How to Avoid “Boyfriend Pedestal Syndrome” (and Save Your Relationship)

by Tristan Coopersmith for YourTango

Date him, don’t praise him like a god.

I know the case of the pedestal boyfriend all too well. Looking in my own rear-view mirror, I’ve put a lot of guys up on this platform — this very grand, very tall, very lavish untouchable platform, worshipping them for all that made them special and all that made them just regular guys.

I even expended my energy justifying their assh*le moments as necessary causalities on their way to increased awesomeness. No, I’m not proud of this.

Have you ever dated this guy? The guy that right off the bat you decided he had near-godly status? That he was perfect in just about every way? And as time went on, his status continued to elevate? Every little thing he did boosted his allure in your mind and heart until you looked up to him so much that you had a crick in your neck?

This guy became the guy you wanted to show off all the time because your admiration overflowed. He became the guy you would do anything for; when he said “jump,” you asked, “How high?” He became the guy that was flawless to you, and even his wrongs were right.

But don’t worry — it’s a common phenomenon. I now know why I did it and why some of you to may be motivated to elevate the men in your life to super-duper status.

Is it because we all have narcissistic daddies who taught us to honor thy fathers to an extreme and that has now manifested into honoring our men to that same extreme? Could be, but not likely the case for most of us. It’s because we all have an undying urge to praise and honor good people.

Sure, loving to praise may be a piece of our DNA, but it doesn’t serve as a dominate motivator.

In most cases, the pedestal syndrome comes from not having a pedestal of your own. Often in relationships, we seek in others what we lack in ourselves. And in this case, for the woman who can’t find a way to build herself up, she builds her man up instead. And the more he’s built up, the more she falls for him, because after all, a near perfect in every way person is rather attractive. In some ways, she hopes his greatness will rub off on her.

While yes, being an encouraging fan of a mate is definitely a good thing, when the cheers are cheered with blinders on with utter disregard for your own need to for self-building, the effect is always short-lived. You run out of pedestal-boosting fuel and eventually you not only see the man for who he truly is, but you’re also left depleted and resentful for having given so much without having made time to give to yourself.

So it all comes down to this. In all of your superpower capability of self-awareness, when you notice that you’re throwing him up on a pedestal, take a minute to remove your blinders. See your guy for who he really is, but more importantly evaluate your own self-worth.

Literally envision you on your own pedestal and see how it ranks up against his. If it plummets in comparison, now may not be the time for you to be in a relationship. Instead, now is likely the time for you to work on elevating your inner self-worth so that when a fabulous guy comes along you will healthfully be able to cheer him on, while cheering yourself on at the same time.

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