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The Arm’s Length of Sexiness

April 11, 2013

I’ve noticed I tend to keep people at arm’s length–or I used to…still kind of do. I know it’s a bad habit, but I found it a safe way to avoid disappointment. If the person’s hardly ever around and the friendship fails, then it was just that they were horrible/losers/didn’t see how great I am. So it’s a great way to fail but without the shame at failing. And then I saw how horrible of a person I was really being; I’d built up this wall so no one could get through or hurt me. Then a couple invariably did work their way past the wall and one hurt me and the other…just…didn’t even know. Or say anything.

Robert Fulghum described this as the adult version of hide and seek: “Hide-and-seek, grown-up style. Wanting to hide. Needing to be sought. Confused about being found.” And I can’t say I disagree in the slightest given my own experiences. The keeping people behind a wall sucks. As does being unavailable to them, but at the same time there is a longing there for them to enter my world and an inability to figure out what it takes.

Sure, from the outside this is all elementary, but when you’re already convinced someone will turn on you then it leads to less trust in myself and in them. Trust that I can be a good friend and trust that I won’t be a total dick to them. I thought this was all a good thing. I thought, ‘Hey…never having to make a choice,’ trouble is that not making choices is a choice (yay cliché). So now I’m more open to possibilities. To people. To myself. I find most of the people I meet to be fascinating and their personal history, their struggles, and views–even if I disagree.

I’d say this was a dramatic shift, but it was all quite gradual and one that kind of would horrify my brother. I got tired of putting motivations on people who had really done nothing to me. Plus it’s not a very healthy mental outlook and quickly leads to isolation. I know some treat that isolation as if it’s some sort of badge of courage–it’s not. We all need people to fill our lives with new experiences and thoughts. To do otherwise is to be stunted as a person.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. aduirne permalink
    April 11, 2013 8:03 pm

    I’m the queen of mixed messages and self sabotage with new relationships, so I totally understand this. I’ve had my heart ripped out. I want to love and be loved again, but I also don’t want to feel that kind of pain again.

    • April 11, 2013 8:17 pm

      It is an odd contradictory feeling. Though I suppose it’s natural to want one thing and feel another.

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