7 Psychological Tricks to Quickly Get Over Infatuation
Infatuation: A Dopamine Rollercoaster That Can Be Overcome!
Some of us are prone to falling into infatuation. We encounter someone "special" who we click with emotionally and spiritually, and we find ourselves falling for them in an infuriatingly intractable manner.
Infatuation, often referred to as limerance, is a wildly turbulent experience that subjects us to a plethora of positive and negative emotions. Mainly, it causes us to obsess over the object of our adoration and focus on their "heavenly" looks and traits. When we cannot be with this person, the infatuated state is agonizingly painful and must be overcome so that it does not impinge on all other aspects of our lives.
Due to the brain chemicals implicated in attraction (namely dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin), the experience of infatuation is very illusory and unstable. It feels enchanting one minute, and then horrendously depressive the next.
You can certainly free yourself from these feelings, but will need to be proactive in your recovery and resist the desire to constantly lament over this individual. The following list of steps will undoubtedly help you if you are infatuated with someone and looking to reclaim your life and happiness.
1. Draw An Ugly Photo of Them
Infatuation may feel deliciously spiritual and like you've met your "soulmate", but the truth is much less whimsical; it is mainly driven by strong attraction. Regardless of your orientation/preference, the biological wiring and brain pathways are the same; we are drawn to people who are physically desirable to us.
Since you are thinking about this person a lot, it is likely that you have mentally turned them into a mysterious, beautiful demigod. It will be impossible to get over your feelings if you are constantly visualizing your crush as a stunningly attractive being.
You need to bring yourself back to reality by picturing them at their worst. If you have them on Facebook, draw an even more caricatured version of the least attractive photo that you can find on their profile. Think back to the time that you saw them after a heavy night out, or the time that they showed up to a party in a bizarre outfit with horrendously dyed hair, and sketch a little cartoon for yourself to look at.
This may seem immature and facetious, but it will help your brain rewire itself and picture them as someone 1. more real and 2. less desirable, both of which you want when you're caught up in an obsessive infatuation. This really works, and can put a fun spin on the healing process and reconnect you with your inner wit.
2. The Game-Changer: Laugh At Their Flaws
When infatuated, we often romanticize absolutely everything about our crush. We rarely laugh at their negative traits/features; instead, we find poignant meaning and seriousness in everything they do and say. This is because, to the brain, there is not much difference between having a crush and having a partner. You are so smitten that your brain is operating as if you were with them.
It's possible to trick your brain out of this illusory, dopamine-charged circuit. If you can relate to the above, you will find this tip unbelievably useful: you must find humor in a lot of what your crush does, and think about them in an almost-cruel way. I can guarantee you that doing this regularly will help you break out of infatuation quickly.
I am not advocating any type of real-life bullying; it can all take place in your own head. When he posts a picture of himself going to the gym, instead of thinking "he is so physically fit, attractive and amazing", reject those thoughts and instead think "there Mr. Wannabe Fitness Boy goes again, unable to get over his own vanity... what a 2017 loser!". Laugh at how he probably took 300 selfies before choosing one to post. Smirk at the fact that he queues up in pro-health cafes to buy his overpriced vegetable juices. He's a normal, insecure human like you, not someone who should be worshipped.
If you find out that she's into partying, instead of admiring her wild streak and glamorizing her even more, turn her into a bit of a joke by thinking "she is a drunken mess, even worse than I was when I discovered alcohol at age 15.. how pitiful!". Think about how she probably drinks vodka and dances to 90s pop with her female friends, until one of them inevitably bursts into tears and ruins the evening. You get the drift!
3. Give Them A Silly Nickname
Many psychologists advise against creating a mental "character" based on someone you're infatuated with, since it can perpetuate the obsession. However, it can be very useful to supplement the humor method (explained in my above tip) with a fittingly ridiculous nickname. Naturally, it must be based on real features or traits that they possess, as this will slightly alter the way that your brain perceives them and help you become less infatuated.
e.g. If you are obsessed with someone who happens to be from Mexico, start mentally referring to them as " The Burrito-Munching Fool". If you are smitten with a girl who is rather hippyish, think of her as "Buddhism-Appropriating White Girl". Of course, this trick can only be sustained with a suitable dose of humor and creativity, but will be very effective if employed correctly.
4. Eat Carbohydrates/Sugary Foods
During infatuation, your brain's natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) are out of whack, resulting in an unhealthy level of obsession and fixation. It has been found that serotonin levels are particularly low in this state, mimicking those of an OCD sufferer.
To help yourself fixate less on this "delightful person" who you're convinced is the only thing worth living for, you need to increase your serotonin levels. This will help you leave behind the irrational elements of limerance (e.g. the depressing thoughts and the urge to check their social media 30 times a day).
One way to do this is to take 5HTP, a popular serotonin-precursor designed to promote good sleep and feelings of contentedness. However, many people do not like to take supplements.
An ideal way to naturally increase serotonin is to eat something sugary. Refined sugar can cause a "crash" on its own, so it should not be consumed regularly, but it will not harm you if eaten occasionally to help you through this rough life chapter. Ideally, wholesome carbohydrate-containing foods such as sweet potato, brown rice and lentils should be consumed on a daily basis to keep your blood sugar and serotonin levels optimal.
5. Bring The Infatuation Back To Reality: Talk To Them
Infatuation is made much, much worse when you are not seeing and dealing with your crush in real life. It's very likely that you've created a fantasy version of this person, subconsciously embellishing all their positive traits and ignoring their negative ones. While my above tricks will work to rewire your brain and psychologically aid you in overcoming a tricky obsession, you also need to take some physical steps towards regaining control of your happiness.
