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Love and relationship advice and help with any kind of romantic problem from flirting to getting a date to breaking up - Dr. TRuth - our own "Links 2 Love" - love doctor serves up the truth...

Relationship Advice from Dr. TRuth

Dear Dr. TRuth,

Every time I hear Jewel's song, "Foolish Games" I begin to think about my relationships with women.
I know that I play games but I'm scared that if I stop playing, I'll be out of the running.
I love the beginnings of relationships. I allow myself to get really close really fast but then it's like something inside of me snaps.
I start to pull away, almost withdraw completely, and then, just as the woman involved has almost given up, I snap back like a human rubber band. This may happen a couple of times over the course of a year, and finally the woman gives up on me completely and I wind up alone. And miserable.
Then I start the cycle all over again with somebody else. I've been doing this for a while now. I'm 35 years old and feel I'm ready to settle down but I can't break the cycle.
I don't want to end up alone, but, at this rate, it looks like that's what might happen.

Game Boy


Dear Game Boy,

You are right...about everything.
These are indeed very "foolish games" and, despite your awareness, you seem unable to break the cycle that leaves you the loser...and loser you will be unless you do something rather quickly to stop torturing both yourself and the women with whom you become involved.
I've had many such letters and my answer stays the same: the thing that is keeping you in "the rubber band syndrome" is your own fear that someone who comes too close might really see how truly inadequate you feel. You fear that unless you play hard to get, no one will love you just for yourself. You keep the interest alive by creating an artificial sense of desire based on depriving your partner of the opportunity to really experience intimacy with you.
What are you so afraid of?
What makes you believe that allowing someone to get close will make her lose interest in you?
Who has left or abandoned you previously?
You know, love always involves risk.
When we let someone get close to us, there is always the danger of them deciding that we are not right for them after all.
On the other hand, nothing ventured truly means nothing gained. You allow yourself to venture out, but then, retract the opportunity for obtaining what you really want, the chance to allow love into your heart and the chance to fully experience the intimacy you say that you want.
Think of it like this: we all have two options on how to live our lives. We can base our lives on love or we can base our lives on fear.
Your behavior is definitely based on the latter. Once you have chosen fear, you become enslaved by it, and you are no longer really capable of choosing what is best for you.
The more you act out of fear, the more it is reinforced in your life. Eventually it becomes so automatic that you are not even in touch with it. This is what has happened to you.
So what if you have been hurt a couple of times. Who hasn't had some disappointments on the long road to mate selection? None of these has made you less desirable or lovable, except perhaps in your own eyes.
Remind yourself that there is someone out there for you, and that at this very moment, she is probably seeking you.
The next time you meet someone and feel like withdrawing, discuss these feelings. The talking helps and actually prevents the acting out of the negative pattern you have established, pulling away.
And congratulate yourself for the awareness of this pattern. This is the first step toward overcoming it.

Dr. TRuth

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