9 Psychological Tricks to Quickly Get Over Infatuation

Updated on November 15, 2019
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As a neuroscientist, I am fascinated by infatuation; it's such a strong, mysterious phenomenon, yet is entirely scientifically-explainable.

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 limerence, 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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 and is inflammatory, 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.

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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.

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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 limerence 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.

8. Seek Closure - Don't Revel In the Highs of Infatuation

We can all relate to experiencing the lows of infatuation; abject misery and sadness are typically what sends us to the internet, searching for the cure to a broken heart. It is in these moments that we look at ourselves and realize that we're irrationally addicted to someone and need to move on. However, it's very easy to let yourself feel some of the highs of infatuation, without realizing that the highs are equally neuroatypical and dangerous. In fact, if you're experiencing the highs intensely, and you're letting yourself treasure pleasant thoughts revolving around this person, you're far from recovery.

Why? There's a duality to infatuation: you're in the throes of it not only when rejection/an inability to be with that person makes you depressed, but also when the thought of them makes you incomprehensibly happy. In order to truly overcome infatuation, you need to deflect the positive thoughts in addition to the negative ones. Allowing yourself to be inundated by the ups of romance will mean that you inevitably crash down, experiencing the opposite of those sky-high feelings, and you've learnt that you cannot handle the lows.

You need to get good at identifying ALL infatuation-based thoughts as a). unhelpful to your recovery and b). completely illusory, even if they make you feel lighter and more ecstatic than anything has before. The negative thoughts hurt us and are the most problematic, but the positive thoughts allow you to slip further into romantic feelings and ideation.

Infatuation is a dance in uncertainty; if you are feeling the highs at all, the limbic, animalistic part of your brain will keep chasing those highs because it wants to make you feel good. It wants you to be productive and happy day-to-day, so that you can fight off illnesses, gather food and care for your family. Just as it makes you crave chocolate when you're stressed, your Inner Indulger presents you with delightful thoughts about your limerent object when you're bored/unhappy. If you let these thoughts occupy a place of prominence in your mind, it will continue to do so because its tactic will have worked.

See such thoughts for what they are, which is your brain making its own fun. Don't let yourself grip onto them or be the basis of daily delve into the realm of fantasy. Sure, this person may have liked your profile picture, but that means nothing. It shouldn't be giving you a buzz that lasts for hours. If you cannot separate yourself from the illusion of limerence and find the highs impossible to dampen, remove yourself from social media. Be a little rude to this person in real life, so that they won't be too kind to you and give you hope/dopamine kick.

Do whatever you need to do to get better; you're unwell, and they're not.

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9. Find Peace in This: Their Silence Is Really Rejection

I am returning to this article to add the final, and potentially most important, point. It appears that a propensity to obsession, depressive states and anxiety are all implicated in infatuation/limerence, but these states cannot exist without uncertainty.

Most of us who experience limerence are relatively introspective, dreamy and often spiritually-inclined. The way that we experience romance is intense; when infatuation is unrequited or impossible we typically feel like we're losing a soulmate and missing out on a truly authentic existence.

Right now, you probably feel that you've been shown a wonderful, exciting dreamlike world that has been taken away from you. The pull that you feel towards this person is colossal, and due to shared values and beliefs, it may seem like cosmic madness that you two are not together and something totally, spiritually wrong.

This has always been the way that I have experienced limerence. As someone prone to spiritual thinking and magical ideation, I always struggled to overcome the notion that I would be settling for life if I didn't end up with that person, and that the powers of the universe wanted us to be together.

The best way to counter this illogicality and find peace is to realize that this person has seen your soul, and has still decided that they don't want to be with you. They have spent time around you and, consciously and subconsciously, have formed a clear opinion of you through not only your behavior but also your aura. There's nothing more that you can do and there's no real uncertainty.

You might argue that they don't know you yet, convinced that if only you could have shown them your intelligence, your softer sides, etc., that they'd have loved you back. You might be thinking "my situation is unique - they do like me, but they don't want to be with me". However, they aren't feeling the same way towards you, and nothing that you could possibly do will make them return your incredibly strong, unstable feelings.

Perhaps I won't be able to convince you otherwise, but I can guarantee you that you will look back in years, see this situation objectively and understand what I mean. Even if this person gives you mixed signals and is hot and cold, that behavior alone is enough proof that they don't truly want you. If they did, they would make it known. They wouldn't occasionally ignore your messages for weeks, they wouldn't snap at you and seem bored of conversation at times and they wouldn't date other people and tell you about it. It's horrible to face the truth, but this person isn't interested, at least not in a way that matters.

They may be attracted to you, which is a recurring trope in infatuation... do they sometimes seem to meet your eyes with a glimmer and seem interested? If so, that is still irrelevant - they don't love your mind like you love theirs and they never will. They aren't trying to be a part of your life.

