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ERP 105: How To Deal With Limerence In Relationship [Transcript]

ERP 105: How To Deal With Limerence In Relationship

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Welcome to The Empowered Relationship Podcast, helping you turn relationship challenges into opportunities and setting you up for relationship success. Your host, Dr. Jessica Higgins, is a licensed psychologist and relationship coach who shares valuable tips, tools and resources for you to dramatically improve your relationship.

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Hi, thank you for joining today’s podcast episode. Today’s episode is How To Deal With Limerence In Relationship.

I wanna take a moment and just tell you how much I appreciate your listenership, how much, from the bottom of my heart, want you to feel joy, feel happiness, feel connection in your partnership. My whole goal on this podcast is to help you feel more equipped in navigating the complex terrain of intimacy, so that again, you can have that level of connection, closeness in the healthiest possible way, as you grow yourself and as you grow your relationship.

Today’s topic comes from a listener’s question. In last week’s podcast episode 104 we talked about how a relationship can grow stronger through infidelity, through affair. This listener also asked about limerence. Today I’m gonna talk about limerence in general, I’m gonna give you some examples of what it looks like, what’s the difference between limerence and romance in those early stages, and I’m gonna also give you some tips around how to deal with limerence.

Also, I’m gonna try something new… In the next week or so — on the next week’s podcast episode I believe I’m gonna give you a few of the topics that I have upcoming, and I would love for you to submit your particular question based on that topic, or just submit some of your sharing so that I can include your voice on this show.

I also have some really great interviews coming up, and I have some other great, exciting things coming up in the next few months as well, so stay tuned.

Limerence – you may or may not have heard of this term before… It’s basically synonymous with infatuation, love sickness, or those early, early stages of romantic love. That’s typically how people use the word limerence. However, there are few that think of limerence more as an obsession or an addiction, and I’m gonna talk about the difference between those today.

In essence, I just wanna round this out… Limerence is basically that “I need you, I want you, I can’t live without you” feeling, like “I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I’m just so consumed and on a high of just being enamored and in awe and inspired by you”… Those early phases of getting to know someone when you’re just feeling the chemistry and you’re feeling the connection just skyrocketing; the stars align and everything just becomes electrified.

The term limerence comes from a psychologist Dorothy Tennov in her book “Love And Limerence: The Experience Of Being In Love.” She wrote this in the late ’70s, early ’80s and it’s still widely cited and recognized. There’s also other major researchers studying this topic.

Dorothy defines limerence as an involuntary interpersonal state that involves an acute longing for emotional reciprocation, obsessive-compulsive thoughts, feelings and behaviors and emotional dependence on another person. I’m not sure if some of you are relating to this, but this is, again, those very early stages of becoming excited about someone, and some of you even might be referencing even when you were younger, those first few times you fell in love.

Again, that sensation of being really preoccupied with the person that you’re interested in and having a crush on them, maybe even feeling infatuated… And I’m gonna give a little bit more of the characteristics of it in a moment.

So really what’s happening here is that when we’re excited about someone that we just met, those early stages of attraction, our brain releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones that pretty much promote and provide this feeling of euphoric sensation and being in love. Then when the relationship forms and more develops and it becomes a little more stable, the hormones that are about bonding, like oxytocin, that really help us feel a sense of security – that helps balance out those really high, ecstatic states of being in love. So it calms the rush and the high of particularly dopamine.

Dopamine is that neurochemical that produces that euphoric feeling, that high state, similar to what happens when people use cocaine. Cocaine blocks the uptake of the dopamine. Normally, the dopamine is recycled and processed; well, cocaine basically blocks that, so we get this excess of dopamine and hence that high.

People who are addicted to cocaine will feel that intense, all-consuming draw to consume more cocaine, if they’re addicted. Similarly, when people are in that limerence state, they have that extreme draw to pursue the person that they’re feeling fondly or affectionate towards.

