ABOUT THE EPISODE
Are you struggling with the magnetic pull of an idealized lover? Wondering how to break free from comparing your significant other to this seemingly perfect person?
Fear not, as we reveal a powerful two-step process that will not only help you tear down that pedestal but also reclaim control over your thoughts and feelings.
Together, we’ll explore the childlike part of ourselves that’s stunted, and dig deep into our past influences on attraction.
We’ll uncover the reasons for this enticing vortex by asking crucial questions about your idealized lover and understanding the connection points between them and significant people from your past.
Learn how to open yourself to Jesus with kindness, and see your idealized lover as a normal human being, regaining control over your life.
Don’t let the illusion of perfection hold you back – join us in this eye-opening episode!
Ready? Let’s dive in!
What We Discuss:
- 00:02 – Tearing down the idealized lover.
- 01:14 – How to unplug yourself from the vortex.
- 03:18 – We all have ways that we do this in ourselves.
- 04:27 – How to unplug the magnetism of romantic attraction?
- 05:55 – Who does this person remind me of from my past?
- 06:25 – What are the characteristics that you’re filling in about that person?
- 10:38 – Look at who they remind you of.
Transcription: A Journey to Understanding the Roots of Attraction
Josh: Hey everybody, welcome back. This week we’re going to talk about tearing down the idealized lover.
Josh: All of us who wrestle with sexual sin or romantic sin in some way typically have an idealized lover, somebody who is just our type, the kind of person we’re drawn to magnetically. It’s like a vortex of tractor beam that just pulls us in. And if we have a significant boyfriend or girlfriend or if we’re married and we run across somebody who’s that idealized lover, it can be distracting and we can be tempted to compare and say, man, my wife doesn’t measure up, my husband doesn’t measure up. If only I could be with someone like that. Can you relate with that? Is that part of your story? Maybe it’s somebody that you actually meet in real life. Maybe it’s somebody that’s an actor or actress, maybe it’s a porn star. Maybe it’s somebody that you see at the grocery store or that you run across the gym or you know from your school that idealized person and you tend to get kind of infatuated. You might even have romantic scenarios or sexualized story-lines that just start rolling in your head because you want to be with that idealized lover. You can relate with that Today’s podcast. I want to walk you through how to unplug the magnet, so to speak, how to unplug yourself from that vortex, so that person doesn’t draw you the same way anymore and you have some increased control over yourself and your thoughts and your feelings in relation to this otherwise normal human being.
Josh: All right, two steps to this process. The first is how do we pull that person off the pedestal? How do we pull them off the pedestal? Well, i’m going to start by telling you how you don’t do that. The first thing you do not do to pull them off the pedestal is by looking to criticize them. You don’t look for how they’re a messed up human being and you also do not pull yourself away from that person.
Josh: What so often happens for us, when we idealize somebody and we feel tempted to either look at them romantically or sexually, is we just try to shut it down and we feel ashamed and bad about ourselves for treating somebody like that, especially if we’re married or we have a significant other. I shouldn’t be looking at somebody else. I shouldn’t be wanting somebody else. Don’t should all over yourself with this one.
Josh: It’s very important that you actually, instead of pulling away, you do something different, because when you pull away, when you shame yourself and try to pull away and not even notice that person anymore, that type of person anymore, what you end up doing is you end up increasing the mystique of that other human being. If your idea is I want to pull them off the pedestal, the last thing you need to do is increase their mystique. If you’re pulling them off the pedestal, you’re trying to see them as a human person, a really normal human being, as opposed to a God or goddess. If you pull yourself away and shame yourself instead of addressing it in a different way, then you’re just elevating that person all the more and you’re adding to their mystique and adding to their god-likeness in your mind and in your heart. You don’t want to do that. What do you do instead? To pull them off the pedestal? you first need to recognize that they’re on the pedestal because of a childlike place inside of you. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s actually a childish thing to idealize another person. I’m not shaming you with this. We all do this. We all have ways that we do this in our lives, especially those of us who have wrestled with sexual integrity issues, but it points to the fact that there’s some part of you that is stuck in childhood, that got stunted at some place in your life because you’re treating another human being like a child. Would Think about it.
Josh: Remember when you were a kid, you had idealized older kids, even if they were a year or two older, they were just. They were big kids. Right, they were stronger, they were tougher, they were intimidating. Because of the way that you saw the world. You might have idolized or idealized mom or dad. You know, my mom is perfect, my dad is great. And as you got older, you started to see, actually, my mom and dad have faults like every other human being. They came off the pedestal.
Josh: When you’re a little kid, you also kind of think in black and white. Right, the good guys look a certain way, act a certain way, talk a certain way. The bad guys think a certain way, talk a certain way, act a certain way. And when you get older you start to recognize no, actually there’s a lot more nuance to those who are good and those who are bad. There’s no, absolutely good, good guy. They all have mixed motives. There’s no absolutely bad guy. They all have mixed motives. Now there are people on a spectrum, right, but we recognize that too.
Josh: So you recognize that the part of you that tends to idealize that perfect romantic lover is a childish place in you. So how did that part of you get stunted? How did it get stuck in that way of thinking about this specific type of person? You don’t do that with everybody. You do with this specific type of person. So recognize that and you can begin to tell yourself the truth about this is coming from a place that stunted at me, a place that’s immature in me, a place that needs to be healed and tended to and grow. You can begin to open yourself to Jesus with kindness. It’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. So don’t shame yourself, don’t beat yourself up for idealizing somebody, for being drawn like a vortex to somebody. Instead, recognize this is coming from a young place in me that needs attention.
