I think I have some messed up ideas about relationships, that are going to get in the way of me finding true intimacy and being a really good partner to someone. I want to get over these ideas but am terrified that acting in a more authentic and loving way will backfire. Hope me?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a lesbian in my late twenties. Since coming out in my early twenties I feel like I've learned/ingrained some really messed up ideas about how to keep people interested in me and secure their love. I feel horrified writing this and knowing that I think this way/play these games, and I want to stop, but I'm scared that if I do engage with people more authentically that they won't love me and that I'll be alone.
Basically I feel like I've learned that in order to keep someone's interest, I need to make myself indifferent and unavailable. This lesson has come to me by different women falling in love with me over the years. It seems like when I don't reciprocate their love, or give a little but remain uncommitted, they go wild! They want me so bad! I am very sensitive to rejection and would never stick around/pursue someone the way that women I've rejected have continued to pursue me.
Not only that, but it seems like if I start a relationship by being into someone and showing it, they are interested but not really committed. But if I break up with them or am otherwise non committal, and then give them another chance, then they are, like, forever enamoured with me. It feels like I have to threaten that they will lose me in order to make them appreciate me.
I hate having these thoughts and "knowing" this works. The thing is, it does work. But it's an awful way to treat people and I really don't want to do it. The problem is I'm pretty insecure and terrified of rejection, so I have a really hard time being with someone who I don't feel is 100% committed to being with me. So often if I feel someone is ambivalent/slightly doubting it/not head over heels in love with me, then I will act ambivalent/talk about breaking up, until it seems like a switch is hit and they become crazy about me. God I hate myself just writing that haha. But how do I stop this behaviour knowing that it is so effective? What I really want is a genuine, authentic, loving relationship with someone.
I am dating a new person now who I really, really like. I feel overwhelmed by all my love feelings for her. I write poems about her. I fantasize about her all the time, she makes my heart race. I've worked really hard so far to not engage in any game playing. I've had moments where I wanted to kind of express ambivalence or something just to see how she'd react, but I resisted (an ex once told me that it seems like I test her to prove her love to me….sounds about right). So although I've resisted any kind of game playing/anxiety invoking so far, I also really hold back about my feelings about her. I mean, it's only been a month, and I'm pretty upfront about how I really like her/find her really attractive, etc., but I don't really let her see the full extent of it for fear that she'll just feel like she has me, I'm too easy, and will lose interest. I feel like the type of woman I'm attracted to (butchy, tough, charmers) is the type who really likes a chase and a challenge. I know that sounds reductionist and like an overgeneralization etc etc., but I really feel like it's true. I especially feel like I'm holding back on letting her know how much I want her sexually, like she knows I think she's super hot, but I purposefully wait for her to kiss me first, initiate sex, etc. I'm just scared of being overbearing, of scaring her away, of losing her really.
So how does one just be really respectful and genuine and vulnerable in relationships when it feels like you know that holding back and creating ambivalence would kind of solidify their interest in you? How do you just let yourself love when it feels like you date the type of person who wants to always be chasing? It's not like I want to play games forever, just long enough to cement her interest, but gawd, that's awful, of course I don't want to do that.
I'm especially interested in hearing from people for whom rejection makes the crush grow stronger, or who get turned off by a love interest coming on too strong/responding too eagerly. How can I be good to this woman and not scare her away?