Craig* was everything that I wanted in a lover. To the romantic in me, he was the Lancelot to my Guinevere. The Tristan to my Isolde. The Mr Darcy to my Elizabeth Bennet.
He was intelligent, funny, older, handsome, with these amazing deep brown eyes, a knee-jerking smile that never failed to make me grin until my cheeks hurt and above all he shared my infatuation with the written word.
He was also a writer and an incredibly talented one at that. As both a writer and a man, I found him interesting, creative, complex and a bit of a bold rebel who frequently took risks in his writing for the sake of pure principal and satire. Seeing as I have a huge thing for writers, this made him even sexier in my eyes.
Of course, I wanted him. I wanted him more than I had wanted any man. I fell for him and I fell for him hard.
However, there is never going to be a happily ever after for me and him.
You see, Craig is real. ‘Our relationship’ however, was a fantasy I concocted in my head.
I had only communicated with him on the internet and in person a few times. Nevertheless, I found myself instantly attracted to him, even though I knew nothing about him as a person. I slowly began fantasising about having a romantic relationship with him. The kind of relationship that never materialises in real life, but is conceptulised in great detail in your mind. It’s like a crush, but one you don’t act on.
Whenever I had a spare moment, I would stare off into space and think about how perfect life would be if I were together with him. I would play out all the possible firsts and how all of them would be in my mind. I made up my own intensity and the length of our relationship. Our first date. Dressed to the nines for dinner, movies and dancing. Our first kiss. As we watched the sun set on a beach in Fiji. Our wedding. A destination wedding on a beach in Bali.
There were many times when I would remind myself that the relationship I was dreaming of was just a romantic illusion created in my mind and that I needed to stop being so damn delusional. But I couldn’t help myself. I liked my perfect fantasy relationship. I wanted to stay there. I was addicted to my fantasy like some people are addicted to gambling, drugs, sex and social media.
I always knew my boundaries and I never went any further than checking his Facebook and Twitter on the odd occasion. I never went as far as stalking him or trying to call him. I want to make that clear.
I was only smacked back into reality when I ran into him at a bar and smiled at him. He looked straight at me and walked past me.
That’s when I really realised:
Craig has never thought of me the same way he thought of me in my mind and it doesn’t matter how intense my feelings were or how genuine I felt in my idea of Craig, it is just not real.
The illusion dissolved, the pictures in my head disappeared and I was left with wondering if I needed the number of a good shrink, a curiously lonely feeling, and a bottle of French bubbly waiting for me at home to help me grieve for my fantasy relationship.
The author of this post is a Mamamia reader who wanted to remain anonymous.
Have you fantasised about or created a relationship in your head that doesn’t really exist?