As defined, Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence, rationality, or reality. It is a product of resolving conflicts between belief and desire.
For many people, such as myself, I used to live my life based on wishful thinking. This is a very unhealthy and harmful way to live your life. With any situation, you should always “hope for the best, and expect the worst”. With my previous relationship, I spent the first 6 months expecting the worst. For example, I always thought he was going to walk out on me. (Which he did, but that’s beside the point.) I thought he was going to cheat on me, turn into some asshole, or I would find out something dark about him. All that anxiety and worry was built up in my mind every single day. When you are constantly thinking negative thoughts about your life or someone in it, it really can hurt you. Only thinking positive thoughts can hurt you as well. You wouldn’t think that always looking on the bright side, or having hope could be a bad thing. It’s all about balancing the good and the bad. You have to balance your thoughts and learn how to control them. For me, this has been a very difficult process.
Within the last months of my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, I wasn’t even in the present moment. I was so caught up in wishful thinking that I failed to enjoy the days spent with him. In my head, I thought I was going to marry this man. No questions asked. I honestly that he was the one for me. This is not the first time I have had wishful thinking in a relationship. I also thought these same things about other guys in my past. My relationship with my ex-boyfriend was the best one I have had so far, so it only made wishful thinking that much worse. Wishful thinking is not a bad thing. Just like anything else, you can have too much of a good thing. If you strictly only think about the good outcomes, you will be much more disappointed if things do not go your way. I have learned my lesson, over and over again. You can only get your hopes up and your heart broke so many times before something finally clicks. A wake-up call. Slap in the face by reality. Of course, it is going to be a constant struggle. It is not easy at the beginning. But you have to start somewhere when managing your thoughts.
Start by living your life for the moment. In reality, all we ever have is the moment. You have the accept the fact that you have no control over what is going to happen in the future with other people. Sure, you can prepare for your own future and in a way you will determine your own future. For example, you can control your education, job, and what not. But, you can control how other people are going to treat you. It doesn’t matter how much you worry, the truth is you never really know when someone will be out of your life. Death may take them away. They may chose another path and you might lose contact with them. Whatever happens, it is beyond your control.
When it comes to “dating”, wishful thinking can be a HUGE problem. Personally, I always wanted to find ONE guy to settle down with and share my life with ONLY them. That’s not a problem to have that vision for myself, the problem was thinking it was a certain person too soon. You really have to take time to get to know someone before having those thoughts. Sure, have wishful thinking but always realize the facts and come back to reality. For example, I have been sleeping with this guy for a month or so. At first, I didn’t look into it, told myself it was going to be a one-night stand. Due to mine and his emotional state things have been dragged on longer. At one point, I thought we were going to get together. I was being naive. At the time, I was pissed off when he told me this but it actually makes a lot of sense. He told me one night when I was upset and questioning him about his confusing actions. He says, “Just because a guy is nice to a girl, takes a girl out, she can be good company but that doesn’t mean he wants to be with her.” My wishful thinking was going on and that crushed me at that moment. I was not in any emotional state to even be in a relationship especially with a guy I barely know and who has his own emotional battles going on. I always think about what he said because it is the truth. When dating someone you are getting to know them and enjoying their company. You have to give you relationship time to develop. It is scary when feelings start happening because you become more vulnerable and wishful thinking will come more frequent. It is true, I do care for Doug right now but I have accepted the facts. The truth is we are still getting to know each other and we both have a lot of emotional work to do before we could ever be in a relationship with anymore. It is difficult, especially for a woman, not to gain feelings for a man. Especially, if you are having sex with them. I have learned how to control my emotions. I tell myself every time I see Doug. It is going to be a good time. I may never hear from him again but I will enjoy my time with him instead of worrying about what I can not change.
That’s how the dating game should go. I am still learning this myself but it has really helped me from getting my feelings hurt. If you only look at things for the moment, try not to put so much hope into someone too soon, your emotions will balance themselves out. At least, this strategy has been working for me. In the past, I met a guy, enjoyed his company, and jumped into a relationship with him from the very beginning! This is the reason why I believe my past relationships have failed. It is necessary to really take some time to get to know that person before you can make that decision. I mean, you are only choosing to share your life with someone, give them your love, invest your time, and risk your heart. No big deal, right? Be smart and be honest with yourself. Do not convince yourself that you are going to end up with a certain person. Accept the fact that you may get hurt again, but remember you can get through it. Nothing is ever set in stone. It is a constant risk allowing someone in your life. It is up to you how you decide to deal with your thoughts and emotions. Facing reality and being logical seems like common sense. It is hard when you get yourself caught up in wishful thinking. Always remember that your wishful thinking is only thoughts of what you want to happen but don’t forget that they may not come true. Look at all the possibilities of your situation. Accept each and every outcome. Once you accept every outcome, you are setting yourself up for success. You may still get your hopes up, you may still get your heart broken, but at least you will be able to get through it easier because you have already accepted it. By living in the moment, I have saved myself from many disappointments and I have enjoyed my life incredibility more than when I was constantly anxious for the future or caught up in wishful thinking.