When limerent, it's so very easy to enjoy dancing in the uncertainty. After all, doing so gives you access to the highs. We're addicted to the euphoria that this state lets us swim in, all of us - you might deny it, but a small part of you knows that you would get better if you truly treated this like a drug addiction. If you cut all contact and ignored the good traits of this person, it'd fade, and you know it. You just don't want to let go of the hope that you'll end up with them, and the blissful feelings associated with that.

But, since this is disrupting your life, it's time to do just that and to focus on obtaining closure. How? Realign yourself with reality; take their silence as rejection, because that is what it is. Take their short replies, distant smiles and their dates with other people as rejection, not as uncertainty. Are they asking you about your childhood, trying to separate you from a group of people (e.g. trying to organize coffee/drinks/anything), or sharing secret details with you?

If not, take that as rejection. It'll shatter you initially, but then you'll stand up, pick up your pieces and will move on from them in a matter of weeks/months, I promise you that. Once the fantasy is out the window and you're focusing on the way that this person actually treats you/prioritizes other people, infatuation just won't be sustained and you'll recover.

It goes without saying that if someone wants to look into your soul, go on adventures and create long-lasting memories with you, you'll know. Keep living authentically, find happiness in being alone and the right people will come along who will be begging to stay in your life. You can't have a soul who isn't meant for you, nor can you make them want you. Stop lying to yourself, stop settling for uncertainty and let yourself see the truth.

Have you fallen into a magical, painful infatuation before?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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.

  • I feel infatuated? What should I do? No texts, no phone calls, I want to move on with my life. Maybe he is married or he doesn't even remember me. And I need to get rid of these feelings as soon as possible. Help me with how to cope with this. Maybe it was love at first sight or I don't know what. But actually, I don't even like him. I refused him and he behaved like a total jerk. He said you are ugly and stupid.

    You can and will recover from this - you need to just keep on living, embracing real life and distracting yourself from thoughts about him. Every time your thoughts wander towards thinking things like "if only i was his girlfriend..", FORCE yourself to do something else. This, and time, will help you.

  • 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.

  • Can infatuation be worked through by having sex? I know this sounds a little extreme, but I really would like to know if it works.

    Yes, in theory, sex with someone else that you are attracted to could help you overcome infatuation more quickly.

  • 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?

    It sounds like you are in a happy, committed relationship and truly in love with your boyfriend. However, you may still be infatuated. Take some time to be introspective and understand your situation - how do you feel towards this person? You say you might just be mistaking friendship for something more, but it’ll be obvious over time whether or not you are attracted to them. Is the idea of kissing them wrong and uncomfortable or would it feel right? Or, are you prone to latching onto new friends in the hope that you’ll be accepted into an exciting new social circle?

    Without these details and more information, I can’t tell you whether you’re simply enthused to have a new friend (and temporarily obsessed) OR you’re developing strong feelings for your boyfriend’s friend. Time will tell!

© 2017 Lucy

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    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      4 days ago from Leeds, UK

      You believe something in between the Disney dream and the bleakness of thinking purely in scientific terms: your ability to seek a stable relationship with someone who is interested in you. There is no need to reduce relationships and love to neurobiology if feelings are mutual. This article is aimed at people stuck in the depths of unrequited love, who need to be more objective in order to move on with their life.

    • profile image

      Brenda nino 

      4 days ago

      Towards the end I felt everything. First anger towards this article and than just pathetic and than depression and than I watched a YouTube video to idk. What do I do now? Do I just accept that i am born alone and I will die alone and that’s fine. That relationships are power games. After I’ve been having a Disney dream .... what do I believe now? :/

    • profile image

      Venom 

      9 days ago

      i want to get rid of a girl from whom i am now infatuated .i always waste my time thinking about her and get worried that does he she have feelings for me in return or not.at first to douge these feelings i made her step sister but this trick didnot worked i day by i am adopting feelings for her and i always keep on thinking that does she loves me or not and due to i cant concentrate in my studies, work etc. Plz help this posion is eating me from inside .AND one more thing ,i always keeps on thinking about spending time with her and also that she likes me or not.plz help me ,

    • profile image

      Xyz 

      4 weeks ago

      I have a strong crush/infatuation on this girl.. I want to become a footballer but always the thought of this girl distracts me.. I just get depressed about it and it is a very serious depression.. I always get discouraged and disturbed and I want to get over this feeling, so to get over the feeling, I tried to think of her as a friend but it isn't working..

      What shall I do?! ... Please reply!

