The Sudden LO

I mentioned in the explanation, “What Is Limerence?” that it can develop over time or come on suddenly. This is my experience with the latter.

I had a situation that I needed to hire someone to deal with and to teach me along the way how to continue with the situation. (Yeah, it’s vague, but I would be so embarrassed if he ever actually knew.) The search began for someone with the expertise to do those things. That is when I met Kyle*.

Before I actually met him, I got to see Kyle work and see how he handled clients and how they reacted to him. He was good at his job and the clients seemed to adore him. That was a good start. I usually don’t like meeting new people, but he made me feel very at ease and welcome. He walked me around his place of business, explaining how he worked and what he did, asking me questions about my own situation.

As I was walking around with him, a thought floated into my head. I noticed that he was fairly attractive. I immediately tamped down the thought though because his looks had absolutely nothing to do with the skills I was needing him to have. Kyle was definitely qualified and I liked his demeanor so he was hired.

For about a month, everything was fine. He was someone helping with a situation and imparting knowledge unto me. He was friendly, nice, and fun to banter with. It was a good experience.

Then…it happened.

Kyle and I were standing in a walkway, talking about the progress made. Something about the way he was standing or the way his head was titled or just the tone of his voice…something prompted the thought in my head, could he be attracted to me?

Limerence thrives on two things – hope and doubt. That was the spark of hope right there.

Now, looking back on it, he was probably standing that way because it was comfortable, his head was tilted because he is tall and tilting his head allowed him to see who he was talking to, and his tone was probably just the way he normally talked in that setting.

Add to that mess that he was in a serious relationship with a girl who I adored. She was absolutely kind and beautiful and they made a great couple. I didn’t want to steal him away. I just wanted to have some fun. {wink, wink, nudge, nudge} However, I would never have done anything to upset their life together and honestly, I couldn’t have anyway. They were solid.

That was when the obsessive thoughts started. It is actually what reminded me about limerence. I knew about it and had experienced it before, but it had been long ago. After a few days of my mind being filled with thoughts and fantasies of Kyle, I knew something was not right. I was obsessing. I decided to google “obsessed with someone” and I was reintroduced to limerence.

I didn’t want to feel that way. I mean, it seems fun at first, but you eventually learn that no, it isn’t.

There are three ways to end limerence:

  1. Transference (shifting your limerence to someone else; this is usually not voluntary)
  2. Reciprocation (disclosure (admitting your feelings to LO) and finding they feel the same way)
  3. Starvation (the onslaught of evidence that LO does not return the limerence)

A note about starvation, some take it to mean “no contact” (NC) with the LO (i.e. starving yourself of their presence). However, starvation is about the loss of hope. Without hope, limerence dies. It is possible to experience starvation though NC though. If you decided to completely cut off contact with a person and they make no effort to contact you, that can be considered evidence that they do not feel the same as you. Often times though, this is not enough. Many a person has talked about seeing a former LO years later and the resurgence of feelings is almost overwhelming, knocking them right back to the way they felt at the height of their limerent episode.

Back to Kyle. Disclosure was not an option so reciprocation was off the table. Like I said, I wouldn’t rock that boat even if I thought I could. Transference is not easily forced and there was no one around to transfer to anyway. Starvation through NC couldn’t happen because I hired him to do a job and he was damn good at it. I could have hired someone else, but I truly felt Kyle was best suited for the job. I knew our time would eventually be up anyway and then NC would start.

Starvation through the “onslaught of evidence” that LO does not feel the same way is hard to get without disclosure. There is so much an LO does that can give a limerent hope without even meaning to.

I decided one day that I was just not going to look directly at him. If I didn’t see him then I couldn’t misconstrue his body language or the looks on his face. He wouldn’t notice that I didn’t look at him because he was not interested. Seriously, at the time I thought this was a brilliant plan.

I show up and say hi, but it was a general hi to the small group of people that was there which Kyle was part of. I go near him and start petting the dog that was there. He talks to me and “in return” I more or less respond by talking to the dog. After that, I went and sat down in a chair. I was so pleased with myself that I had not given in and looked at him.

If you go out of your way to not look at someone, they will notice. They will especially notice if they have narcissistic tendencies. That is just the way it is. I know this now.

As I sat in the chair, Kyle came over and sat in the chair next to me. I kept firm and stared straight ahead. He leaned forward and looked over at me, tilting his head. It was obvious that he was attempting to get me to look at him and to ignore it would have been way too obvious. I looked over at him.

Once I looked at him, Kyle smiled his gorgeous, heart-melting smile and said, “Hi,” in a soft-voice. Seriously? I melted. I said, “Hi,” back and smiled and then things went on just like they had been every day before then. It was really a terrible plan that ended up making the limerence even worse.

It has been years since then. I saw Kyle once since the time I spent there and it was just going down the road. He pulled up next to me and waved. I spent the rest of the day reliving limerent feelings.

We keep connected through social media. It’s good in case I have a question he can answer or in case I need his services again. I also suggest his service to other friends in the industry on social media. It’s rare that any of his posts causes a limerence echo. It has happened a few times, but it passes quickly.

I know that if I were to see him in person again, I would feel those feelings again. That use to keep me from wanting to see him. However, I now know and recognize the feelings. I am much more in touch with that than I used to be. I know that it is not “true” feelings and I can compartmentalize them when I interact with him until I go without seeing him again and they dwindle back away.

I had a lot of practice with another LO, but that is a much longer story for a different day.