Longstanding daydreams and what happens when facts get in the way???

Hi Everyone,

                  I'm new on here anfter coming across this site after a google search.I really thourght I was the only person who had lived the last 30ish years running a parrallel daydream world.

  In real life I am very happily married to a lovely man and have 2 great kids.I have a good job that I enjoy and plenty of friends.My "fantasy"world comes from a very disfunctional childhood and I realised it helped me cope and survive what happened.


  I fantasise usually scenarios that involve a character from TV as my partner.There daydreams can get very involved and I do get emotionally attached.My problem comes when I find out things about their real lives e.g.they are married.I then feel devastated-as I would if it had actually happened in my real relationship.While my head knows that this is crazy I can't help the emotions.My latest fantasy life has become a bit too all consuming and for the first time ever has started to intrude on my life the last couple of months.Recently I found out that this actor was married and am now all over the place.

 Does anyone else have a similar story?How do you manage it?? 

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Well,here's the update.I ditched the actor concerned and replaced him with another less public actor.It still took me a long while to "get over" him though.

I find that the internet is a real problem as there is so much information available and I can inadvertently stumble across a piece of info I don't want to know.I am trying very hard to only access certain things about my current crush which has been fine until last week.I know he isn't married but I have spotted the same women in a few clips of premiers etc.She looks older than him so I am trying to convince myself she is a manager/agent etc rather than a girlfriend but finding it hard to do so.

I really wish I could be like those of you who are unaffected by reality/facts getting in the way of your daydreaming.I can't seem to disconnect the emotions.

Any tips to try to keep these "crushes"safe would be much appreciated.I have thourght about printing a photo and just using that but I really like my latest "crush's" voice so that doesn't work.


I've actually found it has been easier to use a married actor and pretend right away he is divorced.  Then hopefully, he won't be changing girlfriends.  I can accept a break from reality that I decide on right at the beginning, but afterward I have to deal with it and that can be painful.  There is a specific character in a novel I read about 20 years ago who has been a long-term safe refuge for me to go to, as obviously nothing changes.  And also a star who is dead.  I just change that one fact.  I don't know why I can change these facts at the beginning but not afterward.  I need them now as I am in your boat, but am finding it hard to use my usual resources.  Trying to skip to someone else.

Thanks Roxanne.

I don't know whether any of the following will help you but here's what I did to get over my married actor.I latched on to a much older actor who is extremely private about his life.I did this so I would have little risk of seeing facts about him inadvertantly on tv/magazines etc.I still kept my married actor in my fantasies but in scenarios where I would ignore him.It took a few weeks but the painful emotions died down and I managed to establish better fantasies about my new actor.I think because the new scenario was so forced I am much less emotionally attached to it which is safer.It allows me to be in my reality much more which is good for me.Ironically my husband is actually pretty perfect and close to any fantasy character so I hated it when I couldn't feel emotions for him.

Do you have real life things that you can latch on to?

I hope some of that helps

I also have a fantastic husband.  Through the years I have been able to include him in alot of my fantasies, so he thinks this is great fun.  He thinks he is always the main character, however.  I really appreciate your advice.  I especially like the idea of keeping the "main source of my problem" on the sidelines, but still there, while I supplant him (hopefully) with someone else.  Thanks so much; this has been the most helpful, I can't tell you.
I think its this side of normal to focus on an actor or other public figure, because its their job, in a way, to provoke positive feelings in women and to become "sex symbols" as it were. That was the basis of movie magazines, before there every was an Internet.

I know what its like to focus on an actor or a character in a movie, then be shocked by their real life personalities. Years ago, I was transfixed by the actor Roy Marsden, who played a very cold, cerebral character on the Sandbaggers. I was shocked to see an interview with him in real life, wearing a pink shirt and talking with his hands, gesturing in a way that was completely different from the character he played. I began to wonder if the reason he had such a powerful effect on me as his character was because I sensed the feeling person he was beneath the cold mannerisms.

Bottom line to these fantasies, I think, is because these actors portray aspects of ourselves we do not live out. I think its actually a good thing to realize they are not what you think they are in real life, that creates a space where you can see your own fantasy separate from the real actor. It tells you something about yourself. I daydreamed about this cold, cerebral guy for years while I worked in a daycare and wiaitressed- both people pleasing jobs with little outlet for the qualities this character had.
I'm still working on moving on - have been through 3 new candidates - but still having withdrawal symptoms.  The idea of analyzing the specifics seem very interesting but difficult in the moment.

I'm finding this discussion really helpful.Finding out how others do things help me through rough patches when my fantasy life starts to make me feel emotions I don't want.

Roxanne-I'm sorry you are struggling at the moment.It took me a while to "get over" my previous fantasy actor.Interestingly I saw him on TV this week and felt nothing at all.

I am still intermittently having difficulty with my replacement actor.I have thourght about it carefully the last few days.

