’. Or for ‘I do feel the same way, but we can never be together’. Or for ‘We can be together, but I will never live up to your dreams, your wonderful far-away land, as life gets in the way and I will not spend most of my time holding you in my arms’.

And now? I thought about him much since the disclosure. In a ‘he is away and suffering, and there is nothing I can do about it. But I would give so much to take away this pain’. And I have gladly taken part of his pain on board; the sadness of that disclosure; the bigger sadness of when we said goodbye and he went home a confused and lonely man without a safe place; the worry of how I will act from now on, in front of him and his wife who apparently has some thoughts herself about my behaviour towards him. I am just hoping it isn’t in vain.

I am hoping someone who had been rejected by a LO may tell me what in the their reactions helped them heal or move on.

MrSpock
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Re: Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by MrSpock » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:05 pm

It seems to me that you are already doing anything that can be done from your side.
I would suggest to direct him here... but then he would see you here and about your own LO. I'm not sure how that could turn out.

I have been in the receiving end of an LO on a few occasions. I'd said that I handled it well because I've been on the other end far more times. My simple strategy was to make sure I was VERY clear about the lack of reciprocation and to avoid doing anything I knew from experience would mess her up (one time it was a him.. not a her... but that's another story). When they needed and asked for NC (from their side), I agreed even if it meant end up the friendship. I never proposed NC myself though.

Since you know how it feels to have an LO, I would say to just reflect on every single interaction and try to see how would that affect you if your LO did that. That is, use your insight to figure out the special boundaries and the degree of friendship that he requires. There are things you would do with a "normal" friend that you wouldn't do with him if you consider your own experience with LO.

As for my experiences being rejected by LO.. I'm not sure there is much to draw from there.
The understandable and sort of common reaction of storming out, ghosting and being angry or sad for ruining a friendship is not something I've done and not something I like getting.

Cookie
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Re: Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by Cookie » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:47 pm

MrSpock wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:05 pm
The understandable and sort of common reaction of storming out, ghosting and being angry or sad for ruining a friendship is not something I've done and not something I like getting.
I realized that my initial response here wasn’t really what you were saying. I’m sorry!

Yes...always best to go gracefully. Back slowly out of the room. Harder in reciprocated situations, I think, because there’s usually a dissing that blows the whole thing up. Whether we can see it coming or not, we’re only human and react as we do in any given moment.

I do firmly believe that a healthy friendship with an LO is quite unlikely and usually detrimental, and I’ve yet to hear or read a story of one that’s worked out well.
Last edited by Cookie on Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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L-F
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Re: Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by L-F » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:39 am

PMd you instead.

Much strength to you as you navigate your way thru! :ymhug:
"What we all want, really, is to be loved.
That craving drives our worst behavior." Jodi Picoult
@};-

Arewehuman
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Re: Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by Arewehuman » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:38 am

Hello Mr Spock and Cookie,

Mr Spock - I liked your comment 'Since you know how it feels to have an LO, I would say to just reflect on every single interaction and try to see how would that affect you if your LO did that.' I will try to apply this, although I am currently more inclined to run away from the slightly toxic dynamic of the group. But I promised my LS that nothing would change, so there's that to worry about as well...

Cookie - I tend to agree from the experience of my life so far that a friendship is unlikely to work. But sometimes we are constrained by social circumstances (work scenario, or worse LS/LO friend of SO) so we just have to adapt, make sure we don't crash, and keep things as serene as possible. S

Sigh..

marko
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Re: Being a limerent object and handling disclosure

Post by marko » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:17 pm

Be blunt and honest. Even then we look for hope, don't give any or feel bad about it. We need tough. Even if you gave no signals, we'd find some anyway.

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