5 proven strategies to Stop Romantic Dreaming
Updated: Jul 24, 2019
The Romantic Dream (RD) is everywhere: heart-wrenching power ballads, pretty-in-pink chick flicks and romance novels. It’s porn for the feminine, right there. We women get so high on love and romance, and entire industries make a ton money off of it. The media and society is telling us from childhood on that as long as we'll find that special someone, our one and only, we'll live happily ever after. He'll save us from ourselves and everything will be great once we're married.
You may be smirking now, but the truth is that many women (and a few men) secretly long for a partner to take away their inner pain and loneliness. Why would there otherwise be so many shallow dating sites, apps and matchmakers out there?
It's just how we're wired. Call it conditioning. Young girls are spoon-fed with this fairytale by their parents and Disney movies on a daily basis. Men are expected to be the handsome hero who will save them. Puts the pressure on, right?
Strangely, all the movies end at the exact moment the guy gets the girl and they're walking down the aisle. As if everything was just fine after that... But this ending is just the beginning-of the real work. As long as we believe that we need to find "the One" to make us happy, we're inevitably setting ourselves up for failure. (I think that this is one of the reasons for the high divorce rates and countless unhappy marriages.)
Now don’t get me wrong - romance is a beautiful thing. I love love, and an intimate relationship is the best ground for the committed, lifelong practice of love. Yes, I am saying practice, because let’s face it, after the initial high of the honeymoon phase wears off (after about six months to two years), you have to make a choice: are you going to resign and find a new partner because the old one didn’t make you happy anymore (thereby putting yourself into the category of the serial monogamist), or are you willing to fold up your sleeves and do the deep inner work?
We can't have a loving and healthy relationship with someone else until we start loving ourselves fully by taking 100% responsibility for our own well-being. We won't be happy until we start dealing with our own stuff. A romantic relationship won't save you.
As soon as you believe that another person can give you something that you don't already have within, you disempower yourself. You put them on a pedestal, which they cannot live up to, later giving them hell for not matching that image with their real-life personalities. And once you realise that the Romantic Dream was an illusion, you’ll start to resent each other.
Many of us also tend to lose ourselves in relationships, leaving our own grounding and focusing all of our attention on our partners. We obsess over how we can please them to get their approval. What do they want, how can I make them happy? But compromising our way to hell by ignoring our own needs and boundaries to get their love and acceptance never ever works. It will backfire 100% of the time.
Some women fantasise already on the first date about marriage and kids. Trust me when I say, men can feel this; and if send out that kind of needy vibe, he'll run. If he's cool. Some guys have equally needy patterns in their psychological make-up; then you have found your perfect match. You may be bonding over wanting to have kids together, desperately clinging to that dream while ignoring all the red flags, until something goes wrong and you realise he was not the right partner to begin with. How could you not see this earlier? This, my dears, is the Romantic Dream.
Once we let go of the idea that someone special will make us happy, we can start to enjoy life more by doing those things that make us feel radiant and alive. From a place of connection and contentment, we can manifest a relationship that allows us to go deep and grow together, as interdependent, grown-up human beings.
Byron Katie says this: “When I let go of the thought that someone special has to fulfil me, I become free. Then, everyone fulfils me.”
Once we clearly see the RD for what it really is, it will release its white-knuckled grip on us. We reclaim our power by consciously detaching from it, thereby creating space for a mature relationship that truly serves our growth. An intimate relationship that is not based on needing to fill each other's inner holes, but one where both intend to serve each other into deeper freedom, surrender, love and openness, by using the relationship as a tool to bring out the best in each other. This takes a lot of work and a deep commitment (have I mentioned that yet?), but it's totally worth it.
So what can you do once you find yourself doing the dreaming with someone? Whether you're dating or not, Romantic Dreams (on people, places or situations) can always occur. They have got to do with attraction, projection and unmet longings.
Here are five tips to help you get out of the loop:
1. Get a life. And keep it. Immerse yourself in your creative projects, career, friends, pets (anything that makes you feel the love in your heart). Also, do some feminine spiritual practice. Something that turns you on and connects you within. Ideally, some form of meditation (here’s one I like), but this could also include cooking nourishing foods, doing intense workouts, journaling, yoga, dancing, prayer, being in nature, getting massages, dressing up and spending time with the girls. Whatever turns you on...
2. No shame. Get real. Be confessed. If you're having a RD on your lover, be honest about it. They'll feel something is off anyway. Try to be vulnerable and confess what's going on with you. Practice good communication by authentically sharing your true feelings and needs. This way, you'll deepen the intimacy between each other and build trust.
3. Question it. If you're in a committed relationship and have a RD on someone else other than your partner, instead of leaving your commitment and jumping into an affair, you can ask yourself: “Do I honestly think this new person can really serve me more in life than my current partner?” This gives you a quick reality check. Usually, we can’t imagine living with the other person on a daily basis, and it becomes clearer what we're trying to avoid problems and unmet needs in our intimacy by projecting onto someone else. Deal with it at home instead.
4. Address these unfulfilled longings. Which of your deeper needs aren't met? Use your journal to inquire into them, and see if you can stay with the resulting sensations in your body. Ask yourself “What am I really longing for? What would having that give me? And that? Then what?” Also notice the bodily sensations that come up as you write. They are cues to your truth. Once you can allow them to be there, they'll effortlessly fill you up from the inside. This is all about becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.
5. Up your devotion. You don't need to do it all by yourself. Ask for help. You don't need to be religious to believe in a higher power, God or universal intelligence. But most people can at least agree that there is some sort of Higher Power in this universe. How many times have you said “Oh my…!?” This is about being humble enough to admit that we're not always in control. You can pray to surrender and ask for divine guidance. The more you do it, the stronger it gets. Ask for help and guidance, and it will be given to you.
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