Escape from Intimacy

I recently read an interesting book about love, sex and romance addiction. It came highly recommended and even though I thought “I’m not a relationship addict”, I discovered that I had a bit to learn.

The author describes..

Some of the skills used to form pseudo (addictive) relationships:

  • To be able to establish “instant intimacy”
  • To be able to listen even when not interested or involved in what the other person is saying
  • To be able consistently to lay aside your own needs for the sake of the relationship
  • To know how to “take care” of the other person and quickly move in to meet his/her needs
  • To know both how to foster dependency and how to “attach” to the other in a dependent way
  • To know how to “compromise” personal needs, values, ethics, or morality for the relationship (including family, children, and one’s own work)
  • To have the ability quickly to recognise a “cosmic mate” or a ” special connection”
  • To be able to instantly to share secrets and pour out your life story
  • To have an instant physical or sexual attraction
  • To be able to fit the other person into romantic fantasies and/or exotic situations having special songs, props and symbols for the relationship even when such trappings really have little meaning except for the romantic him/herself.
  • To be able to form a “connection” and not know how to be friends
  • To establish an immediate intensity or “high” (being “in love”) and allow that high to interfere with daily life
  • To feel as though the “relationship” has you in its grip, has taken over your life, and to be able to give yourself over to that feeling
  • To have the skills (imagined) and desire to “save” the other person from the life he/she has constructed
  • To be willing to use the other person to escape the life you have constructed for yourself
  • To define everything in one’s existence in terms of the relationship and make the relationship “central” to your life
  • To be able to ignore other facets of both lives for the sake of the relationship
  • To have the ability to “make the other feel alive”
  • To be able to attract others to you, that is, to emphasise physical appearance, like dressing and fixing oneself up to attract others
  • To be able to ignore aspects of the person you do not trust or like. To be able to ignore unshared values, hopes and fears and see the other only through the eyes of illusion
  • To be able to accept blame and fault for anything that goes wrong in the relationship
  • To be able to “hang in there” much past the point of sanity
  • To have the ability to shut off your feelings and awareness in the service of the relationship
  • To have the ability to “enter into the other’s world completely”
  • To know how to use the skills of communication to form immediate relationships, the skills being much more important than being fully present to the other person
  • To be able to use manipulation and impression management to try to be what the other wants in order to “hook” the other into the relationship
  • To have the ability to “take on” and “feel” the others’ feelings
  • To have the ability to accept jealously as an indication of true love
  • To have the ability to attach yourself to people who like you first
  • To have the ability to use honesty as a con
  • To have the ability to use your intuition to explain or understand the other
  • To have developed the skills of seduction, flirtation and titillation to a fine art
  • To have the skill to look intimately involved while keeping safely hidden behind your wall
  • To have learned to interpret intensity as love and, therefore to assume that when we feel intensity about someone what we are feeling is love
  • The ability to lose your boundaries in the relationship
  • To be able to suffer endlessly for the relationship
  • To be able to gaze lovingly into the others’ eyes with a look resembling a dying calf in a mudhole

..and here is their list for “healthy relationships”

  • To be able to “wait with” the evolution of a relationship
  • To be able to be honest when one isn’t interested or cannot listen
  • To recognise and accept one’s own needs and honour them
  • To care for, not take care of, the other
  • To know that dependency in any form kills relationships; to honour the integrity of the self and the other
  • To know that one cannot compromise one’s spiritual and moral values without eroding the relationship
  • To be present to the self and the other and share intimacy where appropriate
  • To know physical loving evolves as intimacy grows
  • To know the relationship is only one important aspect of one’s total life
  • To be unwilling to turn one’s life over to anyone
  • To accept responsibility for one’s own life and recognise the other’s responsibility for his/her life
  • To be honest with oneself about who the other is and what important values, hopes and fears are not shared
  • To see the other and the self clearly, without judgment
  • To know that blame has no place in intimacy and to be willing to own one’s mistakes without judgment
  • To be unwilling to accept physical, emotional or spiritual battering
  • To be able to share “worlds” while maintaining one’s own
  • To be present
  • To take risks and be vulnerable with the other
  • To share feelings as one feels them
  • To have and respect boundaries
  • To know the suffering is not love – pain will occur, suffering is a choice
  • To live one’s own process and respect the process of the other, whatever it is
  • To give information and let it go without trying to control what the other does with it
  • To know that love cannot be created or manipulated. Love is a gift

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