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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Atomic Bombshell's Anatomically Correct Dating Advice

This week I was forwarded an interesting article from a ABACDA reader. I really wanted to share with everyone because I really feel like it's of interest to everyone. I hope that you enjoy!

Atomic Bombshell

Reality vs. Illusions of Love

Falling prey to love's illusions
by Carol Allen

Your friend calls elated - it's finally happened! She's met the one. You're so excited for her. It's just like she's always imagined - she's so in love she can't sleep, can't eat and has never been happier. There's just one little problem... they've never met.

Sound crazy? Believe it or not this happens all the time. Romantic hopefuls now have so many ways to find each other - online dating, chat rooms, and social networking sites all provide new options of communicating with total strangers that may never meet face to face. Yet they often grow to feel so connected and insist what's happening is real. I mean, hey - they've got the endless texts, emails, and instant messages to prove it. Who cares that their beloved perhaps lives far away and could be lying about everything? What does it matter that they haven't so much as held hands? This is l-o-v-e and they've never been so sure.

Why, in this world full of opportunities would this "close but not quite" stuff be so commonplace? The very fact that these lovers have only limited interaction could be adding to the allure...
Dubbed the "Fantasy Bond" by psychologist Robert Firestone, this feeling of illusory connection between people who don't know or barely know one another is created as a defense against loneliness and the fear of intimacy. By having a love life mostly in one's head, they get the benefit of not having to risk the rejection a real love could lead to, while getting some of their needs for attention satisfied by both their own imagination and the fleeting interactions the circumstances allow. It seems harmless, but the danger is that the more a person relies on fantasies of connection, the less he or she will seek or be able to accept love and affection in a real relationship.

In all couplings, it's natural to go through a "fantasy" stage - the time everyone is on their best behavior and being their idealized self. This is enhanced by a euphoric cocktail of chemicals the newly in love brain releases, making it impossible to see the source of infatuation as anything but their perfect dream lover (a stage which sadly lasts only a few months, leading many to later head for the nearest exits, mystified...).

This heady time is Mother Nature's way of getting us together so we'll keep the human race going. The hope is that once everyone's masks come off and the rush of brain opiates calm down, the fantasy will in fact be a reality.

If you fear you may be in the throes of a "fantasy" relationship, ask yourself two questions:

1. What do I want?

2. Is what is happening what I want?

(Meaning, if you want a partner to spend every night with you and be exclusive, but you only see them once a month because they're married, then yup, you're having a fantasy relationship.)

If the answer to #2 is negative, try to fix the situation. If it's not possible, then recognize what you've been doing - you haven't been ready for a full relationship and needed to experience a partial one, and that's okay. But if you want more, be brave and choose to believe in the abundance of life, and move on. You'll only make yourself more attractive to everyone (including the unavailable lover you just gave up) and increase your chances for having something that can bring you the real relationship you long for at last