So one of the biggest most common emotions that comes with limerence is jealousy. It is frequently experienced by the limerent person because of the level of obsession, possession and pedestalization of their limerent object. But first things first…
What is limerence? A recap
It’s a one-sided relationship that usually exists in the mind of one individual where they put the other person – the limerent object (LO) on a pedestal. A huge part of it are the fantasies that are built up about the LO in their heads which feeds their obsession and is reinforced by other habits like social media stalking and behaviour analysis.
The entire experience is characterised by alot of anxiety, emotional volatility and 9 other common emotions I linked here. Jealousy is usually ever-present in limerence.
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What is jealousy?
According to Psychology Today, it is a very complex emotion that is mostly experienced in relationships – of any kind. The person can experience a range of feelings from sadness, hurt, betrayal insecurity, confusion, fear, humiliation and anything else, if they perceive that their relationship (any, doesn’t have to be romantic) is threatened. The threats can be real or imagined.
Jealousy can feel very painful and is usually a sign that something needs to be paid attention to. Jealousy is usually common with individuals who have high neuroticism (always anxious, worried, fearful), low self-esteem, feelings of possessiveness especially with romantic partners as well as a high fear of abandonment.
The above qualities are coincidentally the exact emotions that limerents experience frequently.
Why does jealousy occur in limerence?
#1 Comparison due to low self worth and anxiety that you can never match up to your LO’s “chosen one”
Because low self-worth is already such an inherent part of limerence and is also a big reason why someone gets limerence in the first place…seeing that your LO is actually with someone can really trigger feelings of immense hurt and sadness because you feel unwanted and rejected by your LO. It is as if your LO has actually betrayed you and cheated on you. It doesn’t sound sane but that is exactly how it feels – incredibly painful.
One of the biggest things occuring here is that of the comparisons that inevitably come in – to your LO’s chosen guy or girl, crush/date/partner etc. And you think yourself..”Oh I do not look like her… I do not dress like her… I’m not her so I can never match up to my LO’s desire…I can never be a good partner for him”.
These thoughts can quickly spiral into my thoughts of low self-worth and esteem and make you feel rejected, without even being physically rejected. It further eats into your fears of abandonment and that you don’t “deserve” love.
This can actually play a very big part in pushing you further away from healing and it also can set off or trigger a lot of unhealthy thoughts about love and about relationships in general, further lowering your feelings of self-worth.
Do you struggle with retroactive jealousy in relationships? Take the quiz below to find out!
#2 Possession of your LO. If you cannot have them, no one can.
Possession and obsession plays a very big partin limerence as we know. Why possession actually happens in the first place is because we do not know our LOs that well or we refuse to see that they are also human. Fantasies are a huge part of limerence where we put this person on a pedestal where they’re almost like a god.
When you pedestalise a person, this sounds quite strange actually, but you start thinking of this person like a perfect object, that you’d want to possess. This is how it is like with alot of fans of celebs. So we want them to ourselves and if we cannot have them, nobody else can.
If you are one of those people who experiences strong intense jealousy on a very frequent basis, you’d often feel possessive over people in your life – your friends, your partners etc, You’d often get this feeling that people in your life cannot be with or spend time with anybody else because the person belongs to you.
You’d feel betrayed when that person spends time with someone else (although not romantically) and you will see that someone else as a threat to your relationship or friendship. This has alot to do with the fear of abandonment or the abandonment wound.
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#3 Because your LO gets to experience something that you may not have experienced so you are actually jealous of them
Now this reason actually sounds quite strange but sometimes or many times people who are limerent, especially those who have multiple limerent episodes in their lives, tend not to have many serious relationships. This is because they are always occupied emotionally and mentally with a fantasy relationship.
So it could be the case when you like someone or are limerent for someone who has had many real life relationships, you experience massive FOMO. You feel like you are “losing out” to them because you have way less experience romantically.
And again, this can make you feel rejected again and that you aren’t worthy of your LO’s attention or love because romantic experience-wise, you can’t compare. So it’s strange in that yeah, you are feeling jealous of your LO because they’ve experienced things (real life romance) that you’ve wanted your whole life but have never experienced – yet your LO has.
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How do I stop feeling this way?
Stopping jealousy completely is not something that I think is humanly possible, as jealousy is a very human emotion and serves an evolutionary function. Whenever it rears its head, and if it does so frequently, it’s time to look at your relationship or yourself to figure out where the issue could be lurking in.
Jealousy in limerence though usually has little grounding because limerence is based on a whole lot of fantasy. So you are jealous of an image of a person who is doing things that you don’t even know is true or not (i.e. assuming they are a good partner etc) because you don’t know them!
One of the best ways to heal both jealousy, as in to work towards being a less jealous person, coincidentally also goes a long way to healing you from limerence.
And that is..
To start connecting more with yourself
Jealousy and limerence have alot of emotional overlap and similar patterns. For instance,:
- Emotional unavailbility, hence being attracted to partners who don’t exactly want you
- Low feelings of self-worth and self-esteem, hence being attracted to partners who don’t treat you very well and may trigger jealousy easily
- Obsessive and posessive feelings over a romantic partner
- Anxious, insecure or avoidant attachment patterns, especially the former two
To heal from all or any of the above, start working on getting to know yourself
- Question your love patterns and beliefs – where did those beliefs come from and how are they continuing to hold you back
- Reframe your romantic partners, dates, crushes etc. They are literally just human and they are flawed. PS: the fact that you are fantasising about them shows that you probably don’t know them well enough!
- Start working on taking back your power and workng on your sense of self. It could mean journalling, spending time doing the things you love, being around people who love you and really finding meaning and purpose to your life
I find the ingredients of self-compassion and purpose to be the biggest paths to healing from jealousy and limerence. Understanding where you came from, healing those beliefs and faulty patterns/wiring and then working towards what you want in your life experience is a very beautiful experience.
It’s also how you get to build more confidence in yourself and when you fall in love with yourself, you will stop obsessing over people and putting them on pedestals that even they themselves cannot live up to.
Also, you will start loving this version of you that is so secure and sure of her/himself, that jealousy is not gonna be a huge detriment to your relationships anymore.