It's quite a temptation to fall in love with the phantoms you create rather than the actual person. It requires little effort and you can pretend you're not lonely.
But the problem with phantom crushes is that they soon evolve into phantom girlfriends. You stalk their blogs, Friendster accounts, and Facebook status. You even expect them to immediately respond to your emails or text messages when they might otherwise be busy. And when they respond to someone who's not you, you wonder: who is he or she? Are they close friends? Or perhaps he's really her boyfriend? Rather than shattering the illusion of a relationship, such jealousies only reinforces the deception.
In the pre-courtship phase, you justify this obsession as "research." True, you're finding out more and more about your crush, but is all this time and anxiety really necessary? And there's a certain point where you cross the line as far as privacy goes and you're involving too much of yourself into their lives--even when your relationship with them at this point is just a casual acquaintance.
But just when you're about to give up, the phantom whispers into your ear and tempts you with something more. You know it's an illusion but you don't want to give up on the hope that she might be right. Thus the cycle is perpetuated.
This is all impotent action though. What use is research if you don't act on them? You justify that you're waiting for the perfect time to breach the subject but the perfect moment will never arrive. You'll always have an excuse why today is not a good day to confess or propose.
In my scenario, my fear is that whatever friendship I've gained at this point will be easily lost by my initiative. In this sense, I've become a ghost, trapped in a self-imposed stasis.