If you’re involved with someone who backs off once they feel in control of the dynamic and then blows hot when they’re uncertain about you and basically out of control, that’s someone who lacks self-awareness and is running off of their feelings. When they feel panicky as the intimacy builds, or their desire wanes as they become vulnerable or when normality kicks in and you each have to deal with life’s inevitables’s, they’ll respond to those feelings and bail / play up and not consider the fact that they have intimacy and problem solving issues. They’ll claim, yet again, that something wasn’t right with the relationship or their exes. They have typical responses to their feelings but don’t really dig too deep (if at all) for reasoning and knowledge that would help them read their feelings and make more authentic choices grounded in a healthy sense of self.
A lot of what we do with regards to attraction is driven by instinct, and our instincts and intuition are very much governed by how connected we are to ourselves.
Do we feel all of our feelings? Are we willing to be emotionally honest and listen to our own thoughts and feelings? Do we live by our values? Do we even know what our needs, expectations, and desires are and how to step up for most of these as well as how to healthily seek them in others? Are we responsible and accountable, or do we tend to look for external solutions to internal problems? Do we, for instance, blame it all on qualities or characteristics of our ex when our relationships break down or even claim that all of our exes are ‘psychos’? Do we act first, think later? Do we get carried away and place too much stock in our intentions and so end up Future Faking and Fast Forwarding? Do we edge or even dive out of relationships claiming that we don’t want a relationship and aren’t up for commitment and then have our ex’s feeling more than a tad confused when they see us prancing around with a new partner claiming that they’re the ‘love of our life’ in two shakes of a lamb’s tail?
You may recognise flip-flapping, hot and cold blowing exes who you’ve probably lost some sleep over wondering why they’re with someone else and not you. You may be blaming you when actually, it’s not about you.
If we’re disconnected from aspects of ourselves, our instincts will be off base and this means that until we’re aware of the patterns of thinking and behaviour that result from us running off what we believe to be the ‘correct’ information from our instincts, we’ll be driven primarily by feelings that we may not be aware of the origins of or may even be mislabeling them. The less we truly know about ourselves and the trickier we find it to have an honest conversation with us and be willing to look within, is the more muddled our intuition will be, which in turn will mess with our instincts, which will not only affect our fight or flight response, but also who we’re attracted to.
This means that not only do we have to stop owning other people’s behaviour to the extent that we do but that we also have to recognise that we ourselves are going to be making some unhealthy ‘instinctive’ decisions if we don’t know ourselves either and have our own emotional unavailability issues to deal with.
We cannot expect to be in a mutually fulfilling relationship with the landmarks – consistency, commitment, balance, progression and intimacy plus shared values – if we lack the self-knowledge that stems from knowing our own needs, expectations, wishes, feelings, and opinions. Not knowing these is why we wake up knee-deep in a relationship feeling hungry and recognising that there are issues around compatible values.
When we are willing to know ourselves more, we change not only who we’re attracted to (and why) but are also happier with the results of who we’re attracted to, instead of carrying the same baggage, beliefs, behaviours and attitudes and choosing similar people and then wondering why we’re getting the same results, and then lather, rinse, repeat.
Until we’re willing to recognise and represent ourselves, not only will we struggle to have self-trust, but we’ll be living off of our feelings and lamenting why we can’t make a healthy relationship with an unhealthy attraction. The two things don’t match! We won’t have the instincts to assert our boundaries, because we won’t have the self-awareness to use reasoning and knowledge to back us up. The way we treat our feelings will keep leading us astray.
Change doesn’t come without change. The most radical change you may have to make is being willing to know yourself more. That can only be a good thing.
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