One bit of make-believe in which virtually all lovers engage is trying to appear to be more emotionally healthy than they really are.
After all, if you don't appear to have many needs of your own, your partner is free to assume that your goal in life is to nurture, not to be nurtured, and this makes you very desirable indeed.
One woman, Louise, described the efforts she went to to appear to be the perfect mate for her future husband, Steve. A few weeks after they met, Louise invited Steve over to her house for dinner.
"I wanted to display my domestic talent," she said. "He saw me as a career woman, and I wanted him to see I could cook too."
To make her life seem as simple and uncomplicated as possible, she arranged to have her eleven year old son from a previous marriage stay the night with a friend--no reason to reveal all of life's complexities at this stage of the game.
Then she thoroughly cleaned the house, planned the menu around the only two things she could cook really well --quiche and roquefort salad--and arranged fresh flowers in all the rooms. When Steve walked into the house, dinner was ready, her makeup was fresh, and classical music was on the stereo.
Steve, in turn, came as his most charming, helpful self, and when dinner was over he insisted one washing the dishes and fixing the broken porch light. That night they declared their love for each other, and for several months they were both able to orchestrate their lives so that they had few, if any, needs of their own.
This degree of make-believe is quite common; most of us go to a lot of trouble in the early stages of a relationship to appear to be ideal mates. In some cases, however, the deception is more extreme.
When we light the lamps of reality, and really get to know our partners with their strengths and their weaknesses, we discover they weren't Gods or the perfect mate at all.
They were imperfect humans, full of warts and blemishes, all those negative traits that we had steadfastly refused to see.
Harville Hendrix - G