Me: It’s just that I feel anxious when someone likes me TOO much. Like I am suddenly responsible for them and their feelings. I don’t want to hurt them. I don’t want to be responsible!
My therapist: Do you think maybe you’re more afraid of being vulnerable and of letting yourself trust another person to show up for you than you are of being responsible for someone? Maybe it is your own feelings rather than the other person’s that is the issue here?
Me: Yes. That’s probably it. . . Shit.
I have felt like this for a long time- that guys who like me “too” much somehow are putting a pressure on me to live up to something I am not. I don’t want to be put up on a pedestal but I should want to be appreciated, right? That’s normal. That’s healthy. (I’m still learning what normal and healthy are. Work with me here.) Maybe all this time I’ve held guys at an arms length was more about wanting to protect myself from getting hurt than about not wanting to take responsibility.
Dear God I sound like something out of a psych text book. I’m a cliche! It’s official.
I tend to believe that a guy is not going to show up for me and so, I keep seeking out men who won’t and call those guys “my type”. Maybe they are unavailable- they like someone else/are in a relationship with someone else, they live somewhere far away, they are emotionally inept, they lack the ability to communicate in healthy, productive ways. . . they always say one thing and do another. Every. Single. Time. If I had to define the common thread through “my type” that is it right there. And it’s a very painful trigger for me. At some point, now equipped with this knowledge, I get to say ENOUGH and stop seeking out that kind of guy.
That point is right now.
I’m not going to pretend it’s easy to change the way you are wired when it comes to relationships. But I can no longer go along the way I’ve been. It does not work for me. “My type” is not a good type. And so I have to keep checking my instincts and fine tuning them. A man with integrity, with character, with a strong sense of self, who possesses the ability to talk about feelings without hiding or choking on them, who can own his shit and works on it, who is available in all senses of the word AND who appreciates me for who I am is not asking too much. I deserve that. At the very least, that’s what I deserve.
I just keep telling myself that when my internal panic button has been pressed.
Maybe, just maybe, if I keep showing up for myself I’ll be better able to pick out someone who can show up for me.