I referenced the younger age range because I think most of us are less inhibited; we have less pain, we’re less jaded about what the potential challenges could be — we’re just wide open, typically, unless we’ve had a family upbringing that really brings a lot of caution… But a lot of us are excited and we’re just like full on, just willing to go there, so we experience this really deep feeling of attraction, and again, we’re using the word limerence here.

Just a couple of characteristics for you to reference… An intense romantic desire is one characteristic. Another one is uncontrollable and obsessive thoughts. All you can do is think about him/her; you can’t get anything done, you can’t sleep, you can’t eat, you’re just consumed by this feeling of being in love. Everything reminds you of them, and all the topics you’re relating to them…

I remember when I was in love with my husband, we were dating at the time and it was just so fresh, it was so new… I had gone on vacation with my family – my mother and my brother – and we were in the car, and I don’t remember what we were talking about… And I had mentioned Reid and I was talking about some of the things that I appreciated about Reid. Then we switched to a different topic and then I was like, “Okay, back to Reid…” — like, I just wanted to talk about him a lot, and that kind of signifies that state of being really preoccupied.

What we tend to do is we idealize the person’s positive qualities; we think they’re amazing, we think they’re wonderful, we just think they’re the perfect fit, and we just are ignoring or bypassing or not even seeing some of their challenges.

It can also bring on a state of limerence, it can also bring on the feeling of physical symptoms… Maybe feeling trembly, flushed, feeling shy, feeling embarrassed, feeling some heart palpitations… That’s similar to using a drug, right? We’re fired up, and it’s just this intense feeling, and it can be overwhelming. We also will prioritize the other person… Arrange our schedule to maximize the possibility of seeing them and being around them. You may be able to relate to some of this, or maybe even all of it.

As I am pointing out a couple of these characteristics, it’s really telling to me that these characteristics are difficult to sustain for a long period of time. Our nervous system, our physiological body really is not made to endure this level of high for any period of time. So ideally, if we were gonna partner with someone, we wanna balance this out.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you want a relationship where there’s no passion, no fire, no chemistry, right? You wanna feel that juice, that draw, but you also wanna have balance.

What’s the difference here, as we’re talking, between romantic love in those early stages, like the honeymoon phase, and limerence? Limerence being more defined as that love obsession or addiction. Experts on this topic differ. Some of them say the early stages of romantic relationship, it’s really difficult to tell the difference between love and limerence; they could be exactly the same.

Other experts really see limerence as a totally different, unique experience altogether… Like a minority of people actually experience limerence, like 5%, or something, and that it ultimately could be even categorized as a disorder.

Where it becomes very distinguishable and being able to tell them apart is over time, where healthy relationships, those romantic feelings, as I mentioned before, start to level; they start to integrate and the relationship starts to emerge. So it’s less infatuation and more of a reciprocity of mutual interest and enjoyment together, and they care about one another, and they’re creating good communication… They’re really just establishing a bond that is more equal and caring and enjoyment together.

Limerence usually over time doesn’t feel good to one person or the other. This is especially true when it’s not reciprocated, and I have a few client stories to talk about to illustrate this.

Love not being reciprocated is either the person never was interested, and they just have been friendly and seeing the relationship as friends, or they have not been wanting to take the relationship to the next level, or they lost interest, or they for some reason disengaged.

Gosh, as I’m talking about unrequited feelings, I’m just recognizing how painful this experience is. I have a couple clients that I’m working with currently that are really processing heartbreak. One client, over years and years has had a connection with someone, and they’ve been at a distance, and it’s been unclear. They will sometimes reconnect, and there’s passion and there’s excitement, and for whatever reason their circumstances don’t allow them to pursue actual relationship, so they keep over the years dropping into connection, and it feels exciting and it feels rewarding, but there’s really no relationship that supports that.

My client that I’ve been working with has been available and has been actively pursuing the person, and initially was getting a lot of positive feedback. Well, with the distance and circumstances, the person he was attracted to was distancing, and it was  unclear… There was a lot of mixed messages. And combined with my client and his particular way of operating, was filling in the blanks, giving her the benefit of the doubt, and ultimately fantasizing about the possibility.

Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with imagining and fantasizing, because I think it does indicate what you’re wanting or what you’re longing for. Where it gets challenging is when we lose accurate perception, and where we become more attached to our fantasy than the reality of the circumstances.

I wanna pause there for one moment. I’ll get back to this story in a moment… But I just wanna talk about unrequited feelings. Again, this is where your affections may not be shared or returned. This can feel very uncertain, can feel very unstable and can bring on a level of intensity for some. It’s particularly difficult, as I just mentioned in my client’s experience, when there’s mixed signals, be it because of physical distance or emotional distance. This can be because of living in different states, or one person’s not available, let’s say they’re married. So they haven’t fully opted out of their marriage and they’re still committed; that does usually bring a lot of ambivalence and uncertainty, and it can be very confusing.

With limerence, with unrequited feelings — because limerence is that high state, that very obsessed infatuation, and when it’s paired with unrequited feelings, it can either just fizzle out, or it becomes more desperate and obsessive, where the person starts fantasizing or searching for reciprocation, reading into things, giving someone so much of the benefit of the doubt that they’re almost lying to themselves, right?

“He didn’t call because they were too busy”, or “She didn’t follow through because she had to work”, or something… Making excuses.

The other thing is maintaining the romantic intensity even through the adversity. Usually, when people encounter some type of challenge, they’re impacted by that challenge. It affects their emotional state; it’s usually a little bit of — not a downer, but it kind of dampens that elated feeling. So in my mind, if you’ve listened to my podcast before, you know that this is in my mind curriculum for developing deeper levels of intimacy, and it’s really a measure, it’s almost a test, if you will, of how do we deal, how do we show up, and this is where character gets revealed, right? “Are we gonna honor each other? Are we gonna respect each other even when the going gets tough?”

When someone is upholding the romantic feelings despite the adversity, the way that this is being described is it’s almost as though they’re ignoring the adversity altogether, bypassing it. I get the image of an ostrich with its head in the sand, like “I’m not looking, I’m gonna ignore… Let’s just pretend it’s not there”, and really uphold. Again, it’s this kind of fantasy notion.

I have a client that I’m working with, she’s wonderful and amazing, she’s a young professional, and she still is processing the loss of her first love. She had been in relationship and dated, but this is the first person that I think she really deeply committed to. In college, they were together for two, maybe three years, so it was a lasting relationship… Although when she describes the relationship to me – and I’ve given her this feedback – she tends to uphold the good times, those very few initial stages; she talks about the comfort she felt with him, the connection, their sense of humor, their light-heartedness, the playfulness and just how great it felt to be with each other.

I can feel when she’s talking about it how much that means to her, how significant that is to her… Yet, she’s made that synonymous with him, and with the relationship, even though he did not treat her well: lied to her, cheated on her, maybe disrespected her, didn’t really inquire about her… There’s a list of things that she felt so damaged by. So for her to continue to hold this one moment in time as representative for the whole relationship, it really gets her into this very confused place. She talks to me about “I feel like I’m crazy… How can I have this draw towards him, despite the way he treated me?”

They’ve been separated for a while and she’s been really focusing on building herself up; there’s been some things in her life that have brought him into the picture again, so she’s processing… In my mind, she’s just reconstructing her story around this, how she holds him and the relationship, and I think it’s a great opportunity…

Essentially, she was getting a No from him, or even that she was maybe feeling a No towards him, given the way he was showing up in relationship… But she continued to romanticize some of their good times.

There’s three categories here that I think make limerence pretty problematic. It’s unrequited feelings, also a tendency to feel anxious in general, and then also having some addictive tendencies.

The anxiety, if you will – this is just like higher energy, or maybe you do feel anxious at times, or maybe you even have some obsessive-compulsive tendencies… I’m a true believer professionally that we all have a flavor of something… And it’s true, right? Where things become diagnosable is when it exceeds the norm, it’s more severe than the norm, what most people experience, or it impacts you more than most people.