Much of why I feel down at times when I think of him is down to 2 main reasons.

Firstly,I feel totally inadequate and torture myself that he wouldn't ever pay any attention to me if we met in real life.The" Hollywood machiene" and the media builds these people up to be superhuman and actually this particular actor comes across well in interviews as well.I almost need him to be flawed to make myself feel better.I reaslise that what this actually means is that I need to build up my own self esteem which is theoretically what this fantasy is meant to do.It seems to be doing the opposite???

The second reason is that the fantasy reaches a point where it lacks emotional depth as obviouly it is one sided.I think having real life rel;ationships have given me knowledge that far more exists in real life.I wonder whether for me my real life has actually outgrown my fantasy life.I needed a fantasy life growing up in order to cope with home life and finding my place socially which took me a long time.I probably need much less help in these areas now but a 35 year old habit is hard to break.

Can i ask people what they want to gain from their fantasy actors/partners?

Also how do you screen out all the parts of that person that you just don't want?

At one point in my life I became fascinated by Al Pacino , and several "spin offs" of Scarface played in my mind for a long time. I watched all of his movies, even the bad ones, and he really griped my imagination. One scene in the movie Heat, where he is consoling his wife, was particularly moving. After awhile, the obsession fades, and the actor turns into just a human being. It's a relief and almost disappointing, in a way. I do think the "power" these actors have is because they are like mirrors in which we see parts of ourselves we are unconscious of. The thing is, when I would work on these fantasies in my head, and replay scenes that intrigued me, I was erasing myself, which is not a good thing. Like you say, my self esteem goes down as I build these guys up. If you are foucsed on your fantasy world, the dishes don't get done, you don't exercise (at least I don't), the bills pile up, you don't practice real life skills or express creativity outwardly. I wonder if our propensity to daydream is tied to this habit of self erasure. My parents, although I loved them, were quite self absorbed and didn't respond to me in a particularly helpful way. Now I am an adult and find it difficult to put myself first, except in this fantasy world. In the conscious world I inhibit myself around other people and find it hard to be truly "present."

I normally take characters from TV/games on the internet/books and change their personality to what I want it to be.  When I watch the TV show/play the game/read the book that my character is from, it surprises me how different my version of them is.

That is a really interesting question, what am I looking for from Fantasy partner?  The answer off the top of my head is excitement, thrills, an endorphin hit.  On another level it is probably some sort of validation.  My real life & fantasy world have always run side by side, sometimes intersecting, often feeding off each other, adding creative "fun" to my real life.  This is the most difficult time I've had, at least that I can remember, because this guy is real and changes girl friends often.  I have no idea why this should matter when it's all make believe in the first place.  I'm guessing this is some sort of obsessive-compulsive trait, that once I decide on certain ground rules (for instance, at the beginning I can decide he's not married, real if a literary figure, alive if dead, etc.); after that I have to accept what actually happens.  Does anyone have anyone to recommend, lend me, warn against?  Thanks so much for the discussion.  It's not something you discuss with friends at the gym.

I relate to so much of what is being said by you all.Thanks.

I'm happy to share some strategies I am trying to put in place to stop negative emotions in the hope they can help.As you say it's not something you can discuss with your friends.

I had a very successful fantasy relationship with an actor that lasted over 20 years,even through my real relationships,without impinging on them or making me feel bad.I realised it was because all I had of him were some old photos from a magazine.This meant that I could totally create his character to be whatever I needed.As I have said before the ease of access to all sorts of information these days really impinges on my fantasy character.I am going to try to print off a few photos of my current actor and resist all temptation to look online about him.

Like Roxanne I usually run my fantasy life alongside my real life with some overlap.In the past my fantasy life would fade into the background while real life was going on ,then I would fantasise when I needed/wanted to.Since about 6 months ago I became consumed with my fantasy life which I don't like.I lost a lot of weight at that time(98lbs)and so I think my identitity,which can be shakey at the best of times,got very muddled.I am now more able to connect with reality again.I used a lot of "grounding" techniques.I find that the moreI try to focus on my real life and shut out the fantasy,the less negative impact it has on me when I do want it.Probably because my self esteem is better.It is also much healthier for getting stuff done in reality and for my relationships as someone else mentioned.

I am feeling more positive at the moment so let's hope it lasts.I actually would hate to give up my fantasy life altogether as it's a part of me but I do want it to enhance my life rather than detract from it.



What great ideas.  I especially like the idea of taking some pics & then cutting off further info.  I'm even wondering if I can use this with the fantasy partner causing me so much angst.  Probably not, but I wonder.  It would mean not watching the entertainment type shows or reading the Us & People type mags.  That would be a project in itself, and harder than avoiding the internet.  Well, maybe about the same.  Anyway it's food for thought.  I really do have an active life, but it suddenly feels like their is a big void without this "partner."  Thanks again for all of you, and Cordellia for creating this site.  Otherwise, I think I would be crazy by now.


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