Wednesday Journal Entry, Week 32 ½
March 29th 2023 – Karina Lafayette
I remember the first time I saw him. I remember the last time I saw him. I came back to my locker to get something and on my way out, he was standing at his, getting ready to leave, too. I turned to him and said “bye”. I had to repeat it twice, and I’m not sure if he didn’t hear me the first time, or if he just didn’t want to look at me. Finally he turned around to say it… “Bye”. I left. It was silly, but I almost imagined like in the movies, that he would chase after me and ask that I stay. It was raining, just hard enough so no one could tell I was crying. He didn’t chase me. He came to work in his car, so part of me hoped that he’d pull over instead. He didn’t. I just kept marching on to the bus stop.
You want to know the best part? While writing this article, I’m in restaurant, and almost every pop break up song imaginable has been playing for the past hour. I’m not sure if “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus or “Better in Time” by Leona Lewis is the most hilarious.
Limerence, it’s not quite love, but its intoxicating enough to feel like love, and perhaps even harder to move on from. I guess it can be, like pre-love, if you will. In short, limerence is a state in which you’re taken by someone, so much that you fantasize about them, dream about them, and perhaps can’t eat or sleep without them. You make eyes from across the room. You flirt. Heck, you may even go so far as to date the person or have an entire relationship, but it’s typically based on the fantasy, what you like most in them, not the individual in front of you.
So despite all these feelings bubbling to the surface, you never actually have a deep relationship with them. And in order to make up for not being able to go so far as to build that kind of intimacy, you fill in the gaps, and imagine between words and actions what this person must be like as a partner. Every time you see each other again, part of you waits for the moment they reciprocate your feelings in a way that’s concrete, stable. You envision what it would be like to walk into the sunset together. Meanwhile they play games, or ghost you, or don’t really reciprocate fully. And even with all those unspoken promises, nothing happens.
One day, you lose contact with the person. Either because of a falling out, or because you finally get tired of waiting on potential. Still, you wonder what could’ve been. You wait for signs from the universe. You obsessively follow tarot readers on social media. You decide whether to text them. Still, nothing happens.
With time, you learn to accept that the two of you will never be together, and grieve, almost as hard as you would a break up, or even harder, since at least when it comes to a break up, there’s closure. Where limerence is concerned, there just is.
Now, it’s not to say that the love wasn’t real. And it’s not to say that you imagined anything that happened with them. Maybe the two of you were married in a past life. Maybe you were star-crossed lovers, or twin flames. Does it really matter, when they can’t even be there to actually give you the love that you deserve?
And I’m also not saying that you should settle either- you deserve a love that’s enflamed with passion and that blows your mind, but it should be with someone who can show up for you. It shouldn’t be with someone who spills empty promises from their eyes and speaks words they’ll never mold into concrete action. You deserve a love that’s present, not just all-consuming.
So many times in my life, I fell in love with someone’s potential, or at least, I thought that’s what it was. I also think that’s the reason my ex and I broke up, because we were never in love either, it was just limerence. Most romantic experiences I’ve had, were only limerence.
There’s also a real possibility that maybe, just maybe, I’ve had spiritual connections that can’t be explained by logic or reason, but you know what? I don’t care about that. Potential isn’t going to wipe my tears, and it isn’t going to celebrate with me whenever something good happens. Potential doesn’t hold your hand when you’re struggling. Potential doesn’t hold a mirror to all the darkness that’s inside you. Presence does that. Presence shows you what you need to work on while still thinking you’re the most amazing person in the world.
No one really understands why people get caught up in limerence, but in my experience, childhood trauma and abusive relationships have done the trick. As someone who’s been harmed by people I loved and trusted the most, it’s only fair to feel safer in the arms of someone who’ll never be there for me, than risk being in the arms of someone who might stab me in the back gently. So instead people like me get caught up in lust and situationships because it feels safer, so much more safer to keep others at a distance, where they can be just close enough to look, but not so close that they can actually touch.
Ever since Saturn entered Pisces, my perspective on relationships has done a complete 180⁰, because that’s what Saturn does- he removes the illusions and projections, and lets you keep what is. Saturn says you can have the fairytale, but it’ll be based on compromise and action, not just the good stuff. So it doesn’t matter anymore, how many signs I get from the universe, or whether someone was my partner in another life. It doesn’t matter if they can’t be with me here and now. It doesn’t matter because the past doesn’t exist anymore and the future isn’t here yet. There’s only so much affection I have for nostalgia and things that haven’t even happened. Sometimes I feel like these kinds of things are more of a cosmic joke to teach people about self-love than anything else. Face it, to an extent, everyone is connected, which means we can have many soul ties, and soulmates. It doesn’t make the connection any less special and beautiful, it just means the person can’t offer what you need in a partner.
