Home→Forums→Relationships→Obsession, idealization, or what is the reason behind all of this?
- This topic has 23 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 months, 2 weeks ago by quant.
July 31, 2020 at 5:30 pm #363399AnonymousGuest
Did you read their conversations most recently, today? And what he told you about her/ the way he talked about her to you fits his conversations with her?
anitaJuly 31, 2020 at 6:35 pm #363408AnonymousGuest
Limerence is a term coined in 1979 by a Dr. Dorothy Tennov, a psychologist who researched romantic love and wrote the book Love and Limerence- the Experience of Being in Love.
Wikipedia has a long entry on Limerence. Here are quotes from the entry: “Limerence is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies.. Limerence can also be defined as an involuntary state of intense romantic desire.. an involuntary potentially inspiring state of adoration and attachment to a limerent object (LO) involving intrusive and obsessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors from euphoria to despair, contingent on perceived emotional reciprocation… a near obsessive form of romantic love… attractive characteristics are exaggerated and unattractive characteristics are given little or no attention.. creating a ‘limerent object’.
“‘a kind of infatuated, all absorbing passion’ which is unrequited… It is this unfulfilled, intense longing for the other person which defines limerence, where the individual becomes ‘more or less obsessed by that person and spends much of their time fantasizing about them’… Limerence may only last if conditions for the attraction leave it unfulfilled.. it is the unobtainable nature of the goal which makes the feeling so powerful.. it is not uncommon for those to remain in a state of limerence over someone unreachable for months and even years.
“Limerence can be experienced as intense joy or as extreme despair, depending on whether the feelings are reciprocated… limerence deeply desires reciprocation, but it remains unaltered whether or not it is returned… early, unhealthy attachment patterns or trauma influence limerence.”
I didn’t read the whole entry and I didn’t read the book, but regarding the last part I quoted, what I figure it means that behind limerence is an early life trauma, in childhood, where the child was separated from the object of his attachment, usually a parent, in some way that was traumatic for the child. The child grew up craving the absent parent (physically absent or very unavailable), and that craving awakens in adulthood in the context of limerence.
anitaAugust 1, 2020 at 7:38 am #363432JessiParticipant
@anita To be honest yes, he did not say everything in a complete manner but they match and are true, imagine all their conversations history is in his backup, what I did notice is that she seems like a nice girl, he told me that at some time but then she was divaish and love to flirt with every men ( perhaps it’s in her nature) but the way she spoke and the things she said she seems nice ( just by what I saw).
This woman was indeed going through a rough time at that moment they began to speak more frequently and more upclose she had break up with her boyfriend and then found out he had cheated on her ( her boyfriend was going out with another women at the same time with her) so she was heartbroken at that moment and my bf was insistently trying to prove her that he was a good man and would make her happy.
He seemed all over the place for her and she could tell ( I saw this by the way she responded to him) she tells him :” how can you love me if you don’t even know me) he kept saying that he was falling so deep in love with her and that he loved her ( he did this same thing with me in the second month of dating) and I told him this couldn’t be it was to soon.
This sounds like limerance, euphoria, infatuation etc but it’s definitely not normal.
He was literally telling her the craziest things ( which screamed my self esteem is so low!) he said your highness milady I will be at your ankles, I love your legs, I want to kiss you and hug you all night blah blah ( this is how wrote to her everyday they chatted).
A question anita, does limerance makes you exaggerate attributes or qualities ? It just intrigues me so much that he insists that this woman ( even in the messages he tells her) has a super sexy body, and it’s funny cause she tells him that she does not see herself voluptuous, that she is thin. And he acts like if she had a curvy body when she obviously doesn’tAugust 1, 2020 at 9:04 am #363452AnonymousGuest
You asked me: “does limerence makes you exaggerate attributes or qualities?”- if you look at the post I submitted to you yesterday, it included the quote from Wikipedia about limerence: “attractive characteristics are exaggerated“.
Elsewhere I read about limerence (LO stands for Limerent Object, in your case it is the woman your boyfriend is obsessed with), that a major characteristic of limerence is “a powerful perception that the LO is nearly flawless (good qualities are magnified; bad qualities strongly minimized)”- so yes, exaggerating the LO’s positive attributes or qualities is a necessary part of limerence. If a person does not exaggerate the other’s positive qualities- then it’s not limerence.
Other characteristics of limerence are: obsessively thinking about the LO to the point of ignoring things that need attention/ everyday productivity suffers, feelings of euphoria or ecstasy when he imagines that she is reciprocating his emotions, and sexual desire for her.
Every time the LO responds to him, she is feeding his limerence.
And I read, that if a person gets together with the LO, living together, the limerence fades, the person sees the (no longer) LO’s faults, becomes very distressed about it and blames her for the ending of the relationship that he wrongly believed would be the best thing ever, ecstasy or euphoria forever-after.
I’ve been active here for over five years and came across lots of women who placed men on pedestals, seeing them as perfect, and I came across men who did the same- it is very common. But never did I read such an extreme description of placing a person on a pedestal such as what you described. Your extreme description brought me to the term limerence, a term I didn’t think about earlier. Your boyfriend puts his LO on such a pedestal that he sees her as curvy when she is actually thin; he sees as Marilyn Monroe look-alike when (you say) there is no resemblance, etc.
Limerence is not a psychiatric term, but I have no doubt it could be, reads like a mental illness to me.
