How Creating Fantasies Impacts Our Well-Being in Relationships

Have you ever assigned magical qualities to someone and then resented or blamed them for not living up to your expectations or stayed in a relationship too long because you aren’t willing to face reality?

This can be an easy pattern to fall into and one that’s near and dear to my own heart.

It plays out something like this: we have a certain idea of the qualities of the partner that we would like to have in our lives -> we meet someone new and learn a few things about them which seem to line up with what we want ->  we fill in the rest of the blanks with a total fantasy of who we want them to be and we’re off to the races!

Years ago I saw a picture of a man on an online dating site and unbeknownst to me I created a total fantasy just from the picture. I believed this was exactly what my future husband would look like. We talked on the phone for hours and the feelings grew stronger. I met him in person and was not drawn to him at all but the fantasy I had created was so strong that it ran the show and I ended up in a very dysfunctional relationship with him for over a year until life hit me in the face with a 2×4 to get me to wake up and get out.  

This pattern usually arises from a childhood coping mechanism where we could not actually escape the dynamic occurring in our homes so we escaped into fantasy in our minds. The mind is so brilliant in creating these protection strategies that served us for a period of time but now they are no longer working and instead they hinder our relational capacity in the present moment..

Fantasies can create a lot of pain because we can become disappointed or resentful towards someone for not living up to our expectations or we can stay in a relationship that isn’t supportive or healthy for too long because we don’t want to burst our own bubble.

The first step in healing this pattern is awareness. Notice the places and spaces where you fill in the blanks with your own story that is not based in actual fact. Whatever is happening in the present moment is reality – everything else is fantasy.

Ask yourself what could be the payoff of having this fantasy and getting radically honest with yourself (without judgment) can be supportive in grounding you in reality. 

Fantasies can be really prevalent in the first few weeks and months of getting to know someone. Remind yourself that the first 3-6 months are the “observer phase” and that it takes time to truly get to know someone. 

Finally having some support in getting to the root cause of what you are wanting to escape from that is causing you to create a fantasy in the first place will be where your true liberation lies – this is what I can help with!

Doing our inner work and bringing these patterns to light is what will support us in creating healthier, more connected and more loving relationships. 

If you’re feeling the call to dive deeper and free yourself from old patterns and programs let’s connect here.

Sending you all love and blessings on your journey home to yourselves!

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