I have been privileged to be invited into many relationships as a psychological counsellor. I have often noted a problem that arises frequently, that is entirely brought about by our own insecurities.
When we meet someone new who matters to us, we try to show them our best side. It’s only natural – we want them to like us. But sometimes we do far more than this. We actually give our preferences as something other than they really are in order to make the other feel a closeness, a connection: “Oh yes, I love Motorhead!” “No, I don’t need to have the door opened for me.” “I don’t mind if you do this or that.” Later, though, when we don’t want to go to the tenth Motorhead concert or would like a little Bach on a Sunday morning, our partner may become confused! Worse, we ourselves may start to feel the conflict as a rift in our relationship.
Then one day, we meet someone who does like Bach, who naturally lends us a helping hand, who shares our enthusiasms. Our locked-up self breaks out and we have the strong sensation that the new person has so much affinity with us that he was sent from heaven!
In fact, what has happened is this: at the start of the initial relationship we were not open and honest. We portrayed ourselves as something else because we didn’t believe we would be accepted. We not only portrayed ourselves differently. We TRAINED ourselves to be something, think something, do something to bring the other closer to us, because we believed at some level that he or she would not accept us if we need help with the door, or object to being left with the chores, or enjoy pastimes the other doesn’t like, or if we think in a different way.
We set our relationship up to fail often without even realizing it.
As soon as you realize this is happening, find the courage to be honest with yourself and your partner; anyone who decides to leave you then was never really with YOU in the first place.
– Dirk de Sousa