You meet someone, you get on brilliantly, you can feel something building between you. And then they say that they can’t be in a relationship due to whatever it is they’re going through. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I revisit the subject of actions needing to match words and why when someone says that they’re not ready for or can’t do a relationship, we need to believe and accept it so that we don’t break our own heart waiting for them to become available.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • Even if this person has some interest in us, by pumping the breaks on that possibility, it’s, at best, a code amber alert that we need to stop, look, listen and get grounded. We need to take our next steps with caution and awareness because what we have in mind is different from what’s on theirs. We are not on the same page and so right now, even if, in our mind, it’s purely about the timing, we are not compatible. 
  • Mixed messages equals problems. Unfortunately, we tend to focus on what suits us. When someone says what we want to hear even though their actions are at odds with it, we focus on the words. And when they do things that fit with how we want to perceive things even though they’re saying something contradictory, we focus on the actions. 
  • If someone says they’re not ready for a relationship, believe them. They’ve said it for a reason and have possibly shared those reasons. If you think you’re receiving mixed messages, get clarity. Are they saying things that create hope, that hint at possibilities, possibly while reminding you that they don’t want a relationship? Or, is it that continuing to spend time around this person and reading into things is giving us false hope? 
  • When it comes to romantic relationships, we each have associations with what we infer as romantic interest and possibilities. e.g. If we get on particularly well with someone, we might say that ‘The best relationships start with friendship’. From there we might assume that this means that we’re destined to be together and live happily ever after.
  • Waiting around to see if someone will become ready, able and available for a relationship, whether consciously or not, means holding out for something they haven’t agreed to and that they might not become ready for.

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The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon/HarperCollins) is out now and available in bookshops on and offline. Listen to the first chapter.
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