As they say, hindsight is an exact science. Its easy to say this is what I should have done 4 years ago – perhaps if i had followed my own advice, which in many cases i didn’t, i would not have learned as much about myself as i did. I do believe things happen for a reason and perhaps the lessons don’t become clearer until years later, or perhaps not even in this lifetime.
I have listed what was helpful for me and what i’ve picked up from others trying to work there through limerence.
The list is based on the assumption that one of both parties are unavailable to consummate a relationship.
– Disclose to your SO if you have one. Not an easy thing to do but necessary in forcing us to look at our primary relationship and to start doing some heavy lifting where it really matters.
– Resist the urge to disclose to your LO – we think disclosure will put us out of our agony but it rarely does and just complicates the issues. Limerence is all about us, our own faulty attachment style in relationship and we don’t need our LO’s input to undertake the growth work.
– Go NC. Took me 6 months and i fell off the wagon many times. Everytime i fell off, i got sucked back into the vortex and got bruised in the process. NC means NC. Everything, especially social media. If it means changing friendship groups, so be it. Id even go as far as suggesting changing jobs if its a work related episode.
– Stop bullshitting yourself and thinking you can be friends with LO. Maybe in 5-10 years but likely never
– Get into psychotherapy. Think in terms of 3-5 years before seeing significant shifts.
– Suggest to your partner they go into therapy. They too will have come into your relationship with their own baggage. For the best chance of your primary relationship working, they too need to do their own work. Therapy has a bad rap because when one person changes, and the other stay resistant to change, fractures develop that often widen and cause marital rifts. If both parties do the work, the primary relationship has a better chance to survive.
– Read other’s stories here and contribute. Journal. Putting your thoughts and more importantly, feelings down seems to release some of their charge.
– If you have a few close trusted friends, share your experience. This helps release the toxic shame that many of us feel. If you don’t have a few trusted friends, develop them. Learn to show your vulnerability. With time, showing vulnerability becomes a strength and is not a weakness.
– Knowledge is power. Read up about love addiction, limerence, co-dependency, attachments in relationships, affair recovery etc.
– Learn to live with not knowing. Ive noticed many people with limerence are controlling and have a need to know. Just one of many lessons limerence will give you. Accept that perhaps you’ll never know if there is/was reciprocation and what may have been. Better to focus on what’s reality and not live in the fantasy.
– Recognise when you get that magnetic pull to someone your attracted to. Accept these people are your substance of abuse, no different to any other addiction. Become hyper-boundaried around these people.
Mediation and mindfulness helped me cope with the overwhelming feelings. Accept that grieving is a significant aspect to limerence and likely you will go through some very difficult emotional periods. Don’t look for short cuts like anti-depressents. There are no short cuts, we have to go through limerence, not around it.
Develop the practice of self-compassion. We all screw up, its part of being human. Learn to laugh at yourself ad the stupidity of the human condition. Its a flawed design IMHO. 😉
Please feel free to add to this. Its just my experience, not a definitive list.