How long does it really take for a person to detect certain patterns about themselves? For me, it took around five years. It took me five years to really understand the strategy that I built for myself whenever I started dating someone new. The approach that I take, the one that I’ve been so unaware of for so long. But thankfully, I eventually spotted mine. And it wasn’t until I did, that I started seeing how systemic my pattern actually was. I didn’t realize I was doing what I was doing until I sat back in my chair and watched myself do it automatically with my eyes closed. I call that pattern “The Unavailable Available”.
A few years back, during my first year of college; I met a guy. He was sweet, nice and pretty dull. He asked me out and skipping all the boring details, we finally made it to our destination. However, in the first few minutes of the date, I was already searching for flaws to make me flee, I was so eager for him to say something wrong or for him to even offend me, so that I’d find a good excuse as to why I won’t be seeing him again. My whole focus during that date was on the guy’s imperfections rather than on the things that I actually did like about him.
When the date was over and done with. I literally fled. We didn’t go out again. And that is the case with at least 90% of the dates that I’ve been on.
“However, in the first few minutes
of the date, I was already searching
for flaws to make me flee…”
Basically, the pattern went as follows: I go out with the guy once and then BAM! It’s as if it never happened at all. I completely shut myself off. I make myself ridiculously impossible to reach or approach in anyway. A few years down the road, as time went by and maturity started kicking in; I realized that all that time I’d convince myself that I’m ready to get with someone, ready to start a relationship and all that yada yada, but I most definitely fucking wasn’t. I wasn’t because I’d always find a way to stop the plane before it even takes off. I’d subconsciously sabotage that thought of making it work by basically doing these three things:
1. I’d go for other unavailable available types
I’d always go for guys who looked like really bad decisions. If a guy had a sticky note that said “Bad idea!” stuck to his forehead, I saw it as my cue to walk into his life. Why? so that when the time came, and I decided to leave, he wouldn’t be affected much by it.
2. I’d run to the nearest exit by constantly coming up with illogical excuses as to why “it’s not working out for me, sorry”
I used them all, all the lines in the world, I USED THEM. “It’s a bad time for me, right now”, “I’m too busy with other shit”, “my fear of emotional attachment won’t let me do it”. And the funny thing here is that I would work on convincing myself that these excuses were astoundingly valid, whereas what was really going on was that I was either freaking out like fuck or just didn’t want to get with them, at all.
3. I’d let my imagination roam freely and fantasize about all the incredible possibilities until that first shake of real actual vulnerability and intimacy makes me run for the hills
Now, the really intense part. On the occasional event that I’d actually take off one layer of my so many holdbacks, that other person would naturally try to get closer, right? Well, whenever I felt that process was starting to take place in the past, I’d bail out IMMEDIATELY. No warning signs. Bitch move, I know. But for some reason, I couldn’t bear the idea of the whole relationship-partners-love-sharing thing. I couldn’t stand the idea of being tied down.
Here’s the thing, though. I never lied about it to any of the guys. I mean, ever since I realized something was off but didn’t want to do anything about it. I would state all that was on my mind at the very beginning of it but somehow, that made guys think that I was doing it so that they’d chase me harder??? I’m serious, a lot of guys actually hear “I want you to play the cat and mouse game with me” when all a woman’s trying to say is “I’m not looking for anything serious” or “Let’s just enjoy it while it lasts”. Oh, well…
My fear of intimacy has kept me from getting what I wanted for so damn long, simply because I didn’t even know I had it. It wasn’t until you tried getting close and I felt my jaw clenching, my hands trembling, my voice breaking and my guts crying out “Fucking get up and leave!” That I had to recognize that it was a thing, a BIG thing. But to be entirely fair, my commitment issues have also helped me dodge some serious weirdos. No, like, for realzeez.
5 Unique Ways To Maintain Long-Distance Relationships
Many people get excited to leave their hometowns and start a new chapter of their lives, but it’s hard to let go of people who shaped your city into a home — that’s right, the start of long distance friendships. Sadly, it is especially hard to maintain your friends back home during college: You’re busy maintaining rigorous classes, working a part-time job, or just figuring your life out in a whole new location. Luckily, here are some fun, convenient options to maintain long distance friendships!
- Snapchat vlogs.
Snapchat is easy to maintain multiple conversations going with sending one video. With a quick Snapchat video with the location attached, you can tell a story about the area or invite to hang out.
- Meme tagging.
Simple meme tagging on Instagram or Facebook can translate to “thinking of you” or “what do you think about this?” to your friend. It can also spark new jokes or reminiscent old memories with these tags.
Sending letters may seem old school but it can be an entertaining, endearing form of friendship appreciation. You can even make a simple letter more exciting by placing a small polaroid.
- Use playlists.
If you want to maintain an unspoken conversation, just maintain a personal playlist on a certain platform with your friend. You can add throwback childhood songs.
- Video chat.
Though it may be more time consuming than other ways to communicate, Facetime or skype call once a month can makeup weeks of no talking. It’s nice to feel transported into a normal conversation through a video phone call.
Tips On Having a Healthy Relationship
Romantic relationships, in all of their complexity, are a fundamental component of our lives. And as the poet Rainer Maria Rilke mused, “there is scarcely anything more difficult than to love one another.” Here are some tips to help maintain a healthy relationships.
- See the best in your partner and in your relationship. Research on perception and attention shows that we see more of what we look for, so if you’re looking for signs of kindness, that’s more likely to stand out to you.
- Have fun. Couples who engage in exciting and enjoyable activities together have greater relationship satisfaction.
- Have good sex. Increasing research is pointing to a great sex life as predicting better relationship satisfaction.
- Have a good relationship with yourself. The relationship you have with yourself is arguably the foundation on which your other relationships are built, and studies are supporting this notion.
5 Things Can Make Your Relationship Fail
There exists an abundance of tips one can give with regards to relationships. Below are several ones that are strikingly significant and hugely impactful.
- Don’t assume. It is very natural to make assumptions about a lot of things in life. But this becomes deadly within the context of a relationship if approached in the wrong way. So instead of making an assumption and acting accordingly, approach the other person and articulate your assumption. An assumption is only validated through a test, and tool for that in a relationship is communication.
- Don’t lie. This should come off as being very obvious. Yet it cannot be stressed enough. The other person naturally develops a standard of moral level. Lying leads to a significant reduction in those levels.
- Don’t build walls. The use of walls here is a figure of speech. Naturally, in any relationship the aim is to connect at various levels. Any action–or in the less obvious sense, inaction–that is not appropriate leads to building walls between you and the other. These walls are not easily broken.
- Don’t be logical. Not everything can be understood. You would be surprised at the amount of things that you may never understand about the other’s way of thinking, or choice of action. Therefore, there are things that you should not attempt to understand; you should rather develop the capacity to accept, with good grace, that it does not have to make sense to you.
- Don’t over-do it. If you want to be good, be very good. If you want to be generous, be very generous. If you want to be patient, be very patient. Over-doing any of these, among other things, leads to the development of misunderstanding. The boundaries of the relationship would get reshaped and the nature of the relationship then is bound to change.