Fantasy is a terrific indicator of the difference between what we have and what we want. In our fantasies, we can do and be anything, and understanding what we really want allows a perspective on who we are and how we should proceed.
Don't misunderstand me: Fantasies aren't exclusively or even primarily about sex. They're just about what you want without hearing your mom or your Sunday school teacher or your big brother saying no. Fantasies are just feelings given form, and they are safe if understood.
In this exercise, you write down the words that best describe your fantasy self and see how those words compare to who you are and what you're feeling at this moment. Figure out what matches up and what doesn't, and then think about what you can do to bring your fantasy self more in line with the real you.
Answering the following questions in your dating notebook (see Chapter 1) is the place to start. Then you have to decide whether you want to do the work, practice different behaviors, learn new skills, be more honest. Change isn't easy, but it can be very worthwhile to lighten up, become more informed, become more assertive, tune more into others, be more (or less) aware of yourself, and so on.
• How can you bring the two together? ¡^ What you want:
• How would you go about making one into the other? ¡^ How others respond to you:
• What can you do to get the preferred response?
Fantasies offer us an insight into the discrepancy between what we are and what we have and what we want. I used to do a program where I would ask people if they had only a year or a week or a day to live, what would they do. Since none of us know whether we have any more or less than that amount of time, thinking about these things is a good way to get a clearer take on what we want. If you won the lottery, what would you do? If you could do anything in your life, what would you do?
I often loan people my magic wand for a couple of days (no more than a week or the magic goes away). Now I'm offering it to you to borrow. Instead of whining about what you don't have, set yourself free to figure out what you want. Then you can settle down and do the work of figuring out how to get it.
When things are going well, we're foolish if we don't just enjoy; it's when we hit a bump that it's time to figure out what to do differently. In that way, frustration is really the doorway to fantasy and a better way of doing things. Start with the dream and then figure out how to make it happen.
Are the fantasies just frustration, and what can you learn from frustration? (Frustration is probably the only true trigger to learning because it's bumping up against something that doesn't feel good, which makes you look for new pathways.)
After you've taken a good look at your fantasies about yourself, imagine what your fantasy partner is all about. Okay, okay, indulge yourself for a minute (I mean with clothes on):
1 How does this person act, talk, think, respond to you? 1 Would you be happy with this person for any length of time? 1 What could you offer in return? 1 How would you attract this kind of person? 1 What would this person be likely to want from you?
,\DM Don't allow yourself to spend too long thinking about the purely physical.
All things being equal, we would all probably prefer attractive to unattractive, but you'd be surprised how many people, both men and women, aren't all that turned on by in-your-face gorgeous. When it comes to physical beauty, it is seldom that all things are equal. Pretend for a moment that you are blind, and describe your perfect date. Interesting, yes. It's quite possible that you didn't mention even one physical characteristic. Why do you think they say love is blind? It's because sight is probably the least important sense we bring to the table when our hearts get involved. (To find out how important first impressions are, see Chapter 11.)
When you think about fantasies, think about both long- and short-term time frames: your perfect lunch vs. your perfect vacation vs. your perfect home vs. the school you'd like your unborn children to attend. What would you and your fantasy date do on your first date, your second anniversary, your second decade, your second grandchild?
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So have you decided to take the plunge and search for your soul mate? Or you just want someone special in your life and only believe in the concept of dating? Well for each and everyone on this planet there is certainly someone who could turn out to be the special or ideal partner. The point that you need to understand is that in order to find the perfect partner you need to follow a few steps.