I love him — but he’s not real!

A letter writer is in love with a fictional character on TV.

Can our elder help?

Dear EWC

I recently started watching a show and fell in love with one of the characters. He’s the prince in the show. I kinda have butterflies when I see him. But in the show he’s gay and as his punishment he had to marry a woman he doesn’t love and also have a child with her. We never see if he actually has a child or not but for some reason the thought of him having a child with another woman makes my heart hurt. You may find this as crazy but if you read enough you’ll see there are a lot of people like me who are really attached to fictional characters. So because I thought about him having a baby with another women it makes my sick to my stomach. What should I do?

Athena replies

I hear you!  I believe all of us fantasize from time to time about a life we wish we had and sometimes become so attached to the fantasy that we lose sight of our own life.  Some fantasy is good, but when it supplants all else, you are right —time to consider why you aren’t engaging in your real life.

I wonder if what you are feeling is a sense of fear or insecurity about your ability to be in fulfilling relationships.  Have you had relationships that didn’t turn out well, were you ridiculed at some point, which made you feel insecure?  Or perhaps you never took rirks with people and the longer you wait the harder it is to make the first step.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon—when we are feeling stuck—to over think everything.  Over thinking makes it feel like we are taking action, when in reality we are simply avoiding the real problem.

So my advice is that in order to get out of your head you have to start living your life—not escaping to the life of fantasy TV.  The way to do is this is to get out there and meet people and do things for fun.  Fifteen years ago when I had gone through a divorce and was lamenting being single, my father wisely said, “You have to get out of the house. One thing is for sure—you won’t meet anyone home alone in your living room.”

If he were alive today, he would give you the same advice.  Once you develop a life of your own you will no longer have worries about TV characters anymore than you would worry about a character in a book.  You would relate to it, but it wouldn’t consume your every waking moment.

So my suggestion is that you take a risk. Get outside your comfort zone.  Go to a meet up, join a club, volunteer, contact a long lost friend—just get out of the house and engage in the world.  The more you do that, the less you will brood and the more likely you will find that your life leads the way and TV becomes a fun distraction and not an all consuming view of the world.

While this sounds easy on paper I know it may be hard so you will have to be firm with yourself and demand that you take a few steps towards this each week. And when you start to brood or get too obsessed with TV characters, remind yourself that you have a mission:  to build your life because you deserve it!

I wish you best and encourage you to write to EWC with any concerns.

Letter #: 407324
Category: Self-Improvement

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