by Meghan Rizzo
A woman’s heart is a vessel of complex desires; within it lies a conflict between needs and dreams. The woman needs security and comfort, but craves adventure. She wants to be treated well, but understands the allure of the ‘bad boy.’ She knows there is no such thing as a perfect relationship, but she will never give up on true love.
No matter how content she may be, no matter how many of her needs are met, at times, wistful memories of beloved childhood fairy tales and their ‘happily ever afters’ arise. When life becomes routine and just a bit too comfortable, a certain longing takes hold, an escape is needed, and this woman suddenly finds herself in love with a fictional character.
Fictional characters represent the absolute ideal. They are perfect to the point of being inhuman (and many of them are). How many times, for example, does an author describe the central romantic character having to use the bathroom or even eat? This character leads a life full of adventure and drama, without tending to the mundane and routine necessities of life, and a women smitten with such a character imagines herself his beloved companion. She lives vicariously through the pages of a book or the glow of a TV screen.
Surprisingly, some of the characters women lust after possess highly undesirable traits. Dr. Gregory House, for example, of the TV show House M.D. has become quite the sex symbol. However, his character is addicted to narcotics, he is cold and mean-spirited, and he takes a sadistic sort of pleasure in making others uncomfortable. So, why the appeal? Each woman imagines herself being the sole individual who can tame the beast within, and how special she would feel if she were the only one considered worthy enough not only to be treated nicely by such a character, but to be adored by him. The current vampire mania also confirms this theory.
Women who fall in love with fictional characters are not delusional. They do not expect their objects of affection to climb out of their novels or TV screens and sweep them off their feet. They are merely indulging in fantasy, and this is a healthy outlet for any woman who finds herself slightly bored with the status quo.
Falling in love with fictional characters is actually quite common and there is nothing abnormal about it. Fantasy makes for a wonderful pastime and it is particularly useful for women already in relationships as fantasy can enhance sexual experiences.
On the other hand, the desire for an individual who doesn’t even exist can be damaging if it becomes overwhelming. The besotted woman might find herself expecting the real people in her life to be like these fictional characters. Obviously, no one can live up to expectations based in fantasy and a woman who has unrealistic demands will find herself sorely disappointed.
Some women even become obsessed with these fabricated objects of affection. They might spend an inordinate amount of time perusing fan websites or watching the same film over and over again. This is not healthy and might even be indicative of a mental illness such as depression.
When a woman can find a balance in which she has appreciation for her real, but flawed life and can accept fantasy for what it is, then falling in love with a fictional character poses no harm and can actually be great fun.