Fantasising – the act of imagining scenarios, romantic or sexual, with somebody else (maybe your partner, maybe not) – is one of the most common human acts in relationships.
But will it lead to cheating? Does it mean you’re unfulfilled? Is it a cry from your subconscious to move onto the next?
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First things first: yes, we do know that you fantasise. Don’t clutch your pearls – almost every sexually healthy person does. Still, it’s an act which is surrounded with taboos, and can be regarded as ‘mental infidelity’. So where did this attitude come from, and what should concern you?
The Origins Of Shaming Fantasists
The blame for actually comes from Dr Sigmund Freud, who said in 1908 that “a happy person never fantasises, only a dissatisfied one.” Fortunately for us, Freud was dead wrong.
In fact, these days therapists are more likely to encourage fantasising, since it can reveal wants or needs you aren’t willing to explore in real life.
Does It Mean I’m Dissatisfied?
Sexually, we’re creatures of variety – and long-term relationships aren’t the avenue to surprise every night. Particularly if you’re masturbating, fantasies are normal – they add more passion to things, and fantasising at random times means that your libido is kept healthy and developing.
If you’re actively pretending that your partner is somebody else while you’re actually in the act, though, this may be a sign that you’re either wanting something different, or just not connecting properly.
Romantically, women in long-term relationships often confess to fantasising about a new relationship – not necessarily a ‘better’ one, just one that means they can experience the heady rush of emotions that those first-date weeks bring.
This doesn’t mean you’re tired or bored. It’s a nostalgia, and a desire for originality or the ability to feel free. It’s only when you start looking at your own life as far less preferable than the fantasy – actively despising or deploring it – that you know it’s a signal to move on.
Does It Mean I’ll Cheat?
If you’re fantasising heavily about a particular person in your life rather than celebrities or amorphous ideas, then you may worry that you’ll cheat.
However, there’s a massive gap between admiring the shoulders of the barista and actually putting that into action.
Fantasising is a safe space; if anything, the whole point is that it never reaches reality. If you’re tempted to turn your fantasies real, you’ve moved beyond just imagining into more dangerous territory, and that will be the fault of many other things, not the fantasy itself.
Should I Tell My Partner?
Part of the necessary function of fantasies is their privacy. In a relationship, it’s a way to keep your own sexual energies and appetites independent.
If you share them with your partner, you may end up feeling as if you’ve given too much of yourself, and now you don’t even have a private little dream world to retreat to.
If the question of fantasising comes up, admit it readily, but explain why you’d rather keep the details to yourself if you’re unwilling. Communication is important in an area where feelings may be hurt.
If your partner asks, “Do you fantasise about people with bigger boobs/bigger muscles/more hair,” reassure them – it’s their insecurities at play, and they need to be dealt with together.
The Final Word
Basically, a healthy, consciously monitored mental sex life is good for you. Go on – those little interludes about Davis Boreanaz/Monica Belluci won’t hurt a soul.
Lady Friday xx
Taking the pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday…
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