Did you know that you probably avoid love everyday? I know it sounds crazy and it’s true. Almost all of us in some way wish for more intimacy, deeper connections, better lovemaking, or simply just more of that “loving” experience. And… most of the time we have silent saboteurs within us that actually push away the very love, intimacy and pleasure we seek.
Depending on how long you’ve been reading my news letters, you may have heard some of the ways I pushed love away in the past and recently I’ve been clearing out some previously unseen and very subtle ways I still hold love at bay.
Do you ever wish your partner loved you more or expressed his or her love more often?
Are you busy and exhausted at the end of the day?
Do you only trust your partner or prospective-partner “just-so-much”?
Have you ever turned a complement away by pointing out what wasn’t perfect in… how you looked…how you performed… how great you are?
Most of these questions lead us to believe that our challenges with love are created by someone other than us… by the date we can’t seem to get, the date we had last week but hasn’t called back, our partners, even a parent or family member who still doesn’t see us for “who we are”.
And… as I talked about in the article entitled “Relationships as Mirrors” – what upsets us about another is typically a reflection of something that we are not ok with in ourselves. We might try to deny or dislike that part of ourselves or we might long for something the other person has that we wish we had… All of these judgments, feelings, and wishes actuallypush away or allow us to avoid the love that is already there.
Here are some of the ways I avoided love… sometimes by blaming the other person and sometimes by simply just running away…
- I used to complain that men wouldn’t get emotionally intimate with me… then I discovered I didn’t let men in. I realized I felt close to men when I let them in! (Hint: I really was in control and didn’t know it!)
- Years ago there was a joke with my friends and my sister that I always attracted sexually repressed men … and then I realized I was sexually repressed. (Hint: I was afraid so I attracted men who made it “safe” – and frustrated me!)
- When I wanted a date – I’d stay home where I was comfortable instead of going out where I could connect with people. (Hint: It felt easier, but I was hiding from what I truly wanted: connection.)
- I used to complain that men didn’t want to take care of me or do things for me… then I realized I didn’t do those things for myself. Why would the men in my life? (Hint: I was avoiding love by not honoring and loving myself.)
- I recognized that at one point I was more committed to being alone in life than I was to being in relationship because unconsciously it felt safer… I didn’t have to be vulnerable or exposed. (Hint: These are two keys to lasting love.)
- I had walls of protection built around me based on my parent’s divorce and my early relationships that made me believe that “love doesn’t last” or “you can’t depend on a man” or “they’ll break your heart” so I put up walls of protection. I’d only let so much love in or out because I didn’t want to get hurt again (Hint: If you truly want to feel love, you have to risk letting down your guard and letting love in … it’s the only way true love works.)
- I have complained that we didn’t make love often enough… then I realized that I never made time for it.
- I didn’t feel like me first husband really loved me… because I never felt like I was truly loveable or worthy of love. (I didn’t know this at the time, but I couldn’t feel his love because of my own beliefs and feelings about myself… Again, I was in control. He truly loved me and I couldn’t let it in.)
- I regularly turned away or downplayed complements. (Hint: complements are an expression of love.) I turned them away because I always knew where my flaws were and therefore I didn’t really deserve the complement (hint: the love.)
There are so many ways to avoid love in our lives… ways we avoid intimate connection – either physically or emotionally… ways we simply dip our toe into love rather than diving into its ocean.
So, I’ve given you some ideas of how we do this and now might be a good time to see how you play these avoidance games…
How do you avoid love?
How do you downplay expressions of love?
Where do you believe love isn’t available when it truly is?
How does your lack of love for yourself block the love you so desire?
How do you avoid the connection you seek?
Are you ready to experience the love you truly want? Then it’s time to move beyond the limitations and pain from the past. When you find yourself holding back, when you find yourself pushing love away, when you find yourself yearning for love… stop and take a deep breath in. Then ask yourself, what am I afraid to fear or experience? Ask yourself, what is the worst that can happen? Then decide… is this fear really valid? Is the possibility of true love worth the risk?
If you get stuck or you see a pattern of avoidance that you’re struggling to move beyond, let’s schedule. I am committed to reuniting you in love and I am here to support you in your journey to great love!
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.