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JLGrant10

Do we fall in love more with our ideas than the person?

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Sorry if the question I ask is a bit deep or personal, but I wonder if people here realize that some of you sound like you have fallen in love with an idea so much that you forget that you are looking to fall in love with a person.

I use to work in a shelter with domestic violence victims, and some would go back to the abuser. The reason was usually because they were in love with the security of saying they weren't alone. They were in love with the memories of the person, not the person themselves anymore. 

We all have preferences, that's normal. But when we let the preferences control us, then we miss out on so many things life has to offer. This all came to me after seeing the comic and it made me realize the things that come and go in our lives. People of all sorts come into our lives, and everyone has something to teach us and we have something to teach them. We learn and grow from those around us, and if we focus so much on what we want in life, we miss out of what we might need in life to learn and live.

But, this is just a thought that came to me, so what do you think: do we fall in love with our ideas more than the person?

 

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I don't think there is a universal answer to this. I also don't think it's black and white. To differing extents, some people probably do fall in love with an idea. Some people, to differing extents, probably don't.

I think it depends how you look at the concept of dealbreakers. Some might look at having a dealbreaker as falling in love with an idea. These people might argue you're not looking for a person, you're looking for a list of requirements. I think the problem with this is it either puts too much emphasis on chemistry in some instances and in others ignores the fact one created their dealbreakers because, after much thought and introspection, realized that a man or woman without certain traits are simply people they don't have chemistry with. Why date someone who doesn't meet your criteria if you know it won't work out? You know the type you click with and they simply don't meet that criteria. Or, even if there is chemistry, what's the point if you're looking for different things in life or they're not willing or able to provide you with something you need to be happy?

But, yes, on the other end of the spectrum it's important not to forget about chemistry just because someone checks all the boxes. Or, maybe something you thought was a dealbreaker isn't actually one. Also, you don't have to stick to your dealbreakers if there comes a time when something that used to be important to you no longer is. You're allowed to change (or not change).

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I think that's an interesting question and one I've thought of before. But I realized it's kind of silly to think of it that way. Because what do we fall in love with? An empty human vessel? No, we fall in love with people who we relate to and appreciate and respect and admire. So, if we ourselves believe certain things, and we find another person who agrees, we would fall in love for that reason. Same with anything else you might fall in love with someone over. 

That being said it's still possible to love someone who doesn't follow your beliefs. It usually leads to a lot of heartache and dysfunction in the relationship though, which is why I at least, would never want to date someone who didn't follow this belief.

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Maybe. I've seen this be the case for others, but it isn't something I've experienced myself. Seeing my preferences and dealbreakers in a woman does not immediately equate to love, it just allows for the possibility of love. But even then, that love could become either platonic or romantic. There are no guarantees. I wouldn't say I have these things because I'm in love with the idea of a woman who fits them. I have them because I understand myself. I know what it will take for me to be able to commit romantic emotion to someone, and the type of person that I am and the way that I think have cemented in these preferences. Maybe this is a checklist mentality, but again, a woman could check off the entire list yet still get nowhere with me because there is far more depth to love than simply meeting prerequisites. Having said that remark about love, I recognize that I am also denying myself the opportunity to find love in women who don't fit my preferences. But that is a sacrifice I'm making to accommodate for who I am and what I believe in. I don't want to string anybody along or force myself and her into an unpleasant situation, after all.

Though I do think the idea thing is something that plagues more people than I'm comfortable with. All too often it feels like people are more interested in what you are, with far less interest in who you are. This goes beyond preferences/dealbreakers; this has to do with what you represent. It is something that is going to entail different things between men and women, but it conceptually applies to both. It seems like you have to constantly put on an act and hide your real feelings if you want to have any hope of being loved/respected. To uphold a certain image. It's like people only want a caricature of what they perceive to be ideal from you. The second you show any sign of weakness, their perception of you is shattered, and the ramifications it brings on your friendships/relationships can be devastating. Since I have no interest in playing this ridiculous game, that would probably explain why I have so few friends. Granted, I don't believe that everybody in the world is like this, and I can safely say that I have at least one good friend whom I feel totally fine to be myself around. It's just rare to find that kind of comfort in someone.

But in the realm of romantic love, what do you do if who you are happens to be unattractive? You can make yourself as physically beautiful as you possibly can, but if you have character quirks that would make you romantically undesirable, what else can you do but put on an act? And I'm not talking about objectively bad character qualities, I mean the things about you that are perfectly fine and endearing in your friendships and family relations, but would be seen as unattractive in a romantic partner. Maybe you have aspects about you that are just part of who you are, and you can't change them. What then? Do you just deny who you are? Do you spend the rest of your life being that idea for that person just for the sake of their artificial love? I know the answer to this is to be with someone who is attracted to you for who you are, but if that kind of person doesn't exist, you would be left with quite the dilemma on your hands.

There are just so many expectations that both women and men have to meet in order for them to believe that they are worthy of attraction. They are often led astray by false promises and outright lies. What people tell them is attractive might not even be consistent with what people actually physically respond to. As their friends, we tell them how happy they would make any prospective romantic partner, but only because we have to, and because it shifts the responsibility onto another person. Maybe we also misinterpret our platonic love for them as them being worthy of receiving romantic love. It all seems so difficult. For me personally, there is no way I would ever entertain the idea of hiding my true colors for the sake of anybody. I'm by no means perfect. I'm a flawed individual. There are aspects about me that I can't change even if I wanted to. I'm not going to be an ideal man 100% of the time. I just am who I am. If who I am is somehow unattractive, then I would resign myself to dying alone way before I would ever even consider changing who I am. I don't think it's right or fair that other people would feel like they need to do that too. There can't be any joy or comfort in dishonesty.

Sorry if this all seems kinda depressing. I'm also sorry if I came off as whiny. I assure you that nothing bad has actually happened to me to get me to think about this stuff. I've just been seeing it happen very often to other people. It's all been getting me to think a lot about the true nature of people. I've seen too many struggle with this idea vs. reality thing. Sometimes we pretend to be someone we're not, sometimes we believe that other people are better than what they actually are. Surely all of this lying and fakeness could only ever lead to unhappiness, at least eventually. I don't think I'm better than anyone, but sometimes I do find myself thinking that this dishonesty makes people not worth giving a chance. Obviously I know this way of thinking is very wrong and incredibly unhealthy, and that I have met people who I do strongly believe are worth it. I don't really know what I'm thinking.

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