Be Honest: Are You Sure You Can Handle a Relationship?
The part of the conversation that relates to everyone goes like this: Within the first minute of the call, Ann (not her real name) described her physical condition but noted her major condition was "located in the area of her heart chakra."
Translation: "I'm lonely, and I've had several heartbreaks."
I asked Ann about her personal life, including friendships and family, and about how she spent her off-hours. She told me she kept to herself a great deal of the time, although she was looking for a relationship. At the mention of the word "relationship," Ann became both emotional and angry. She told me she went out with friends on occasion but frequently exited dinners and social events early because she was bored with their company. Ann actually added that she often felt as if she was wasting her time and money going out to dinner with friends. She said their conversations tended to be dull, and she didn't like going to pubs, though, as her friends point out, pubs tend to be the places where single people go to socialize. Ann admitted that this was a bit of a dilemma; nevertheless, she found the pub atmosphere, "not to my liking." Ann added that after a long week of working with so many people, she preferred the quiet of her apartment.
Translation: Ann only wants to engage in relationships on her terms. She wants people to accept her as she is, but is either incapable or unwilling to appreciate the beauty in others who do not serve a purpose in her life. This is fundamentally a control pattern that indicates a truth that governs Ann's emotional center far more than she realized. Ann needs to maintain dominion over her space at all times and while the price she may pay for this preference is one of severe loneliness, the fact is that loneliness is easier for her to cope with in the long run than a day-to-day life of compromising her comfort zone. Though Ann kept expressing her frustration at not being able to find the right man, emphasizing she has tried repeatedly to find a partner and has kept herself in great shape, my intuitive hit told me that Ann's greater pain came from her deeper knowing that she was already living the life that was right for her—the life she actually needed, given her emotional nature and personality. It was not the life she imagined she wanted, but that life was a fantasy life, a life based on little girl ideas and little girl fairy tales of princesses and knights and all that nonsense.
In her intuitive gut, she was on the verge of acknowledging her knowingness about herself: She knew that every choice she made in her daily life continually reinforced the only type of life her authentic nature could really tolerate. She was not someone who could handle compromise, especially compromising her living quarters or the inner rhythms of her emotional and psychological nature. These subtle and not-so-subtle habits, at age 40, were set in stone. She had no intention of negotiating certain aspects of her life that she felt maintained her stability and her health. That made no sense to her at all. In fact, her voice went up at octave when I suggested that the very nature of a relationship is one of merger and compromise, a challenge that often encompasses negotiating life rhythms in order to maintain the health and happiness of both people.
Ann could understand that, of course, but it was apparent that the notion held no appeal. Ann's position was that she had worked hard to heal herself and to discover what she needed to sustain her inner balance, and she could not afford to negotiate any part of those aspects of herself. I did not even introduce the idea of defining what nurturing another person meant or taking care of a partner's parents or extended family members should a relationship call for such heart demands. Could she find it in herself to be that giving of a person? Or was she simply captivated by the idea of a romance exclusive of her partner's family and friends?
2 questions every person who wants to be in a relationship should ask