Dear Dr. Love,I have just started out in a fantastic relationship with a guy who used to be my very best freind. Usually after the first month or so I get bored and break up with whomever I go out with. I would like to keep my interest with this one becuas he is the greatest guy and has been my very best freind for so long. Please help cause I already fear myself blocking him out.Sincerely, worried
This blocking out that you describe is what we psychologists call a defense. A defense is the mind’s unconscious way of protecting us from some terrifying feeling. You are asking me to help you gain control over this defense.The first way to gain control is to not act. By this I mean, even if the defense is urging you to take off or pull away (in order to run from the feelings that are coming up), don’t act on the impulse and stick around. When you don’t act, you will find that the feelings that you are trying to run from will be forced to come up.Then, you can begin to work with the feelings. Listen to your inner self and hear what it tells you. To help this process along you can ask yourself, if I don’t pull away what will I feel?I suspect that you have the urge to pull away when a relationship begins to get close. Do you know why?For many of us, closeness with a lover is terrifying. It reminds us, again unconsciously, of when we were very small and close to our parents. Oftentimes this closeness hurt, felt dangerous, or was ripped away from us, etc. So, when we grow up and fall in love, we unconsciously fear that closeness will damage us.So, you need to think about your history and figure out why closeness is scary for you. Are you afraid to lose the closeness (he will abandon you); are you afraid to be swallowed up (he will take you over)?To help you figure out what is scary for you about closeness, you can also search my Advice Archives under: fear of intimacy and fear of commitment. These articles will give you more insight. Once you understand why closeness is scary, and you put your fears to the light of day, instead of defending against them by running away or breaking off, you are on the path to healing.To continue the healing, you can talk more about your fears with me, with a therapist in your area, or with your lover (if he is open). The more you talk, the less terrifying the feelings become. The fear that underlies your wish to run is a universal fear. We are all terrified, to some degree, of allowing ourselves to be close and trust another.I congratulate you on your courage to face this matter and not run any more. You will surely triumph and find lasting love.My best wishes to you.