Most people have a flavor of something. Where it becomes diagnosable is where you might be given a label of a major depressive disorder, or you have some anxiety disorder – that’s where it’s above the norm. There’s a lot more I could say about that.

Some people have to diagnose to get treatment and to get reimbursed… And I’m gonna stop there.

Coming back to tendencies… So if you know yourself to be a little more higher energy, or have some level of anxiety, or be a little bit more obsessive, you may notice the characteristic of replaying interactions in your mind over and over again, and to great detail… Or endlessly analyzing every word or gesture, and trying to interpret.

It can also show up that there’s a fear of rejection, or even despair or thoughts of suicide, if rejection does occur. I think that this would be more of where the depressive tendency shows up.

Why I’m bringing this up – I’m gonna talk about addiction in a moment – is I think that if we have a tendency to be anxious and overanalyze, that can distort or distract our perception of things. We can be so wrapped up in our own stuff that we might miss the actual interaction… Or if we really have the depressed tendency where we have the tendency to interpret negatively. If I get a no from somebody, it means I’m not worthy, or I’m a horrible person.

I have a client that he definitely has a tendency of feeling a little more anxious, and it’s a protective mechanism for him. When he is exploring relationship, he’s very, very cognizant of doing something wrong; he can get caught up in his own mind and get a little forced around trying to do the right thing, that he’s not even being himself, he’s not even feeling relaxed to really experience what it feels like to be with this person. So again, he’s getting too wrapped up in his own fears or worries that it takes him out of real connection.

One of the other things I wanna talk about around limerence – and then I’m gonna get into some tips around how to deal with it – is addiction, if you have the tendency to be a little bit more addictive… If we’re feeling that limerence, that infatuation or that crushing on someone, we can develop a real intense attachment and dependency.

Again, I reference being young, because I see so many examples of it where it’s really easily displayed, like “I can’t live without you, I need you, I can’t breathe without you, I ache to not be around you…” I think adults feel these things, but it’s tempered a little bit.

So this can feel like, if it’s not balanced or doesn’t level at some point, it can feel unhealthy. This is where we see people that might have just cyclical infatuations… They might meet a partner and get super excited about them, and really have this fun romance and just enjoy that, and then they really never develop a lasting, secure relationship; it’s just a cyclical lifelong pattern of more obsessive relationships. Maybe it’s not even obsessive, but it could be just that infatuation, and people can be addicted, so to speak, to that love, that crushing on someone, that high. As I mentioned, the hormones and the neurochemicals involved in that – it can feel like a huge rush.

The other thing that shows up with that kind of addictive tendency is not being able to let go. With the young woman that I was mentioning just a moment ago, I think in her heart of hearts she’s very loyal, she’s very relational, she cares about her relationship, she’s extremely considerate and thoughtful and caring, and I think in some ways she in her mind married him. Not literally, but very much was committed to him in the fullest way she could at the time.

Combined with really preserving the good times with that level of commitment, she was unable to hear the No. She couldn’t really get her mind around “Why wouldn’t you do whatever it takes? I’m absolutely willing to do whatever it takes.” That’s a huge loss and a huge upset, no doubt, but the unwillingness to let go can create more pain and more suffering.

And really ultimately, I think her cherishing those good times is a beautiful thing, right? She’s wanting to feel that love, to feel that connection, so that means something to her and she’s valuing it… But I guess I’m trying to redirect that, encourage her to value that and also have the relationship to sustain and to support it in a healthy way, where she can feel really good in herself additionally.

I always feel like I get into teaching, and I really want to just offer tips and tell stories, but yet some of this stuff does require a little context, so thank you for bearing with me so we all have a sense of what we’re talking about.

Some of the ideas that I have around how to deal with limerence is to really get clear — this has to do with perception checking. A lot of my clients, or even on this podcast I talk about what is your partner showing you, what are they telling you? If you’re dating and they’re telling you they’re into you, but they don’t show you that they’re into you, or they say they’re really committed but they don’t show up in that way – that’s something to look at and to get clear about.

