Rigidity of Beliefs
Most people, consciously or unconsciously, become very attached to what they believe is the only right way for themselves and others to think and behave. In the throes of the passion and devotion of early love, they may temporarily let go of those rigid beliefs but are eventually bound to re-submit to them.
When that happens, those initially adaptable lovers become less tolerant of whatever doesn’t fit their internal schema, and they can’t help but try to make the other partner who they want him or her to be. Too soon, criticism and control begin to replace acceptance and tolerance.
Couples who understand and practice authentic love can weather these emerging differences can teach each other new ways of thinking. As they increase each other’s worldviews, they are able to move from overlapping fantasy expectations to new possibilities for both.
Past Love Relationships
If new lovers have both learned from each past relationship, they are less likely to repeat unsuccessful patterns. Beginning each new relationship based on the same old fantasy expectations dooms people to repeat previous patterns of failure.
Childhood scripts that repeatedly create similar adult relationships will end in predictable similar outcomes. For instance, if a newly-in-love person had one parent who dominated the relationship and one who regularly submitted, he or she may alternate between those two roles in each new relationship as if they were the only ones to exist.
As these repeated relationship failures play out, it becomes apparent that pre-existing internalized fantasies have been a major factor in why they do not succeed. Authentic lovers can see these unworkable patterns early on in the relationship and help one another open up to new ways of being together that neither may have experienced before.
Both fantasy lovers and authentic lovers sincerely promise their good intentions at the beginning of the relationship. Those with pre-conceived fantasies have more difficulty keeping their agreements as the relationship plays out. They made promises based on certain expectations of behaviors. When they turn out differently than expected, they feel trapped by agreements they no longer want.
Fantasy love is based upon untested and often inaccurate expectations that a new relationship partner will feel and act as the fantasy dictates. Because of childhood programming, many people do not realize that its automatic practice defies the possibility of success.
People continue to enter new relationships with these internalized fantasies searching for the security and comfort of familiarity. They are counting on a “just” world. If they do what is expected of them, the other will certainly behave as expected. When their relationships end in failure, they naturally assume that they didn’t pick the right partners.
People who seek authentic love, instead, know that successful love relationships can never be based upon fantasy expectations. What is possible changes with each new relationship as the partners within it create what can only happen uniquely between them, in those special moments in time. Though they know that the honesty and courage inherent in genuine communication requires them to take on a continuous challenge, they would not have it any other way.