The incessant NEED to be connected to an intimate partner is exhausting. It’s exhausting to both partners and anyone privy to the complaining, judging, and whining of either one or both partners. The ‘otherness’ stream is uttered every other sentence as he/she obsesses about how to cajole the mate to behave so they will feel connected and okay.
“If I don’t kill him first.” “Okay, okay, let’s just see what she wants to do.” “He’s not even speaking to me today.” “He didn’t hold my hand the whole drive down.” “We went on a beautiful walk and he didn’t touch me once.” “She won’t go anywhere without me.” BLAH, blah, blah, blah, blah… I will just focus my entire attention on what he is doing, not doing, how much he shows me he loves me, what’s wrong, how connected we are every single second and I WILL base MY mood accordingly.
Obviously, I am the one exhausted by someone in the throws of, let’s call it, intimate connection dependance. The scary part is that I recognize my own past behavior in it. Yuck. I’m sure I was just as annoying. But beyond that, when our happiness is tied directly to how well we think our intimate partnerships are going at every possible second… well, I was miserable, the person I am describing is miserable and I suspect others are as well.
I’m not in a relationship now. My goodness, it’s easier! Must it be this way? Single- fairly content. Or relationship-obsessed and desperate/disappointed? If you have this figured out, please let me know. But for now, I have four ideas and will do my best to commit to memory for when I am once again smoochy, smoochy, cohabitating in coupledom (coupledoom).
1. Shut up about it! No one wants to hear you bitch incessantly about your partner. If it sucks so badly, leave.
2. Do stuff by yourself.
3. Pretend you are only with this person for another month.
(I did this recently, not as an experiment, but in real life. It was amazing how much I just ‘let go’ and how many fewer times I took the bait of an argument because I knew I was out of there.)
4. Connect with your friends.
Simple, yes. Hope it gives you a bit of a push. It has me. Love to you (and your partner), Susan