I also talk a lot about checking out assumptions, the meaning-making we have about interactions. I often reference the situation where two people in relationship are at odds, and maybe it’s getting a little heated and it’s feeling uncomfortable… One partner will wanna walk away, and one partner will wanna stick it out. The way that they interpret that and the meaning they have around the act of walking away and the act of working it out, they’re gonna be thinking completely different things.

The person that wants to work it out will likely think the person walking away is being abandoning them, rejecting them, leaving them, and is not committed, because they’re demonstrating “I care about you, I’m gonna stick with it.” Whereas the person walking away is thinking “I’m walking away because I care enough about you that I don’t wanna say anything hurtful. I wanna protect our connection and I don’t want us to be damaging one another when we’re in this upset state.”

If we don’t check out our assumptions, we can really go down a path of filling in the blanks and making up a whole story. How this relates to limerence is, again, if we’re not really being honest about what we’re seeing and what’s real, we’re likely to create a fantasy and be more attached to the fantasy than the actual person.

That’s that idea of “I’m more attached to the feeling of being in love than I am with you as the person. I don’t actually like who you are, but I like the feeling of loving you, or thinking I’m loving you.”

I was just talking to a young woman the other day, who was just seeking a little bit of counsel. She’s been dating a young guy (they’re both young); they’ve been framing their connection as very casual. “We’re just having fun, we’re just getting to know each other”, yet she keeps hearing him reference future events. “Oh, well I wanna take you here” or “When we do this…” and it keeps indicating to her that maybe he’s a little more serious than they’re talking about. That’s something to check out.

“So we’re saying things are casual, but I keep hearing you mention… Can you tell me how that fits?” Just checking things out, getting clear, perception-checking. “When I hear you talk about future stuff, that to me means you’re thinking about me as a relationship potential. That could be well, fine and dandy, there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s just… Are we on the same page?”

That can prevent a lot of the unrequited… Because if we’re checking things out along the way, we’re much more likely to stay in connection of what’s real, rather than being so in our own world, in our own fantasy and projecting. We are all gonna project on someone when we don’t know them, because we don’t know them; we just have to fill in the blanks the best way possible. But as we get to know someone, we wanna actually have our eyes wide open as much as possible, and really check those projections.

I mentioned some of the things that make limerence become more problematic… I mentioned some of the anxious/depressive/addictive tendencies, and I was thinking about it and I was like, “Oh, those all really affect the ability to perceive accurately.”

A lot of people say addiction is really at the source about connection, and relationship, and attachment. If we’re trying to fill that void or that loss or that pain of not feeling connected, or if we’re feeling afraid of being abandoned, or we’re afraid we’re not good enough, we’re gonna be so wrapped up in that and be distracted… That take us, again, out of connection; it’s like, “Oh, that’s really interesting… It seems to all fit.”

And just a little caveat here – I’ve not studied limerence and this is not my expertise at all… There are people at universities that study just limerence, and do research on this… Just a little caveat there.

Alright, number two… Well, just a recap – number one is Get Clear; perception check; really be explicit about “What are we doing? Are we on the same page? This is what I’m thinking. What are you thinking?”

Number two, Stay Present. Stay in the here and now as much as possible. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dreaming, envisioning – I’m all about that. And if we’re not living in the here and now, again, we can get into a fantasy, get into a projection, and we can really be totally disconnected. We’re more attached to our vision and our fantasy.

This can also go on the reverse. If you notice those more anxious tendencies… I mentioned the client that I was working with, that he feels often afraid he is gonna do something wrong, or he’s gonna feel like he’s not good enough or rejected… He’s so tripping out about the fear of that that he is taking himself out of the moment and hence not able to really let himself shine. He’s an amazing person, and his fears are preventing him from really being present and really being available to connect, and that’s what’s attractive, usually… Somebody wants to feel you.

