Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
My therapist has to constantly remind me that my romantic relationships in my daydreams are not real and that I cant compare the relationship I have with my real partner to the ones I have in my daydreams.
Does anyone else compare those relationships to your real ones?
I'm worried I'll never be satisfied in my romatic relationships if I'm constantly comparing them to the ones in my daydreams
Oh yes I do!
Actually I had no issues having two relationships until a while ago. I started to compare every real man with my minds story so I never stayed with someone.
I managed to fall in love with a real guy, but I'm still not really happy because I compare him as well and having two relationships feels like betraying and lying to myself and everyone. Like do I really love the real one when I have a secret desire for someone else? Yes it's just a dream but the feelings are real for me, right?
I hoped my real relationship would help me to forget the other one but it turned out my boyfriend shares many characteristics and therefore triggers my dreams even more!
But my rational side acts like your therapist, I mean he's right, it's not real. I tell that myself all the time. I blame myself for being so stupid and hoping for impossible things to happen but the more I tell myself It's not real and never will be, the more it hurts, and it hurts so much that more often I things which remind me of panic attacks.
So, do you know those thoughts about betrayal and playing a false game?
And how do you react when you have to face that your dreams never will be real?
I aksed myself too if I ever will be happy when I always can access "perfect" so easy... So far I just experienced this once but there're people who just keep you focussed and calm down your mind just by being there. Is that a sign of a perfect moment? So sometimes I secretly ask myself instead:
Can I as a MDer just become happy with someone who kills any urge do have a daydream love story at all?
Thank you for responding.
I don't feel like I;m betraying because my partner knows about my daydreams.
But I do feel like it isn't fair that I compare him to a man in head that isn't real. I compare him to the "ideal perfect boyfriend" who will never really exist because it's someone I made up in a dream.
I don't know if I can ever truly enjoy a real relationship without getting rid of my MD relationship.
But it's definitely something I'm working on. Not sure HOW exactly. Going to check in with my therapist about that.
Oh so good your boyfriend knows. I haven't the courage to tell mine...
I hope you and your therapist will progress well
If you find any helpful strategies or tips, I'd be very interested ;)
It does make it difficult because no actual living man could possibly compare to any version so we can dream up. We can make our dream man do just about anything, feel just about anything, act in any way including unrealistic actions. But a real man is going to be a regular human being. And yes it has not worked out that well for me either.
This is interesting because imagining a "dream" man or woman for yourself is quite natural. It can help us determine what we like or not like in a potential partner. However, people here are all correct that constantly dwelling on that dream person can have negative consequences, especially for someone who's not in a relationship at the moment (like me). With these daydreams of the perfect person come unrealistic expectations. This is actually something I've been struggling with a lot, and if I'm not carefully checking myself, all the men that I come across that are a 'maybe' for me will never measure up.
I worry about this a lot. I'm actually married and I love my partner a ton. But I feel like he can never entirely fulfill my romantic needs. His solution to this was polyamory which I have been trying, but not with a ton of luck (I hate dating). Honestly, I daydream a lot and I have six or seven very complete time lines each with a character who is a substitute for myself and each of them has a romantic partner. I get a lot of fulfillment that I don't get from my marriage from these other relationships. I mean, I don't consider it cheating since we're polyamorous (and they are daydreams) but I do worry that these daydreams create impossibly high standards for my husband or anyone else I might meet. I tend to fantasize about very emotionally intimate relationships that are much more intimate than anything I have ever had in real life. I sincerely don't know if it's that I am demanding an impossible standard from my relationships or if it's just that all of my relationships (romantic and nonromantic) are less intimate because in real life I'm just not capable of relating with people on that level. I'm sorry. I know this doesn't give an answer but I worry about this too. (As a side note, I actually do think we have a pretty healthy, warm relationship. I mean we both have some mental health issues, but we help each other and I do love him very much.)
For me, it’s a trust issue. I have a very hard time trusting people, especially my intimate partners, because they can hurt me in ways that say, a friend, cannot. I feel exposed and vulnerable in relationships the closer I get, which causes a great deal of anxiety for me. My partner could be wonderful and completely trustworthy, but just the potential of being hurt emotionally is enough to create unease. I fully acknowledge that this is my stuff; I own it. I realize this is an irrational fear that negatively impacts my relationships with others. I’m trying to work on it but it’s been difficult. That said, the relationships in my daydreams are so much easier! No issues with trust exisit because I know the man I love loves me back. I know he won’t hurt me or abandon me. Having that security allows for me to not be anxious about the relationship or be socially awkward with others. Intimacy is also better because I’m not constantly worried about giving that part of myself to someone and potentially putting myself at risk emotionally and/or physically. Ultimately, I guess it’s an emotional safety thing. I don’t compare my daydream partner to my RL partner per se. Not with specific traits or anything. It’s more of a generalized concept. Hope this makes sense!
A trust issue, that strikes me as a very solid point. In real life, you can never trust another person completely in the same sense that we can trust our inner creations. We can trust them because effectively they are us. However there doesn’t seem to be any doubt that a real relationship is important. I do have friends, finally, but I cannot form a relationship with a man anymore. The one I had failed spectacularly in good part because part of me, possibly the best part was always absent in my DD's.
I totally agree on the trust part. I haven't been in a relationship in the past four years... and now, at age 51, I'm thinking I am done with relationships and dating. It's just easier to have my MD relationships... they pretty much complete me. I work full time, have recreational interests and so forth. I just don't have an intimate relationship with anyone. I dropped off the dating sites, though I did go back on one this past week. Going out with someone tomorrow, but I've been on so many first dates, I have pretty much given up hope of finding anyone that I am interested in. My MD relationships seem to be enough... so, we will see....
Yes, of course. It feels very real.
The comparison between what's in your head and what you see will happen every time, whether you like it not. Comparing stuff is how we distinguish anything from anything else. What you can and should control is how you react to the comparison. Do you accept it as legitimate or do you reject it as something that has no value?
Think back to what you're really showing yourself in your daydreams. Are those full-fledged people, or a representation of what you would want to find in a person? Are you comparing your real-life relationships to other relationships, or to your own hopes and ideas on what a relationship should be?
If that's the case, you'd be wasting your time. It's like comparing a hamster to quantum gravity, those two things belong in completely different categories. It makes no sense at all, so why bother trying to do that comparison in the first place? A better idea would be to look at what value something can offer you on its own and start from there.