Learning to Be Alone: #Relationship_Addiction
March 8, 2017
Client after client come to my office with much of the same story:
I’m lonely, I can’t find a good guy, all the women I date just want to get married, when I get close—he pulls away… the stories about relationship are rife with struggle.
Why is it so difficult to find the right person to date, relate to, and be intimate with?
The answer is quite easy, actually. If you haven’t learned to be by yourself, you will never realize the triggers that make you choose—over and over—the wrong type of person.
When I was about to come to Florida to make my big semi-retirement move, I had just been through a break-up. I had thought I’d spend the rest of my life with him. However, on Valentine’s day—in the shower—I asked him why his V-Day card was so friend-like. He shared that he wasn’t sure I was the right person for him. The next day he moved out. The rest is history… or is it?
Continue reading below.
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Go to Amazon to find the book that inspired this Blog: Learning Alone: True Love Songs of the Anxiously Attached.
Continued from Above:
This same kind of scenario, with different characters on different stages had happened over and over again in my life. Even after four years of therapy, I still kept attracting the wrong men. Why?
I spent 3 months in my Nashville home, most of my furniture sold, alone with the things I would take, waiting to sell my house. I still had a desk and my laptop, so I decided to begin to write the story of my life—for me…
I want to write it as if I was simply watching it. Then, reread it to help me define the salient features that made my mistakes so obvious to everyone else, but kept me completely blinded to them.
After two months, the book was complete. Each section represented a different chapter of my life from childhood to the present day. I immediately noticed that relationships—even friendships—had all of the same pressing anxiousness about them. My dad’s butch, angry temper kept me from not knowing him at all. My mother leaving him and the family when I was eight, kept me believing that love would leave. Even friendships that I had made left me anxious all of the time, so anxious that I didn’t even know that my entire lifetime of relationships would become that consistent and underlying Anxious Behavior.
What do anxious people attract? They attract Avoidant Behavior. What often happens in an anxious/avoidant relationship is a rollercoaster of symbiotic relating. One’s extreme needs push the other away. Then, the anxious person understands the game and pulls away, forcing the avoidant one to pull back in—to need anxiously, once again. The game can go on and on, sometimes for years without even a fight. It’s just unspoken emotions that keep the flow of an insecure bond strong enough to keep you together.
Perhaps the sex is great. Perhaps you have children. Maybe your financial situation together keeps you satisfied enough physically that you feel to comfortable to move. Whatever the symbiotic pattern is will certainly not be enough to help you feel secure enough to believe in your heart that you have found the right person. I never did. I have always had dreams of the worst scenarios happening to some of the nicest men I loved. Even the man I spent 8 years with ended up having an affair with the man I was with prior to him for 7 years. My insecurities played out in my life over and over again. I had to get off of the rollercoaster long enough to make a change in my life.
This journal of love was enough for me to stop long enough to make a long list of what I need to feel secure in relationship. I made a commitment to myself that I would never stay in a relationship like the ones before. I underlined the tendencies and habits of the wrong people. I highlighted in red the parts of the personalities that were attractive to me only because I didn’t have that character in my own life. I made a special note of these features, because I wanted to work on those specific areas in my life. If I became bolder, stronger physically, more confident, I would not need to find a person of that nature to complete me.
Go to Amazon to find the book that inspired this Blog: Learning Alone: True Love Songs of the Anxiously Attached. BUY THE BOOK
In other words, when I became the man I desired, I actually didn’t NEED a relationship at all. I may have wanted one, but I didn’t need one. This anxious needing was the recurring pattern that had to be stopped. Learning to be alone and consistent self-reflection is the key to stopping the pattern.
I’m not saying that I was able to stop this pattern completely. For example, when I arrived in my new home in Ft. Lauderdale, I noticed that men tended to hide the parts of their personalities that would have sent me fleeing the scene quickly. I had to learn to ask the right questions at the right time, and most importantly—not be afraid of the answer.
When someone tells you that he or she doesn’t think you are the right person: you have to get to the point that you can eventually thank that bold person for telling you the truth—the hard facts.
After a few failed 2-3 month relationships, I finally thought I had met the kind of guy who was worthy of dating. Just after we said those three words that change everything—I LOVE YOU—he basically told me the same thing that Alan had shared on Valentine’s Day in the shower. “I think I need to date other people. I’m just not sure you’re the right guy.” (This was after assuring me that he was not that kind of guy who went from man to man seeing who would be better.)
This time I got angry instead of hurt. I thought I was angry at Luis, but I was angry with myself for not seeing the clues. That evening, on the way home, I didn’t even cry. I laughed a bit, but was mostly angry. I called a good friend and talked it through. This was a good sign that I had realized that dating was marriage.
Dating is the time when you actually see if a person is right for you. What that person says and does are your indicators of whether or not this person is worthy of the long-term.
Their truth and what they say to you are to be taken at face value—never to be superimposed with your own emotion. What they say is FACT!
I decided to stop dating again until I was clear what kept me stumbling over the same rock.
After six months of self-reflection and a lot of journaling, I finally got it. I had been starting each dating endeavor with looking for an attractive man, one who was masculine and sexy. The second, third, and fourth attributes of the person were the ones that were the most important and I valued the most (secure, able to be transparent with feelings, monogamous, passionate about love, spiritual), but masculine and sexy was at the top of my list. Keeping this salient feature at the top of my list is what clearly kept me stumbling.
With this realization, I decided to just make friends for a while, to keep life organic! This became my motto.
Keep relationships organic!
When I did this, I found a friend whom I fell in love with after three months of friendship. This is the man I’m going to marry. I know—after a year and half of dating—that he is the one I’ve been looking for my entire time. We are completely transparent. We are best friends. We respect each other. We like the same things. And… intimacy now feels secure and beautiful, instead of anxious.
I believe I finally got it right. I’m incredibly grateful to God, the Universe and to all the men that helped me find this amazing Irishman.
Deciding on and living by your core values is a tenuous challenge. My many years of spiritual coaching and life coaching can help you with this. I have helped many people in this situation see light and overcome the darkness of the past. Give me a call: 954-253-6493. SKYPE sessions are available.
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What would you feel like if everyday you loved yourself a little more…
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Chosen to show his new hypnotherapeutic techniques on The Learning Channel (TLC) and also given the opportunity to teach at the world conference for Learning, and received the award of excellence for Helping Overcome Obesity in Nashville, Bo Sebastian is the writer and director of Finding Authentic You and Uncommon Gay Spiritual Warrior. Go directly to Amazon/Amazon Kindle to buy any of his wonderfully inspired books: ]
You don’t get to this voice if reason or recognize it unless you spend time with yourself in silence, asking yourself important self-talk questions. This is like dating. You must get to know the voice of the Spirit by spending time in meditation and silence. This is the only I know to clearly download the power of wisdom and recognize the voice—IN TIMES OF TRAUMA—that is always directing YOU into safety!