He’s been working with this — not a mantra, but something he is really reminding himself about, which is “Okay, regardless of the outcome, no matter what happens, I’ll be okay.” He’s trying to soothe that part of himself that is worried about a negative outcome, and it’s helping him relax, helping him be more present, and hence feel more freedom to just be himself. So really reining in that thinking and the fantasy, whether or not it’s in a positive way or in a negative way, just coming back to the real here and now… Being able to have fun and explore what is, rather than the imagined sense of what will be.

Okay, number one, again, is Get Clear, perception check. Number two is Stay Present, get into the moment, the here and now. Number three, Don’t Lose Yourself. Stay connected to who you are, your values and your self-care. Again, if we’re so wrapped up in the obsession or wanting to feel that our affection is reciprocated, we’re wanting to lock in the relationship… And I get that all of this comes from a good place; we wanna feel partnered, we wanna feel in love, we wanna have a relationship, we want a partner; I get it. If that becomes so much of the priority that we lose ourselves, then essentially we’re not even in the relationship. We’ve just made it all about the other person; it’s almost like we’ve put them on a pedestal and we’re just making it all about them. And truthfully, that’s not a relationship, and I can tell you I’ve worked with many couples where I’m trying to get the person back into the relationship. And it’s hard. It usually doesn’t result to anything really life-giving or lasting when someone loses themselves.

This does require a little bit more negotiating… This is all stuff that I help in my program, in my coaching. If this is difficult for you, just getting some support around how to do this, how to bring yourself more fully – the most full that you can – so that you can stay connected to yourself and you can actually again be in relationship. Because sometimes we have that tendency — again, we’re prioritizing wanting to be in relationship so much that we’re willing to compromise ourselves. We’re willing to adjust and contort, and it really doesn’t represent what’s honest and authentic.

I have unfortunately clients I have worked with individually that just really share, you know, after this has gone on for a period of time and maybe they’re just now reaching out to me because it’s gotten painful enough, and they’re crying and they’re just telling me “I don’t know how I got here…” They feel so much shame and they feel so much guilt, and they just are baffled that they don’t even recognize themselves, like “How am I okay with this? How did I let this be okay?”

In some ways, they’ve also been hiding out; they feel so alone, they’ve been feeling so much shame, and they have isolated themselves from the people that love them and their family and their friends and their community. I’m thinking one way to deal with this is to stay true to what your interests are… If you have a love of an extra-curricular activity, keep doing that, even if it means you’re not gonna be able to see your person as much. Or still hang out with friends, still spend time with family, so that you can have some touchstones of who you are and reminders of what’s important to you. Because it’s easy, if you know yourself, to go into this really limerent state or high romance stage. I do think some people are able to go to a higher place than others, and there might be a lot of reasons why, but if you know yourself to get carried away, this could be a good way to stay connected to yourself.

Number four – Give Yourself Time. Allow the intensity to integrate, to settle and to calm. What we know is those neurochemicals and those hormones that produce that rush and that high don’t last. We can’t actually sustain that long-term, so they will settle. What we wanna get to is a place of more balance and stability, so we can feel the ground beneath us, so that we can continue to grow, but we are doing it from a solid foundation.

So just physiologically giving yourself some time to let yourself come back to what feels more normal, right? Letting those hormones really regulate and feeling more clear as far as that intensity. I remember when I was doing my PhD program – some of you might have heard me say this before – my husband was actually the first person that I met at school, at my cohort.

I’d done the interviews to get admitted, but he was actually the first person that I met that was a student, and also I hadn’t met any of my professors either. And I could tell that there was an attraction; I wasn’t actually ready for a relationship, so I wasn’t open to pursuing anything with him, but I also had a really clear understanding that you get a bunch of people that are of the same age together, crushes and attractions are definitely gonna pop off, and I just didn’t wanna be wrapped up in all of that. I wanted it all to settle and see what lasted, what was of substance… That shiny object syndrome – we can all get really excited and carried away by what’s new, what’s fresh, and there’s truth to that, right? We wanna be stimulated, we wanna learn, and that does allow for that — I mean, learning something kicks in the dopamine; that’s just one way to activate that rush, by doing something new and exciting.

