Do you project life with your date?

Do you project your life into the future with the guy you’ve just started dating — sometimes even before you’ve met? I’ve been guilty of this, as well as been on the receiving end.

Let me give you some examples:

  • Yesterday I had a first coffee date with an award-winning professor at a local internationally renowned university. I knew he lived on campus, so I had already imagined what life would be like if I were to join him permanently. How delightful it would be to walk to the campus cultural events, lunch with visiting luminaries, and schmooze with world-famous lecturers.
  • After one visit to a wealthy man’s home, I began to fantasize my life if we were to become a couple. I mentally claimed his rumpus room for my office, and imagined which furniture I’d keep and what I would move. Could I rent out my house when I moved into his with the beautiful view?
  • Meryl StreepWhen I briefly dated the Academy Award winning special-effects producer, I imagined attending private screenings, hobnobbing with the stars. On Oscar night, we’d get dolled up, then be swamped with photographers exiting the limo onto the red carpet. I’d be able to recreate his story of sipping martinis with Meryl Streep in the basement bar of the Kodak Theatre.

Do you do this? Or am I weird?* If you, too, fantasize life with a guy you barely know — or haven’t even met — why do you think we do this? Is it to explore one scenario of how life might be if we were to become an item? Is it to “test drive” a lifestyle? In my imagination, I don’t foresee the drudgery — cleaning house, cooking meals, etc. I only focus on the positive or glamorous aspects. Is this expressing a romanticized vision of a potential life together, knowing that life is never comprised of only stellar moments? Are we setting ourselves up for disappointment since life with another has downs as well as ups?

I’ve been on the receiving end when my last beau imagined getting a job in my area and moving in with me — without my asking him! Another sweetie was ready to move in his coffee maker after the first sleepover. He also declared that he would not live with me in my house, that we’d sell my house and buy a new one together. So it seems both genders partake in forecasting a future together.

* I asked a dating pal if she does this too, and when she assured me she does, I knew I wasn’t alone in this behavior.

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7 responses to “Do you project life with your date?”

  1. Strblonde Avatar

    No, DG, you certainly are not alone in this behavior. With the last guy (Iowa guy) I definitely was doing that, but only AFTER he was talking about how we’d do this together and do that together,e tc. HE was the one who was projecting FIRST I am sure. I wanted to be cautious this time. Trouble was, after I started fantasizing that’s when he decided to move to Alaska! So was it just his way out? He could have stayed an extra year to see where the relationship went before making his big move. After all, originally he hadn’t planned to go until 2010. So I tell myself…… time – NO FANTASIZING! Easy to say.

  2. Bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    You have been reading my mind yet again, I just know it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t met my OL friend in person yet and already I’m guilty of this, wondering what life with him would be like. Of course it doesn’t help that I’ve also been fantasizing about a change of climate for some time now, even before we met.

    While I enjoy these fantasies they also scare me as he has said we can’t possibly know how we’ll hit it off until we meet in person (and he’s right), yet I’m scared of fantasizing and falling in love with him because of the fantasies only to have my heart broken yet again. I’m trying to tell myself to stop fantasizing about him, but even when I can control my conscious thoughts to some degree, my dreams are another matter entirely.

    Ah, the joys of midlife dating… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best wishes from bookyone ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. dirty filthy princess Avatar

    oh no, you are not alone. I’m married now but I did this when I was dating.

    I liked your examples but couldn’t identify with any of them. What do you imagine when you meet a guy with a regular working man’s job? Or is that not your type.

    (Sort of being silly teasing here…)

  4. Paulette Avatar

    First, as to whether you’re weird or not, well, you’re in good company if we collectively conclude you are! Just yesterday, in fact, I had a coffee date with someone I knew very little about. Yes, I read into the words I saw online, on the plus side before meeting with him. Then, while chatting for a couple hours over an iced tea, I found myself imagine lots (and lots and lots!) of things on the minus side. The great news here was that I think there was a mutual non-love connection! However, as you recently discussed in another post, it looks like he may be helpful in making some professional connections on my behalf. So it was worth getting dated up, regardless.

  5. Strblonde Avatar

    Do you suppose if we were negative thinkers that we would not fantasize like this???

  6. Deborah Avatar

    I am guilty of this, and it can really mess with my head. However, I think you can also use those fantasies to force yourself to be honest about the potential for a relationship. I once dated a guy with two kids, 5 and 7 years old. I was fantasizing about hanging out with his children, when I realized I didn’t want young children in my life all the time. Had I not allowed myself to daydream ahead, I don’t think I would have realized that. I’ve also learned to recognize that if I’m fantasizing about a BIG change in my lifestyle, then something is wrong: it means I’m not happy with how things are going in my life, not that the guy is “the one.”

  7. Nick Avatar

    Strblonde – I can be a negative thinker in general (in fact, a significant part of my job requires me to do so). But if I can’t visualize being with her doing the mundane stuff, then it’s difficult for me to believe that we’d be able to hold each other’s interest.