When The Fun House Stops Being Fun: 10 Ways to Tell if Your Relationship is Real or Fantasy

by Stephanie Gates As a child I loved amusement parks that had a fun house of mirrors. Looking at u...

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As a child I loved amusement parks that had a fun house of mirrors. Looking at unreal images of myself was amusing; it was part of the creative play of my childhood. I laughed as I looked at myself stretched out, then I looked at myself all scrunched up, and I would crack up laughing. Those mirrors made fantasy fun!

I started thinking about those mirrors again recently, but from a grown woman’s perspective. I thought about the many conversations that women have—some I’ve been privy to, and participated in, and others I’ve ease dropped on in various situations. And all of these conversations converged into the idea of fun house mirrors and their roles in relationships. I wonder how many of us are looking through a distorted lens at our relationship instead of what’s really looking back at us. There’s no time like the present for us to get real about our relationships. So, I’ve composed a list ten reasons your relationship might not be real. You know you’re in the fun house when. . .

. . .You only get to see him on the designated Other Woman holidays (the day before or the day after) with the exception being New Year’s Eve which is a couples’ holiday right up there with Valentine’s and Sweetest Day.

. . . He’s too busy. Men make time for what they want to make time for. So, if he’s busy all time, spending time with you is not a priority. He should only be as important to you as you are to him.

. . . You’re checking his phone, hacking into is his accounts, trolling for trouble, following him around or boldly confronting other women about him. If you have to expend that much energy keeping him in check, is it worth it? Promise rings, marriage licenses, children and time spent are not bills of sale. You don't own him or control him; you control you.

. . . You’re still his fiancĂ©e three or more years after the engagement. How long do you need to stay engaged? If you don't know each other after three years, you'll never know each other. You are a long-term girl friend, nothing more, nothing less. If you can’t nail down a date, maybe it’s time for you to move on.

. . . When you want to be married, but you’re not, and you lie. You tell people you like things the way they are or you use his last name as if it is really yours. How much longer are you willing to “play house”?

. . . When you think that having a baby will make him stay. Have you looked at the stats on single mothers? The divorce rates? If he has other children by other women, what makes you think he’ll commit to you?

. . . When he’s honest with you, but lying to her. Stop lying to yourself that you’re anything other than the side piece. It’s not that complicated. Something is making him stay.

. . . When the only one still in the relationship is you. How hard are you willing to hold on to what has already slipped from your grip?

. . . When you find that he has magician like qualities; now you see him, now you don’t. The next time he reappears, maybe you should try a little magic of your own and make him disappear.

. . . When the only time you’re enjoying yourself is when you’re horizontal. At some point, you have to be vertical. Can what you have hold up?

I don’t claim to be anybody’s relationship expert. I’m simply sharing life experiences—mine and others. I'm neither judge nor the jury on what people choose to do. I’m simply suggesting that we look at the distorted images for what they are--fantasy. When we are honest, we don't accept Fantasy as Truth. When we confuse the two, we allow ourselves to become disillusioned, the fun house becomes lonely and scary place. When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? If the fun house has stopped being fun, find your way to the nearest exit.


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