Distinguishing between genuine feelings of love and what I created

Has anyone ever had an issue figuring out if you genuinely love someone or if you are just so caught up in your own world that you've created what you think is love and then that's what you love?

I've been having this debate with myself lately -- I've never fallen in love with someone without having some fantasy element that happens at the beginning of the relationship. Once the fantasy element ends, usually so does my romantic love/lust for the person. I wonder if I'm only with people based on what I create and then when I realize they aren't who I created them to be, I don't like them (romantically) any more. Before I knew about MD I assumed that this was the normal progression that relationships took (lust --> companionship) but now I'm thinking that this isn't the norm.

I'm kind of all over the place here, but I'd appreciate any input/stories from people who have had this problem. It really does drastically affect my romantic relationships and I can't help but think that if I truly loved the person, it shouldn't matter if I daydream about them or not. But it does!

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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I've never had this with people and relationships, but for what it's worth, I've had it with other things --- for instance, suddenly becoming obsessed with a country and wanting to learn the language and move there just because it was involved in a daydream.  Usually, I've had to wait until the daydream that spawned a feeling is over for me before I can know if the feeling is genuine, but I don't know if that's practical for you in your situation.
How long does the feeling of being in love last?  It IS a normal progression of things to go from the euphoria of falling in love to a more settled, less intense feeling.  For those of us who MD, we are accustomed to tweaking, re-starting DD's, etc. to keep that edginess going.  I think we need to be aware of that.  I used to go from one to another, but have been with my husband for many years.  So it's possible to have both.  Very interesting post, though, and something we should be aware of as very easy to sabotage ourselves.  We are learning as we go here, and I think this is something to flag.

Hi Roxanne,

It depends on how long it takes for the illusion to be shattered! Certainly there are people who more closely fit my DD ideal, and those tend to last a bit longer than others. Some context, though -- I have DD'd since I was very young. But my first romantic relationship was very abusive and so I really used these romantic fantasies about others as a form of coping/escapsim. I do wonder if that experience in particular set me on a trajectory where the only way I can feel "love" is in my DDs.

Part of the motivation for this post was to try and figure out if this behavior of mine is an artifact of DDing, if it was a result of the abuse, or if it's some interaction of the two that no one else has experienced.

 

Thanks -- I appreciate your thoughts!

 

 

I think I have the same problem. I have even tried to dd about someone to keep myself interested. I have had a long term dd crush on an actor but I control all aspects of him. So I almost make up everything about him so that's why he's last so long. Real life boyfriends and even a husband have been left in my dd dust. I worry that I'll never be able to feel real love for someone due to the dd'ing. Roxanne and Sasi on this board give me great hope that true love is possible for dders!

LD said:

Hi Roxanne,

It depends on how long it takes for the illusion to be shattered! Certainly there are people who more closely fit my DD ideal, and those tend to last a bit longer than others. Some context, though -- I have DD'd since I was very young. But my first romantic relationship was very abusive and so I really used these romantic fantasies about others as a form of coping/escapsim. I do wonder if that experience in particular set me on a trajectory where the only way I can feel "love" is in my DDs.

Part of the motivation for this post was to try and figure out if this behavior of mine is an artifact of DDing, if it was a result of the abuse, or if it's some interaction of the two that no one else has experienced.

 

Thanks -- I appreciate your thoughts!

 

 

Again, I find this concept very interesting.  And since we are pretty much both confidante & therapist for each other on this site, I think this is something we really need to be particularly aware of.  Because it would be so easy to ruin our chances for real life romance.  And who wants that?  

LD, I'm sure your situation is unique based on your personal experiences, as all of ours are.  I would think that it would be easy for you to develop an all or nothing mentality toward romance.  Relationships are either bad (abusive or boring) or wonderful (as in DD's where you control them & keep them at peak excitement.)  As soon as the euphoria wears off in real life, you may find yourself either getting bored or looking for the guy's dark side, and you interpret this lack of peak excitement as no longer being in love.  Yet everyone goes through that shift; it's how it is interpreted that matters.  Next time the glow starts to subside, ask yourself (or all of us) whether this is natural progression of things or not.  You may need to learn to tolerate a little "boredom'" in order to see whether the relationship is genuine.  If you think about it, at least for me, even my out-of-this-world DD's lose their shine, and I need to tweak them, change them, sometimes even change characters, settings, plots, etc.  So this evaporation of euphoria is simply going to happen.  Remind yourself.

Can I just say that again, I am soooo thankful for this site. I can't get this kind of advice from my friends in my "normal" life because they would have no idea what I was feeling.

roxanne said:

Again, I find this concept very interesting.  And since we are pretty much both confidante & therapist for each other on this site, I think this is something we really need to be particularly aware of.  Because it would be so easy to ruin our chances for real life romance.  And who wants that?  

LD, I'm sure your situation is unique based on your personal experiences, as all of ours are.  I would think that it would be easy for you to develop an all or nothing mentality toward romance.  Relationships are either bad (abusive or boring) or wonderful (as in DD's where you control them & keep them at peak excitement.)  As soon as the euphoria wears off in real life, you may find yourself either getting bored or looking for the guy's dark side, and you interpret this lack of peak excitement as no longer being in love.  Yet everyone goes through that shift; it's how it is interpreted that matters.  Next time the glow starts to subside, ask yourself (or all of us) whether this is natural progression of things or not.  You may need to learn to tolerate a little "boredom'" in order to see whether the relationship is genuine.  If you think about it, at least for me, even my out-of-this-world DD's lose their shine, and I need to tweak them, change them, sometimes even change characters, settings, plots, etc.  So this evaporation of euphoria is simply going to happen.  Remind yourself.

I definitely have the same thing going on. However, I think that this "fantasy first" mode of relationships is the norm for people getting into relationships. So, I think this is normal. But it perhaps is more devastating for MDers when the fantasy goes away because we will naturally find something else to fixate on in our DDs. So, it's important to be aware of this so we don't go chasing around an idea from short-lived relationship to short-lived relationship.

Exactly.  I agree.  Once the euphoria fades is really the time to step back and try to see what is really going on.  Is it just a natural progression of things and you should tolerate a little unease while things shift & settle?  Is there something going on that isn't good, and now you are sane enough to see it, looking at it more objectively?  It could help to bounce it off others - a therapist, friend, us.

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