Hi, I’m Shaun. Let’s have babies, build a cabin together, and travel the world. It’ll be great.
I’ve been there more times than I care to admit.
OK, it’s five. Five times.
Every woman I’ve been in a relationship with (5 so far), I fantasize about our future together. No matter how much I try to stay grounded in reality, when I first meet a new partner, my mind goes to the same place.
But I’m not alone in engaging in Fantasyland talk. Most of the time, my partner joins in. After 1 month of dating my crazy ex, we already had a short list of baby names picked out. We’d have two girls.
We’re not dating anymore, obviously, but if you’re curious, here’s the short list: Scout, Kirby, Lennon, Chase, Ariadne, and Maisy. That’s right, we’d be those kinds of people.
It’s wonderful in Fantasyland. Fantasyland is a world full of opportunity.
My new girlfriend and I can do anything in Fantasyland. Have beautiful babies together, start an organic grass fed sustainable mattress company, travel the world in Business Class. Anything is possible when you’ve got your head in the clouds.
Fantasyland is fun, but it’s not real. It’s a bit of an escape.
Fantasyland is like binging on Netflix while eating cookie dough. It’s not going to kill you, but it’s not exactly the healthiest of behaviors. Also it’s something I’d rather not tell my friends I do.
It’s a bit selfish too
I have some pretty distorted views of what success in life looks like. Beautiful wife, 2 smart kids, a lovely cabin, lots of travel, a successful career, lots of adventure sports. It’s not my fault, I’m surrounded by people living an ideal lifestyle.
When I meet someone new, I start plugging her into my fantasy life. It doesn’t matter is she wants babies or not, because it’s not about her. It’s about me and my dream.
No honey, we’re going going to move to Ohio, our cabin will be in Montana, obviously.
Oh yea, it’s a bit fucked up, I know. But it’s so hard not to do.
It’s OK though, I’m aware now.
If ignorance is bliss, then awareness is a bitch.
Awareness is great because it usually leads to growth, but before that happens, I need the courage to change the behavior that no longer works for me.
Since I’m terrible at staying in the present and I’d rather be building myself a beautiful life in Fantasyland, I had to come up with steps to help me. I fail at these constantly so don’t worry if you do too.
Do this instead of engaging in Fantasyland talk
1. Pass it through the Mom Filter
Instead of saying that thing you want to say, pass it through the Mom Filter first.
Would her mom think you’re completely nuts when you tell her you want to have beautiful babies with her daughter after knowing her for 1 month? If the answer it yes, then don’t say it to your partner.
2. Don’t show her the dysfunction quite yet. Phone a friend
Call your friend and tell him what you want to tell your partner.
Tell them about the home loan you’re planning on taking out to build your dream in Puerto Vallarta. If your friend says your plan is a wee bit immature, then you know what to do. Don’t share your dream quite yet.
3. Know that things will change
It’s OK to dream with your partner. But hold those dreams loosely.
You might break up, or you might not be able to have children, or the resources to build that dream home. Give yourself the permission to dream, but let go of the outcome of those dreams. Hold them loosely.
4. Be gentle
With yourself and your partner.
If you find yourself going into Fantasyland, either with your partner or alone, it’s OK. Lots of us do it but not many admit to doing it. I do it all the time. I just can’t help myself. But I try. And I know that it’s probably going to be OK.
Know that its going to happen and it probably won’t break your relationship
Recognize Fantasyland talk for what it is. An escape and a hope for the future with your new partner. As long as it doesn’t dominate your thoughts and your everyday life, and doesn’t get in the way of enjoying the present moment too much, have fun.
Be kind, loving, and caring with your partner and with yourself, and know that a bit of dreaming isn’t going to break your relationship. Hold those dreams loosely, but give yourself the permission to dream.
Having two feet on the ground and your head firmly in the clouds isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Shaun Galanos is The Love Drive. He lives and writes in Montreal.