Let’s get real about relationships, especially Internet relationships. Although many people have met and established successful harmonious relationships, what about people who meet men or women online and fall in love not with a person, but with a well orchestrated fantasy? If you have experienced such a relationship or if you believe you might be in one, time to wake up and smell the coffee.
Countless stories have been shared about that perfect man or woman a person met online. When the relationship crumbles or is in danger of crumbling, the same scenario emerges, a panicked person trying desperately to hold the pieces together. Unfortunately lives are adversely affected as this man or woman cannot accept the relationship is over and spend hours crying, pleading and soul-searching what they will do now that these people are gone from their lives or cling to the fantasy that the elusive partner will return.
These men and women are manipulators creating a perfect fantasy because personal lives are boring, chaotic, or they seek the excitement of the fantasy. They often lead ordinary lives filled with work, children, inadequate relationships and look for a safe place to play, irrespective of the damaged done to the person played. They feel safe, hidden behind certain anonymous aspects of the Internet and will play the game, until the game hits too close to home or is exposed by a partner or family member.
People entering a fantasy relationships share a thread of commonality. Often loneliness, failed relationships, low self-esteem, victims of past abuse, and a desperate need for a loving relationship create the perfect environment for a fantasy relationship. False promises, false declarations of love and caring or promises of a perfect future together once obstacles are removed, keep people hooked into the fantasy.
Let’s be honest all the signs of a fantasy relationship were present, but many people chose to ignore them or justify in their minds the reasons for inabilities to contact, holes in stories and the excuses for not establishing more concrete relationships. When friends and family try to intervene, they will defend their fantasy partner creating riffs in interpersonal relationships.
If people are lucky enough, they can confront the fantasy maker and discover the hurtful truth about the relationship and lack of personal integrity. Others, less lucky will struggle with the whys. Oftenself-inadequacies spin self-blame scenarios of saying, doing something to ruin this relationship. Or they envision this errant partner has current life or partnership commitments that will take time to resolve and come rushing to them with open arms.
People who have worked beyond the fantasy will understand they are not mourning the end of the relationship, but the end of the fantasy. They mourn the end of dreams of a perfect love and relationship that only existed online and in E-mails or telephone chats. They understand their vulnerability to being sucked back into this relationship because the fantasy had consumed such a huge part of their lives and hearts.
What to do? Break all communication with this person and admit this person is not trustworthy. Accept this person betrayed your heart and may never apologize for your pain. Accept this person cheated on people in their lives, and if they cheat on them, how could they be faithful to you? Accept you deserve an honest open, imperfect relationship requiring commitment and dedication on both people to build a strong loving trusting relationship.
Most of all forgive yourself for what happened so you can move forward. No one ever intentionally enters a fantasy relationship, and accept you are wiser for the painful experience. Proceed slowly into any future relationships, and if excuses pop-up, ask the difficult questions and be prepared to drop the relationship. Don’t give up on love, real and enduring love exists, you have to weed through the malarkey to unearth true love. Everyone deserves to be loved, but with a love that is not some fantasy spun by a person who will run the moment the relationship threatens a personal life.