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      5 weeks ago

      I really enjoyed reading your article, it has opened my eyes even more. In my case i realised that i wouldn't even like to be with him (he actually showed affection and proved he cared about me, then oh well..i found out he still loves his ex and felt like i supposed to play a role of a plaster for his wound- umm no thanks, i will pass.) but something inside pulled me to him like a magnet. Im not gonna share the full story but i can definitely relate and i understand what it feels like to be fooled and have subconscious attitudes towards another person which in the reality only serve you with pain. All I can say to people who go through the same is, you have to stay strong. Make a list of how he/she treated you, believe you dont deserve to feel so low, cry if you need as it is healthy but realise it is only your imagination about the person that YOU created to "fulfill" your definition of love, your needs, feelings etc., it has nothing to do with them because they are not who you thought they are. You wouldn't even like to be with this person in the first place based on how they treated you.

    • profile image

      Eliss 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks for your article. Its is just so right! The thing is that there is a part of us that dep inside, knows the truth... just so deep inside sometimes LOL

    • profile image

      Jayj 

      5 weeks ago

      Hi Lucy, I have to say i really love this article! Most other articles online usually just talk about general solutions to these kinds of infatuations, but yours actually gives concrete explanations as to why these kinds of infatuations happen and how to actually solve them rather than just telling me to distract myself from them and invest myself in doing stuff.

      I have actually been distraught over this infatuation problem for years. I am really really prone to infatuations as I keep being attracted to girls all over the place. From train stations, to work place, to malls, to just walking on the street! I don't have any loving feelings towards them nor do i know anything about them. However, i get turned on / attracted just from them doing the smallest things, which then turns into a crazed desire to go after them. I keep telling myself i'm just trying to be friendly but deep down i know i'm harboring a small hope that they will be attracted to me as well.

      Even now, despite being in a relationship for 1 year +, i keep getting sidetracked by would be illusions of other girls being my potential girlfriends. My girlfriend is a GREAT girl and i love her a lot. But a lot of the times, i fantasize myself for being with other girls / try to find ways to go after other girls. Even though my feelings of infatuations fade after some time (worst case scenario, months), i still feel really guilty for my infatuations since it just means i am neglecting my girlfriend.

      Is my case of constant infatuations towards most girls normal? Or am i the odd one out for being way too much? I have been controlling my urges quite well since our relationship started but i'm scared i will hurt her unintentionally due to my infatuations and sudden urges taking over. I had another infatuation towards a girl i don't even know on Instragram tonight, that's how i stumbled across your article. I have never done anything about my infatuations, save talking to them for the fear of hurting anyone, especially my girl, but i don't know how long i can control it. Work and games keeps girls off my mind for most of the time, but i don't know how long it'll last... Is there any advice?

      P.S: Sorry i wrote such a long comment. Just had to take some things off my chest. Hope you don't mind Lucy

    • profile image

      RM 

      7 weeks ago

      I have been infatuated with a girl who is mysterious and doesn't talk much in class but only in PE we were playing together and i tried to look her in the eye and talk to her but i couldn't and she wanted sitting directly opposite me i couldn't muster the courage as you said turn it into reality...I am going to try talk to her but how.Also she like my posts on instagram and followed me .I have been seeing she is realizing this.But i don't know how to go about on this.I think i want to be friends with her but its never going to happen .I was infatuated with another girl before she was really pretty now it with this dark and mysterious girl who does talk but only sometimes. I'm a girl and I'm wondering if i suppose to be getting infatuated with girls . Wht if I'm...

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      3 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Thank you - I'm so glad that it has resonated with you.

      If you'd like advice on your specific situation/the reason why this particular person is triggering an intense emotional response in you, please drop me an email... I am currently offering personalized reports!

      Best, Lucy

    • profile image

      Girl whom loves like no tomorrow 

      3 months ago

      This article was nothing short of stunningly accurate and direct. Do you ever do clinical sessions Lucy?

    • profile image

      Jean Ellis 

      3 months ago

      Hi there,

      I am in a bit of a pickle, and I came across this page and thought posting on here may be helpful.

      I am in a committed relationship going into it’s 3rd year and I love my boyfriend and would never ever do anything to hurt him.

      I have been dancing ballroom for 3 years and have never been able to find a partner so have only ever done exams. But two weeks ago my teacher found me a partner to compete with, and we have started practicing and dance really well together. The issue is I am completely infatuated with him. At first I just found him very physically attractive, and thought it was okay to think he was attractive. But after a couple of practices I have found myself completely obsessed with him. And I don’t understand why really, because I know that we would never ever have the slightest chance of ever being together. I know he is not someone who would share all of my values and things, just completely not my type of person in regards to relationships. It’s irritating because all other experiences I’ve had of infatuation have been with people who I could see myself being in a relationship with. But I definitely can’t with this guy so I don’t get it. It’s also awful because I feel incredibly guilty, and I also have to see him twice every week for practice, and be pressed up against him for 2 hours straight. And I don’t want to stop dancing with him, because it is so good to finally have a partner and we dance so well together, I would just like these feelings to ease so I can stop feeling so guilty.

