Real Love vs Fantasy

My journey out of the trauma bond, love addiction, and deep codependency required that I really master what real love behaved like vs what fantasy (euphoria) behaved like.

I had to associate love with different behaviors while caring for and nurturing my emotional needs and capacity. This took risk, experimentation, rest, and curiosity to achieve.

This quick-list is a result of that work. Use it to help you identify love or fantasy in your own thinking and behaviors and also see it in those you are relating with.

Note: Quick-lists & Infographics are snapshots on a concept or topic. They are, by nature, limited in their scope. It is entirely expected that the quick-list does not cover everything or may lack certain nuances. Keep that in mind while using them.

Real Love:

  • Supports you being yourself
  • Empowers boundaries
  • Respects your no and yes
  • Remarks kindly on your dreams, desires, your feelings
  • Enjoys time in your presence and space
  • Asks of you things kindly and safely
  • Makes difference and disagreement safe; owns mistakes & makes changes
  • Respects differences
  • Understands when you change your mind
  • Asks and inquires rather than assumes
  • Honest, direct, clear, and simple
  • Says no honestly
  • Sees the person as they are
  • Kind with mistakes


  • Feels like the other person completes you
  • Ignores the problems
  • Maximizes the kind moments
  • Minimizes the problems, abuses, neglect
  • You lose yourself in them
  • You are fixated on their potential
  • You feel on edge and insecure, as though you need to keep earning and proving your worthiness
  • Feel euphoric when they give you attention, affection, time
  • Feel gutted, emptied, lifeless or worthless when they reject you
  • “Walking on eggshells” is the normal
  • You see the person as you want them to be, not as they are
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