Someone,and I can’t remember who, coined the term Limerance to describe those heady first days and weeks in a new relationship when you are just so caught up with your new love. You see only perfection, not the flaws, you feel strangely optimistic and heady and the flames of passion burn strong. Oh blissful days.
Then it changes! Time to move on to a new lover? No, no, no. That’s bad, immature. Instead it’s time to take the relationship to a new more meaningful, mature level! You have to put the work in and sometimes make compromises.
Well that’s a little bit how it feels for me after 4 weeks of being alcohol free. The first few weeks it was all heady optimism-; “Oh sobriety I love you, we were made for each other, let’s make love again, it’s been 30 minutes already!” (oh no that last one doesn’t really work as a metaphor does it?). Anyway you get the idea. It was all positive, loads of benefits, saying goodbye to hangovers and seeing a lovely alcohol free life stretching out unto the sunset. Bliss. Limerance.
Then it changed! A few heady weeks of limerance and then reality sets in- this is tough, the feelings more confused, the reality more nuanced, the pulls of the past growing stronger. Early optimism gives way to mixed feelings- feelings of loss, trouble dealing with boredom, dealing with nights out. A feeling of not being able to enjoy what others enjoy.
Divorce is in the air!
Except it’s not. It’s time to be more realistic, more mature. The honeymoon may be over but the hard work begins and the true nature of being alcohol free will hopefully emerge. I don’t want to experience just limerance in my relationship to sobriety, I want a lasting commitment where I sacrifice going off with that floozy alcohol for a one night stand for a more meaningful relationship with sobriety. Sticking with my new partner, sobriety, will give me more depth and satisfaction in the long term I’m sure.
I’ve not been a great one for relationships in the past so there are parallels for me between my new relationship to sobriety and my real life relationships. I have in the past become restless and sought new relationships always looking for some elusive “buzz” and often ignoring what was there all along. Steadfastness was
not a great quality of mine but that has changed markedly in recent years.
Sticking with being alcohol free is another chance for me to show that I can stick at something past the early optimistic stage and make a change that is profound and life changing. It’s going to be complex but then so is any good relationship.
So, come on sobriety, give me a cuddle. We’re in this for the long haul.