Why We Cling To Fantasy So Much
Over the past year, when I look back on all the questions and challenges that our #Cyclebreakers in our community bring up — I’ve been astounded by how much of our suffering is driven by our unconscious fantasies about relationships.
We grow up watching Disney movies and project the image of Beauty and the Beast (Which — when you break it down — is a classic Drama Triangle waiting to happen with the Rescuer/Hero/Villain dynamic playing out).
Or we watch romance movies where there’s a damsel in distress being rescued by her night in shining armor — or the guy having to fight the enemy bad guy to “get the hot girl” and now we go about our daily lives communicating with each other — projecting these roles onto one another without even knowing we’re doing it.
The impact: We set up the context that love, in order to be worth our while, has to be an intense, dramatic, drama-filled “longing” experience in order for it to be “real”.
It’s kind of like a double whammy.
First, without awareness we are compulsively and neurotically repeating the same patterns from attachments with our parents and care-givers. Freud calls this the “Repetition Compulsion”.
Second, when this “tinge” of familiarity in the dynamic is established — the initial “high” of that INTENSE and PASSIONATE “Love at first sight” “Soul Mate/Twin Flame” experience is triggered, we become manic.
Some say it’s “common sense leaving the body”.
Many of us seek this chemically-induced dopamine high as an operating principle for love. The “love addict” within me looked for this as my raison-d’etre when I began dating.
I mean, attraction is important, right?
Those butterflies feel like the “spice of life” and what we chase.
But if we haven’t done our trauma healing work and learn how to master our emotional literacy, and don’t acquire the capacity to regulate ourselves when we are triggered — we then mistake and mislabel those intense emotions as “true love”.
In extreme cases, an extreme orgasm with someone super hot will be enough to push a person into thinking they’re in love.
We then put the person on a pedestal, and seek to become pedestalized ourselves through their gaze.
We take an unconscious “snapshot” of this person and now have created a “fantasy” for which we either abandon ourselves (depending on the intensity of the “high”) — and when they don’t measure up to this fantasy snapshot — we discard and run away.
This ABRUPT transition from the “high” to the “crash”?
Does it sound familiar?
Hello cocaine addiction.
This is NOT love.
It’s a Trauma Bond.
I was first gutted to realize that the “love at first sight” I was seeking was a Trauma Bond.
That what I perceive to be my “soul mate” is often my “cell-mate” in a twisted entanglement I couldn’t control without some deep reflection and assistance.
This was not love.
It was a fantasy.
And what happens when you tell a child there is no Santa Claus?
Even though it’s the truth — they don’t like you very much for telling it.
Healing Trauma works the same way.
Promoting fantasies is delusional… but it does sell a lot of books and movies.
The truth doesn’t sell as many tickets…
And I do get my fair share of hate for talking about this.
But people are now getting tired of the exhausting drama of the “I love you- get away from me you’re toxic- back-to-I-love- you game.
The tides are turning and people are wanting reality.
Secure attachment has you attracted to people who’s words and behaviors align.
Secure attachment has you wanting someone who is ENCOURAGING of you hanging out with your friends rather than trying to control you with guilt.
Secure attachment has you attracted someone who honors and respects your boundaries.
Secure attachment has you attracted to someone who shares COMPATIBLE GOALS for the relationship, both feeling seen, heard, and appreciated.
Secure attachment feels amazing just going for a walk with your sweetheart without any drama and feel immense gratitude for it.
But If you’re stuck in a Trauma Bond pattern, secure relationships will feel BORING AF to you.
“It’s weird — she’s not needy — it doesn’t feel like she cares about me?!” was what one client said who was suicidal after his latest relationship ended and decided to join our Cyclebreakers collective. He found a great new woman and a few months in and shared that with me. He literally didn’t know what to do with that.
He thought it was a red flag that she WASN’T needy.
Translation: “Where’s my dopamine/cortisol cycle I am so used to that I perceive is love?”
He learned HOW to break that repetition compulsion.
If you enjoy the exhilaration, exhausting, roller coaster of “passion” you’re seeking — then have at it. Take the good with the bad, and ride the waves.
But somewhere along the lines you’ll notice it will impact mental and physical well-being. Anxiety. Digestive issues. Problems sleeping. Rumination. Then the shame spiral.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
If you’re ready to break this fantasy-turned-toxic cycle, then there’s an invitation for you to join us for a free workshop called “The Path to Being A #CycleBreaker” where I lay out the exact roadmap I had to go through to change that compulsion to repeat the cycle I just mentioned.
It was maddening to me that I was 43 years old and a pretty smart dude and I couldn’t figure that one out.
Turns out the answer was inside me all along, and I did a 90 minute training that will help carve out the path moving forward.
Nothing moves without taking action.
It’s normal to want the fantasy.
Becoming a healthy functional adult and acquiring wisdom is all about dissolving fantasy and finding a love that’s secure without having to bypass the safety of your heart in order to do so.
If you’re finally ready to let go of fantasy for something even better…
Comment below or send me a DM, to get the replay.