      Any advice?

      I do think part of it may be me seeing qualities in him that I wish I had myself, such as his confidence, and so greatly admiring the things in him that I wish I had myself. So possibly working on my own confidence would help ease the feelings

    • profile image

      Anonymous-IN 

      4 months ago

      Hi Lucy,

      One of my biggest fears was I have come across as a creep by failing to conceal my infatuation.

      It might not be that bad. She came up to me a week ago for some technical assistance which I gave. It took me a while to settle down but (I hope) I managed it quite well and she seemed glad I helped.

      Things are much easier now. I don't need to be awkwardly silent nor over exuberant when she is around. The infatuation just needs to be out totally - it isn't yet.

      Thank you once more, Lucy.

    • profile image

      Library_Girl 

      4 months ago

      I'm deeply infatuated to this guy I don't even know the name of. I always see him in the library and he has come up to tap on my shoulder to ask me to take care of his stuff a few times. However, as i started to show my interest by sitting next to him or looking at him, he does not seem to reciprocate.. We've bumped into each other a few times in very dramatic settings (something like what you'd expect in movies) and I think this is why i am so infatuated by him, thinking that we are meant to be, etc. I don't even know this guy; his name, age, anything. But I can't help thinking about him, looking forward to seeing him and just picturing us together. I feel crazy and wrong. What should I do?

    • profile image

      Karan 

      5 months ago

      Thank you for saving my life with these steps

    • profile image

      Anonymous-IN 

      5 months ago

      Lucy, am sorry for not responding soon enough. Thank you for the guidance once more.

      I know am gradually getting over it and this infatuation is not debilitating for me. It doesn't stop me from going about my job or my personal responsibilities with the concentration that they require.

      I've noticed that thoughts wander to her only when I am not doing anything important. Maybe this is my biggest hurdle.

      And yes "normalising" her good traits is something I need to do. Thank you.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Hello! It's important that you stay strong and try and mentally reframe your perception of her nice features/actions.

      When I was at my worst and dealing with similar situations to yours, I would try and think about how my LO reminded me of one of my friends (who is lovely and kind-hearted, but has a slightly 'goofy' smile).

      Focusing on that trivial, albeit genuine, resemblance helped me to snap out of the trance of idolization and rumination. I started to see them in a less romantic, 'you're so mystical and radiant' light, and to start to see them in an affectionate way because they reminded me a little of a friend that I was CERTAINLY not limerent over.

      The aim isn't to develop a complete aversion to your LO if that is not realistic; she might well be a sparkly and truly kind person. Rather, you need to realize that her positive traits aren't anything particularly special. They're within the same domain of interesting traits that you might see in some of your favorite friends, or your family members (AKA: people that you could never become obsessed with!).

      To slowly but surely leave the highs and lows of a pathological limerence, you ONLY need to tug your fixated brain away from seeing her as 'god-like'. She may be beautiful, smart and lovely, but this doesn't mean that you need be lovesick over her and mourning the fact that you can't be with her.

      Again, I'm sure there are many women that you could describe using colorful and complimentary language, but who you aren't strongly romantically interested in. It's all about reducing her back to 'human status'. Any attraction will take care of itself and slowly fade as long as you manage to adhere to this rational thinking for a few weeks/months.

    • profile image

      Anonymous-IN 

      5 months ago

      Lucy, am back.

      I held the door open for her inadvertently (obviously I wasn't going to barge in first) and she gave me such a wonderful smile seems like all the hard-work of the last two weeks has collapsed like a pack of cards! Sigh!

      Why couldn't she have just growled at me? Would have made it so much easier.

    • profile image

      Raul Lopez 

      5 months ago

      Plan B work on me.

    • profile image

      Braxtyy 

      5 months ago

      So I met this guy on a cruise a couple days ago. I went with my friend and we made a bunch of new friends including this guy that we'll call Max. Anyways me and "Max" were getting along eeally well and became friends but then it turned into something more, for me atleast. I started to like him and I thought maybe he liked me too because I would see him staring at me all the time and we did a lot of thing that couples would do. The thing is that the cruise ended and because the days got more chaotic, we never ended up switching any info. All the people who we were friends with never got his info either and he lives a couple hours away. Its only been a couple days and I feel like I'm never gonna get over him. I know it sounds stupid and that it will eventually pass but it feels like right now its taking up all my energy and making me feel really depressed. I want to tell someone how I feel but I feel like they arent going to take this seriously because I am so young and "don't know what it's like to feel real pain and suffering." All I really want is to get over him and move on with my life but I think of him all day every day and I haven't stopped crying since. Please help me figure out ways to speed up the healing. I'm holding it together but when I talk to other people I can feel tears building up even when we aren't talkinf about anything close to him or the trip. This is taking over my life and I don't know what to do.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      @vegan42 I can understand why you may feel like that, since the brain is wired to expect life to always be as it has been in the past. However, this quote doesn't take into consideration the fact you actively create your own reality and are capable of manifesting your wildest dreams.

