Fantasy vs Reality in Falling in Love

We tend to despise whatever we make into our gods, when they fail to respond in the ways we expect. In this article, Joåo Fernandes, shows why reality is better than fantasy.


Falling In Love


If you are like most people then you have in your history some funny and not so funny stories about people you fell in love with, or really liked, but that never lead to anything.

It started slowly, penetrating your mind in a poetic version of reality and it faded away like some acid slowly corroding a stone. And still, for some reason you think of that girl, or guy, in a most idolised way.

Sometimes even though you are dating somebody else, you feel like throwing that relationship away, just because that special idolised someone reached out to you, or you felt you might have a chance with them. This is nothing more than a mind trick.


Kill Your Idols


In order to be free you have to kill whatever idols you are attached to. You have to truly understand that they are just people, plain, regular, sometimes boring and not that impressive. 

And this goes especially well when it comes to love relationships. The true magic of love is that you still love someone long after the clouded image of them is gone.

When you see the true person and you still want to be at their side. They are not an idol, but a human being with flaws, with behaviors that annoy the crap out of you and ideas that you don’t really agree with, but for some reason you love that person. To love is to be sane in your own insanity. As Russell Brand so eloquently said: “To fall in love is the most mundane and spectacular thing in the world.”


Turning People Into Stone

Detail of Eros Statue

When you claim the best relationships are the ones you never had, the ones that only existed in your head, you are being delusional. Whenever you carve people, relationships, ideas or any other conceivable thing in stone you are killing it. 

The moment a relationship is immutable to change, to the constant flow of what life is, then it is dead.

This is what we usually do with people that have passed away. We create an image of them that is real just in our memory, by how they made us feel. So we might miss the real person but the created idea of them became more of an idol than if they were still alive. It is as if you love more to dream than to be alive, knowing that you can’t surprise yourself in your dreams, knowing that everything is under control.


Make the Change

500px Photo ID: 173569165

The beauty of life is the change, the impossibility to control everything. The beauty of life is that you are constantly surprised by the present moment, with random experiences happening al the time.

Sometimes we fall under the spell of being strangely enchanted by someone we barely know and start creating dream after dream of how life will be with them.

What is absurd is when you start to love these ideas of what love and life should be more than what life actually is. In the words of the great Joseph Campbell: “Life is pain, life is suffering and it is also rapture.” Tell me the next time you feel rapture in a solidified version of someone, that doesn’t even exist in real life. There is beauty in our brokenness. Love starts when we are real and are realistic with each other. 


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João Fernandes is a Portuguese best-selling author and traveler who has been to over 25 countries. He is deeply curious about life, people and why we are here and writes poetically about his passions. He meditates daily and works 4 hours a day, spending the rest of his time in nature, at the gym and learning new skills. He has been featured in magazines like Matador Network and Vice. His blog is here.