Carla Solo, April 4, 2018
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Wiktionary describes romance as ‘idolised love’, and a ‘dreamy, imaginative habit of mind; a disposition to ignore what is real.’ But is romance just an idealistic dream, as they make it sound?
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Fairytales, novels and Hollywood movies make romance seem like a dream. But is romance just a work of fiction? Love in real life might not always seem as romantic as the fairytales. However, we all have the ability to love and feel loved.
Why do we sometimes feel too attached to other people? There are various reasons why one might feel too attached to another person. For example; one who feels attached to another person too soon in a relationship might be trying to fill a void for something else that is missing in their life. Loneliness, heartbreak, and grief can make people feel a sense of longing, hence why some people appear to be clingy and needy in a relationship. Some people might feel this way, because they have divorced parents, and this might cause them to feel insecure in a relationship. Others might feel this way, because they have felt unloved before.
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Some people might feel attached to another person, because they feel a lack of achievement or success in their own life, hence why some people might feel attached to celebrities, public figures, entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, or successful people they know in real life, to try and fill that void in their lives. For example; a singer who has achieved a platinum album, might make someone (even an adult) feel a sense of obsession or longing, because they never fulfilled their desired career themselves.
Teenage girls often feel attracted to celebrities, because they have not yet had the opportunity to fulfil their dreams, and they are still in the aspirational phase in their lives, so they look for successful people for inspiration and they feel excited about them. After all, a teenage pop star crush is just a dream, and so is their ambition so far. It is more often just about the aspiration, than it is about the celebrities themselves, although the teenage fans may believe otherwise. They are unaware of how and why they feel that way subconsciously.
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But what about those who feel a deep attachment to someone in their lives, and can’t stop thinking about them? Is it always about idolising someone, because of their success? No, not always. It might be due to a recent heartbreak or traumatic experience that makes them fixate on a person in order to feel a sense of escapism. By thinking of that person, they are no longer thinking of the hurt they felt when they experienced the tragedy or heartbreak. For example; a recent death in the family or a marriage breakdown might make them feel the need to fixate on someone to distract themselves from their problems. What if there hasn’t been a recent tragedy? In that case, they might have faced an old tragic experience that they have never been able to get over and they just want to forget about it now, or it could be that they have recently experienced a significant change in their life that they have found difficult to adjust to e.g. moving home, changing job, starting college etc. There could be other reasons too.
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There are times people feel attached to someone they know will never be their partner. For example; someone who has never shown them any interest, or someone who is married or lives far away. They might be trying to protect themselves from getting hurt in a relationship, by subconsciously seeking a level of distance between themselves and their love interest. These are the people that have felt hurt before, or felt they were never allowed their freedom and independence in a previous relationship, so by feeling attached to someone they know they’ll never be with, they are safeguarding themselves by disallowing themselves to find the opportunity to fall in love with someone they can be with, just in case they get hurt again. This may not always be the case, but you should always avoid falling in love with someone, before you know you have a reasonable chance of a lasting relationship with them. Otherwise, you might end up feeling trapped.
How can you get over feeling attached to someone who is not right for you? It takes time to get over an attachment. You will need to delete any photos you have of that person from your phone, to avoid looking at their pictures too often, delete any connections you have with them on social media, avoid going to places where you might meet them or accidentally bump into them. If you feel you are not ready to take those steps yet, another good way to get over them is to feel excited about something new in your life, for example; painting your house a different colour, learning a foreign language, visiting another city or country, joining a new club or community, starting a new diet or lifestyle, anything that might make you feel a sense of rebirth. This should help you to forget about that attachment you currently feel. It may take some time though.
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To answer our original question. Is romance just a work of fiction? It might be, but then again there have been people who have been married or in loving relationships for many years, and the romance still seems to be alive for them. It takes effort to make a long term relationship work, and not every person you fall in love with will sweep you off your feet. If you are happy in a relationship and you have found true love. We are happy for you and we wish you the best of luck in your journey, but we highly doubt every relationship will be perfect. Most couples will argue at some point in their relationship. It is normal to argue in a relationship, but if it happens on a daily basis, then it is probably not worth it to continue putting yourself through that, and it would be better to either leave the relationship or seek counselling to try and resolve the problems you are facing. Some problems are unresolvable though, and if you are experiencing any form of abuse or domestic violence, then we urgently ask you to seek help for your safety. You have a right to be safe and free from abuse, even if your partner tells you otherwise.
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For those of you who currently feel a crush on someone, but are not sure whether that person feels the same way. Here are a few signs that someone might be interested in you. Their pupils are dilating. They raise their eyebrows. They often contact you. They look at you when no one else seems to be watching. They ask you for your phone number. They make excuses to talk to you. They try to make you laugh (although this can be a sign of friendship too). They ask your friends about you. They flirt with you (although you should be careful with the obvious flirts, as they might be flirting with others too). Some people are more shy and if they like you, they might appear really nervous whenever you are around them. Give them time to get closer to you. If you are looking for love, we wish you the best of luck in finding romance, but don’t expect it to be perfect. Disney movies might have given you unrealistic expectations of romance since you were young. You may never find the perfect princess, Prince Charming, or a knight in shining armour. Imagine the level of escapism you’d feel if you could though. Just imagine.