I caught a glimpse of Celebrity Rehab one week and one of the participants was describing what feuled her addiction. As she recalled being in love with a man that she rarely saw, she described sitting in his closets beneath his clothes inhaling his scent. She said that it felt like being in love with a ghost which drove her to seeking a substitute for his absence. Unfortunately, her substitute led to a chemical addiction.
Although I changed the challenge and did not hear the rest of her story, the concept of loving a ghost stuck in my head. I began to think of all of the people in love with someone that they don’t really know. All of the one sided relationships where a person has committed their live to someone who is rarely present. How many relationships are built on a figment of one person’s imagination?
I can personally confess to being in this situation. I thought I was in love with this guy but now that I look back, I was in love the image, the potential, the thought of him. I didn’t know him well enough to truly love him. We didn’t spend enough time together to build a relationship of substance. We barely dated or talked on the phone but he had a way of sucking me into his world and making me feel like I belonged, like I was important to him, like I was the one. The emotions derived from him saying all of the right things during our brief encounters kept me sucked into this euphoric feeling that I confused with love.
Love is so many things but one thing that I think is a key to true love is being present. Being in love with someone who feels more like a ghost than a partner is not a recipe for success. I have friend whose “guy” had an excuse for not spending Christmas with her, then something came up for New Year’s Eve and now Valentine’s Day is uncertain. Regardless of how great he sounds on the phone, she is falling in love with a ghost because they rarely see each other and he isn’t investing the time to show her that he means the things that he is saying.
Sometimes you have to do a reality check on your relationship. Ask yourself if you are in love with the reality of the person – flaws and all – or the perception…