HOLDING BACK APART OF YOURSELF IN RELATIONSHIPS
There are a lot of men and women who use self protection to avoid giving themselves fully in an intimate relationship, because they believe that to do so will mean losing their individual freedom and identities. These are the people usually described as having “commitment phobia.” Their survival-oriented egos believe that by being close they’ll get swallowed up, controlled, and dominated. Being fully open, interested, and involved with a partner is equated with being weak and vulnerable. So for self-protection they hold back part of themselves.
Holding back a part of yourself damages the sense of trust between you and your partner. Without rock-solid trust, each of you becomes less open and more guarded. You each disclose less and less of your selves, stifling spontaneity, which is crucial to keeping “in love” passion alive.
What happens next is that boredom and a sense of loneliness begin to feel routine. As you slowly drift apart those original feelings of closeness, excitement, and sexual passion begin to diminish. And if you’re like the majority of people who don’t know that staying passionately “in love” is possible, you succumb to believing that losing such feelings is just a natural course of events.
Ironically, using a survival mindset to hold back a part of yourself in a love relationship doesn't safeguard your freedom or your individuality at all. On the contrary, when you hold back you create confusion and mistrust between you and your partner. A partner who does not understand your holding back behavior will take it personally and may become afraid and suspicious. This will certainly constrict your freedom and cramp your individuality. But you will have created it.
Because they are genuine, open, and based on unquestioned trust, soul mate relationships create an environment in which partners can be strongly independent individuals who are at the same time closely connected mentally, emotionally, and sexually.
As you can see, your ego and its survival mentality is not going to help you share a soul mate kind of love. In fact, you can be fairly certain that it will keep you self absorbed, untrusting, possessive, and clueless about what your partner really needs from you. Here are the stories of two couples that show how a survival mentality interferes with love, caring, and real intimacy.