We’ve all seen the movies with the sexy, wounded protagonists who keep everyone at a distance. Usually the movie involves an equally sexy character who breaks down the wounded protagonist’s walls and teaches them that it really is better to love and feel and let people in. (Side note: Now I’m hungry for popcorn.) Sine art imitates life, you’ve probably been (or dated) this person at some point in your life. And hopefully you’ve learned the hard lesson that you can’t go through life without making some real, deep, lasting connections with people.
But what if you don’t know you’re this person? Bad habits die hard (that could be the title of our movie!), especially ones that developed when we were little and that were never challenged. When I worked with couples as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, I did notice that there were some signs. Do you have lots of acquaintances, but not many close friends? Are you a workaholic? Have your past flings complained about your lack of emotion? Have you always been kind of a lone wolf? If so, you might be that person who keeps others out to avoid getting hurt. If that sounds like you, check out this list of other signs you’re being distant. If you get that little shiver of “this is me” then it might be time to start breaking down those walls. Otherwise you’ll be missing out on some of the greatest parts of being human.
Never Making Love
OK, so there’s having sex and there’s making love. You know the difference. One is intimate and connected and packed with emotion. The other is just a physical act. You can have both with your partner, but you can’t justhave sex. If you’re not making love, you’re probably resisting giving yourself over to someone so completely.
Things that are worth fighting for involve fighting, no matter how mild. No person on the planet is capable of never disagreeing with you, pushing your buttons, or getting on your nerves. But if you never fight about the things that you should be fighting about, it’s probably because you don’t really care. And you probably don’t really care because you know this person isn’t someone you could or are willing to truly love.
People who don’t commit to other people need to look at the reasons why and make sure they’re not just keeping people at a distance. Commitment doesn’t just mean moving in together or getting married. It can mean things like getting a dog, calling another person your partner, or making plans for far in the future.