Answer to the question from Anon: Intimacy vs. Isolation.
The question didn’t fit into one question box so I posted it as text. :)
(sorry about your mom, hope youre all ok!) I need advice if you have the time. Last year I met a boy and we dated for a while. I’m a mess and I ruined it by not opening up and we stopped talking. I saw him for some weeks this fall because we were working on a play at university. I totally over him and it was all fine being around him. Of course I wasn’t over him and he brought up our brief relationship and asked if i thought it was weird that we stopped talking like that. The worst thing is that I keep believing that we will get a chance again, that we “meant to be”, he’s really the first guy I connected that well with, and it’s really hard because I can’t move on, even when I think I have (I was really ok for a long time). I still have issues with intimacy and it would probably end the same way if he was even interested in trying again. Do you have any advice on how to deal with this? Also merry Christmas, I really enjoy your blog! best wishes to your mom:)
Thank you for your wishes.:) I hope my mom will be completely better soon. :(
This is so strange but I think the problem you went through in the past is what I am going through now with my relationship. So… weirdly enough I’m actually giving myself advice by giving you advice. lol Unfortunately i’m not very good at following my own advice.. although, it makes perfect logical sense…logic tends goes out the window when emotions get involved.
Anyway, like you, the guy I’m currently dating is someone I have an unbelievable connection with. I’ve never experienced this before in my life. Tell me if this rings a bell for you… When you are around him hours go by like seconds, you laugh at the same things, even when you are mad at each other you smile when you see him for no reason at all, he doesn’t have to talk for you to know how he feels and vise versa. The list goes on.
And like you I have trouble opening up about a lot of things that are essential for a successful relationship. After a lot of thinking I decided that I don’t want to be hard on myself because of it.
And ill tell you why:
A psychologist names Erickson said that people go through 8 stages of development. Based on your problem I’m guessing that, like me, you are in Stage 6 which is for people from 18-30—give or take a few years.
This stage is called Intimacy vs. Isolation.
The goal of this stage is to achieve some level of intimacy as oppose to remaining in isolation.
I think different people are better at certain stages than others. Our partners might be slightly better at this stage than us. But might be better at a previous stage or future stage.
For example Stage 5 is Identity vs. Role Confusion from age 13-20 ish—and i think I was great in this stage. I knew who I was and what I wanted to do in life.
The reason I’m writing about all this psychology/ science mumbo jumbo is to tell you that, its very common to have hard time opening up and creating intimacy in a relationship (i’m not talking about sex, i’m talking opening up your soul). Just be patient and trust that you are smart enough to put yourself in the situation that will help you the most in the long run.
If you think it’s meant to be (as I do)— be with him. It will be hard but he will be worth it. If he is patient he will help you work through your stage of intimacy vs. Isolation to find a beautiful balance. If not, you learned something that will make you better for a future relationship.
If you don’t think its going to work because you are sure this will be rerun of the past—spend more time with yourself to figure out who YOU are and what YOU like. Try to get to the bottom of why it’s so hard for you to open yourself up. It is a betrayal from a past relationship? Is it something from your childhood? Once you figure it out though your own trials and tribulations..then you can enter a relationship.
This quote offers a pretty good explanation:
"Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex; But eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, Stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories and make peace with them."
I personally think practice makes perfect. It’s hard to know how to be better at being in a relationship without being in one. So I choose to work through my problems while being in a relationship. Obviously, if it starts causing my partner too much pain…it has to come to an end.
One more quote to sum things up:
It’s easy to take off your clothes and have sex; people do it all the time, but opening up your soul to someone, letting them into your spirit, thoughts, fears, future, hopes, and dreams.. that’s being naked.
Hope this helps. Sorry for making it so long. I had a lot of say about this topic. lol Message me whenever you want to talk. <3