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He’s Not as Great as You Think: Stop F.I.B.ing to Yourself

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He’s Not as Great as You Think: Stop F.I.B.ing to Yourself

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Notes from the Podcast

The heart is a powerful force, relentlessly pursuing what it desires, often without our conscious realization. This pursuit can lead us to engage in a deceptive practice called F.I.B.ing—Filling In Blanks. This clever acronym reveals a troubling behavior pattern where, without concrete information about someone, we optimistically fill in the gaps with wishful thinking rather than reality. This behavior undermines our success in finding genuine connections and significantly increases the risk of heartache.

The Three Main Ways We F.I.B. Ourselves

1.The Early Stages of Dating: The Illusion of Knowledge

When we first meet someone, especially through the lens of online dating, our knowledge is minimal at best. Despite this, we often find ourselves desperate to know more, to understand what the future holds for this budding relationship. This hunger for insight leads us to fill in the unknowns with overly optimistic and often unrealistic details, creating an image of false perfection. This image is seductive because it embodies the magical potential we hope for in a relationship. However, this early idealization can swing the other way, leading to unnecessary doubt and worry if we’re prone to overthinking or have avoidant tendencies. We might start imagining problems that don’t exist, filling peaceful moments with needless concern—a behavior I call ‘problemicity.’

2. False/Blank Comparisons: The Imaginary Ideal

Another common F.I.B. scenario involves comparing the person we’re dating to an imaginary, ideal partner. This fictional “other” is endowed with all the qualities we desire, making our real-life partner seem lacking by comparison. This comparison is inherently unfair and unrealistic, yet it’s a trap many of us fall into, distorting our perception of the current relationship.

3. Baited F.I.B.s: The Vagueness Trap

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Sometimes, the person we’re dating contributes to our F.I.B.ing by being intentionally vague or withholding information. This lack of specificity allows us to fill in the blanks in ways that serve our hopes and desires, not necessarily the reality of the situation. When questions about the future or commitment are met with evasive answers, we may hear these non-answers in the most optimistic light. However, this hopeful interpretation often leads us further from the truth.

In Conclusion
The more we indulge in these F.I.B.s, the more invested we become in the illusions we’ve created. Admitting we were wrong becomes increasingly difficult as we cling to these alluring fictions, making it hard to accept reality as it is. In the quest for love and connection, let’s commit to seeing with our eyes, not just our hearts.

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