6 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 a seemingly intractable manner.
Infatuation, often referred to as limerance, is a wildly turbulent experience that presents us with a plethora of positive and negative emotions. Mainly, it causes us to obsess over the object of our interest and adoration. When we cannot be with this person, it is agonizingly painful and must be overcome so that it does not nullify all other aspects of our life.
Due to the brain chemicals involved with 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.
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 is quite fun!
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, 5HTP is notorious for causing drowsiness during the day, and 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. Ideally, wholesome carbohydrates such as brown pasta, potatoes and brown bread should be consumed regularly.
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.
Have you fallen into a magical, painful infatuation before?
© 2017 Lucy