It’s difficult to find someone you click with. You know there is a lot of toxic fish in the sea. You’ve been hurt before so you’ve learned to play it safe. When you finally fall for him you get scared, afraid he is another shark and you pull back. Then when he pulls back as well you get more scared but you’re like, “Hey I miss you. Let’s fool around!”
This push-pull dynamic stops you from being “too close” but is this self-protection or self-sabotage?
Whether you are just starting to date him or even if you are married, this push-pull dynamic will eventually lead to destroying not only your current relationship but your chances for a true romantic connection with your partner. Learning tools to overcome your fears can help you to start reclaiming your right for a true romantic connection without having to retreat.
Switch up the goal– Instead of self-protection – practice standing confident regardless of what happens
No matter how much you try you cannot control how he feels. There is no certainty on how the relationship will go. The more you TRY for certainty, the more you are certain to be miserable. Remember how he fell for you? He saw that lighter confident you. When you continue to invest in yourself – so will he. Playing a defense game will neither help you score relationship points, nor strengthen your bond with him.
File the past hurts – Understanding how you learned to fear closeness and working through it
Understanding and accepting is important for the brain to file away the past. You don’t readily think about your 5th birthday or your first break up, but it is in the file to pull out when needed. This is because you have an understanding that makes sense. When you have a push pull dynamic with your partner, you have not filed the hurts of who made you feel rejected or hurt you in the past. Understanding why it occurred and reminding yourself how this is different than the past will help put those earlier experience in the file drawer.
Break the danger lens – You can’t look at life through an old lens – time to give it an upgrade
When we are on the defense we are looking for facts to confirm “it’s not safe” through a skewed lens with a good intention of not getting hurt. The consequences are that we block out facts to show evidence for what is true, logical and healthy so we don’t take the risk. Look for evidence FOR it being a worthwhile risk and that regardless of whether it works out you WILL survive it.
Gain People Capital – invest in good people to support your self-confidence
Take time to nurture the good relationships that you have. If it’s time for a friends upgrade take some mild risks and join groups with like-minded people. Whether it is a club, spiritual group, meet-up, or fitness group take the leap. Gaining good people capital is healthy. It is the perfect safety net for the ebbs and flows with your partner.
Wager your heart – Gamblers tend to lose, wager with calculated risks based off your knowledge and experience.
The same criteria that you have for your friendships should go for your partner. If you are dating people that you would never want your potential daughter to date – then incorporate that into your screening process. If you are with someone who is like you and holds your values it is likely a low risk that you will be duped by him … but there is still no guarantee.
Let me conclude by saying that life is too short to keep it safe. Sure you can change nothing and still live a good life. But, you can have an amazing life if you get off the defense and take some healthy risks.
If you have no reason to believe you are dating or married to a shark, it’s important to love openly with wild abandonment or else you will be at risk for REAL abandonment. If your partner has a good heart, you can only retreat into your shell for so long before things get crabby.
If you have questions or thoughts about this email me at Info@CBTIofSoCal.com
Thanks for reading!