      I sincerely hope that you choose to give life a chance! Depression is a temporary state; it is a metabolic shut-down and is the biologically-advantageous antidote to rumination. Yes, that's right. It isn't something that you'll always suffer from, nor is it a 'genetic imbalance'.

      However, to beat depression, you must 'keep it moving'. Our ancestors did not have time to worry about their issues or emotions, since every single day was a struggle to stay alive/locate food. Albeit incredibly hard, you must commit to moving past this, write a list of small things to accomplish and start ticking them off.

    • profile image

      vegan42 

      5 months ago

      "Suicide is another thing that’s so frowned upon in this society, but honestly, life isn’t for everybody. It really isn’t. It’s sad when kids kill themselves ’cause they didn’t really give it a chance, but life is like a movie: if you’ve sat through more than half of it and it sucked every second so far, it probably isn’t gonna get great right at the very end for you and make it all worthwhile. No one should blame you for walking out early. "– Doug Stanhope

    • profile image

      Anónimos 

      5 months ago

      Its says here...

      "As someone prone to spiritual thinking and magical ideation, I always struggled to overcome the notion that I would be settling for life if I didn't end up with that person, and that the powers of the universe wanted us to be together.

      The best way to counter this illogicality and find peace is to realize that this person has seen your soul, and has still decided that they don't want to be with you."

      They don't want to be with you...

      But in my case...

      I'm married..

      I didn't look for the person.

      He contacted me on social media.

      We talked for a month..

      Never saw him in person.. well i had, but never really pay attention to him.. only his band...

      I knew about his existence, just didn't think he would notice me.. never in my life I thought about him in that way...

      He is recently a widow.

      We fell for eachother...That's what i think, though... i dont know...

      And he let me go because I am married obviously...

      Weird stuff has happened.. like coincidences between us...

      Was it infatuation?

      I'm so confused.

      Because i fucking love my husband...

      I read about limerence..

      I stopped talking to him 2 months ago...

      But i think about him every single day...

      And I saw him on 2 days ago in person...

      Didn't talked to him, just waved at him.

      And later sent him a message...

      Telling him I was glad to see him happy having fun.. he told me to love us each other.. meaning my family....

      I miss him a lot...

      Just wanna know if it's love..

      If its infatuation, limerence...

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      I'm glad! Feel free to update us all - hope it all goes well :)

    • profile image

      Anonymous-IN 

      5 months ago

      Lucy, I can't stress how important and eye-opening your replies have been. Thank you so very much. Maybe I will keep you posted if you aren't bored. :-)

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Even if slightly oppressed by societal expectations of how women should act regarding sexuality, she'd meet your eyes with a glimmer. If you're relatively perceptive and find that you can typically judge friends' facial expressions etc., you should trust the fact that your subconscious has interpreted her behaviour and body language as 'uninterested'. Mutual attraction is very obvious and hard to hide, in terms of the energy a person gives out and directs towards you.

      Yes, it's positive that you've come to that conclusion and can start to move forward. You will certainly manage to leave this headspace and begin to find other people interesting in a matter of weeks/months. I speak to many people who are in the depths of unreasonably strong limerence and delusional as a consequence; you seem to be moderately infatuated, but still logical.

      Good luck!

    • profile image

      Anonymous-IN 

      5 months ago

      "that she seems uninterested, which is very likely the case as mutual interest would be obvious (even in a reserved woman!)."

      Could it also be a cultural thing? Women in India in workplaces will be extremely guarded. They know there are far too many creeps. I don't want to come across as one of those. I'd prefer leaving the job if that was the case or if I anticipate that to happen.

      So even if there is interest I am not sure if would be shown - certainly not to a new colleague. They would need to know a person very very well to become interested. And in this particular case I can bet my quite modest bank balance that there would be no interest at all even if she came to know me well. This is unrequited interest/liking.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      5 months ago from Leeds, UK

      This sounds like it is more of an infatuation than a truly problematic obsession ('limerence') - you haven't mentioned gut-wrenching lows and depression from this experience, which is positive. A passionate infatuation fizzles out quickly, as long as you cut the cord and stop picturing future scenarios involving her. You seem self-aware and mention that she seems uninterested, which is very likely the case as mutual interest would be obvious (even in a reserved woman!). You need to focus on yourself, see your feelings as a pesky beast to tame and try and make as many new connections as possible.

