Going into 2021, I looked back at my failures and successes in 2020. One ‘mistake’ I noticed during the prior year was not differentiating reality from my expectations. I thought about the possibilities and what I could achieve with the person, yet in truth, they wanted something different. In the end, I got hurt because they didn’t live up to the fantasies in my mind.

That being said, who’s fault was it? Mine. How could I be mad at someone for not reaching the expectations that I set for them in my head? I can’t. I hurt myself by seeing them as the person they could have been instead of the person they were.

I liked them for the idea that I had of them. A perfect future that required them to act exactly how I planned it out in my head. However, in reality, no one can do that. Creating impossible scenarios will ultimately lead to disappointment and pain in the long run.

Escaping Reality

This is where the problem starts. As someone who is an avid fan of rom-coms, I like to see the couple have these spontaneous acts of romance and in the end, they get together. Sadly, life isn’t a 2 hour feels good film that highlights only the best of one’s self. Still, it builds up these expectations that I set for the other person. I try to become the protagonist. Being there to make her laugh and smile and coming up with cheesy jokes.

I try to plan out dates and make moves in advance. This is where I escape reality. I envision how they’re going to react and I think about past conversations with them to predict future ones. I read too much into how they act and hence, the overthinking.

The kicker is, everything created in my head isn’t real. I was so out of touch of what was going on. I thought my thinking actually affected my relationship with them yet it didn’t. So while they continued on treating me the same, I don’t think I treated them the same. This disconnect ultimately proved to be fatal in how we saw each other and it all crumbled.

The Aftermath

As I move on, I realize that I need to start separating reality with the thoughts in my head. I don’t think thinking about your crush is a bad thing at all, neither is thinking about future plans and looking forward to them. Creating and setting expectations for anyone but yourself is going to lead towards your own downfall. Knowing this now, I can stop myself from sabotaging any future encounters or dates.

Stop thinking about your next move. Stop thinking about how they see you and what you can do to change that. Instead, start to live in the moment. Just have fun and don’t worry about it until you’re on the bed afterwards reliving the memories. Don’t overthink the way you are going to do something. The idea of the person you like can be so separate from the actual person and that is because of the mental leaps that you take.

Just go for it. This mentality is what will cause you to succeed now and further along the road. Trust in yourself and have some faith. Don’t ruin what you have by overthinking and doing mental gymnastics that will eventually ruin the relationship.