Another reason I distanced myself from New Age Spirituality is because as soon as you mention the possibility that a supposed connection may actually just be a case of limerence, some people will hiss at you. For a community that’s all about love and light, they really seem to have an issue with being challenged or questioned in any way. Maybe it’s because deep down, you already know, they might not be the one. And I get it, after being disappointed so many times, it’s easy to project our ideas onto people, but how someone treats you says plenty about how they feel. I can’t tell you how much I blamed myself, because I thought that my self-esteem was responsible for the way others treats me- as if somehow my mind is powerful enough to control their actions to that extent. The more law of attraction trends on social media, the more it really does a good job at exposing our ego.
Because what I’ve learned is that law of attraction doesn’t work that way. You can’t change how someone feels about you by changing how you feel about yourself. By changing how you feel about yourself, the people who are in your life are often replaced with those who “get” you, those who see your best version. Psychics who say that you can use things like law of assumption or law of attraction to get someone to finally fall in love with you, to finally see you for the wonderful person you are, those kinds of psychics are not only taking advantage, they’re there to waste your time. If you were wondering whether or not they were coming back, rip off the Band-Aid and let yourself assume the worst, that they won’t. Even if hypothetically speaking they do come back, live your life. And even if they don’t, you’ll love again.
And I almost feel like a broken record saying this, because I’ve written this subject lots of times, but it took years to learn to love myself so much, that I rather tell it like it is, even if my words offend someone.
Romcom 500 Days of Summer does a good job at showing what limerence does to a person. Tom’s fixation on Summer is pretty much based on potential, on the person he wishes her to be, not who she really is. From the beginning, she told him she didn’t want a relationship.
While watching the show Jane the Virgin, (and if you haven’t watched it or finished the series, you may want to skip the next paragraph), I got reminded of a similar lesson… again.
Jane experiences a number of relationships in her life, with her mother, her father, her grandmother, her son, as well as with Michael and Raphael. In season 3, she mourns the passing of her husband Michael, and later rekindles her relationship with Raphael. Suddenly, we find out that Michael was never actually dead, it was all planned by the corrupt crime boss Rose. A little dramatic, I know, and you could imagine the confusion Jane felt when she had to choose between her alive-again husband Michael and Raphael. Except when getting to know Michael again, she realized that it just didn’t feel the same. Sure, he was the same person, but both of them had grown in their time apart, and it took that for her to realize you can love someone, and still no longer be right for each other.
Now of course, Jane’s relationships are based on genuine connection, not limerence, but at times, her character is known for struggling to separate reality from what she wants.
And that’s my truth. It may not be yours, this is just my advice. Perhaps that person on your mind is a soulmate, or whatever you wanna call them. Perhaps one day, you’ll meet again, but since there’s no way of knowing, the worst thing you can do is waste your years on people who can’t be there for you. Regardless of how you feel and even how the other feels. I used to think that in some way, waiting was a sign of true love, of patience, but there’s a fine line between patience and being taken for granted. There’s nothing rewarding about limerence, it just feels that way because… it’s safe. Eventually these guys come back, because they always do, and though the feelings may still be there, they only show up to build sandcastles out of thin air. Their words and looks only do so much, but when you’ve been around the block enough times, you realize invisible sandcastles aren’t enough. You want someone to build an entire home with.
I remember the first time I saw him. I remember the last time I saw him. I came back to my locker to get something and on my way out, he was standing at his, getting ready to leave, too. I turned to him and said “bye”. I didn’t want to, it would’ve been easier to just walk past him, but it needed to be done, like drawing a line in the sand.
“Maybe he’ll contact me on social media.” “Maybe if the universe wants us together, we’ll bump into each other.”
I don’t want a fucking “maybe” ever again.
I’m crying right now. And the best part is that it isn’t even tears of grief this time. It’s tears of anger, from all the times I waited for someone to choose me, when instead I needed to choose myself.
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If you enjoyed this, you may want to read My Venus is in a New Sign… but It’s Been a Long Time Coming, That F-Boy Isn’t Your Twin Flame and The Truth Will Set You Free: Saturn in Pisces (2023-2026)
Fantastic! I loved reading this. Thank you – very helpful.
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