The Pedestal Syndrome


The Pedestal Syndrome

I know the case of the pedestal boyfriend all too well. Looking in my own rear-view mirror, I’ve put a lot of guys up on this platform – this very grand, very tall, very lavish untouchable platform, worshipping them for all that made them special and all that made them just regular guys. I even expended my energy justifying their asshole moments as necessary causalities on their way to increased awesomeness.

No, I’m not proud of this.


Have you ever dated this guy? The guy that right off the bat you decided he had near Godly status? That he was perfect in just about every way? And as time went on, his status continued to elevate? Every little thing he did boosted his allure in your mind and in your heart just a bit more until you looked up to him so much that you had a crick in your neck, not to mention became the nerve of everyone of your friends who grew tired of hearing how perfect so-and-so was. This guy became the guy you wanted to show off all the time because your admiration overflowed. He became the guy you would do anything for; when he said “jump”, you said “how high?” He became the guy that became flawless to you… even his wrongs were right.
Don’t worry – it is a common phenomenon. And I now know why I did it and why some of you to may be motivated to elevate the men in your life to superduper status.

Is it because we all have narcissistic daddies who taught us to honor thy fathers to an extreme and that has now manifested into honoring our men to that same extreme? Could be… but not likely the case for most of us.
It is because we all have an undying urge to praise and honor good people.

Sure, loving to praise may be a piece of our DNA – a wonderful piece mind you, but it doesn’t serve as a dominate motivator.

In most cases, the pedestal syndrome comes from not having a pedestal of your own. Often in relationships we seek in others what we lack in ourselves. And in this case, for the woman, including formally yours truly, who can’t find a way to build herself up, she builds her man up instead and the more he is built up, the more she falls for him, because after all, a near perfect in every way person is, rather attractive. In some ways, she hopes his greatness will rub off on her. If only.

And while yes, being an encouraging fan of a mate is definitely a gorgeous thing, when the cheers are cheered with blinders on, with utter disregard for your own need to for self-building, the effect is always short-lived. You run out of pedestal boosting fuel and eventually you not only see the man for who he truly is – a regular Joe leaving a lot of room for disillusionment… but you also are left depleted and most of the time resentful for having given so much without having made time to give to yourself.

So it all comes down to this. In all of your superpower capability of self-awareness, when you notice that you are throwing Joe up on a pedestal (MAJOR SIGNS: over-gushing or being in awe that he would be with lil ol’ you, your high is his happiness/success), take a minute to remove your blinders. See your guy for who he really is, but more importantly evaluate your own self-worth. Literally envision you on your own pedestal and see how it ranks up against Joe’s. If it plummets in comparison, now may not be the time for you to be in a relationship. Instead, now is likely the time for you to work on elevating your inner self-worth so that when a fabulous guy comes along you will healthfully be able to cheer him on, while at the same time, cheer on yourself. This way you will both be able to ride high, soaring on your self-risen perfectly balanced, pedestals together.

Live and love largely,

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Tristan Coopersmith

Marriage and Family Therapist

Tristan Coopersmith, M.A. MFTi

Location: Hermosa Beach, CA
Credentials: BA, MA, MFTI
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