Do you ever want to be close to someone while subtly showing them the door?
Example: I was working with a client who kept telling her partner, “I know this isn’t what you signed up for…” and that sort of thing.
She was surprised when I asked her, “Do you want him to leave? You’re giving so many signals that the exit is right over there…and you’ll help him pack!”
We laughed, but I had a point.
Sometimes we intend to signal “I want you to stick with me through this.”
Yet it might come across as “If you can’t hang, friend, there’s the door!”
It’s a dynamic I see all the time. It’s one I’ve lived with myself from time to time.
“I want you – so please notice how I don’t need you.”
“I want you to stand with me as I work through improving myself – and I get why you wouldn’t or don’t want to.”
“I want you to stay – so here’s the door if you feel compelled to leave.”
In other words, “I’m scared you’ll leave, so I’m beating you to the punch.”
For some, that protection was developed very early in our lives.
We are okay, independent, capable…until it gets up close and personal.
Then it feels scary to be seen for what and who we are.
If you’re in a low intimacy relationship, my guess is that there’s some version of this dance.
Want to be close…
…scared to get closer…
…want to be connected…
…as long as no one gets hurt.
It’s a losing game, my friends.
Yes, you might feel more “safe” alone or even just not initiating touch or conversation.
But think of the connection and growth you’ll miss out on when you protect yourself.
What’s the upside to being vulnerable?
It depends on how you want to live this one wild and precious life.
Love you madly,