There’s a very common phenomenon that is the greatest single saboteur of healthy, new love. I’m wondering if you’ve ever experienced it. It goes like this:
You’ve been dating someone new for a few days, weeks or even months. They’re wonderful, and you think you may be falling for them. Their actions and words tell you that they feel the same about you.
On a scale of 1-10, you’d say that you are at about a 9 or 10 in terms of your feelings for them. You’re crazy about them, maybe even weak-in-the-knees crazy at times.
But then one day you’re on a date and having a nice time together, when suddenly something in their demeanor strikes you as a bit of a turn off.
Maybe it’s the food that got stuck on their chin they weren’t aware of. Or their nose hairs.
Maybe it’s the way they guffawed that sounded just so dorky.
Maybe they seemed overly solicitous when you were only mildly complaining about feeling under the weather. You don’t want them to make you soup! Or rub your shoulders! Or make a big deal out of it.
Maybe they wore a shirt that made them look unattractively flabby.
It could be any number of small, seemingly insignificant things. Suddenly, you felt a little bit bored with this person. You’re ashamed that you ever found this person attractive.
Yesterday, you were perfectly content, but now you’re almost queasy with distaste. And you’re already starting to mentally make your way to the exit. You’re mortified that you’re about to hurt this person.
This is the point at which you need to pause and take a few minutes to ponder what’s really going on, before you make a big mistake.
If you think back to the times you experienced this sudden loss of desire or attraction for someone you were dating, chances are, this was a person who was available, kind, decent, and present to you.
You didn’t have to keep vying for their attention and affection. No. In fact, they probably liked you, and weren’t afraid to show it.
They didn’t act hot and cold with you. They didn’t suddenly pull away, leaving you wondering if they were still into you. They didn’t give you the impression they were still in love with their ex, or deciding between you and another person.
They probably didn’t make you sick with longing and confusion, either.
Nope. They were just decent, kind, and present.
But for some reason, you started to nit-pick this person in your mind. Not because you noticed this person being cruel or dishonest or abusive in any way. It wasn’t due to discovering they were a narcissist or had some type of addiction. It had nothing to do with this person revealing a defect in character.
You just lost attraction. Just like that.
Maybe you thought, “Well maybe I wasn’t ever into that person to begin with.”
Admitting this is embarrassing. It makes you doubt yourself and doubt your instincts.
As a psychotherapist, I’ve often heard clients describe this phenomenon to me. In fact, I experienced this myself when I was single, and it destroyed new relationship after new relationship, leaving me alone for decades when I really ached to love and be loved.
I became very curious about this phenomenon and wanted to decipher why it happens and what it means, so I could help my clients and help myself, too.
I named this phenomenon of suddenly losing attraction, Wave of Distancing.
What I find fascinating is that this Wave of Distancing only happens when you date people who are available. Meaning—kind, decent, and present.
Why do kind and decent people trigger this? Because they’re available, and that means you are starting to let down your guard, perhaps even fall in love with someone who may be starting to see the real you, and your soul is frightened.
Why is it frightened? Three reasons:
1. You’re more at risk of being hurt. You feel a growing sense that this is someone you can really trust. If you trust them, then losing them would hurt—really hurt. The betrayal could be greater.
It’s like a mother bird that acts crazy and feigns injury to distract a predator away from her precious nest of babies. Your subconscious is doing things to distract you from this potentially great relationship because it wants to protect YOUR precious thing: your treasured sense of self.
Our psyche does these crazy acts to protect us because we’ve been hurt so badly in the past.
2. You’re creating a primitive defense to protect your Core Gifts. If we don’t know how to honor or take care of who we really are at the core—our Core Gifts—those deep parts of us will create what’s called a primitive defense.
In other words, we’ll put up walls in the form of the Wave of Distancing to keep us from getting hurt. Your psyche may feel like you can’t take care of yourself well enough, so it does it for you.
3. You’re highly sensitive, and you need extra space. People who are Highly Sensitive (like me) need extra space—both literally and figuratively. If you don’t know this about yourself, you will shut down and push people away because it’s your subconscious way of protecting yourself.
Regardless of why you are experiencing a Wave of Distancing, the next time you find yourself experiencing one, it’s something to celebrate! It means that real love might be right around the corner.
It means that you may have found someone who has the potential to be your soul mate.
It means you’re on the right track, you just have to keep going.
However, from both my personal and professional experience, I know it’s not easy to keep going. You’ll second-guess yourself. You’ll see it as a sign that you’re not really interested in this person.
You’ll wonder about this Wave of Distancing but dismiss it, because you won’t be able to see past your judgments and doubts.
Yes—you’ll need help with this.
And I want to be right there with you, guiding you, so you can finally stop sabotaging love and have the kind of soul relationship you’ve always dreamed of.
But I can’t possibly work individually with everyone who needs this kind of help. That’s why I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible, since almost all singles who are longing to find a life partner can benefit from these insights and tips.
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