Is this a mental health issue or just loneliness?

Postby JJ1243 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:48 pm

Around 6-8 years ago I was a teenager and I was on holiday. I was at one of the main tourist attractions of the city I was in and I saw a woman giving out flyers and she was the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Whenever I think of a beautiful woman she is what comes to mind.

I even tried finding her on Facebook and thankfully never found her (she gave us her name). I don't know whats wrong with me and I find it pathetic that after all these years I still remember her despite the most I interacted with her was a quick chat and her giving me a flyer. It doesn't affect my life to the point were I can't have a relationship though, on the few occasions I have gotten to know other women (but not be in a full on relationship) I completely forget about her. Then when I stop talking to them she appears in my mind again.

I just hate how I cant forget about her. I also visited the same city again recently (it was a fun trip with friends it had nothing to do with her) and I got curious and looked up videos on YouTube of the year I went the first time and the tourist attraction we were at and I found her in one of the videos. I definitely recognised her despite the low quality of mobile phone cameras back then. It has made me feel sad about how fast time flies and how I am still thinking about this woman and I'm still single and how shes most likely married with kids.

I feel like such a pathetic man. I keep telling myself that she is most likely married with kids by now and I will never see her again and she doesn't even know I exist and I will find the right person. I am hoping when I do find the right person she will be wiped from my memory forever. I don't know if I have a mental problem or if it is just loneliness.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:35 pm

A “mental problem” can reasonably include any recurring thought that negatively impacts a person’s life in any significant way.

The above is a lot to consider. It isn’t always clear how significant. After all, what is the real issue with having a recurring thought of a beautiful stranger? How is it materially impacting your life?

I for example enjoy Sofia Vergara. Besides physical attraction, I enjoy her public persona. But, I am not ignorant enough to believe my fantasy version of Sofia. I realize it is a simulated person that does not really exist. I realize that in my mind Sofia is nothing more than imagination. The real Sofia is not my Sofia.

Point being, whatever indulgence I allow myself does not negatively impact my life.

The woman you briefly met is not married and does not have kids. How do I know this? Because the women you met is 99% fiction. The woman you met is currently in jail for elderly abuse, or maybe she has a boyfriend that she is sleeping around on. This morning she woke up, lit up a cigarette and kicked her cat. Why don’t you have these fantasies about her? Because that is not how the fictitious her exists in your mind.

At this point it doesn’t appear like your imagination is a mental health issue. It does not appear that your imagination is doing any really damage to your life...yet. The fact you posted in here shows the concern you have for your imagination, which means you are self aware that your imagination can get away from you.

My advice is to start a small journal. Write a paragraph or two about this fiction. This will help take the fiction out of your head. Then, like a good book you read, keep it on the shelf. That way you need not worry that you will lose the memory of this imaginary woman. She can always be a part of your life, recorded in a couple of paragraphs in a journal somewhere.
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#2

Postby JJ1243 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:29 pm

After all, what is the real issue with having a recurring thought of a beautiful stranger? How is it materially impacting your life?

I do not want to be thinking of this stranger for the rest of my life especially when I eventually marry and have kids. My fear is that she wont go away when I start a relationship with someone.


At this point it doesn’t appear like your imagination is a mental health issue. It does not appear that your imagination is doing any really damage to your life...yet. The fact you posted in here shows the concern you have for your imagination, which means you are self aware that your imagination can get away from you.

My advice is to start a small journal. Write a paragraph or two about this fiction. This will help take the fiction out of your head. Then, like a good book you read, keep it on the shelf. That way you need not worry that you will lose the memory of this imaginary woman. She can always be a part of your life, recorded in a couple of paragraphs in a journal somewhere.


I want her out of my head completely. Imagine explaining to a future partner about this beautiful stranger I briefly met nearly a decade ago and now I have written a small journal about her. That doesn't seem like it would help a relationship. In fact she would probably think I'm crazy.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:51 pm

So you are currently imagining that your imaginary wife who is raising your imaginary children will in your imagination be angry when you tell her about an imaginary journal entry about an imaginary woman from a decade ago.

It sounds like your real life issue is spending too much time sitting around imagining things.

That is not necessarily a mental health issue. Rather, it is a too much spare time on your hands issue. Set some goals, get active pursuing things in life that occupy and focus the mind. This will reduce the free time you have for your imaginary woman, imaginary wife, and imaginary children.
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#4

Postby JJ1243 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:45 am

So you are currently imagining that your imaginary wife who is raising your imaginary children will in your imagination be angry when you tell her about an imaginary journal entry about an imaginary woman from a decade ago.

