Hi Dr. Love,I’ve been reading your responses for quite a while now and I must say they have been really helpful for me, to say the least. My problem is the following: I’m dating this wonderful girl but I feel terrified of opening up to somebody and being hurt again like I’ve been in the past. I realize that my wounds stem from my childhood, during which I received a lot of verbal abuse and had no freedom to even express my feelings (I feel as though i was anihilated). So now i’ve decided to take it slow with any female I meet.The concern is, what if I take it too slow with somebody that’s a good candidate, and she then thinks I’m being cold, or that I don’t like her? I don’t want to drive a potential soulmate away! Also, is it possible to heal childhood wounds without the need of a partner, like, say in therapy? I’ve been seeing a psychologist for awhile now, and talking about my pain has really helped, but the fear of closeness still persists. I pray to God that you choose my questions. Thank you very much…Sincerely, Scared to be hurt again.
What a great question. I understand your wish to take it slow, and I also understand your concern that you might drive someone away if you hang back. Unfortunately, your plan to take it slow is merely a band aid that doesn’t solve the issue–being afraid to get close.Which leads me to your second question. Can you heal this problem in therapy? Actually, therapy is the main place to heal a wound like yours. But, you will not heal if you only discuss what happened in the past. In order to heal your problem within the therapy , you will need to form a relationship with your therapist in which you allow yourself to feel and discuss all the feelings that you have toward him or her. In this way you will experience, first hand, all the fears and hesitations that you have about getting close to lover, by first experiencing those same feelings toward your therapist. And, by working through these feelings your therapist, you will actually heal the fears that stem from your old wounds. If your therapy continues to only discuss the past, you will be unlikely to heal. In other words, you need to have a complete emotional relationship with your therapist, before you will be able to do so in your outside life.So, see if your therapist is able to form this type of relationship with you. If he or she cannot, then your next step is to find a modern psychoanalyst, who is trained to do exactly what I am talking about.When you heal the problem, you won’t need to use slow-down tricks, which, as you said, may push away the woman of your dreams.All the best.