What Does Impossible Love Hide?

· January 22, 2017

Has this happened to you before? You fell in love with someone that you could not be with? Be this because one of you already had a commitment to another person, due to an extreme difference in age, because it was unrequited etc. Whatever the reason may be, you fell in love with a person who is considered off limits.

It is normal for this to happen at some point because the unreachable tends to be attractive, and this tends to happen most of all during adolescence: the typical student who has a crush on their teacher, but the problem comes when we always fall for people we cannot have, because then we are not talking about bad luck anymore, but about unconsciously seeking it.

3 kinds of impossible love

Ghost love

This is idealizing a person, giving them characteristics that we have always dreamed about. This is called a ghost because in reality, this person is not like we think; we are fooling ourselves and believing that they are exactly what we would like them to be, so we are falling in love with something that does not exist.

In psychoanalytical psychology, this is also called anaclitic love, which means that we choose to love someone specific because they have the features of someone who was very influential in our childhood and who satisfied our needs.

In this case, when the person realizes that the person they love is in fact not what they thought, they will be unhappy and let down, then they will put their feet on the floor again and stop idealizing and see the flaws in the person which they did not see at first due to their idealizing blindness.

Narcissistic love

When we look for someone who is like us or with features that we would like to have. It is like a sort of exaggerated selfishness.


These people are always looking for the ideal person and nobody ever seems good enough for them. Finding someone like them turns out to be very complicated because we are unique individuals, which is why a person who is searching for this kind of love tends not to find it.

Difficult love

This is where it is very complicated to make the love into something concrete. Examples: a teacher and a student, a significant age difference, a patient and a doctor, a single person and a married person.

Normally this kind of love is attractive because it is difficult but if it were achieved, interest might be lost because it tends to be a fleeting physical attraction, in other words, something passionate rather than emotional.

These three kinds of love could be categorized as “impossible” because they tend to create conflicts, the first because sooner or later we will be disappointed over our idealization of the other person when we see that they are not what they thought, the second because we will never find someone exactly like us, and the third because it is very difficult to obtain and if it were obtained, it would rarely work out long term.

According to psychoanalytical psychology, when we fall in love with impossible people, it is due to an unresolved Oedipus Complex: in the early years of our childhood, we fall in love with our mother or father, even though we know it is not right, and depending on how it is resolved and the treatment that our parents gave us as a result of this situation, we could be suck forever in this pattern of falling for people we cannot have.

How can we choose better?

The first thing to ask ourselves is why are we attracted to people we can’t have? Am I afraid of commitment and by fixating on impossible love, I don’t have to go through that? There are people who experience stress, fear, and danger upon entering into romantic intimacy, so by fixating on impossible love, they enjoy idyllic love but by not being able to turn it into a relationship, they feel safe in their comfort zones.

Another question to ask when searching for the root of the problem could be am I trying to fill a void from my childhood? For example, if we had a strict, authoritarian mother who did not value us, we unconsciously start fixating on someone we can’t have to relive this part of our childhood and this time, manage to get them to pay attention to us or give us something emotional that was missing.

The essential thing is to find the answer for why we cannot take an interest in more reachable people, the broadest reason is not being ready to get into a romantic relationship due to insecurities and fears because relationships are not a path of roses. They bring with them a high degree of commitment and responsibility, so by falling in love with people we cannot have, we enjoy the feelings, we release adrenaline, we dream, we are happy fooling ourselves for a while, but deep down inside us, we are terrified that they could feel the same way because idyllic love is really beautiful, but facing reality is really frightening.


First work on yourself, then find a partner

If you do not feel good about yourself, you are not ready to be with another person. These conflicts with oneself tend to be the reason why many people are unaware that they always have problems with love that they cannot make a reality.

Who doesn’t know a person who has never had a stable relationship and who lives in a world of impossible hopes and ideals? If we really look and analyze things, surely we will find that this person has personal problems.

The best thing would be to work on our self-esteem and acceptance of ourselves. Once we feel good about ourselves, love ourselves, and accept ourselves including our flaws, we would be ready to get into a romantic relationship and surely we would choose better potential candidates to share our lives with.

Image couresy of Pink Sherbet Photograph