It sounds like your real life issue is spending too much time sitting around imagining things.

That is not necessarily a mental health issue. Rather, it is a too much spare time on your hands issue. Set some goals, get active pursuing things in life that occupy and focus the mind. This will reduce the free time you have for your imaginary woman, imaginary wife, and imaginary children.



I am a currently a student who works part time so I do have a lot of free time on my hands. I guess when I do work full time and get into a relationship I will hopefully be too busy with life to be thinking about her.


What do you think should be done about the video? It is a tourist filming the general area for around 15 minutes and she’s in the video for about 20 seconds. Is it unhealthy to keep watching the video? Can I use it for motivation or should I just try to forget about the video completely?
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#5

Postby JJ1243 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:09 am


It sounds like your real life issue is spending too much time sitting around imagining things.

That is not necessarily a mental health issue. Rather, it is a too much spare time on your hands issue. Set some goals, get active pursuing things in life that occupy and focus the mind. This will reduce the free time you have for your imaginary woman, imaginary wife, and imaginary children.


Ever since seeing her I have had imaginations in my head of me interacting with her. These range from everything including meeting her in restaurants, bumping into her in college and getting to know her, marrying her, going to the gym with her, saving her from danger etc.

I’ve even imagined kissing her and having sex with her.


I don’t know if that’s a cause for concern or if it’s just a result of not being in a relationship.
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#6

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:28 am

My best advice is to get active in other things in life. The more you do, the more active you are, the less you will be inclined to fantasize about an imaginary relationship.
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#7

Postby JJ1243 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:53 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:My best advice is to get active in other things in life. The more you do, the more active you are, the less you will be inclined to fantasize about an imaginary relationship.



Thank you. I thought I was going crazy still thinking about this woman. I’ve watched the video twice but I’ll stop watching it and hopefully forget about it.

Do you think I use her to fantasise about being a relationship due to me being single and her in my mind being the most beautiful woman I’ve seen?

Hopefully the start of the new college year and a full time job after college and a relationship with somebody will do the trick and she’ll leave my mind forever.
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#8

Postby Candid » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:38 pm

JJ1243 wrote:I’ve even imagined kissing her and having sex with her.


Fancy that!



:wink: Seriously, there must be millions of teenage/early-20s lads all over the world right now wanking away while thinking of actresses, models, friends' sexy mothers or the gorgeous gal on the street handing out flyers seven years ago. I say watch the video as much as you like, and be inspired.

Do you think I use her to fantasise about being a relationship due to me being single and her in my mind being the most beautiful woman I’ve seen?


Very likely. It's also possible, you being a student, that you're surrounded by young, beautiful and available women but lack the confidence to approach one or more of them (I'm a big fan of playing the numbers game). But who knows? If you ask one of them out, she might laugh or say something nasty and then giggle about you with all her friends.

The most beautiful woman you've ever seen, who was handing out promotional material in a city you don't live in, will never hurt your feelings as long as you (and she) live.

Hopefully the start of the new college year and a full time job after college and a relationship with somebody will do the trick and she’ll leave my mind forever.


That would be a shame, I think. As long as you never have her (if you know what I mean), she'll remain the perfect woman... one you can keep for all eternity. But you know, it isn't up to her to leave your mind. Stay or go, she doesn't need your permission. And you don't need hers.

You'll never be in a happier hunting ground than you're in right now. Aim to make as many friends on campus as you can (both genders), and the rest will fall into place.
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#9

Postby JJ1243 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:59 pm

I say watch the video as much as you like, and be inspired.


Do you mean like use the video to better myself and use it as inspiration to find a perfect partner? I did start going to the gym and clean myself up in general when I returned from the holiday thinking if I want to have a beautiful partner I need to get fit.



Very likely. It's also possible, you being a student, that you're surrounded by young, beautiful and available women but lack the confidence to approach one or more of them (I'm a big fan of playing the numbers game). But who knows? If you ask one of them out, she might laugh or say something nasty and then giggle about you with all her friends.

The most beautiful woman you've ever seen, who was handing out promotional material in a city you don't live in, will never hurt your feelings as long as you (and she) live.



That would be a shame, I think. As long as you never have her (if you know what I mean), she'll remain the perfect woman... one you can keep for all eternity. But you know, it isn't up to her to leave your mind. Stay or go, she doesn't need your permission. And you don't need hers.

You'll never be in a happier hunting ground than you're in right now. Aim to make as many friends on campus as you can (both genders), and the rest will fall into place.


