- Fantasy is useful by allowing us to embed a real person in our inner scenario.
- Innocent dreams have a sexual connotation, expressing natural but “forbidden” desires.
- They lose their meaning when relationships really arise and living in the present becomes more interesting than in the imagination.
At one o’clock in the morning in the apartment of 27-year-old Marina the phone rings. The excited voice of her best friend sounds in the receiver: Veronica could not wait for the morning to announce the news – she met an amazing man. They talked for the whole evening, and Veronica is convinced: it is this man who is destined to become the father of her children – this feeling has been visiting her for the fifth time in the last three years, but “this time everything is for real.” Her chosen one has a wonderful sense of humor and pleasant manners, he is courageous, but not at all macho.
Saying goodbye, they exchanged phones, and Veronica is already waiting for his call and checks messengers. It is not clear why he does not call and is rarely online. This moment becomes the starting point for a real investigation. Already the relationship with the handsome prince is overgrown with vivid details, and then the friends proceed to the most intriguing part – the search for secret signs that this man is also crazy about Veronica.
If the prince lacks passion, the girlfriends will reconstruct the candidate’s biography and will certainly find in his childhood or youth a reason that prevents him from fully surrendering to his feelings. If the couple is not destined to develop, then there can be only one explanation: the handsome prince is just a neurotic who is afraid of close relationships.
Achievements are important for men. And for women, relationships are more important, around which their fantasies are built.
Fictional romance scenarios like these are of great importance to women: they increase their self-esteem, making them feel more important and attractive.
It doesn’t really matter whether the relationship is destined to develop or whether it ends before it even starts. Girlfriends will still discuss them, unraveling the vague meaning of accidentally dropped phrases, trying to recognize secret signs of feelings and gradually building the image of an ideal man, if necessary, they will just as easily dethrone him from the pedestal.
“Scenarios created in our imagination are an integral part of a love relationship,” says psychoanalytic psychotherapist Vitaly Zimin. – A woman embeds the image of a real man in her inner fantasy scenario. She seems to be trying on a new situation for herself, checking how much the man she likes will be appropriate in the ideal world created by her imagination. “
Sweet dreams start a mechanism in the female body, with the help of which endorphin, a hormone that has the properties of an effective antidepressant, begins to be produced. Much the same happens when we leaf through a luxuriously illustrated cookbook: colorful photographs whet the appetite, although it is impossible to taste the delicacies captured on them.
Is fantasy a female prerogative?
“Men also play scenes in their imaginations with the participation of the person they like,” explains Vitaly Zimin. “But dreams evoke deeper emotions in a woman, intense excitement and awe.”
There are several reasons for this. “Children learn early on the idea that a woman is more interested in relationships and family than a man, and“ by nature ”she is more sociable, emotional and sensual. As a result, many adults sincerely believe that a woman really has more power and responsibility in a couple and that she is responsible for maintaining and developing relationships, ”explains psychotherapist Ekaterina Zhornyak.
In addition, there is a stable belief in society that every girl, having matured, must certainly meet her handsome prince. “From childhood she is prepared for the“ main meeting ”, for marriage, – continues Ekaterina Zhornyak, – which becomes almost the main goal of her whole life, the crown of all efforts and the ultimate dream.
Most of our fantasies reflect natural, but forbidden, socially taboo desires.
Another reason for the special role that imagination plays in women’s lives is historical. “Our cultural tradition is such that the role of a woman, mother or wife who released her son or husband into a difficult, possibly military life, was reduced to waiting for him to return home,” says psychotherapist Ekaterina Mikhailova. “While the man was in distant countries, the woman had no choice but to mentally transfer herself to where her beloved was, imagining what he could be doing at that moment.”
There are, however, women who deliberately do not let their imaginations run wild. “I try not to invent and not think out what is not in reality,” admits 35-year-old Ksenia. “I am very afraid that as soon as I create some kind of ideal structure and believe in it, I will inevitably be severely disappointed.”
