Has anyone ever experienced forming an emotional attachment to someone who doesn't actually exist? Develop strong feelings for someone they've met in a dream? Lives a lifetime in a dream?
I've met people I grew attached to in dreams that never existed. When I was younger I dreamt of a red headed girl that I felt an intense connection to. I remember being depressed that she wasn't "real", that she was just a product of the dream realm and my imagination, and it took a bit to actually get over this fact
>Has anyone ever experienced forming an emotional attachment to someone who doesn't actually exist?
Go to a Star Wars convention. One of MANY examples of people getting way too attached to fictional characters.
And not really OP, although i do find myself infatuated with a girl I've only met once three years ago. Something about her is otherworldly, if you saw her you'd know what I mean
For the starts I'd like to mention that I'm a married adult with a children and friends. I do suffer from a mental health disorder which, however, does not cause any hallucinations or false beliefs. I am well aware of the real world around me and it's differences to the experiences my brain produces.
Despite this, or maybe because of all this, my mind has offered me several warm and attached relationships with fictional people over the years. I do not "hallucinate" any of these people but I'm able to vividly sense "their" thoughts (which I can tell apart from "my own"), their emotions and histories, even their discussions with each other. Sometimes I dream of these characters, but mostly they "appear" to me when I'm doing something by myself. For example while taking walks, sitting in a bus and spending long, enjoyable crafting or writing sessions I'm capable of enjoying their company.
I have to make this one thing clear: from the start, I have known these "people" are products of my imagination. Their "presence" is a voluntary choice and I can choose to not think about them any further, which will instatly "remove" them from my thoughts in the same way we can push away other thoughts that are not needed or wanted at the moment. My characters, as I call them, do not "cause disturbance". They don't express any thoughts or opinions that would make me uncomfortable, don't suggest harmful things etc. They just excist, discussing and often giving respecting and thoughtful viewpoints and guidance. While "discussing" with them, I often gain the feeling of emotional support and find new solutions to problems.
These relationships, even though they have developed deep and important through the years, could not and are not replacing my relationships with real, living people. I also have no belief that it would be possible for tehm to "become real", nor would I want such possibility. This phenomenon, though a little atypical, is something I've found to be an useful tool and a good method of processing emotions, problems and thoughts
I'm not talking about fictional characters-rather people who exist on different realms or in different realities if they exist at all. Kinda similar to the concept of the Roy game in Rick and Morty in that an entire lifetime turns out to be a game, an illusion, a mere falsity
For lack of a better source right now, here's a leddit thread illustating what I'm talking about