Mourning The Dream:
Getting Over The Fantasy
By Frank Kermit
When you are mourning the loss of a relationship due to break up or divorce, or the death of loved one, the mourning process is the same. Getting used to the "new normal" of not having that person around, even if you did not always get along, requires a period of mourning. In this respect, we mourn what was familiar to us, not necessarily what was great about the previous situation. But what happens when what we are mourning never actually existed?
There is someone you like. That person is special to you. You spend lots of time imagining what it is going to be like when the two of you finally have your moment and date. It is a wonderful dream. Yet, it may happen that when you finally make your interests known to the person, that you get rejected. Oh well. In this situation, most people get a little disappointed, shrug it off, and move on and look for someone else that will appreciate him or her. But-Not-You. You are heartbroken, feeling the same intensity as if you had been violated by a long-term relationship partner. You felt like it SHOULD have worked out! It SHOULD have been perfect! You SHOULD have ended up together!
Why would this rejection hurt almost as much, if not more, than if you were actually dating and broke up?
The answer is that the dream you created of the two of you together was as real to you, as any other aspect of reality. Instead of separating the illusions and fantasy of your dream together, from the fact that the two of you never even started to date, you likely allowed yourself to accept the dream of who that other person was, and use the symbolic dream, as a real life experience to base your expectations on. THAT is why it hurts so much more than it merits. How does someone get over it?
One of the ways a person can get over this kind of pain is to mourn the dream. Whatever actions you would normally take to mourn the death of a person; take those same actions to mourn the dream you built up in your mind. Writing out the experience, doing something to commemorate the dream, following a ritual of your faith are all examples. Yes, it may seem silly, but some healing methods are silly when you are not used to paying attention to emotional core hurts. It is easy to say that we should not have created the dream to begin with; however the point is moot, since you are already there.
The next time you like someone, and if you have a choice to either ask out that person as soon as you can, or wait on it and spend too much time creating a dream of the future that does not exist, choose to ask out the person as soon as you can. It will save you a lot of hurt if and when things do not work out.
FRANK KERMIT MA
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