Imagine an existence with…
No uncomfortable feelings.
Permanent fluffy clouds, joy, and cuddles.
Complete control of everything.
For some, what I’ve just described would be a perfect existence. However, if you want a life without all of these things, it doesn’t exist… unless you’re in a fantasy relationship, which to be fair, doesn’t exist either.
In reality, the very things that you desire in a fantasy relationship, whether it’s consciously or unconsciously, mean this:
No responsibility —> No achievement, no stake in anything whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, no remorse.
No accountability —> No ownership (you can’t just own the convenient and good stuff), no honest account of your experiences, no growth.
No conflict —> No voice, no resolution, no judgement which may simply come down to judging the situation and making a decision, no growth.
No problems —> No opportunities, no differentiation, no stretching, no opportunity to deal with a problem and be proud of having made yourself a part of the solution and come out the other side.
No rejection —> No acceptance, no limits, no deciding what you say YES and NO to.
No mistakes —> No feedback, no learning, no awareness.
No risk —> No stretching, no gains, no pushing, no ambition, no trust, no common sense, no managed risks through intelligence, awareness, observation and action.
No failure —> No success, no joy.
No fear —> No drive, no ambition, no healthy fear, no vulnerability, no new experiences.
No ‘abandonment’ —> No personal security or security with another discovered through mutual trust, no strength, no thriving and surviving, no being in control of whether you stay or leave. And no, you don’t need abandonment in your life, but yes, sometimes people will decide to leave a relationship.
No disappointment —> No surprises, including the very pleasant and wonderful ones.
No uncomfortable feelings –> No outstanding feelings – it would be like having static, flatlining feelings.
Permanent fluffy clouds, joy, and cuddles —> No contrast, no seasons, no down time to rise up again.
Complete control of everything —> No-one else has responsibility, accountability, or free will – it would just be you at the controls and dials. Yep…it would all be on you.
This right here is what fantasy relationships and fantasising are about – avoidance, except for the only thing is that you end up avoiding life itself, which means that you miss out on the wonderful aspects of life that come along with being present and accountable. With the exception of abandonment, everything else are necessary parts of life.
You may not even recognise that you’re in a fantasy relationship but if you tend to build sandcastles in the sky, are cloaked in illusions, and are very comfortable living off a diet of denial, rationalising, minimising, and excuses, you’re at the very least dabbling, if not knee deep in spending too much time out of reality.
In truth, you’re pursuing perfection and the relationship you claim to want, out of crumbs. Nirvana for you may equal getting love against the odds – putting a dodgy relationship through the fantasy oven and pulling out what you want – the fantasy.
Whatever type of relationship you’re in, as an individual you have to be responsible, accountable, deal with mistakes, conflict etc – you can’t cherry pick a rosy life, although you can lessen stuff like rejection and the impact of it, plus the results of unhealthy relationships by ensuring that you hold your own.
You may recognise that there are things that you really want, but you’d rather skip over the possibility of going by Junction Conflict on the M Dating Motorway or Junction Mistake, or Junction Rejection. What we all fail to remember sometimes, is that conflict is unavoidable even when we attempt to compromise ourselves to keep the peace, mistakes are unavoidable end of, and yes, you might have to come off at Junction Rejection sometimes, but you might not.
If you’re not out there in the first place, how will you know what you stand to miss or gain? Yes, you have been hurt before, but it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to pursue the same route or variations of it, or set out a new route – you could be out there with your eyes and ears open with your boundaries, values, and awareness of when to fold packed into your ‘life kit’.
You get to choose. You can be in control of what you want to be part of – this can’t happen if you’re immersed in LaLa Land.
The other thing that’s often forgotten is that yes, sometimes the other party will take you off at Junction Rejection, but actually, you’re a person with choices and rights too – you might want to take yourself off there because you are not a passenger waiting for people to choose you even when you don’t really want them.
It is a fantasy to persist in believing that you can scrape around on the fringes of life avoiding anything that represents the more uncomfortable aspects of life. It’s also a fantasy to persist in pursuing a relationship that you know represents unhealthy in the hopes that by putting it all on them to make it right, or putting it all on you to be the match that spontaneously combusts them into someone else, that they’ll change. It’s also a fantasy to go with variations of the same type of person – like gradients of the same issue, convincing yourself that ‘this’ is better than the last person and that you can ‘handle it’.
All this fantasising gives the illusion of feeling and being certain things, however by not participating in and nourishing your life, you’re creating problems and pain for yourself as a consequence of choices directly related to your fantasising and refusal to take action in reality, which is self-rejection.
I went to a meditation workshop this past weekend and the teacher explained how mindfulness is about not trying to anticipate what’s next and not worrying about what might happen or isn’t happening. This makes sense to me because people in fantasy relationships can’t handle the ‘now’ that represents reality.
What are you so afraid of facing? What are you so desperate to avoid in real life that you’d mentally check yourself into an unavailable relationship that gives you enough free time to fill up your imagination with the relationship you’re not getting in the real world?
Interestingly, when you go to the trouble of avoiding reality, you have the illusion of being in with a chance of winning the long-shot relationship, but the very real problems that happen in your life are not caused by reality – they’re caused by the effect of you acting in sync with your fantasising which can have you engaging in some very self-destructive behaviour.
Think about it: Which one is causing you more problems – pursuing the fantasy or the reality that you’re going to painstaking lengths to avoid but is continuing to happen anyway?
It’s time to re-engage with yourself and your life, and yes, initially, because you’ve left your life unattended, there are some uncomfortable things to face and feel, and it’s going to hurt, possibly a lot. Don’t fear it – grab it, face it, grieve it, deal with what has brought you to this juncture – something has.
Aside from taking steps to distance yourself from anything or anyone that acts as a ‘prop’ to your fantasising and where needed seeking professional support, what you should invest in, is spending some time learning how to deal with the very things that you avoid.
Let.Go. This will allow you to focus your energies positively on you instead of fighting so hard for something, that doesn’t exist. With distance comes objectivity comes reality. With boundaries, those you give yourself and others, also comes reality.
Check out my book and ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl in my bookshop.