Dating in today’s modern culture is more complex than ever, due in part to the role that our FANTASIES play in our decision making. Let’s take a look together at one of the peskiest fantasies, the notion of The One.
What is Fantasy, anyway? Fantasy is defined as: “imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable, far removed from normal reality.” The Urban Dictionary goes so far as to say that fantasy is “A strong Addiction, usually with something that is not real and probably never will be.”
To fantasize is natural, normal, instinctive, part of being human. The trouble is that when we allow fantasy to be in charge of our dating decisions and behaviours, we actually sabotage our love lives, as they literally prevent us from getting what we need in our relationships. And there is a way out of the mess, I promise…hang in here with me.
The One. Who thought up this idea, anyway, that there could be only one person, perfectly made for each of us, in a sea of seven million souls alive on the planet? We girls especially tend to subscribe to the notion that there is one guy out there who’s just made for us, who’s got all of the characteristics and qualities on our super long check list, and then of course, oh my goodness…hurry, quick, we have to find him. Have you ever caught yourself on a first date, comparing this real, live person to The Guy in Your Head? If so, that’s Instinct at play, wreaking havoc in your love life, sucking you into fantasyland.
The notion of The One undermines the love search process, as The One implies SCARCITY. If there’s only one person for each of us, then the mission of finding that one illusive person is daunting, crippling, paralysing and crazy-making.
And so we contort. Because of this “The One” Fantasy, we are instinctively fearful that if and when we DO find this one-and-only, that maybe we might be the potential candidate who’s vetoed, and how horrific would that be? We can’t really be our natural selves when creating our dating profiles and in how we behave and present ourselves on first dates, because we don’t want to blow it with a potential “The One.” And so we contort; we reveal only part of who we are, and we refrain from being our most authentic selves. How messed up is that? Authenticity is one of our most powerfully alluring qualities!
Evidence of how we contort ourselves to try to attract and keep The One? We false-advertise by using dated or altered photos. We dye our hair, we wear Spanx and push up bras, we get breast implants, we spend money we don’t have on beauty treatments and trendy wardrobe items that will end up in next year’s Good Will pile. Men contort too, fibbing about height, age, income and accomplishments, all to avoid being overlooked or dismissed by a potential “The One.”
And we withhold. We’re afraid to reveal what it is that we actually need. We hesitate to set boundaries and we refrain from speaking up when a new love interest does something that’s making us unhappy. Why? Because if we fear that if we’re too much trouble or if we displease this person and then this potential The One might run away, and then….oh no… we’ll be left with on one and we’ll have to start searching all over again.
Solution: Practice transparency, asking for what you really want, making it clear what it is that will make you happy, rather than silently harbouring resentment or dismissing a new love interest for not intuitively knowing what it is that you want and need.
Would you rather have a phone call than a text message from your guy? Would you really like it if she would watch the game with you every now and then? Would it make you happy if your love interest was more affectionate? Practice being authentic, setting up the people in your life to WIN with you.
And the culprit is? At first glance, I thought that the culprit, the source of our fantasies around The One was the media and the fairy tales that have warped our sense of reality. But let’s look again. What’s driving the writing of those stories? What’s compelling the journalists and producers to present those images to us in their media messages? It’s Human Instinct… there it is again. And the beauty of being human is that we do indeed get to have these AHA moments, giving us the chance to pause, reflect and then choose if we want to allow our thoughts and behaviour to be dictated by our instincts, or if we want to choose a more authentic, illuminated way of navigating the rapid waters of dating and mating. This matchmaker and dating coach encourages you to choose the latter.
What if The One is someone we make together, rather than find, ready-made?
What if we can become the perfect people for each other through the process of open- hearted, compassionate communication?
This idea really excites me…
Stay tuned for Part Two in this study of fantasies that mess up our love lives.