    • profile image

      Anonymous-IN 

      5 months ago

      I recently joined a new IT company. None of my colleagues work in the office I do. I go there because its an easier commute.

      Now there is a colleague there. She said Hi to me the first day and told me no one works here beyond 9PM. I am alone on that floor till 11PM when my shift ends.

      Earlier I did not think of her much but now I am infatuated with her. It doesn't help that she is quite bubbly.

      I know this won't work out for two reasons - I am at least 15 years older to her and I think she is already engaged.

      However, I am not able to get over my infatuation.

      I also know that she is indifferent towards me and we have spoken probably 4 times in the last 4 months.

      But I don't want to force a conversation with her because I neither want to make her uncomfortable nor feel threatened. I did not add her as a contact in my official list; I did not connect with her on LinkedIn for the same reasons.

      Is this infatuation or more scarily an obsession? I desperately want to get over it for my own sanity.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      6 months ago from Leeds, UK

      It always helps if the person that you are infatuated gives you a clear, negative response. However, if there seems to be uncertainty, your brain will perceive this as hope and you may become even more strongly infatuated. Therefore, whether or not you should disclose your feelings depends on their personality.

    • profile image

      Kimberly 

      6 months ago

      Does it ever help to tell the object of your infatuation how you are feeling and that you are trying to get over them? I am tempted to do this, to help with closure, but it may really be an attempt to spark something. And it might not be fair or kind to lay that on him.

    • profile image

      7 months ago

      My marriage was broken long married life. I am a single mother with a teenage kid. While i was coping with all this, one of the guys who is 10 years younger had a crush on me. Initially, I denied but eventually I got attracted. Both of us are very clear that we can’t have any long term relationship. I have met him only twice and he has moved out of country as well. It has been more than a year since I have seen him. But I can’t still get him out of my mind. Can’t blame him at all since he never made any promises and has been honest about his personality and beliefs. I am not even ready to get into relationships again.

      Did I force my attraction to him just to forget my past? Why am I not able to get him out of my mind? I feel pathetic when I trouble him to keep in touch. Is it not possible to be connected as a friend?

    • profile image

      ADE 

      8 months ago

      It is fascinating

    • profile image

      cookie 

      8 months ago

      I met this guy at school and I'm scared at how I might even love him, it has been about 10 months from the time we clicked. and I'm not exactly ready to fall in love, but I want to try. on the other hand, there is another guy, a family friend since when I was really young. my long term friend and I, we kissed and I don't know how I need to react to it, basically, its a love triangle. help, please!!!

    • profile image

      Kamy 

      9 months ago

      Thank you for responding to me and for putting a positive spin on my silly obsession, I feel quite ashamed of the irrational feelings and thoughts I have for him.

      I will follow your advice.

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      9 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Thank you for sharing your story. This is fascinating and goes to show that infatuation and limerence are illusory states. They are reflections of our own aberrant neurochemical circuitry and psychological wounds and have little to do with who we project them onto, whether it be a real person or a fictional one.

      You need to treat this as a drug addiction and stop following his social media. Going cold-turkey on this will make it impossible for you NOT to overcome this over time.

      You are clearly obsessionality prone, but this isn't a bad thing. There's a duality to everything mental-heath related. It means you're more passionate, more driven, and can focus on abstract ideas more clearly than the average "neurotypical" person. Use this to your advantage - throw yourself into a new project, learn a language or set yourself a fitness goal.

      The world is your playground, and you can thrive amazingly well in it with a brain like yours. I plan on writing articles on the benefits of certain psychiatric traits in the future. Being prone to limerence, intrusive thoughts and obsessive thinking has actually taken me very far in life, because I've learnt how to manage my mental health while taking advantage of being better than the average person at certain things.

    • profile image

      Kamy 

      9 months ago

      I know this is completely ridiculous but it is affecting my life and marriage. I am infatuated by a fictional character in a tv series, and by extension the actor that plays him. I have no idea if this actor shares any of the character traits that his fictional self has but I cannot stop thinking about him, it doesn’t help that he is gorgeous looking too, I am following him in social media and so desperately wish I could meet him in the flesh so that he may want me too. This silliness is affecting my personal life and my relationship with my husband as I am comparing him with this ideal man and finding it hard to be aroused and intimate with my husband. I feel my life is being wasted and I am in the wrong place, I think I should leave my husband and children and go find this man that will make me forever happy. Please help me

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      9 months ago from Leeds, UK

      It's so hard when your feelings are reciprocated, but the person doesn't quite like or need you as much as you do them. All you can do is keep on living your life, despite the pain and obsession, and trust in your connection with him. If you guys really do have a connection beyond sex, he'll stay in your life in some form. That will have to be enough. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Manu 

      9 months ago

      I am in a gay relationship, and i met this other guy who is married to a woman and has 2 kids. He is a beautiful guy, we met for the last year to have sex. 3 months ago i got infatuated with him. Not i wish to meet him every day, he does not want a relationship, but sometimes he messages me. Im going crazy. Cant find anything negative about him. Its like he's perfect. I really need help to overcome him. At least i was capable to delete all of his chats not to keep on going back to them. I think of him easily 50 times a day. Im sure he will message me back but dont know when and this kills me.

