Being our best is the surest way to bring out the best in our partners.
Look at ourselves If we notice our partners pulling away at certain points, it's helpful to explore ways we might be contributing to the problem or even provoking it.
Many people have developed defenses that make them intolerant of too much love, attention or affection.
Our personal limitations and insecurities are regularly acted out in our closest relationships.
In this blog, I want to offer a few ways to work on overcoming a fear of intimacy that may exist in our partners and even in ourselves: Don't build a case Although relationships can feel like a tug of war with one of us struggling to pull closer while the other resists, engaging in the blame game is never the solution.
Too often, we build a case against the people we are involved with.
We start to filter and distort our view of them, so that they fit into the case we've built against them.
We fail to see our partners as they really are, with strengths and with weaknesses.
It's a painful reality that love isn't always as easy to give and receive as we'd like to think.Alternately, a partner's withholding may leave us angry or hardened against him or her.We may withdraw in response and become colder in our actions.Very often, our current reactions (especially our overreactions) are based on negative programming from our past.In the blog "Why You Keep Winding Up in the Same Relationship," I discussed how and why we form defenses that make it difficult to get close.Conversely, when we interrupt this tendency to build a case, we can focus on ourselves and act in ways that truly represent who we are and how we feel.Staying vulnerable, open and compassionate toward our partner can make them feel safe and allow them to take a chance on being close.We use their flaws against them, cataloging their shortcomings in our minds until admiration slowly erodes into cynicism.When this transformation occurs, we become highly attuned to our partners' less desirable traits.Wherever these challenges come from, we can start to overcome them by identifying destructive patterns and dynamics in our relationships.For example, when our partner pulls back, how do we respond?