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Sometimes we compartmentalise a person’s behaviour and focus on our feelings or the picture we’ve painted in our mind. The back and forth with our ex continues even though they still insist that they don’t want us or a relationship. We claim that we love ‘the person’, not ‘their actions’ even though we don’t receive love, care, trust and respect.

Separating this person from their behaviour means that we might rationalise that they’re not rejecting us. We fervently believe that they share our feelings and desire for a relationship. An unfortunate series of obstacles causes them to reject the type of relationship we’d like to have with them, right? So we remain invested. We think we know better and then use this to build a case for holding out for the fairy-tale ending.

Hell, we might reason that half-interest and being used for sex, an ego stroke or whatever, or them being willing to take our calls or reply to texts is a sign that they want us. Or we might argue that these mean that they’re not outright rejecting us so we’re still ‘in’.

We want to believe our feelings and the illusion, but we need to believe the pattern.

The need to compartmentalise someone to continue engaging with them doesn’t bode well. It’s denying, rationalising, minimising, excusing and presuming to avoid dealing with the truth.

But given that we co-create our relationships and they also need to be co-piloted for them to be healthy, we can’t act as if the person and their behaviour are separate entities. In fact, by separating the person from their actions, we separate from (and abandon) ourselves.

We have to love the whole person in reality and also be willing to love and take care of us at the same time. The fact they still toy with us, get back together (and then go again), hang around, use us for what they can get, doesn’t mean it’s ‘love’. Compartmentalisation causes destabilisation. And while it hurts to face reality and let go, on the other side is a life where we can be fully ourselves and fully loved.

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