This week's question comes from Lee Ann:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
My last relationship ended almost 4 months ago. I'm finding that I have a strong tendency and desire to isolate. I feel really good when I'm completely alone with no demands on me, or pressure to do or be anything other than what and where I am at that time. And when the tough feelings come up, I'm able to be completely with them right away and love myself. When I go out to the store or for a walk, I'm happy to see people and smile, and it feels like I'm in a relaxed place of peace. But I'm worried that this isolating tendency with no desire to plan social get-togethers or go out socially isn't good for me and I'm avoiding something. Or is this good for me? I don't have any close friends because I'm not very outgoing, and I put so much time and energy into my unhealthy relationship.
Thank you so much.”
Dear Lee Ann,
When we first read your question, we were going to give you suggestions on how and why you should start connecting with other people, then the benefits of friendship, etc. And then we re-read your question and noticed your final statement.
“I put so much time and energy into my unhealthy relationship.”
One of the qualities of an unhealthy relationship is that it isolates you from others. Sometimes this can be because you are in a relationship with someone who is isolating you in order to control you. Another cause can be an unhealthy pattern of merging with your partner and therefore hold the belief that you don’t need anyone else.
However this pattern is presenting itself, and whatever past experiences created it, it is not a healthy pattern (as you acknowledged in your statement).
No relationship can be everything for you, just as no one person can be everything for you. This is the bad math of dysfunctional love: 1 +1 = 1.
We have a different equation (still bad math) and it creates a healthy relationship: 1 + 1 = 3. The third entity is the relationship itself.
Instead of investing your time and energy into the other person, make investments into your relationship, all while taking care of yourself in the process. One powerful investment in your relationship is to spend time apart – re-fueling with friends, family, or alone.
It is equally important to examine your strategy in relationship to invest a lot of time and energy even when you are aware it is unhealthy. Based on our years of work understanding what motivates behavior in our clients, it is clear that one or both of your parents was probably ill, alcoholic, depressed, or otherwise incapacitated. Because of this situation, you most likely had to step up and take care of that parent either physically, emotionally, or both.
We see this dynamic a lot and it can be difficult to break. The little child in you believes that in order to be loved you have to sacrifice yourself in some way. When you heal this wound you will no longer feel the desire to lose yourself in a relationship and isolate from the world. Instead, feeling comfortable in your own skin, you will find it easy to connect with others.
Discovering the specific language and pattern of Your Love Imprint® is the first and most important step of this journey of healing. In order to heal the wound, you must uncover the wound as the first step.
Joining us for a Your Love Imprint® Session is the fastest and easiest way to get started.
We are here to be your guides to love.
Love and Abundance,