Hi. I'm back. I had a little hiatus from this blog because 1) life happens and because I AM AN EMPLOYED ADULT and 2) I'm one of those over-analyzers that the more I write about dating and relationship shit, the more I start to analyze my own relationship. And this time, my relationship doesn't need to be analyzed whatsoever. So this left me in a state of being frustrated because I was overthinking things that didn't actually require any thought, and also frustrated with myself for looking for reasons I should be overthinking things. Sounds enjoyable, right?
This leads me to my current post. Let's talk about the phenomenon some of us know as sabotaging a relationship. Specifically related to: looking for "evidence" to support the thought that our current significant other will pull the same games on us that every other asshole did to us in our lives. This can look several ways. Most often it involves what I like to call "being your own fortune teller," or suddenly assuming you have magical powers to predict the future or the outcome of every situation. This involves a great deal of distorting events that otherwise were meant to be taken for face value.
Here's an example: boyfriend tells you he is going out with his friends. He does not respond to any text over the course of the night. Mind wanders to the thought "he must have met someone else [someone better] and is currently halfway through their second round of sex." This might (definitely) seem like an extreme example, but sometimes extreme is needed to make a point. No where in this example did the mind seem to rationalize the VERY LIKELY possibility that he simply went out with friends and decided not to be fixated on his phone all night.
Another example, because I'm in the mood for story-telling today: scripting out the break-up itself. Specifically, scripting what it will sound like when YOU get broken up with. Setting the scene, the day, the time, what you're wearing. Scripting what it will sound like when you respond to the fact that your relationship is now over.
**Side note: remember how I just mentioned I'm employed? Failed to mention I'm a therapist, and that relationships tend to be the emphasis during sessions...
The mind is an extremely powerful thing. It can be equal amounts of irrational and rational simultaneously. And while I sit here saying that these examples are pretty irrational, they hold so much purpose.
- "If he/she hasn't been an asshole yet, then they certainly will become one eventually." By predicting outcomes that place your significant other in the "asshole" category, you're setting up a protection for yourself. The intended goal behind this is to eliminate the possibility that you will become attached. If they're an ass, then I wouldn't want to be with them anyway, and if they decide to hurt me, then I'm not losing anything in the first place. When we assume the worst about someone we're dating, then we're also taking away the hurt that we could be losing someone who is actually incredible for us.
- Looking for ways to become hurt by someone's actions or feel angered, because then you have justifiable reason to distance yourself. When we consciously search for reasons to feel like we should be pissed off or we should be upset at our significant other (even when these reasons do not logically exist), we automatically create a boundary that keeps us -- here -- and our significant other in a distance away from us that feels safe. It allows us to keep our guard up and ultimately distance the two of you to the point that the relationship itself no longer exists.
In both cases, we see that there are aspects of the relationship that are fixated on, stretched, and distorted that allow us to look for ways that the relationship is CERTAINLY doomed to fail before it really begins. Why? So that we avoid the possibility that it will end. Because despite our efforts to do EVERYTHING (subconsciously and consciously) possible to destroy the relationship, there is a (big) part of that actually believes it could work. And even more so, that we want it to.
And that scares the hell out of us.
We can't expect to have love in our lives if we're not willing to let it in.