Monday, 25 May 2009

Fantasy Lovers: Who They Are And How To Handle Them

It can be much easier to fall in love with one's fantasy
than with a flesh and blood person. For some, their major
satisfaction comes through fantasy, even when they are with
someone real. For others, that filmy shadow between fantasy
and reality can be very hard to detect. Some men impose
their fantasies upon real women, others refuse to have
on-going contact with a woman in order to maintain her
status as a fantasy lover, forever enshrined in their minds
and hearts. Although men who prefer fantasy over reality
seem to love women, the real women they encounter may
forever be strangers to them.

Some of the fantasy lovers are men who can't tolerate their
own dependency on women because they experience it as
emasculating. They therefore withdraw into fantasy. Some
downgrade the woman to make her appear a lot less valuable
than she really is to them. Others over-idealize women, and
projects their strength and gifts onto them. Others use
these fantasies as ways of compensating for anxiety or
emptiness in their lives.

For other fantasy lovers, so called "ordinary life" is
fraught with activities and behaviors that are filled with
conflict, boredom, or dread. Women, for them, are a way to
step out of everyday life into a magical realm. They view
their encounters as time apart where they can renew
themselves. Of course these encounters cease to be renewing
when reality starts pressing in.

Robert Johnson, Ph.D., a well known writer and analyst,
describes this situation beautifully in his book, WE: "When
a man's projections on a woman unexpectedly evaporate, he
will often announce that he is disenchanted with her,
disappointed that she is a human being rather than the
embodiment of his fantasy. If he would open his eyes, he
would see that the breaking of the spell opens a golden
opportunity to discover the real person who is there. It is
equally the chance to discover the unknown parts of himself
that he has been projecting on her and trying to live
through her as well."

To illustrate this point, when a fantasy lover, Jimmy,
finally found the woman of his dreams, he saw her twice,
and said after that he would never see her again.
"Whoever thought something like this would happen?" Jimmy
said. "It was summer and I was passing through, went to a
dance and all of a sudden bumped into this beautiful woman.
We looked at each other and that was it. The magic was
really something. Neither of us could part. It was
perfect. I was terrified. She was married, but we both knew
we belonged to each other. At the end of the night we
didn't take each other's numbers. We just had our night and
said good-bye."

The possibility of ever being with such a woman in
"ordinary reality" was something that terrified Jimmy
because of his feeling that he could not hold her, didn't
deserve her, or could never love her enough. Jimmy
immediately got caught projecting all his dreams and fears
upon this woman.

Of course, his only seeing her briefly, served another
purpose as well. Once she became part of his ordinary
reality, neither she nor he would be special or perfect
anymore. Jimmy longed to have at least a small taste of
perfection. To do that he had to hold onto her as a dream.
"I couldn't help it," he continued, "A couple of weeks
later I went back to the same club and there she was again.
I knew she would be too. The same thing happened again. We
had another magical night together. Then after it was over,
we both said to each other we hoped we never saw each other
again. We didn't want these incredible feelings we shared
to be lost in a normal life."

For Jimmy, being truly happy, connected and affirmed could
only happen in the world of illusion. " I'm gonna live off
that memory the rest of my life." he said.

Because a fantasy lover's ordinary life is so fraught with
conflict about himself and women, he craves this perfect
fantasy love. It is a place to which he can always return
when he needs to feel cared for and worthy. A fantasy love
cannot be threatened or damaged. It also cannot be taken
away. Of course the pain and contradiction inherent in this
situation is that holding onto this fantasy prevents the
possibility of finding ongoing, real love - a love that
could truly nourish and sustain. But what woman could
compare to this memory? And, of course, a fantasy woman is
never tested in any way.

In effect, the fantasy lover is saying that love is
illusion; it's all he can have and wants. In fantasy he can
have everything, without being challenged, or facing the
incredible otherness of a real human being. Therefore,
ultimately his fantasy serves to close him off and make him
unattainable, which is a loss for others as well as himself.

Basically it is important to remember a fantasy lover is
never in love with the woman he meets, but rather with the
fantasy she provides. He has no conception of sacrifice in
a relationship, of giving up some of his plans for the
greater harmony. Therefore, by definition, this kind of
relationship can only last for a certain time.

Touchstones To Remember

(Ways To Deal With The Fantasy Lover)

FOR WOMEN

- If a man is in the throes of needing only fantasies,
realize it. Let him go. - If he is looking for a
relationship, give him plenty of space to express his
fantasies. - Build his self esteem. Let him know when
he pleases you. Let him know all the things he does right.
- Never take it personally when he looks at and
appreciates beautiful women. He's going to do it for his
whole life. Don't make him feel guilty about it. As soon
as you do, he'll be gone. - Watch your expectations of
him. Fantasies are hard to give up. - Be sure you
can tolerate this situation. Enjoy the fantasy with him, or
say good-bye.

FOR MEN - While fantasies can be delicious, realize
that they limit you. - Find different qualities worth
loving in some real women you meet. Write them down and
dwell upon them. - Try to understand what it is that
you cannot trust about real women and love. - See
if there are ways that you can find excitement and beauty
in your everyday life. Is it always necessary to resort to
fantasy when you want to live an elevated life? -
Fantasy can sometimes replace the longing for true
spiritual practice. Stop a moment and consider whether
meditation, prayer or other spiritual practices might
fulfill a deeper need? - The attraction to fantasy
can also be positively transformed into creative
expression. It might be meaningful to try your hand at
music, writing, art, or some other expression of your
deepest self.


About the Author:

Men tell in their own words why they left relationships,
what went wrong, in Dr Shoshanna's top e-book Why Men
Leave. Well known psychologist has taught thousands how to
choose the right partner and build a relationship that
really works. Download now at http://www.whymenleave.com .
Free ezine and articles at http://www.brendashoshanna.com .
topspeaker@yahoo.com