In love with the fantasy

What did you learn from your expereince of limerence? How did you change? how did you grow? What were the upsides and downsides?
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Pandora
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In love with the fantasy

Post by Pandora »

Only now do I realize what an elaborate fantasy I created with limerence and my LO. I don't think initially my fantasy had that much depth to it, but a time wore on and I convinced myself that X meant Y, I built up this incredible alternate reality and it was so subtle I didn't realize how far from reality I had drifted.

'Oh, LO didn't respond for a few hours because he was thinking of the perfect thing to say.'

'LO is a very lonely person, and when I contact him I am pulling him out of isolation.'

'LO talks to me so much because he finds me witty and invigorating, and I am special to him.'

'LO is trying to get my attention/impress me/make himself seem better so I will like him.'

'We share a special bond.'

I wouldn't have said that I was 'in love' with LO, because I don't actually know him that well and even in my limerence I knew it would be hubris to call my obsession love. But it seemed like a promising start of something new and exciting, some sort of connection that would revitalize both of us. Tennov said that uncertainty allows limerence to grow, which is true. However, in my mind I was already assured that we were star crossed lovers who felt the strong pull of fate. The only uncertainty was whether either one of us would break the barrier that allowed us to come together.

Then, LO crashed my fantasy. Not in a purposely harmful way, but he inadvertently made it clear that he nowhere thought of me as much as I thought of him. And just like that, suddenly the tides turned. In my eyes he went from a thoughtful, romantic, sensitive soul to being a clueless, slightly pretentious idiot.

It wasn't love that I felt for him. What 'love' dies because your partner didn't follow the script you had set in your mind? How can it be love if you suddenly demonize the other person over not indulging in your fantasies?

To be honest, now that I'm out of limerence, I feel like I was psychotic. How could my vision of reality have been so warped? How could I have gotten it so wrong?

I'm in a very lucky circumstance. I don't have any professional or social circles with LO in them, he and my husband have never met, and chances are that I will never run into LO again. LO appeared to be clueless about how I felt, and didn't attempt to play into my psychotic fantasy. And, there's a slight chance that I have done enough work on myself in the past where my acceptance level for crazy has been lowered. I didn't need the situation to devolve into an affair to have reached my 'bottom', I kept my communications with him PG, I didn't start stalking him. My wake up call was that I didn't like the person that limerence made me in to - devoid of dignity and integrity - and that was enough to start climbing out.

So what I learned was that I never really loved LO, even if I felt like it. I was in love with the fantasy I had created between the two of us. It's just that in limerence, it was very difficult to tell the difference.
I'm not here to be a creep,
I'm just feeling complete.
Take me home.
Tremington
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Re: In love with the fantasy

Post by Tremington »

We all love the fantasy, yes! Imagine actually being with your LO and being massively disappointed that they are no where near what you thought they would be. Then I imagine all the pain and suffering for my wife and kids as I chased a dream and destroyed everything for my LO.

That's what keeps me going on NC and staying away from my LO. I can't have my dream, it's just a dream.
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Chuck
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Re: In love with the fantasy

Post by Chuck »

Pandora wrote: Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:53 pm
It wasn't love that I felt for him. What 'love' dies because your partner didn't follow the script you had set in your mind? How can it be love if you suddenly demonize the other person over not indulging in your fantasies?

So what I learned was that I never really loved LO, even if I felt like it. I was in love with the fantasy I had created between the two of us. It's just that in limerence, it was very difficult to tell the difference.
This is the part that we are most resistant to. But you nailed perfectly. Well said.
"In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you."
Buddhist saying
Spinnaker
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Re: In love with the fantasy

Post by Spinnaker »

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LisaTranscending
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Re: In love with the fantasy

Post by LisaTranscending »

what a great post Pandora.
Pandora wrote: Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:53 pm And just like that, suddenly the tides turned. In my eyes he went from a thoughtful, romantic, sensitive soul
one story.
Pandora wrote: Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:53 pm to being a clueless, slightly pretentious idiot.
another story.

we do it all the time. not just in limerence, but with everyone and in trying to define life....it seems to me. one day in my head my kid is really selfish, the next time she does something really loving, now she's wonderfully giving. one morning I look in the mirror and I'm fat, the very next day, same mirror, I'm skinny.

pretty schizophrenic. you ever get the feeling we are just story-making machines? i think with limerence the story making goes into overdrive since the ego is more centrally involved, in that our sexuality, our sexual appeal, our personality, our loveliness, much of our self esteem, and even our mortality, is at stake here. the ego has a lot to prove when contemplating a conquest.
Katrulz
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Re: In love with the fantasy

Post by Katrulz »

Tremington wrote: Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:41 pm Imagine actually being with your LO and being massively disappointed that they are no where near what you thought they would be.
Yes! This! Thank you!

If my LO was actually nearby, with his same job, personality and traits.. Getting home at 10pm when I sleep at 9pm. Drinking booze each night and saying whatever pops into his mind to whoever’s around. He’s admitted that he prefers his own company. Such a bubble burster to contemplate what reality would be like if LO was actually nearby..
Married Female In 30s
Multiple LO's since primary school ending with reciprication, transference, starvation and burnout.
Started NC 10/12/18 with last platonic LO.
NoDayDreaming

Re: In love with the fantasy

Post by NoDayDreaming »

Thanks Pandora for this beautiful text. I can identify with what you wrote, and I found this post very important to the central issue of limerence.

But, I wanted to make 2 points. I think FD and rejection by the LO is very important to kill that fantasy quickly.
2nd, I agree with Dorothy Tennov that limerence can be part of a normal love process. When we fall in love, we idolize the object of love and live in a fantasy world, this is why there is so much fun to fall in love, be high all the time without drugs. Eventually the rose glasses fade away and reality sinks in, but at that time the partners are hopefully bonded together by intimacy and sex.

The bad/harmful cases of limerence (that we hear about here) is when there in no chance for that reality check to kill the fantasy and the fantasy persists with the cycle of dopamine high and addiction fueling the compulsion.
So, the bottom line is: go ahead and get the reality fix (most likely rejection) to kill limerence (IMHO).
HelpNeeded
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Re: In love with the fantasy

Post by HelpNeeded »

What you said about limerence making you into someone devoid of integrity and dignity really resonated for me. That's exactly it! No dignity in part of me being prepared to make an utter fool of myself - again! Just on the slight offchance it might prompt something real from him! And the potential fallout - being a laughing stock in my community!

And the lack of integrity part - being 99% sure he's not single but still being crazy about him. That's not right at all.
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