You must try and engage with your crush in real life. This concept is supported by neuroscience; there is nothing like real-life exposure when it comes to getting over an infatuation, as it forms new brain pathways that are completely separate to the horribly obsessive ones that you've been cultivating for months.
You may feel that you've fallen intractably hard and that you're completely lost in this unrequited love affair, but you'd be surprised at how quickly you could get over this person if you shifted everything "back towards reality".
Dreaming about them in your room will only cause you to float further and further away from any semblance of truth, while interacting with them in person will effectively show you that they are a real person with flaws.
This may seem like cliché, generic advice, but it is given out by psychologists and counselors for a reason: it does work, and it takes away the pain quickly.
6. Avoid Associating Them With Music/Partying/Deep Convos/Fun
When extremely infatuated, it is imperative that you try and have as many face-to-face conversations with them, while sober, in all sorts of moods - when you're bored, stressed, tired or irritated.
The common pitfall is to only engage with your "special person" while intoxicated at parties. This is no good, as your brain will only associate this person with frivolous, inebriated happiness and inhibition. It also means that you're much more likely to have deep, meaningful conversations with them, which won't help you get over them.
Therefore, you must learn to associate them with all of your different moods and feelings, most of which will be negative or neutral in your sober, day-to-day life. Remember, we always want this kept in reality! Life isn't all about deep, spiritual conversations, pretty outfits and strobe lights.
Socializing with your crush exclusively at night will not accurately reflect how you feel about them, or how they would contribute to your actual life. The trick is to make sure that you associate your crush with all of these lonely/sad/boring times, as this will lead to a more realistic judgment of them and, consequently, less obsession.
7. Accept That Most People Don't Get What They Want
When infatuated, it's very easy to believe that this person is "meant for you" and that life is doing you a huge injustice by not letting you be with them. This can take you down the path of thinking selfishly and believing that you deserve them and a mutual romantic connection, almost as if they were an object.
A harsh truth in life is that sometimes things feel inexplicably right for us but we have to kiss goodbye to the possibility of getting them. It doesn't matter how stunning this person looks or how captivating their mind is to you - your connection with them (if there even is one) clearly isn't turning into a relationship. You have to move on from this and start to live for yourself again, setting goals and keeping busy.
You may struggle to accept this and feel aggrieved, as if this pain is unique to you. Looking around, it might seem like everyone else is happily dating someone and you may jealously wonder if they feel this intensely, painfully and strongly about their partner. Worry not, because they probably don't (even if they once did); feelings of infatuation fizzle out quickly, and often they aren't there in the first place.
Some people don't look for infatuation and fall into relationships with people who simply make them feel comfortable. Perhaps they have felt limerance before and now know it never lasts, or perhaps they have never fallen passionately in love with someone before so couldn't even comprehend how you feel. Either way, they aren't living out your wildest dreams, so stop feeling envious and as if you're entitled to be with this person; it's not a human right to date someone who makes you feel this height of emotion.
So, next time you're filled with envy after seeing people content in their relationships, remember that they're not experiencing the crazy, titillating dopamine rush that you're experiencing. Most people aren't, because infatuation is rare, short-lived and illusory - let that console you a little.
Have you fallen into a magical, painful infatuation before?
Questions & Answers
I need to delete the feelings for someone I don’t know. I don't like him. But I need to get over him. He wasn't my boyfriend, I just want to get over him and move on with my life. Its been like 5-6 months with my infatuation and I’m so emotionally tired. Help me, please. What should I do to forget him?
Force yourself to make a list of goals that will better you as a person (socially/career-wise/fitness-wise). While it'll feel like unpaid, tedious work when you're infatuated, make yourself go about the motions of reaching those goals.
This will quite literally rewire your brain and, in the next few months, you will reach a point where you no longer have to fake interest in these hobbies/goals. They will become genuinely interesting to you, and your feelings towards this guy will lessen and lessen until he no longer seems fascinating at all.Helpful 43
I have a boyfriend. I’ve been hanging out with his friends, and have developed an infatuation situation. I know I don’t love this person - I love my boyfriend with all my heart. Could my body be mistaking a great friendship as something more?Helpful 8
I've been infatuated with an online friend for two months now. He is a precious friend of mine, but I can't continue our friendship when these intense feelings exist within me. I've asked for space between us recently, but I can't seem to get him off my mind. How do I stop feeling so lonely and insecure?Helpful 4
I’ve met someone at work I like, who is a senior manager. We get on and have lots in common. A few months ago, I noticed her looking at me, and ever since haven’t been able to stop thinking about her. I’ve noticed her looking at me a lot on and off. I can’t get her out of my mind. Dating is difficult because we work together, and until recently I’ve been in a relationship. I think I’ve just heard she’s met someone. What should I do?Helpful 8
How do I confess my feelings in front of a girl?
Confessing your feelings to someone can be daunting, especially if you're risking a friendship or uncertain that they feel the same way. I would recommend that you first try and gauge whether she likes you - if she holds eye contact, if she mimics your slang and body language and if she smiles when she looks at you, you have a chance. When it comes to actually confessing your feelings to her, I'd recommend keeping it as casual as possible, while also being meaningful. Don't make it seem like you're proposing to her, in case you get rejected, but also don't turn the whole situation into a joke out of nerves.Helpful 15
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