So this will l be a bit of a long story. I started daydreaming since I was about 10 (or even earlier, I don't remember much from before) and I still do now (I just turned 22). I used daydreaming to cope with family problems, lack of friends or anything thatbwas not going well in my life. It was all ok until my first year of uni (I was 18 at this point). That was the first time when I fell in love with someone and it all started to be very conplicated. First of all I am female and I am straight. When I made my character with which I had been stuck since I was 10, my character was male since idk it just happened. The problem was how can I say it, I myself was in love with that person but until now I have left that intimacy part to my character and my daydreams. But now, I was there not my character, and that felt wrong. I tried to stop daydreaming completely at that point. The relationship did not work out because of various reasons and since I forcefully tried to stop myslef from daydreaming, i did not have that as a means to cope with stuff. I could not cope with a lot of things in my life and became depressed (stuff went bad quickly, I will not go into details). Last year, I started daydreaming again. I am much better now (depression gone, yay) I even tried making a female character. It worked but not completely. I just can't get rid of the character I had for the past 12 years and tbh I am afraid to. Its kind of part of me by now. I am in a relationship again now. It is going well so far but again the intimacy part is just not working out. My partner is very understanding but I am very frustrated. Why can only my character have a sexual drive but not me. Why is it ok to imagine it but not ok to be intimate in real life.Its just so so so frustrating and I don't know what to do about it. This is just so messed up. I could not really tell anyone aabout this and I don't know what to do...
Hey gosh this is even difficult for me in ways. I started building a romance in my head since I was a teen it would switch from just been with someone to me putting intimacy on a peddle stool because of the way my daydreams where. It took me a while to get into it in reality I just had to tell myself my daydreams where not really what intimacy felt like. After a while of letting go it started to get easier to enjoy time with someone.
I actually have a similar issue. I can daydream about the most fantastical romances, but the second someone shows romantic/sexual interest toward me in real life, my brain just starts screaming NOPE NOPE NOPE.
I think that part of this disparity between real life and daydreams comes from the fact that you're completely in control of your daydreams. In your daydreams, you can be 100% comfortable with your partner because you control their every action. Once you get used to that level of control in intimate relationships, it can be really difficult to pursue intimate relationships in real life because the only thing you can control in your own actions.
Additionally, for me at least, my daydreams are a safe place for me to explore things that I feel I can't in real life. It goes along with that aspect of total control. I grew up in an environment where sex was a taboo subject and I felt that I should be ashamed of ever having romantic, let alone sexual, feelings toward another person, so now even as an adult, it's really difficult for me to even talk about sexual stuff. I don't know if you experience this part of it specifically, but I guess my point is that daydreams often feel safer than real life, especially if you have any kind of trauma in your past, or if you, like me, grew up in a very sex-negative environment.
You mentioned having depression previously, and as I'm sure you know, that can also impact your sex drive, as can certain medications.
Don't give up what you want most for what you want now.
I can very much relate and sympathise with you, I have similar issues with intimacy and forming lasting physical relationships.
I tend to agree with Sam, control is a huge part of it - being able to direct the narrative and remain completely safe while in the fantasy - as well to express and superimpose passions we don't usually feel but can allow a character to explore - again, safely. Although, my upbringing was somewhat the opposite - hypersexualised and overt - perhaps too much of either can be a bad thing on a developing psyche; I suppose that could explain my overarching lack of intimate feelings - outside of my perfect fantasies it's all somewhat boring a prospect.
I can't offer much in the way of suggestions - I'm trying to work through similar issues also - but you're very much not alone and I'm sure in time you'll can find a way through to those new experiences
The more you do of nothing, the more anything seems like something