If You’re Not Careful, Fantasy Bonds Could Haunt Your New Relationship
Coined by psychologist Dr. Robert Firestone, “fantasy bonds” describe superficial relationships that take the place of real love. Dating someone for their potential and choosing to see them in an overly idealized way are facets of these bonds, and can have nightmarish consequences for the relationship.
What’s The Harm?
If your partner isn’t actively working to fill the potential you see for them, it can breed disappointment and resentment later in the relationship. You might even start excusing or justifying their bad behavior and become stuck in an unhappy situation.
Why Fantasy Bonds Form
This pattern is common in people with a disorganized attachment style who crave connection just as much as they fear it. Fantasy bonds can seem like a comfortably distant way to feel the dopamine rush of falling in love while turning a blind eye to red flags.
They Affect Your Self-Image
One way to know if you’re in a fantasy bond is to check your self-image. If your new relationship seems to increase or create feelings of low self-esteem, it might be a toxic fantasy bond — especially if you believe your S.O. is on a pedestal high above you.
How To Untangle Them
You might be less likely to idealize your partner if you strengthen your relationships with other people, including yourself. Sometimes, untangling destructive bonds requires digging into your mind and emotions, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist.