General Question

butterfly_Wings's avatar

Why does Idealizing someone only leads to so much dissapointment?

Asked by butterfly_Wings (64points) May 2nd, 2017

For example: if we start to Idealize a person we just started a relationship with, without knowing them very well, and then we start seeing their true colors (how they are in real life), why does this usually lead to so much mental and emotional havoc, besides great disappointment and sadness?

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12 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

It is called the Halo Effect. Hope springs eternal. If we didn’t have it then none few people would have children and the species would be extinct. ~Most of humanity is pretty disappointing.

Coloma's avatar

Idealization is not real love, it is limerence and projection. It is ones OWN projections of perfection cast outward onto another. What hurts isn’t the real person and how they really are, it is in the bursting of your own, self created, not other generated, bubble of infatuation.
The hotter the flames the faster the fire burns out. haha

Sneki95's avatar

Truth hurts.

That is why you feel pain when you see someone as they are and not what you wanted them to be.

CWOTUS's avatar

To amplify what @Coloma has said so well, not only is idealization not real love, but it’s not a true representation of a real person. It’s like you’re falling in love with a fairy tale, and then being shocked to find that after your marriage you don’t really live “happily ever after.”

zenvelo's avatar

Idealization sets a standard that is impossible to meet. Even the gods of mythology could not meet them.

Real love is acceptance of a person with all of their faults.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Idealism is the same as a fantasy. You control how your fantasy goes, and in your dreams everything goes exactly right.

Then real life intrudes. It’s part of learning and growing up.

Kardamom's avatar

Because you’re not starting out with all of the information, and you are probably not starting out with the correct information either. When you idealize someone, you are setting up a picture in your mind of what you want them to be like. When they turn out not to be like what you wanted them to be like, you feel disappointed, and often hurt.

The other problem is when that other person has some of the characteristics of your idealization. Maybe he said something sweet to you, maybe you had some things in common, maybe he was especially attractive. So in your mind, you are thinking that if they have some of the characteristics, then they should have all of the characteristics. That is almost never going to be the case.

Because you don’t know them well enough in the beginning, you can’t know how they are in all of their characteristics. Even if they continue to have some of the good ones, if they end up having some that you particularly dislike, then it is hugely disappointing and you can tend to think that you mis-read all of the signs, or that your own judgement is impaired, or that you are a terrible person because you must have made them develop the unwanted characteristics. Most of that isn’t true, but because of all the fairy tales, and soap operas, and Hollywood bullshit, we are prone to believe that if you see some of the good stuff in the very beginning, then all of the other stuff that we want the other person to be like will be there too, but it rarely is.

Most people can never live up to anyone else’s idealized version of the perfect person. But when you meet someone that has some of the characteristics that you love, your mind often lets you believe that a person will have all of those characteristics.

That’s why it’s so much better not to have an idealized vision of what you will accept in a mate. It’s better to have “deal breakers” and then go from there. A deal breaker is something that is simply not acceptable to you, or in other cases, just something that you really don’t want to have. In some cases a deal breaker might be someone that smokes, in other cases, it might be (and should always be) someone who is abusive towards you. Most of the other things are somewhere in the middle, and not really horrible, just not your taste. Say you don’t like hairy backs, or you don’t like people who bray like donkeys when they laugh. Some things will be deal breakers for you, whereas they wouldn’t for someone else.

It’s also better to get to know people better before we plunge into serious relationships with potential mates. A lot of people simply have a physical attraction to someone immediately, and then they become intimate right away, without getting to know the person in a deeper way first. That is where a lot of the trouble starts.

I think we should tell Cinderella to hit the road. There is no such thing as Prince Charming. There is, however, a lot of potential lids for a lot of potential pots.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Ideals are all in your mind and often far removed from reality. Knowing the difference leads to a lot less disappointments.

Check it out: the root word is idea. You are ideating, not observing.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

It seems obvious to me. But, thanks for defining ‘true colors’ for us.

seawulf575's avatar

You are going about it all wrong. You need to push yourself to be the ideal that you like. Then you need to find someone that works well with that ideal. ALWAYS go into a relationship with open eyes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL!! That’s about impossible to do @seawulf575! At least during those first whirl wind months! But don’t ignore the warning signs.

seawulf575's avatar

Well @DutchessIII I guess it’s just too many years and too many whirlwind months under my belt. In my youth I did let my hormones lead the way and never found love. Then I found the balance of the excitement of a new relationship that was tempered with reality. Everyone (including myself) has issues. No one is an ideal. That is a reality. But you can find someone whose crazy compliments yours.

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