Ironically dating that leads to a true love relationship is terrifying to the hidden part of us that's responsible for our safety and survival. If we love deeply and surrender to love, fear naturally arises. Opening up to another being tends to bring up old wounds from the past, especially childhood. The survival system can be stronger than the human heart. Its only interest is in protecting us from getting hurt by anyone or anything. For some of us, the possibility of establishing a profound connection poses perhaps the biggest threat. The fear of commitment often masks a deeper issue. You may feel "not good enough," "engulfed," "not perfect," and so on. The fire of passion is literally too hot for many people to handle, so they run away. Without making the soul choice to hang in there and face the fire, our desired connections don't stand a chance.
There are love relationship tips you can use to let you know that you have snagged someone afraid of connection. See if these sound familiar:
1. After the sexual excitement has died down a bit your lover becomes elusive.
2. Your love interest starts avoiding opportunities to get together, and when you mention it you are called a "complainer."
3. Any mention on your part of moving into more commitment is met with evasion, "Do what you need to do for yourself. Don't worry about me."
4. Your partner develops a roving eye. Sitting at a dinner table you see your beloved watching everyone that passes.
5. The sexual interest dies between you. You express a desire for more affection and are told that you are "too pushy."
It doesn't matter what techniques you use in a love relationship. Unless there is an awakening of consciousness and a desire to increase the level of intimacy, there cannot be a breakthrough. In my therapeutic practice I have watched women spend ten years with men who were terrified of being abandoned but were also terrified of commitment. When push comes to shove this type of man chooses his freedom over the woman. He is often too concerned with what he could miss out on later to commit to today.
In my book, The Passion Principle: Discover Your Personal Passion Signature and the Secrets to Deeper Relationships in Love, Life and Work, I identify 5 signature styles of relating. Each has a healthy balanced, loving aspect, which makes for great relationships and a wounded side, which shows up as the inability to love or commit for one reason or another. They are the Warrior/Conqueror, Lover/Vamp, Creator/Martyr, Prophet/Perfectionist, and Visionary/Perfectionist. To create a breakthrough in receiving the love you want or commit to the love you have, you must step into the balanced healthy aspect of your signature.
In romantic relationships the Warrior is committed, sexy and loyal. The Conqueror works so many hours s/he is not available for commitment. The Lover is wonderful with commitment and intimacy. The Vamp can be desperately needy and make you want to run from commitment. The Creator is fantastic at commitment. The Martyr feels trapped in intimate relationships and runs at the first sign of commitment. The Prophet is a blissfully connected lover. The Escapist is a Houdini who will run from you at the first sign of commitment. The Visionary is positive, high energy and a great mate. The Perfectionist is disappointed by anyone who turns up in the flesh because they are searching for the perfect mate.
The wounded aspects of the “passion signatures” can get in the way of deepening intimacy and cause you to waste precious time. I have seen men and women spend 30 years trying to find Mr. or Ms. Right, and no one was ever good enough. If this type is your partner, you won't be good enough either.
You can beg a workaholic Conqueror to come home and put your relationship first for decades, only to bury this type of mate before the request is honored. You can also consume five years trying to get a Martyr to join you in a grounded, forward-moving relationship to no avail, and forfeit just as many years of effort trying to establish a significant relationship with a Vamp who is only attracted to the unavailable. Relationships can be used as vessels for growth and healing, but only between willing partners.
A 45-year-old Martyr grew up under the domination of an angry, controlling mother. As an adult, he continued waging battle against his mother by never committing to one woman. In a series of monogamous relationships, he provoked a long stream of women to become hostile and demanding, just like his mother, until the day came when each one could not stand any more and left him in disgust. What he didn't realize was that his past was ruling his life and that love would elude him forever unless he dealt with his wounds. His latest girlfriend, a woman who wanted to understand her patterns, brought him to my office. She asked me to help her decide whether or not to stay in it, or break it off.
The man was the eternal "nice guy" who would do anything for his woman, except commit. Each of his previous girlfriends only knew this side of him, because he was a chameleon. His defiance of her was never put in her face. It was subtle, insidious, behind-the-back stuff, nothing she could put her finger on. He seemed to be there, in the dating relationship, except he wasn't really there. He told his new love interest that he was keeping his connections with the other women because he didn't like to hurt people. He insisted that he wasn't stringing anyone along . . . it was just that he had never found the one woman to whom he could commit. His fears were sabotaging the relationship.
My client who was the wounded Lover/Vamp had been replaying a traumatic childhood scene of her own with the boyfriend. In relationship with him, she basically was trying to get her abandoning father not to leave. Her dad had walked out on her family when she was a small child, never to be seen again. Both she and her boyfriend were full-grown adults, yet when it came to love they were hopelessly locked in a painful cycle of tug of war. She was sabotaging her happiness by trying to persuade an unavailable man to love her.
Remember: There are no bad guys here. Sometimes we're ready for things and sometimes we are not. A sign that you are personally unready is that you continue dating people who are also not available when you check below the surface. Or if they are available, you "make" them not good enough, or tell yourself, "Not now." If you are on the receiving end of a message of reluctance, hang in there for a little while in case your love interest becomes more comfortable. Seek help in processing your feelings if you must. But if you find your self-esteem draining from you while you wait, or you feel less and less valued by your mate, it is time to "cut bait" (break up), toss "the fish" (your partner) back into the sea, and walk away.
There are more easy-to-apply love relationship tips and tools you can use to create commitment in what looks like hopeless cases. In my book, The Passion Principle: Discover Your Passion Signature and the Secrets to Deeper Relationships in Love, Life and Work, you will find lots more to help you have the love relationship you deserve.
Here's one final thought. If you are in a loving relationship, it is vital that managing the relationship and growing in the relationship become your two highest priorities. You must be honest and diligent, take responsibility for your own energy, feelings, thoughts, and defenses, and try to understand your impact on your partner. This last item matters most when things are going wrong or you want to deepen your connection. These are keys to unleashing romantic passion.
Excerpt from The Passion Principle, Copyright Donna LeBlanc 2006
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