You combine that with a group, and you’re meeting new people – it’s bound to happen… And it did happen. I’m grateful that I didn’t get too distracted by that. I really wanted to have a connection that felt of more substance. So my now-husband, he and I were friends for, I believe, 6-7 months, and I really appreciated that time to get to know him, that allowed for a lot of that intensity to settle.

So my number four tip – Give Yourself Time. I have one more to share, which is Build Trust. I talk a lot about this with my clients, where if they have experienced hardship in dating or in love, really recommending them to build a sense of trust with the person that they’re developing relationship. Look at how are they showing up, how do they communicate when things get hard? How do they share what’s real? Are they honest? Are they expressing care and consideration and regard? Do they put you as a priority?

Going back to one of the first stories I was mentioning, about the client that has had this connection with a woman long-distance over many years, and has been more actively pursuing connection – well, unfortunately, she disengaged and he was continuing to reach out and send text and be really thoughtful, and he had all kinds of ideas that he was really investing energy in, and was really just loving her emotionally, and in all parts of his being he was just very much directing his focus towards her. She was distancing and not really being that responsive. He pressed a little bit, and the way she dealt — I don’t need to say the ins and outs… The way she dealt with it at the end of the day, he felt so disrespected… He’s like “My friends don’t even treat me like this.” It just felt heartbreaking that he had really had this affinity towards her and really developed these limerent or romantic feelings, and the way she showed up wasn’t even to the level of what a friend would do. It didn’t have the decency, the courtesy… It was just so humiliating in some ways, and he was just like “I don’t deserve this.”

So it’s possible that he could have done some perception checking, it’s possible that he could have done some of these steps to work with the romantic feelings… But people — we’re all learning, we’re all doing the best that we can, and this is just part of his process. But I guess I bring up this point that if we are really prioritizing “Is someone trustworthy?” and we’re looking for certain cues and characteristics that demonstrate trustworthiness… As I mentioned, “Do they follow through? Do they seem to be considerate? Do they show care? How do they show up?” Probably my biggest thing is “How do they show up when things get difficult?” Are they honest? Like, “Look, things have changed for me. I’m not sure I’m feeling…” You know, even if it’s difficult to say “I’m not that into you anymore”, that there’s some honesty around it.

So in my thinking around this and when we’re talking, it’s like, people will show you. Most of the time, people over a period of time will show you where they’re at. I guess my biggest takeaway here is how to see them clearly, how to really be honest with what you’re seeing. This paves the path for more reciprocal, lasting, healthy relationship.

I wanna make one more note before we wrap up. I realize, as I’m finishing up, that I’ve really addressed limerence in those beginning stages, people that are dating or haven’t fully developed relationship; the listener who posed the question was talking about “What happens when this shows up in your marriage or your long-term partnership?”

A couple of things I wanna just say — actually, I’m looking at the time, and what I think I’m gonna do is I’m gonna do a second part of this that really addresses that. I don’t wanna rush my point.

I guess if you have a question related to limerence as it fits with dating or developing relationship, feel free to e-mail me and I will try to weave that into next week’s podcast… More specifically, if you have experienced feeling attracted to someone outside of your primary relationship and you have felt this rush or this excitement, or perhaps felt the thread of an emotional or physical affair and you have a specific question, reach out to me; I would love to hear from you.
I imagine I will be doing this episode in a week, so the sooner you can contact me, the better. I would love to fold in your wonderings.

I can be reached at DrJessicaHiggins.com, that’s my website. You can click on Contact, find the ways to reach me there. My e-mail is jessica@drjessicahiggins.com. To find the show notes for today’s episode (episode 105, How To Deal With Limerence In Relationship), you can also find that on my website, DrJessicaHiggins.com, click on Podcast and you can find the episodes there.

Again, I want to thank you for sharing this time with me. Until next time, I hope you take great care.

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