Dating: Forget the fantasy and get real

 

Facebook stalking your partner's ex isn't going to help strengthen your relationship — or your mental health.
Facebook stalking your partner’s ex isn’t going to help strengthen your relationship — or your mental health.

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who’s managed to pursue serious relationships without becoming neurotic, chances are you’ve spent some amount of time wondering about, analyzing, or Facebook stalking your partner’s ex. But why do we care so much? Why are we so fascinated and threatened by who came before us?  Why does hearing their name immediately trigger our gag reflex?

The answer, perhaps, is that deep down we may be more romantic than we like to admit.  There are unspoken rules we’ve made about what the perfect relationship looks like and how it unfolds.  And though these trajectories aren’t based in reality as much as oversimplified plot lines of cheesy movies, there is still an element to those fantasies that feels true.

Rationally, we may know that having felt strong feelings before doesn’t preclude someone from feeling them again — that it doesn’t cheapen or change the next relationship.  We may understand that people have multiple love stories, even multiple ones that really matter. But in the Hollywood version of our lives, there is often only one great love affair. When faced with the reality that the person we love has already had a great love, the formula doesn’t seem to work.  Or, it makes us feel like we’re just the aftermath — the one who stepped in after “the real thing” didn’t work out.

Living through your 20’s is all about losing the fantasies of how your life should be. You learn to accept that your bachelor pad isn’t going to be some swanky dream home.  You reconcile that the big change you want to make in the world may be smaller and more slowly won.  But is it really necessary to give up the “perfect” love story, too?

The problem with fantasies is that they can’t be fought with facts. I offer up this advice, knowing that it may not work every day: It’s impossible to escape being in love without gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and what you need in a relationship.  And in that respect, having loved before only makes loving again more meaningful.

Tips:

1. Take a Facebook holiday.  It’s not a crime scene.  You’re not going to discover hidden clues you missed the first 15 times you Facebook stalked your partner. All you’re doing with Facebook stalking is driving yourself nuts.

2. Either you trust them or you don’t. We can drive ourselves crazy imagining that our partner might cheat or break our hearts in some way.  At some point we just need to trust our partners to be honest.  If your gut says not to, end it.

3. Focus on fixing it. It’s easy to blame things like exes, going out habits, or job stress for problems, but it’s more productive to see what things in the relationship can be fixed.

Need more dating and relationship help?  Amber is currently taking new clients.  Learn more at: www.ambermadi.com

Amber Madison is a Manhattan-based relationship expert and dating coach. She is the author of ‘Are All Guys Assholes?’ for which she traveled the country, spoke to over 1,000 men and discovered that the answer to this question is no. You can follow her on Twitter @ambermadi.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

National

Traps set after reports of giant snake on…

New Jersey animal control workers have set traps to snare a reported 20-foot-long serpent slithering through the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Local

NYPD: Stroller carrying 2-year-old rolls onto Queens subway…

A 2-year-old girl in a stroller rolled onto subway tracks in Queens on Monday morning, police said.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

Movies

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a different kind of genius…

The man known worldwide for his portrayal of London's eccentric private detective Sherlock Holmes is trading his Belstaff coat for tweed this fall. Benedict Cumberbatch…

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.