On Immaculate Heart Radio, you will often hear our hosts and guests discuss the dangers of pornography – how it objectifies another person, how it is a false sense of intimacy that makes it difficult to be intimate in real relationships, and how it is a counterfeit of the real love we are called to.
Something that isn’t talked about as much is the emotional version of this. Lisa Cotter is a Catholic speaker and author, who calls this emotional escapism ‘Fake Happy World.’ In Fake Happy World we seek emotional fulfillment by creating an imaginary relationship where the other person gives us the love and attention that we are in search of.
Fake Happy World mirrors pornography in that it uses another person for our own emotional pleasure. It doesn’t require us to give love or affection, it is all about feeling good emotionally.
Lisa Cotter recently stopped by The Kristine Franklin Show to discuss her new book Dating Detox: 40 Days of Perfecting Love in an Imperfect World and she discussed why Fake Happy World is not a world you want to live in. Lisa said:
“We wanted to focus not only on the physical aspects of relationships and how that can really get twisted around, but also the emotional side. And I think there are a lot of Catholics who have said, ‘I’m committed to a chaste relationship, I’m committed to saving myself for marriage’ but they still have issues with dating. A lot of times it’s a misunderstanding of the emotional passions that lead to that.
The Fake Happy World really is a lot about that. And we tell the story of Samantha (and all of the stories in the book are 100% real) about how she spent several months kind of in this mental relationship with a guy who she was just convinced would one day show up at her door and ask her out on a date.
And he did show up at her door, but he wasn’t there to ask her on a date – he was there to ask her roommate on a date. And she was absolutely crushed. She had really wrapped her mind and heart around the idea of a relationship with this guy and had entered into the Fake Happy World.
So when the real world wasn’t working out she would just daydream about what their life was going to be like together, and how he was going to ask her out, where they might live one day – and she was living in this world where this guy was, in a sense, just this object for her to gain a one-sided, counterfeit emotional pleasure from.
That is a form of use. John Paul II really talks about this in his book Love and Responsibility … and it’s an issue that we see women really relate to. When we tell them, ‘You know what I’m talking about where you mentally stalk somebody and you go into your Fake Happy World?’ And they’re all shaking their head and saying, ‘Oh yea, I know exactly what that is.'”
Kristine agreed, saying:
Well, you know men are much more tempted to visual pornography than women are; but women have their own weaknesses and temptations, and one of them is that romantic fantasy world. That is fed by romance novels, romance movies that idealize and objectify what a true-love man would be like. And it’s fake, it’s fiction, and it’s a temptation to live in that world.
Listen to the full interview with Lisa Cotter below:
The Kristine Franklin Show airs weekdays from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Pacific on Immaculate Heart Radio.