    • profile image

      venesa 

      10 months ago

      Hi I have been in infatuation for two years with this man.we know each other but I am very nervous, to talk to him.though I don't want him but it is difficult to forget him.he is married and he is too old than me.I know it is wrong but I get restless and feel like crying if don't see this man for 1day. He is also nervous and shy in front of me. We don't talk to each other.but I want to talk to him I just wanna talk to him a simple greet like hi but I can't because of my nervousness and this causes my infatuation so strong that it is sometimes more painful and I feel lonelyness. Can you please tell me the solution for this.?

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      12 months ago from Leeds, UK

      @Mags Unfortunately, starting a platonic relationship with someone that you are infatuated with is impossible. You can remain civil, if that's what you mean by a "friendship", but I don't think that is what you truly want. You, like everyone else who is currently infatuated with someone, want to be part of his life in any way that you possibly can. If you choose to be his friend, unless you're both diligent with boundaries (next to impossible), you'll just end up getting to know each other in detail as if you were in the early stages of a relationship.

      You are correct in thinking that this behaviour is wrong and unfair to his wife, but it doesn't make either of you entirely bad people. We are animals driven by our brains that possess some very primitive, reptilian components. It is unfortunately common for married people (like him) to find a spark in someone new and become temporarily infatuated. After all, a long-term relationship is loving but no longer "exciting" like new romance. The truth is that it is very rarely worth ruining a healthy marriage in this way, and that infatuations are ephemeral by nature.

      Having said that, how you deal with this situation is down to you two. If you truly think that you have a deep emotional connection and that he is on the same page as you, talk to him.. life is short. It might be that he is unhappy in his marriage for other reasons than it just being a bit dull - maybe he is already looking to leave his wife.

      However, I think that you are right in thinking that you should nip this in the bud and stop getting to know him. I wanted to dance around the above point not to give you false hope and steer you towards a bad decision, but to highlight that life isn't black and white. You're not completely irrational to want to take this further, despite infatuation being short-lived and illusory. Who knows, maybe there IS a real connection there that would outlive the initial buzz of falling in love.

      What I can tell you is that you WILL be okay if you end this connection. The throes of this infatuation will pass if you commit to closure/mutually decide to cut this off. You will mourn him and feel like you're missing out on a life chapter so spiritually-aligned with your destiny, but you need to let yourself experience those thoughts knowing that they are ILLUSORY.

      Our brain has evolved in this way to confer us with a biological advantage: guaranteed survival of the human species. It spins up a little story for us with the help of potent neurotransmitters, tricking us into thinking that we need to grab onto this new, exciting person like our life depends on it.. just so that we reproduce. After the child has been born/grown up a little, nature no longer cares if the parents stick together, which explains why infatuation fades.

      Good luck. I truly feel for you - it's agonising to let go of an "almost relationship", but this too shall pass.

    • profile image

      Mags 

      12 months ago

      I have worked next to a man for months that I connected with immediately. He is smart, funny, fun, interesting, he is a leader in the community and owns a business as well as leads worship at the church. He has introduced me to his wife and I have visited them at church even. One day as we were working something shifted. The conversation became more flirtatious....I invited him to come along with some other co-workers to grab a beer after we were done and he said yes but then said he forgot about something and had to jet but would love to grab a beer later in the week. We ended up meeting that following Wed at a restaurant, we had 2 drinks and some food and he paid. It seemed innocent enough...we laughed a lot, we had good conversation....but I found myself wanting to talk to him more and see him again. A week later we met again at another place for round 2. He mentioned wanting to sit next to me in a booth and I played it off and laughed and said that would be awkward. We got a margarita (one of the big ones) and drank out of the same glass with 2 straws...it was like I was a teenager again I haven't felt this giddy over someone since I was young. Something really sparked that night. We laughed, talked, enjoyed some drinks, then he grabbed my hand...not holding hands just would grab it to make contact...then let go. After walking out to the car we gave each other a small kind of half way peck on the cheek but a little on the lips....anyways it was cute, and we agreed to meet again soon. That Friday, I was on the way to a movie alone (which I typically do) and I couldn't stop thinking of him. I asked him to come. He did. We sat so close to each other, held hands and cuddled, never kissed, but came so close a few times. I know this is wrong. I know this is bad and hurts his wife. But i can't stop. I think about him every day, all day, and he says the same thing about me. He has everything I want in a partner but 2 things...he is married and has no children. (I'm divorced and have 4 children which is why I really don't want to date anyone). It's hard at 37 to find connections. I was certain that after my divorce I would never love again. I didn't want to. This sneaked up on us. I don't think he will leave his wife and I wouldn't want him to, not for me. I have a feeling something is missing in his marriage but I can't be the filler for that. I am getting more infatuated every day and the thought that this could be over any day makes me want it more. I wish I knew how to get through this. It seems clear that I should just cut it off but I can't bring myself to do it. How do I break it off but still remain friends? Is that possible?