But a conscious refusal to create love scenarios is like refusing to contact oneself, with one’s “I”, because dreams and fantasies are powerful tools of self-knowledge. “The work of the imagination allows a woman to get closer to herself, sort out her own desires, analyze her values and, in the long run, choose a partner who can share and support them,” says Ekaterina Zhornyak.
“But at the same time, most of the fantasies also reflect forbidden desires tabooed by society – this is the nature of the human soul,” says Vitaly Zimin. “Consciously, a woman can allow herself quite innocent dreams, which in fact reflect her deep unconscious fantasies, provoked by unsatisfied desires.”
Many simply do not dare to openly express them, fearing to seem vulgar. They justify their true aspirations, masking them from themselves and from those around them with pictures of ideal love and dreams of creating a family and children.
Therefore, for innocent questions to a friend, “Maybe I should call him first?”, “What if I invite him to a restaurant myself?” hiding others, often unconscious: “Are you not shocked by the desire that this man causes in me?”, “Do I have the right to have sex with him?”
Men, unlike women, do not ask such questions, since modern morality allows and even prescribes them to openly express their sexual desires and impulses.
Rules of the game
There is always a danger that the enacted imagination will lead the dreamer too far from reality. But under some circumstances, creating love scripts with your friends can be enjoyable and comfortable.
This process has its own rules. The first of them says: the exchange of dreams should remain a game and bring pleasure to both participants in the conversation. As soon as one of them begins to feel that she is being used, that the interlocutor is trying to relieve her own anxiety or assert herself at her expense, harmony collapses and there can be no question of any pleasure.
Imagination is impossible to “turn off”, although real life can bring us much more satisfaction
“When I heard from Irina for the hundredth time:“ You won’t believe, I finally met the man of my dreams! ”, I suddenly caught myself feeling nothing but boredom and irritation,” says 30-year-old Anastasia. – I knew exactly what would happen next.
First, she will tell you how much they have in common with the new chosen one and what an amazing smile he has. Then she will wait for his call and come up with reasons why he could not get through to her.
I will have to play the role of a vest again, comforting her and inventing new evidence that everything with Andrey (Artyom, Sergey or someone else) will be fine in the end. I realized that I no longer want to participate in this pointless game that takes so much time and energy from me. “
The second rule: the advice that one friend gives to another must be adequate. For example, if one claims that she wants to get married, but spends all the time in dreams of a semi-mythical lover from the past, the other may draw her attention to the fact that the declared goals are at odds with her actions.
But any advice is based on their own experience and is given based on the idea of an ideal relationship with a man. Realizing this is the first step towards understanding: even the most discerning friend cannot accurately predict the future of this or that love story.
The end of the film
Imagining scenarios of love relationships, a woman gets pleasure, gets rid of anxiety and tension. However, the need for such fantasies is significantly reduced after not invented, but real love relationships appear in her life. After all, now it is with a partner that she will be able to dream and make plans for the future.
And the point is not at all that she suddenly consciously and abruptly decides to abandon the fantasy world in favor of the real world. It is impossible to completely turn off the imagination. But nevertheless, its fruits no longer play the same role from the moment when a love relationship with a man takes on specific outlines. After all, real life can bring much more satisfaction than the richest fantasy.
Men also dream
But at the same time, they avoid sharing their fantasies with each other, explains psychoanalytic psychotherapist Vitaly Zimin.
“Men are less willing than women to discuss with each other their fantasies that affect the sphere of relationships. She and a friend are more likely to try to figure out the meaning of the phrase uttered by the boss. Men are able to fantasize about their beloved only in adolescence, when communication with peers plays a vital role for them. As they mature, they become more closed.
Men are intimidated by the excitement that inevitably arises when discussing intimate topics. Such a “non-male” conversation with an interlocutor of the same gender causes them to associate with homosexuality, which for most men is strictly prohibited. Women are more tolerant of their own manifestations, so they feel free in conversations with their friends. “
- Rosett I. “The Psychology of Fantasy”, Progress, 1984.
- Andreichenko S.Ya. “Psychology of love and sexuality”, Art of the XXI century, 2006.
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