I have a question for you, Jessi: how do you manage this, how do you maintain an intimate relationship with your boyfriend knowing he is .. well, “definitely not normal”???
August 1, 2020 at 2:11 pm #363486JessiParticipant
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@anita I feel confused and weird out at the same time, its like did he really just see her like that and didn’t in fact idealize her and since he has seen her in person , she looks more beautiful in person than in the pictures that I have seen? And she looks way different in person, its all confusing just fie the fact that ge always insists that this woman us precious, beautiful, super body etc etc, it really creates a huge curiosity in me!
My friend also said that perhaps I need some sort of validation from him and the fact that when he mentioned this woman the first time, he never compared me or said” but babe your more beautiful and better looking”maybe that left me wondering/ lingering if he sees her more beautiful or better than me?! And has created big curiosity in me?!
what do you truly think @anita?August 1, 2020 at 6:16 pm #363493AnonymousGuest
I think that you should bring this up to him, tell him that you are bamboozled (if you are.. I am!) by his worshipping of this woman, by him choosing her as God, or goddess, to be exact. Tell him that you are confused and upset that you are his girlfriend, yet he worship another woman! Tell him that it doesn’t feel good to know your boyfriend thinks another woman is all that… and not you!?! And let me know how he responds.
I don’t know why you are with him, you didn’t describe anything wonderful about your connection with him, nothing about closeness.. maybe there is but you didn’t share anything about it here, only about .. his limerence (unofficial) mental disorder.
anitaMarch 20, 2023 at 6:55 am #416479quantParticipant
hello, I read through a bit and I dont really have a solution. actually I stumbled across this place looking for answers for myself. I’m obsessed with a woman and I think maybe I could describe the way I feel and what I’ve tried to understand about it. I think I worship this women the same way your bf does other than me being single and haven’t really made much contact with her. I don’t have my eyes on any girl but her. but I’ve realized something after about a year of this obsession. I’m also envious and it’s kind of a love, hate obsession. and I find it very difficult to actually see myself with her.
I’m envious of the way she gets along with people and how others seem to worship her too. and I’m hateful for the way she’s so careless about it and doesn’t seem to appreciate her gifts. and I’m also frightened that something may happen to her with so many eyes on her I’m afraid someone may feel the way I do but less passive about it and possibly get violent.
I’ve learned that’s she’s had some real trauma in her past though I won’t go into detail. she has a diva like personality like your mysterious woman and I think that’s a big factor. a love for love is something that we have in common and I believe your bf does too. but these women seem to be more successful when attracting it and that might be what makes us so obsessed but not compatible. I feel I need to know how this lady does what she does to me. what makes her so magical? so far I think it’s her high action and yet easygoing lifestyle and emotional manipulation to some degree. after all she did need to flirt with me to get me where I am. though I didn’t realize it was just something she did for everyone. but she made me feel special and then not long after betrayed. but she still flirts when she’s around and it gets to me sometimes because no one else does that to me. and she has only been kind to me even though she’s lying and I know it. the feeling is consuming and there’s not much action I feel I can take.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this anymore. but I do hope it provides some form of insight. also I realize that it’s been I while since these conversations stopped. but I didn’t think that should stop me since I found this and read through it and saw some relation. I’m trying to deal with myself though not professionally and make since of all this. this is my first time talking about it and I’m interested in any possible solutions.March 20, 2023 at 2:29 pm #416499RobertaParticipant
I note you describe this lady as kind, easy going but also a liar & flirty diva. You are also spoke of the emotions of jealousy & hate aroused around her “gifts” & lack of gratitude of them. Do you envy lots of people & their situations or just her?
One set of advice is to look back and see if you have been obsessive about anything else in your life ie a favorite toy or book and now years later that particular object no longer holds your attention and so this too will pass especially if you turn your attention to doing something worthwhile like volunteering.
Another advice to help bring her down off the pedestal that you have put her on is the phrase” just like me …… she experiences tiredness. sadness. hunger, loneliness & will experience sickness old age & death.March 20, 2023 at 10:18 pm #416504quantParticipant
<p style=”text-align: left;”>now that I’m thinking of it, just before I met her I was obsessed with exercise and my appearance, and it gave me more opportunities to spend time with my friends. then I met her through my friends and at first she didn’t catch my eye. but eventually she just brought so much excitement to my boring life and I couldn’t look away. I tried making a few moves to try to grow a relationship, but more like a friend than a lover at first, but we didn’t match up very well. I felt so dumb an awkward around her and eventually quite depressed. I stopped exercising because it didn’t feel like it was doing me any favors anymore and it just felt too difficult. I had started exercising for myself mostly and it didn’t feel like I was devoted to her. I thought that if I gave everything up for her then I would get to be with her, but I just ended with nothing and her seemingly everything. I realize that she’s just a normal person I took special interest in, and I’m to blame for my shortcomings. also I got issues i wasn’t aware of.</p>
thank you for the response Roberta. I wasn’t expecting something so quickly it was just a shot in the dark. time has passed sense ive become aware that i have a problem and my obsession has seemed to have died down after some long and painful lessons, but it’s still there and may never completely go away. I’m a little functional now though, I’ve been throwing out some bad habits left and right. like coffee, I’m too stressed already to have any stimulants, so I drink decaf and camomile now. and I’ve been trying to eat a balanced diet, I was just eating peanut butter by the spoon for a long while and i think i have high cholesterol now. well anyway thanks again, sorry if I didn’t really asnwer your question.