You thought you were over them. You thought you managed to get over them, focus on your marriage and your healing. It still feels hard to accept the fact that you have caused so much pain to someone you deeply love. While you focus on improving the relationship with your spouse, sometimes you worriedly thing: “Can limerence come back?”.
Experiencing limerence differs from person to person. Some people might experience it at repetitive times in their life, with multiple LO (Limerent Objects). Some others might never experience the real symptoms of limerence. But, as you already know, limerence feels like crazy and passionate love. But it’s not. Now when you think back you do realize that your feelings of “love” were rather an obsession for another person.
You probably remember the anxiety of seeing your LO, the intrusive thoughts about your LO during your whole day, but especially the strong desire to have those feelings reciprocated by them. If the relationship was limerent from both sides, you might have even felt truly in love, found your soulmate and forget about your spouse and all the years that you have had together. Ultimately limerence feelings are real and very intense.
Luckily, limerence is short-lived, usually from 3 to 36 months. Even though you might have managed to separate yourself from your LO, it is hard to make your feelings immediately disappear and currently there is no quick “limerence cure”. No matter how the relationship has ended, either you decided to finish it or you were abandoned by them, you will go through a grieving process. In the end, even if it was a limerent experience, you have lost someone you deeply valued.
Can limerence come back?
Because of its life span, it is unlikely that limerence towards a person will come back. If it does, it is because the relationship has not properly ended. Even though you stopped all contact with your LO, no phone calls or meetings anymore, you can’t stop the feelings that you have for them. You might still believe that they are your soulmates and now they are gone. You can’t change your feelings for someone just because you want to. Simply give it time. As long as you have implemented the “no contact” rule, things shall get better. If there is no temptation to meet them or talk to them, it will be easier for you to move on.
What to do if you feel that your limerence is back?
What happens if, unexpectedly, your LO is back or, even worse, you can’t simply cut all the contact with them? Maye they are a colleague at work or a friend from a bigger group. In that case, the “low contact rule” might be the best to apply. Avoid being in the same physical space or going to places you’ve been together, listening to songs about them etc. In those moments, you will grieve their loss, as you mourn the loss of anyone who has had an impact in your life. You will miss the powerful connection, the friendship and even the sexual tension between the two of you.
On other occasions, your LO may unexpectedly back into your life when you least expect it. Even then, remember that you have the power to choose how to act. You’ll have some days when you’ll ask yourself if you’ve made the right decision. You might feel that the feelings for your LO are back. This is most probably because there is a need that is not fulfilled in your current relationship. You’re not actually thinking of your LO per se, but rather of them as a fantasy.
There are plenty of chances for you to “encounter” your LO unintentionally. From a picture on social media, meeting them on the street or simply having an unexpected dream. You can’t control your thoughts in those moments, but you can control your actions.
Being self-aware is maybe one of the most important things that you can focus on in that specific moment. Ask yourself: “Why do I feel like this?”, “How is the situation with my spouse?”, “Are some of my needs currently not fulfilled by my current relationship?”. Asking yourself these questions can give you a direction in understanding the reason why you feel limerence once again. Even if it’s not for the same person, but rather for someone new, feelings of limerence need to be first accepted and understood. Feeling limerence again is highly unlikely, if the relationship was consumed. Otherwise, you might not have been over it the first time.
If this happens to me, what can I do in that moment?
Talk to someone. A friend, a therapist. Get this off your chest, talk and get your emotions back in control. You are not alone and you did the right choice to end the relationship with them. Do not contact them! If you have the overwhelming desire to talk to them to be with them, remember in the first place why you ended up things with them, why you decided to end the relationship. This might help you to put your feet back on the ground.
Limerence lives from fantasy, not reality. The moment that it faces the hardships of a truly committed relationship, limerence fades. Being self-aware of your own emotions and behaviours can truly make a difference in how you approach your limerence experience. If you are not there yet, no worry, the day when you’ll not feel anything anymore will come. You’ll remember your LO as someone that had an impact on your life and with whom you share some good memories, yet you won’t have any attachment whatsoever towards them.
Usually, once limerence finishes with a person it doesn’t come back. Also, limerence can’t be for two people at the same time. Limerence is what brings people together, love is what keeps them together.