What do you mean you don’t want to spend every waking minute with me?
That was the fear narrative running through my head for many years. That my girlfriend would feel abandoned and rejected and question my love for her if I took an occasional weekend for myself.
And so, the nice guy inside of me, that friendly midwestern passive aggressive confrontation phobic codependent love addict, would leap in and prevent me from taking strong stands. He would convince me that our desire for harmony was more important than the stands we need to take. And that if we rock the relationship boat and actually announce to this woman that we need some time for ourselves, she is obviously going to burst into tears and run away forever.
What a perfect opportunity cling on to her like an infant, suffocate her with as much love as possible, make her the center of my universe, cancel plans with all my friends, quit the football team and spend my weekends sitting alone in the bar where she works waiting for her shift to end so we can spend more time together.
What woman could resist?
Let’s move in together.
Perel’s prominent book on mating in captivity explores this relationship misstep in great detail. She explains that you’re so afraid to lose your lover that you’ve alienated yourself and lost your freedom. There isn’t a separate person here for your partner to love. If you truly seek a healthy, sustainable, boundaried relationship, you must create a space between people into which desire can flow more freely.
And that starts with nurturing a sense of selfhood. Developing personal intimacy with one’s own self as a counterbalance to the couple. Something that highlights a connection to self, rather than a distance from one’s partner.
In short, not spending every waking minute with each other.
Now there’s a lesson that would have been helpful to learn about twenty years ago.
Don’t love people to pieces, love them to wholeness.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you forgetting that fire needs air?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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