"The cost of oblivious daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse."
~ Ian McEwan
Fantasy is a form of dissociation and a way to imagine the impossible or improbable. Lost in a world of unreality, buffered from human connection, fantasy is a solo act that shields us from interpersonal exchanges. Children turn to fantasy when under duress as a way to escape the inescapable. A household fraught with neglect, yelling or violence creates fertile ground for the child to construct unconscious wishes filled with magic, adventure, and hope of a better life. Unfortunately, chronically living in fantasy creates patterns in the brain that may be difficult to break in adulthood, especially where sexual fantasies are concerned.
Being so possessed by fantasies that you avoid your partner and the possibility of connection with him or her will create problems in your relationship over time. Healthy sex requires a solid level of psychic presence, where creativity and imagination can playfully emerge between two people. Being held hostage by habitual romantic, sexual or career fantasies or persistent pornographic images in your head will thwart your being freely present with your partner.
In contrast, when you're present with your partner, you can co-create your fantasies. And when you're in command of your fantasies, you can play them out, talk about them afterwards, and learn from each other what worked, what didn't, or what may have been problematic. Being present lets you use your life consciously and as a way to grow, change, and connect.
DAILY HEALTHY ACTS
- Learn about your psyche and inner patterns by challenging your fantasies. Ask yourself, "Are these old patterns or traumas I'm acting out? Or are they arousing and congruent with who I am as an adult person today?"
- Share your insights with your partner to deepen your intimacy with yourself and with one another.