Josh: All right, so that leads us to the second part. What do I do with this? How do I unplug that magnetism? It might help to recognize that it’s coming from a childish place in you that needs tending. But secondly, you can begin to ask some questions about that person and what you’re noticing. So, instead of pulling away and looking away and saying I don’t want to look at that person anymore, i don’t want to think about that person anymore, get curious and you might need help with this. If your brain tends to like move automatically into romantic thinking, if your brain tends to overpower you with sexual thoughts and you just need somebody to help ground, you, then get some help as you ask these kinds of questions so you don’t get lost in sexual fantasy or romantic fantasy.
Josh: Now back to it. Ask yourself, first of all, who does this person remind me of from my past, when I was a child and I used to think this way who does this person remind me of? Is it a mom, a dad, is it a teacher in your life. What significant person does this remind me of? Think about hair color, think about stature, think about the way they dress, the way they talk, the position they hold in your life. Is it a person in authority? Is it a person who’s on a sports team? Who do they remind you of from your past? So I’ve mentioned some good things a teacher, a mom, a dad, a coach but maybe they also remind you of somebody that wasn’t, that was significant, but not in a good way. Maybe it was a bully from your past, maybe it was somebody who abused you from your past. Who does this person remind you of? What are their characteristics that seem to remind you of someone significant from your past? That’s a clue as to why you might be drawn to them in the way that you are.
Josh: Second question that will kind of illuminate more clues for you is what are the characteristics that you’re filling in about that person? So, when you idealize somebody, you’re filling in all sorts of gaps. You don’t typically know that person very well and you’re adding a lot of information to what they’re like. So, for example, you see somebody at the grocery store and you’re like that’s just my type. Well, what else? Get specific. What else about that person besides the way they look, sound, what they’re wearing, what else are you? what are the gaps you’re filling in Right? Is it that they’re intelligent? Is it that they’re tender? Is it that they’re they’re powerful? Is it they they’re really good with money? I mean, what are the? what are the characteristics about that person that you’re assuming are true?
Josh: I was talking to somebody recently who is telling me that one of the things they do when they meet someone that is kind of Idealized in their world is is, if it’s safe, they get to know that person a little bit and very quickly The person comes off the pedestal because they recognize they’re not all that. I thought that they were, because, guess what? Nobody is all that you think that they are when you’re idealizing them. Nobody is the only person who will exceed your expectations in every way Is God. But it’s one of the reasons that that Marriage is such a sobering and wonderful thing, because it helps any any way that we idolize somebody or tend to. We get to know somebody and they come down off off the pedestal and so do we.
Josh: So what are the characteristics that you’re filling in? What are the gaps that you’re filling in and you’re attributing Characteristics to that person that you really do not know, or you’re or you’re elevating those. That, too, can help point you in the direction of what you’re really looking for. So those are the two questions. One, who does this remind me of from when I was a kid and what are the gaps? What are the things I’m filling in, the characteristics I’m filling in that I really don’t know about this person? Oftentimes, those two questions can help illuminate for you why this person is drawing you so much.
Josh: So, as you think about the significant person from your past, what are the connection points between that significant person and those characteristics? so, for example, if you’re looking at this person and you’re thinking, man, that they’re really powerful and they remind me of my mom, well, did you see your mom is really powerful? or perhaps you saw your mom as somebody who is weak and often overpowered? That would be a good clue. So if your mom was, if you viewed her as weak and overpowered in your little, and this person in front of you reminds you of your mom, but they seem powerful, well, could it be that you’re magnetically drawn to this person because you have some wounds around your mom’s weakness? There are ways that she left you vulnerable when you really needed her to be strong for you. That’s just one example.
Josh: Or maybe this person reminds you of somebody who’s kind of a bully. When you’re younger, they They didn’t treat you or other people very well, but this person in front of you, you’re attributing to them a tenderness or caring They’re, they seem to be really caring. Well, could it be that bully in your life really wounded you And in some way you’re trying to fantasize to make that person seem more caring. You’re trying to reverse the curse of that bully from when you’re a kid. Or maybe you look at that person and and the characteristics you’re attributing to them No, they’re really powerful and they are aloof. They’re kind of reminding me, both in the way that they seem to look and also in the characteristics that I’m attributing to them. They seem like that bully.
Josh: Maybe part of the reason that you’re drawn to that person Magnetically today is because you want to control was out of your control when you’re a little. You want to add your Fantasy life to them so that you’re you’re in control and they can’t overpower you or you’re at a distance, and so you’re magnetically drawn to them. But because it’s all in your head. They no longer overpowering you and you’re trying to reverse what happened you in your little. Those are just two examples, but I think you get the point. Look at who they remind you of when you’re a little and you idealized people. And secondly, what are the characteristics that you’re filling in the gaps about? that’ll help you to hone in on, to focus in on What it may be about, why there’s such a magnetic pull, and invite Jesus into that.
Josh: Jesus helped me to unplug the reality of this person in front of me From my past story and bring healing to those places that I’m identifying inside, that still need healing, so that I can grow there, not idealize this person. I try to deal with my past by idolizing and lusting after somebody else or fantasizing about them, but to truly heal there so that I can grow to be an adult Facing another adult, a normal person facing another normal person. Now, friends, you might need help with that. What I’ve described hopefully makes sense to you, but you can see how, if it’s something we’ve lived it for a long time, we might need help on twisting the real from the false, the good from the bad, and that’s what regeneration coaches are here for You can find a good therapist, you can find a wise, older person in your life who can walk with you in those ways, or You can reach out to regeneration’s coaches. That’s exactly what we’re here for. We’d love to walk with you and help you with that.
Josh: Jesus, would you help to untwist the stories of our lives from where we’re currently living so we can be free To be the men and women you’ve made us to be walking and communing with you and able to love others the way you do? I ask it in your name, Jesus.