When I was a Junior in High School, I “fell in love.”
I was sure he liked me too!
He was a football player, but not one of the bragging types.
He was sweet and shy, mostly quiet.
We had one class together, and I could tell his feelings by the look in his eyes.
I was sure he wanted to ask me out but was too shy.
The “girls’ choice” prom was coming up.
Because he was shy, I thought it would encourage him if I invited him.
I bravely called his home number and asked to speak with him.
When he came to the phone, I told him my name.
He seemed confused and acted like he wasn’t sure who I was.
But I invited him to the Prom.
He told me he was already invited to the Prom by another girl…
…his steady girlfriend.
Later, when I asked others, I found out they had been going steady for more than 6 months.
I had told myself that he liked me and wanted to ask me out.
It was my imagination that said I could read his feelings in his eyes.
There was no actual evidence of him having any interest in me.
It was obvious that I had created a FANTASY LOVE in my head.
This whole story smacks of “puppy love.”
But, unfortunately, I see the same thing happening in women who are 30, 40, or even 50.
They tell themselves a fantasy and convince themselves it’s real love.
For example, there’s a young woman, in her 30s, who wanted my advice on how to get her “boyfriend” to ask her out… again.
When I questioned her more closely, she explained that they had met online.
They had texted for a couple of weeks.
She had sent most of the texts, because she was sure he was THE ONE.
She “believed” he fit all the qualifications she was looking for….
(although she actually knew very little about him).
She wanted to encourage him to move forward, so she asked him out.
It was their first date.
She paid for their dinner, and then, because she KNEW he loved her, they had sex.
But he hadn’t called her back, and now she wanted to know how to get him to ask her out… again.
I helped her acknowledge that she had put in ALL the effort, he hadn’t invested anything.
She had created a FANTASY LOVE and made excuses for his lack of effort.
Then, there was a woman in her 40s who told me she thought she had re-found her true love.
She had known and dated him in college.
He travels a great deal but is in her area a few times a year.
They had been texting, and she wanted to know how to get him to say he would visit her on his next trip.
On close questioning, I realized that although they had re-connected a few months ago
(she had reached out to him), they had not spoken on the phone.
She told herself, it was because he was very successful and therefore, he was too busy.
I pointed out that phone calls only take a few minutes….if someone wants to connect.
She was creating a FANTASY LOVE.
Why would anyone prefer a Fantasy over finding Real Love?
Because it’s easier to deal with a fantasy than to handle a real relationship.
However, when you know good Relationship Skills you have confidence to handle Real Love.
You know how to set and maintain healthy boundaries.
When conflict comes up, you have the skills to handle it.
Your knowledge informs you who and when to trust.
It’s similar to learning to cook, you need the right skills and practice.
If you are committed to becoming a Gourmet Cook, you CAN.
For relationships, when you practice with the right skills, you become a Relationship Master!