You feel the connection at first while you’re pursuing someone. The newness keeps you interested. But as soon as you become sure of them – let’s say they start to attach to you, desire your company, and accept all you have to give and maybe even want more – you put up a boundary. Whoa!
If they persist in wanting you, you sense yourself detaching. You feel engulfed by their expectations of you, burdened by the emotional responsibilities of the relationship. They want you more than you want them and respond to your pull-back by leaning in closer. As they get more clingy and demanding, the walls close in. You’re emotionally shut down and want to run.
You blame the failure of the relationship on them for not “being the right person”– for being too needy and dependent. But deep down you know something went wrong inside you. The words to the wrenching old song echo in your mind: Why can’t I fall in love, like any other man? What kind of fool am I?
According to a NY Times review of Stacy Perlman’s A Grand Complication, evolution designed human beings to respond to privation – scarcity. Just as developing a sound immune system requires being exposed to lots of germs, so does our well being require being challenged by a certain amount of privation. And when you have unlimited access to something it can drive you insane by boredom.
To cope with this, the rich (in money or desirability) become collectors. You pursue the finest in a limited category of something – an object (or person) of limited quantity, one that is highly pursued by other collectors (i.e. a rare painting or an extremely desirable person). Once you have successfully secured the object, you need to continue collecting the next rare specimen so as to ward off soul-robbing boredom – to create optimum conditions for yourself.
This explains why “great catches” tend to develop commitment phobia – why they are always looking to trade up. They are rich in attributes desirable to others and can “collect” objects desirable to others, so they are bound to move on after the conquest is won. They avoid getting stuck with the too easily attainable to avoid the painful malaise of boredom. Feeling trapped creates a kind of depression which sends them on the prowl for rarer, scarcer specimens as a form of antidepressants.
If this pattern is set in my the forces of evolution, how can we overcome it?
1. Decide you are going to slip the noose of determinism. Biology is not destiny. Slipping that noose is what human progress is all about.
2. Decide that your adult cognitive mind, rather than your primitive instincts, will choose a new course of action that will lead you out of self defeating “collecting behaviors” and toward a realistic satisfying long term relationship.
3. Get on program. Abandonment Recovery offers powerful tools to help you make internal shifts which enhance your capacity for love and connection.
4. Let your imagination to help you to envision yourself in an ongoing love relationship in which the excitement of emotional conquest is replaced by the pleasure of creating an ongoing sharing and mutual bond.
5. Use the program to nurture your emotional core and to strengthen your higher self in the service of enhancing your capacity for love, caring and commitment.
© Susan Anderson May 13 2013
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