We’ve all been there, gasping for air, worried that our future was as promising as the apocalypse, and reluctantly signing up for online dating.
I can’t help but think of the lyrics to the Cake song: “Reluctantly crouched at the starting line. Engines pumping and thumping in time…He’s going the distance.”
A lot of people freak out when they feel lonely—you may be one. We curl up in defeat and start choosing the short-term relief that comes with getting wasted on one-night stands and cheap wine rather than take the steps needed to prepare for the long-haul.
Needy and clingy are adjectives used to describe such a person.
It takes a special kind of commitment to desperation to become a needy, clingy, girlfriend or an ambivalent emotionally unavailable boyfriend.
But, you don’t have to be a special person to become these things because there is a plethora of crap parents out there who got you started. Further, there is a whole manual called the DSM that has come up with disorders to explain all the ways your parents f*cked you up. And there are practitioners who use the labels in the manual to explain people’s sh*tty behaviors that then turn into that person’s identity.
“Well I have abandonment issues because my dad left; my mom was a tweaker; my uncle was one of those uncles and so on.” If you are detecting a little sarcasm you are perceptive.
Loneliness is the product of telling the story of abandonment over and over. We become blind to other possibilities and only see this point of view. Albeit, it is an accurate and believable recounting of events.
And once it becomes our point of focus, it keeps calling those events back into being.
We often recreate the drama that is most familiar to us through conscious and unconscious choices. Mostly the latter and not the former.
So, is fearing being alone a good reason to get into a relationship?
If you react to the fear of being alone and use it as a catalyst to get into a relationship, then recreate your abandonment story, and further reinforce that story through actions and outcomes, then sure, it is a great reason to get into a relationship.
Doing the same thing over and over makes experts of us all. So, if you want to be an expert in these kinds of relationships, then continue to seek oblivion rather than learn to integrate and transform fear into power.
Annie Lennox sang a song on her album Diva that went, “Money can’t buy it, sex can’t buy it, drugs can’t buy it…I believe love alone can do these things for you.”
Sometimes it takes a lifetime to learn how to love. It just does.
So, if you keep getting in the same type of relationships, there is nothing wrong with you. It just means you have more learning to do and that is how you are choosing to do it.
A lot of people think life has to be hard. It doesn’t really. Most difficulty comes when we allow our discomfort to dominate our perceptions. If we just held out a little longer or learn to let go a little sooner then the rewards are imminent.
We are air-benders and it takes time to learn how to manipulate time.
In simple terms, stop telling your crappy childhood story. We get it. We have our own version of it. Even if yours is really the worst story known to man, it does not have to be the story that defines you or your life.
Find a more compelling story. Practice that story. Fail at it. Let that be okay. And try again.
Loneliness or the fear of being alone is only a mile-marker. It isn’t the whole story.
Plus, when that sh*t comes up, that is what a good book is for. Stop watching Netflix. There is mostly crap on there except for maybe the Ted talks and a few Documentaries.
Get a grip.
Fake it until you make it.
And if you need help constructing a new story, ask for it.
Now, step away from your Tinder app and start making new choices.
Author: Rebekah McClaskey
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: courtesy of the author