Disclaimer (this is in no way a professional opinion-it is based on my own crazy musings- If anyone finds it necessary to call the guys in white coats on me after reading this, please read some of my other articles first!)
I didn’t have imaginary friends as a child, I actually started having them as an adult, after being hit with the realities of relationships of all kinds. I found that having a customized imaginary friend or two, was actually quite amusing and helpful!
Here are some of the obvious benefits of having an imaginary friend:
You always have someone you really like to share your craziest ideas with, and that someone will never look at you like you’ve lost your mind!
You always have excellent adventures that transcend the reality of your lifestyle.
Your imaginary friend is never too busy, and when they are away, it’s only because you need some alone time or time with real friends and lovers, and conveniently enough they have something of their own to do!
Your imaginary friend can also be your imaginary lover (I will not elaborate more on this particular point, use your imagination).
And now for the serious side: How you chose to create your imaginary friend says a lot about what your truest self wants. It can be a great exercise in self-discovery and visualization.
If you could have the perfect partner, how would you visualize them to every last detail? What would be his or her strengths? Weaknesses? What would he or she look like or feel like? What would her or his quirks be? What would you admire most about him or her? What would you have to tolerate about him or her? Would his or her convictions be similar or different from yours? What would he or she look like physically? What are his or her most admirable virtues? How would he or she treat you? What nationality would he or she be? What language would you speak together? Where would you go together? What experiences would you share? What would the biggest obstacles be in your relationship (yes even if it’s an imaginary friend, he or she can’t be perfect)? How would you resolve them? There are many many other questions that can be explored in one’s imagination. However, what is important, is to explore with purpose! The purpose being to explore your true self: what you really want, what you really need, what you really desire.
My imaginary friend/boyfriend of this past year (his name is Sven) did actually teach me a lot about what I value most in a relationship. After making so many mistakes in judgement, it was great to explore what I really really desired in a friend or partner. Some of the choices I made in customizing my imaginary friend shocked me, they were not things that I would have ever admitted to myself. It was a way to realign my moral, ethical, and emotional compass without hurting anyone and without getting hurt.
I encourage you to try this. Create yourself an imaginary friend and do some real self-exploration as you go places with that person you never thought you actually would…