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      14 months ago from Leeds, UK

      He certainly could be, or you might be viewing him through the rosy-tinted lenses of infatuation and warping reality. It is also possible that he finds you attractive but is not truly "infatuated" - so, he flirts back, but doesn't feel any emotional pull towards you.

    • profile image

      Inpain 

      14 months ago

      what if this person, who I'm infatuated with is reciprocating. When I see him, in my building at work, he looks deep into my eye and smiles for a lot longer than normal, sometimes he even says Hi how are you. Every time this happens I get a racing heart, and almost like panic attack symptoms?? I think about him all the time for days at a time, imagining things.....and then it happens again, I see him, he looks at me, and the cycle starts again. I find this painful and too difficult to talk to him, he hold a very high level position (not in my department) where I work but we are both married :( . Do you think he could also be infatuated with me? We really haven't had a conversation except for one time a brief chat when we first met...this has been going on for 2 years and its driving me crazy

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      15 months ago

      I can't stop thinking about him. I think about him when I wake up, when I go to bed and every other waking second. It's starting to affect my daily life. I also work with him although I don't have a regular interaction with him. The funny thing is I don't even know him enough but I like him more than I should. What should I do?

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      16 months ago from Leeds, UK

      Infatuation is such a real, powerful phenomenon! Thanks so much for commenting and reading :)

    • Camille Harris profile image

      Camille Harris 

      16 months ago from SF Bay Area

      This is so real. Apparently real for most others, too, judging by the 96% who voted "yes" in your poll! I was infatuated (borderline obsessed, sadly) with someone a few years ago. It took me nearly a year to get over them when we only dated a couple months. I wish I would've read your article back then - could've saved me a lot of heartache! Bookmarking for next time :-D

    • profile image

      paankaj sonawane 

      2 years ago

      this is true i got attracted to model actress searched her on internet i saw her photo she looked so ugly in that photo that moment itself my attraction faded with her completely

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      2 years ago

      Lucy, Thanks for the explanation!

      I guess you're talking about being in the "friend zone" but wanting more or possibly having a crush on someone who doesn't even know you exist. People need help with both scenarios!

      Maintaining an unrequited love/obsession for someone keeps a person from living their life to the fullest.

      It may also SCARE the object of their affection should they ever learn about the obsession. No one wants to be labeled creepy, a stalker, or a fatal attraction. :)

      In order for him/her to be "the one" they would have to see (you) as being "the one". At the very least a "soulmate" is someone who actually wants to be with you! (And vice versa)

    • hallucinogen profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy 

      2 years ago from Leeds, UK

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, @dashingscorpio ! I completely agree with you on the idea that the infatuation stage of a relationship is amazing and does not need to be cut short. However, this hub isn't addressing the beginnings of a romantic relationship - it is addressing unrequited love/obsession.

      I am using the word "infatuation" to refer to a long-lasting, deep, painful crush on someone that you *cannot* be in a relationship with. It is the most painful thing to be convinced that you adore someone, yet not be able to express it to them or act on it. I hope this explains why I've come up with tips to aid someone in "getting over" these strong feelings, as it IS necessary to move forward and think pragmatically when obsessed with someone who does not feel the same way! :)

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      2 years ago

      Actually I believe people are more interested in finding ways to keep the infatuation phase or "magic" alive!

      Those first 12 weeks of a {new relationship} are often the times people hold onto in hopes it will return once they get past any issues they're experiencing now.

      It was a time where laughter came easily, conversations flowed, they made each other happiness their top priority, the word "no" was seldom if ever used because neither person wanted to "blow it" with the other, cards and token gifts were given "just because" and sex was off the charts! People love (falling in love).

      Very few people would want to fast forward past that time.

      It's almost a cliché to hear someone say:

      "He/she is not the same person I fell in love with!"

      Essentially they want to {go back} to that infatuation phase!

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