Getting out of limerence while still maintaining the relationship
May 6, 2015 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out how to get back to a place where I once was with a close friend?

I’m a gay guy in my early 30s and have been very close friends with a guy for over a year now. I’ve always had a little bit of a crush on him, but it never stopped me from dating other guys or functioning normally. Recently, this has slipped into what is probably limerence - I’m having trouble sleeping, can’t concentrate at work, have stopped eating properly, and have started drinking more.

Before you say ”just tell him”, he already has a partner. I also know deep down that we are not suited for each other, and if he turned around tomorrow and said let’s get in a relationship, I wouldn’t be immediately jumping into his arms. We can be quite flirty with each other, but I respect his relationship and I think I just enjoy his attention.

This guy has been a positive influence on my life, and has made me a lot more comfortable about being gay, and given me a lot of confidence about men, so I really don’t want to go nil contact and lose him as a friend. I desperately just want to get this back to a place where I was before this all tumbled out of control in my mind.

I’ve gone back on anti-depressants in the last couple of days which seems to have helped break the thought cycle, but anyone else have any suggestions that don’t involve nil contact?

I have gotten over crushes and limerence before, but there is a certain reciprocity in this one that makes it harder to get out of…..
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In my mind

Well, it's just that then - you may not have done anything to the relationship outside of your own perspective. Think about what is/isn't fact. If for a FACT you haven't done anything to outwardly affect your relationship, then it just may be time for a break...get busy - with all of the activities you love that are away from him.

Go workout, do house stuff, pick up that random hobby you always wanted to try. Join a club or become a member at your local museum or volunteer for a local organization. There is a big world out there and sometimes a little breather is all you need. This will also help you to put yourself out there and open to meeting new awesome people too.
posted by floweredfish at 4:27 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I respect his relationship and I think I just enjoy his attention.

Give attention to and get attention from a lot more people. Fill your time, your phone, your social calendar, your brain with other interactions and relationships. Broaden your circle of friends, find other positive influences, be a positive influence.
posted by headnsouth at 5:16 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best way to get over a man is to get under a new one. Maybe get more serious about dating others?
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:49 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

1) Do not tell him.

2) Do not tell him.

3) Do a partial fade. Back off a bit on the amount and depth of time you two spend together. Fill up your dance card with other people and other activities. Date guys, and be mindful that you are seeing them for who they are, and not just transferring emotions from this guy to them.

4) Do not tell him.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:19 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

I heard somewhere that a whole lot of crushes are not actually about wanting to be with the person, but more wanting to be them - it seems that sometimes, this intense admiration of person makes our brain try to sort of leech some of their good qualities by making us want to be near them. I look back at several of my crushes and yup - that's a thing for me.

A lot of the things you say make me think it's a thing for you too - you admire this guy a lot, and also you admit that you don't think you both would be super compatible. He's totally a role-model for you, and that makes me think that maybe your crush is a symptom of not being satisfied with other aspects of your life? For example, is your career stalling? Are you creatively fulfilled? Maybe your brain is short-circuiting and instead of finding ways to fix that, it's telling you, well look at THAT guy, we should go snuggle right up against him and see if some of his awesome rubs off.

If this rings true, then get some projects on the go, ones designed to get you closer to where you want to be in whatever area is lacking right now. Plug ALL your spare time and energy into them. They'll not only help get your mind off and over him, but it'll drive you into becoming "the best you possible" and you're more likely to meet other awesome people to date that way.
posted by greenish at 5:35 AM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

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