As a neuroscientist, I am fascinated by mental health, consciousness and perception, as well as the psychology behind human relationships.
Emotional Freedom Is Within Your Reach
With a background in neuroscience and clinical psychology, nothing thrills me more than deciphering the mystical phenomenon that is romance and imparting my knowledge to others. A particularly interesting facet of romance is the concept of "love gone wrong": obsessive unrequited love, or limerence (educate yourself here), involves the sufferer switching between states of ecstasy and depression, plagued by constant intrusive thoughts featuring the object of their desire.
If you are currently stuck in the depths of a strong infatuation that is unrequited, forbidden or otherwise impossible, you should see this difficult chapter as an opportunity for tremendous self-growth. I promise you that adhering to rewiring your brain away from this alluring person and transforming the beliefs that you hold in your subconscious will set you free. Once you heal from your mini-traumas and fulfill the unmet psychological needs that this person is targeting, in a matter of weeks they will no longer fascinate or attract you and you will be free from this insanity.
Here are 43 questions to ask yourself that will force you to plunge deep into your psyche, highlighting unhealed wounds, triggers and other points of psychological relevance that have led to you developing this obsession.
1. Questions to Figure Out Your Unmet Psychological Needs
- If asked to describe how this person makes you feel in 10 adjectives, which would you choose?
- Does the high you experience from their attention most remind you of: freedom, the buzz of a stimulant, or warm safety?
- If they were a psychoactive drug or alcoholic drink, which would they be?
- Can you think of anyone else (a celebrity, actor/actress or acquaintance?) who is comparable to them, and who would be able to stir up such longing in you if you had the chance to get to know them? If so, who?
- What would the 8-year-old version of you think of this person?
- How is this person better or worse than real, successful romantic relationships you have experienced?
- If your last ex had been more like this person, would the relationship have worked? Why or why not?
- How would your ideal day with this individual pan out?
- What hobbies allow you to feel even a shred of the surge of joy that this person unlocks in you?
- Which of your friends stand out the most interesting and cool?
- Are you prone to patching up your voids with alcohol and food? Does that work for you?
2. Questions to Reveal Hidden Parts of Your Personality
- Would you rather a short-lived, exciting relationship with them or a longer, calmer and mature existence together?
- Does the idea of dating this person thrill you so much because it scares you, and feels out of reach?
- Do you generally enjoy a challenge?
- Do you feel that this person does/would understand you better than anyone else in your life?
- If you were on your deathbed looking back at this current version of yourself, would you feel you had been authentic?
- If on reflection you do not feel completely authentic, what areas of your life are the most compromised? Why?
- Have you ever experienced true romantic bliss?
- Do you realize that every real relationship, no matter how exciting, eventually feels mature, stable and a little "boring", no matter how the honeymoon phase ends?
- Are you someone who chases highs in general?
- Would you even truly want a real relationship with this person?
- People act as mirrors, reflecting our current state and level of authenticity right back at us. Who are you with the attention/influence of these people in your life?
- How does this version of you differ from the version of you that others see?
- How would others describe you (professionally or socially)?
- Have you considered that your infatuations may be to do with the fact that these people accent particular hidden traits or fulfill suppressed desires of yours?
3. Questions to Ascertain Your "Trigger Archetype"
By "trigger archetype", I refer to the typical type of person you fall for. Most of us prone to limerence and infatuation find that only specific and rare people can trigger the feelings in us.
- How many bouts of all-consuming unrequited love have you experienced?
- Do you feel that the people you fall for are incredibly rare, putting them on god-worthy pedestals?
- Do you fall for a physical 'type', or is the personality and vibe of the person what most attracts you?
- Is your sexuality fixed or fluid?
- Have these limerent objects (LOs) been at all similar, in appearance or disposition?
- If you cannot think of many traits that they have in common, there will still be something significant that groups these people together. What is one feeling, or experience, they have all been capable of triggering in you?
4. Questions to Elucidate Which Limiting Beliefs You Hold in Your Subconscious Mind
- How has your outlook on life changed in the past ten years?
- Do you feel that your friends effortlessly align with what's right for them, but you cannot hold onto what you resonate with?
- Do questions about your dream life annoy you because you feel incapable of attracting your dream person?
- Why would a relationship not work between you and this person you are currently in love with?
- Do you consider yourself unworthy of dating them?
- Given we are all animals with the same basic needs and fears, why are you holding this person on a pedestal?
- Can you start to see them as equal to you, and laugh a little at your obsession?
- Do you think you are beautiful?
- Are you prone to thinking that "life will start when you do X" (lose weight, get higher grades, progress in your career, have more free time..?)
- When it comes to romance, anything in between a). confessing your feelings and b). going cold turkey on the obsession and moving on is madness. Why are you allowing yourself to stay in this painful limbo?
- What advice would you give to a depressed, lovesick 15-year-old dealing with their first proper crush?
- What emotional barriers or vulnerability is stopping you from taking your own advice?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Lucy
Nensi on June 20, 2020:
Thank you much for this, but I'm little bit confused with the question what to do with my answers. :)
Any further suggestions?
Lucy (author) from Leeds, UK on April 17, 2020:
@dashingscorpio A highly useful comment, thanks for the contribution! Whilst this article pertains to unrequited love, you are absolutely right - some relationships are underpinned by pure infatuation rather than a mutual sense of trust and love. A good sign that you are more infatuated than in love is feeling as though you are walking on eggshells, and that your partner is far too good to be true - beyond the honeymoon phase, this is not ideal in a relationship.
Lucy (author) from Leeds, UK on April 17, 2020:
Hi Edward, thanks for the comment! I completely understand what you are describing; until you learn to employ techniques that actively rewire your subconscious mind, it will feel like you are pouring logic into your brain in vain. However, there is a clear neural basis to these strong, abstract feelings, and learning to view and "tweak" your mind like a computer will completely dissolve them into nothing and allow you to see this person as dull.
If would like me to analyse your particular situation with me, I offer in-depth psychological reports (5-8 pages).
Don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd be interested in exploring that! :)
edward 2 on April 16, 2020:
Thank you for this article. I found these questions to be helpful, as well as the rest of your articles on infatuation. What troubles me so much is that no matter how much logic or rationality I inject into the situation, I can't seem to make the 'feelings' any better. I have issues with depression and self-loathing and the feelings these issues cause swap in so quickly when I take off the rose colored glasses that I almost don't WANT to dispel the delusion. I have my first ever phone appointment with a therapist in a few days so it feels good to have some kind of way forward.
Long story short, your articles helped me understand why I'm feeling this way and the void that my special person's attention/affection temporarily fills. Still have a long way to go.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on April 13, 2020:
I would also ask the following:
How long have you been dating?
Are you able to relax and be your "authentic self"?
Do you feel secure in the relationship or fear they'll leave?
What flaws have you found or things which irritate you?
Have you had any major disagreements/arguments?
If your answers to these questions are:
1. Less than one year
2. No, I'm always out to impress and I'm on my "best behavior".
3. No, I'm afraid I might say/do something to blow it.
4. None, he/she is flawless! They can walk on water!
5. No, we always want the same things at the same time.
There's a good chance you're infatuated and not in love!
"Infatuation is when you find someone absolutely perfect. Love is when you realize they aren't perfect and it doesn't matter."