In OpenOffice I have also found the way to number paragraphs and references, etc., a bit dubious. It seems to have inherited the Word-way to do it and kind of breaks the pattern using styles and templates.
Since I am accustomed to the framemaker way of numbering items and paragraphs, etc., (using the headings running variable in the numbering field). I also have been starting to use the Outline Numbering (Tools > Outline Numbering) for, for example, list of references, etc. I assign them for example to heading 8 level and then connect to Numbering 1 format. The numbering format can be adjusted so that I can add a “[” in front and a “]” after.
When I want to cross reference to them, I add Ctrl+F2, Cross-References, Numbered Paragraphs, and then the text of the reference is also visible. You need to use the Number (No Context) option to avoid all the 188.8.131.52.1.1.1. and instead get .