I guess she can stay in my mind and be used as inspiration until I've found the perfect partner. Maybe she'll leave if she sees me in a relationship.
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#10

Postby Candid » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:13 am

JJ1243 wrote:Do you mean like use the video to better myself and use it as inspiration to find a perfect partner? I did start going to the gym and clean myself up in general when I returned from the holiday thinking if I want to have a beautiful partner I need to get fit.


That wasn't what I meant, but it sounds like a good thing.

I guess she can stay in my mind and be used as inspiration until I've found the perfect partner. Maybe she'll leave if she sees me in a relationship.


You're a very earnest young man, aren't you? The flighty ones among living, breathing young women will probably ignore you until they grow up a bit, but by the time you're ready to marry (mid-30s, maybe?) the more serious among them will have noticed you're gold. Your future wife will probably approach you and make it clear she wants you, which means you won't ever have to face rejection.

The only thing that troubles me about this post is the personification of this mental image, as if it comes to your mind of its own volition and you have nothing to do with it. I suggest you grow it up. Find a picture of the kind of old woman she'll be in 40 years' time and look at it whenever you think of her.

That's you thinking of her, not her deciding when to pop in and visit you. If you really think the idealised woman in your mind is choosing to visit you and will "leave if she sees [you] with someone else", you need to see a head doctor. Seriously.
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#11

Postby JJ1243 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:31 pm

That wasn't what I meant, but it sounds like a good thing.


What was it you meant if I may ask?




The only thing that troubles me about this post is the personification of this mental image, as if it comes to your mind of its own volition and you have nothing to do with it. I suggest you grow it up. Find a picture of the kind of old woman she'll be in 40 years' time and look at it whenever you think of her.


She comes to my mind when I think about being in a relationship with a woman. She is the perfect woman in my head.

That's you thinking of her, not her deciding when to pop in and visit you. If you really think the idealised woman in your mind is choosing to visit you and will "leave if she sees [you] with someone else", you need to see a head doctor. Seriously.


I meant when I am in a relationship I will hopefully be to preoccupied to have thoughts about her because I won't be single anymore.
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#12

Postby Candid » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:05 pm

JJ1243 wrote:What was it you meant if I may ask?


I thought it would be clear from the sentences preceding it; I suggested you use the video to spice up the imaginary sexual encounters you have with this woman.

Your idea was much better because much more you. And much less sleazy.

She comes to my mind when I think about being in a relationship with a woman. She is the perfect woman in my head.


More accurate to say you bring her to mind when you want to feel sexy or romantic. Not even the imaginary She is entering the sanctity of your head, and the real one stopped thinking about you the second she handed a flyer to someone else.

I meant when I am in a relationship I will hopefully be to preoccupied to have thoughts about her because I won't be single anymore.


Exactly. I've heard of carrying a torch for someone, but this is carrying a torch eight years too long. I'm relieved to know a) you don't really believe she "comes" to you and "will leave" when you find someone else; and b) you acknowledge she's "the perfect woman in your head". And only in your head, as Richard pointed out. She doesn't actually exist.

Real women have periods, and bad moods, and forget to smile -- often all at the same time. A woman trying to sell you a product or an experience is working. It was her job to charm you.
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#13

Postby JJ1243 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:05 am

Candid wrote:
JJ1243 wrote:What was it you meant if I may ask?


I thought it would be clear from the sentences preceding it; I suggested you use the video to spice up the imaginary sexual encounters you have with this woman.

Your idea was much better because much more you. And much less sleazy.

She comes to my mind when I think about being in a relationship with a woman. She is the perfect woman in my head.


More accurate to say you bring her to mind when you want to feel sexy or romantic. Not even the imaginary She is entering the sanctity of your head, and the real one stopped thinking about you the second she handed a flyer to someone else.

I meant when I am in a relationship I will hopefully be to preoccupied to have thoughts about her because I won't be single anymore.


Exactly. I've heard of carrying a torch for someone, but this is carrying a torch eight years too long. I'm relieved to know a) you don't really believe she "comes" to you and "will leave" when you find someone else; and b) you acknowledge she's "the perfect woman in your head". And only in your head, as Richard pointed out. She doesn't actually exist.

Real women have periods, and bad moods, and forget to smile -- often all at the same time. A woman trying to sell you a product or an experience is working. It was her job to charm you.



Thanks. This makes me feel a bit better.
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#14

Postby surajshantanu » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:54 am

hi dear,


"what mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversations."
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