The Need to Idealize in Order to Love

The Need to Idealize in Order to Love

Last update: 15 November, 2022

When we fall in love, idealizing our significant other is not only inevitable, it is a necessity. That uncontrollable and passionate state, which is produced with such intensity, is based on the special view we have of the person we are in love with.

A special view which often leaves us in awe. Any positive trait in the other person is amplified in an exaggerated way. Also, any negative trait is reduced or ignored or even viewed as charming.

The process of idealization has a determined duration, since it is inevitable for the original intensity to lower over time. It is not possible to maintain this state, since it affects us in every aspect of our lives. It lowers our levels of concentration and attention, since all of our energy is focused on our loved one.

The biochemical process of idealization

During the state of infatuation, a biochemical process takes place within our altered brain, which is similar to addiction. That’s why this state has been compared to being drugged, and it is similar to insanity.


When we are in love,chemical substances like norepinephrine and dopamine are altered within our brain. Also, the production of phenylethylamine is increased, which is the neurotransmitter that provokes a greater degree of excitement. It generates increased heart beat, flushing and insomnia.

Phenylethylamine is also generated through some foods such as chocolate. That’s why this food can alleviate slightly that feeling of anxiety produced by the absence of your loved one. In the state of idealization, certain symptoms can present:

  • Palpitations, shivers, and tingling in the stomach (which is referred to as butterflies).
  • Strong nervous excitement, flushing, cold sweats and pupillary dilation.
  • Change in body odor, paralyzing fear and the physical need for your significant other’s presence. 

Among the psychological symptoms, the following stand out:

  • Focus on the loved one, dependence and loss of your own identity.
  • Desire to fuse, idealization and alternating states of euphoria and depression.

Fantastical period of idealization

Fantasy takes flight when you idealize, every part of the other person seems great. We create an extraordinary being, playing around with their personal characteristics, but also adding aspects that we want or desire.

“Oh, lover! The conclusion that you can draw for yourself is the following: you imagine that everyone that looks at your loved one finds them as beautiful as you do.”
-Ibn Arabi-

We fantasize about them everywhere and at any time. We see them everywhere and feel as if they were a part of us. It is during this time that we can even have hallucinations.


The fantasies we have revolve around the ideal that we have created about what a romantic relationship implies. Depending on how we experience love, we will seek a certain type of person or another that comes close to this ideal. For example, impossible loves, loves experienced through pain, love based on conflicts, passionate love, tragic love, “perfect” loves, etc.

Keeping touch with reality

The process of idealizing a person we love can last a while. When this period of time ends, the relationship can end or transform. This is something that will depend above all on how different reality is from the expectations we had. If the person that we have idealized doesn’t correspond at all with our ideal, the relationship will probably not go very far.

This clash with reality can be something frustrating and tragic, after all of the fantasy that we have built during this state of infatuation. Coming back to reality is the step in which our love turns into mature love. This transition validates that we are with the person we truly want to be with, in order to share our lives with them.

Taking this step of coming back to reality implies loving in a different way, without losing your individuality. The idealization has the function of attachment and fusion, it gives us strength and energy to want to get to know the other person, with all of the intensity that this implies. Although breaking the idealization can be frustrating, it is a positive frustration that helps us evolve and consolidate an amorous bond.

Love is solely possible when two people communicate with each other from the core of their existences. Therefore, when each one of them experiences themselves from the core of their existence. Human reality can be found only within that central experience. That’s where life lies. That’s where you can find the foundation of love.

Experienced in this way, love is a constant challenge, not a place of resting. Constant motion, growth and working together. In this way, whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or happiness, comes second to one fundamental fact. Two beings are experiencing each other and themselves from the essence of their existence.

We now share with you this awesome final scene from the movie “Some like it Hot”:


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.