Have you ever heard of "premature infatuation"? This is a syndrome that occurs in adults of dating age who are actively searching for a special love relationship. They imagine their ideal savior and project that image onto another person — whether he or she deserves it or not. When feeling that spark or chemistry, they confuse these feelings for real love and end up with premature infatuation. When the projection fades, it's like a part of them gets cut off from air and they can't breathe. Doesn't sound so romantic, does it?
The aftermath is filled with a search to get yourself back to that magical place when you were together. No one else will do, and only that person holds the magic to create those feelings inside of you. You feel lost without them, and the high of the infatuation is matched by the low of the abandonment.
What follows? So many wasted nights pining over this image, fueled by the idea of a person that you decided meant so much to you. You forget that you are the one who chose them, made them special and created the feelings of adoration. Now, the good news is that if you created the image, then the love and idea is INSIDE of you, not inside of them. You hold the key to moving on.
The reason you get infatuated is that you deny the most beautiful and amazing parts of yourself. This gold inside is hidden and is a part of your love shadow. When you meet someone, you project your own gold onto them, forgetting who you are and believing they hold all the magic. So many people approach shadow-work as facing the dark and negative in us, but most of the things we can't see or acknowledge about ourselves are incredible. We were born to search for this "awesomeness" but the world has told us to look outside, especially through the acceptance and approval of others. (Shadow is a termed coined by Carl Jung about the unconscious parts of us that we deny or suppress that direct our relationships with others).
If you reclaim these wonderful parts of you, you will stop projecting and see people as they truly are through your own beautiful eyes. No longer allowing someone to hold you captive in fear of loss, you can make love decisions based on truth. Many people ask if real love is less exciting because you aren't projecting anymore. The answer is that it is actually much better. Imagine feeling those great feelings without the fear of loss, and coming from a strong foundation that you want to give, not get love. That is true love.
We naturally crave infatuation because we are designed to search for this love. But the problem arises when we are searching for it "out there" instead of inside ourselves. It is like we live as though we are a homeless person who doesn't know he or she has a million dollars in the bank.
You may have heard the idea that people have a poverty-mindset with money, and that is why they cannot seem to attract abundance in their life. The same goes with love; when you approach love from a place of starvation, you will grasp for that magic — the knight or princess to rescue you.
When you become infatuated, this dream image is projected onto the person of your affection and you aren't even seeing them; just the ideal fantasy image. If you don't believe you are good enough, then you will reject this ideal, feeling as though you are unworthy of it. The cycle of heartache continues.
Transforming this habit of projection doesn't occur overnight, but you can begin today by noticing how you are making up stories about people you have just met. Step back and watch how your mind is craving to make them "the one" and remind yourself that it is not as real as it feels.
A simple question to ask yourself, "Why am I making this person so special?" I recommend understanding yourself with curiosity and compassion (not a desire to "fix" yourself) because every person becomes infatuated and is seeking love in some form. There is a freedom that arises, though, when you realize they aren't the answer to your dreams... you are.
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