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How To Tell If You’re Pushing Someone Away Who is Amazing

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The mind is a weird thing, isnt it? Its supposed to help us break down complicated situations and make sense of the seemingly bizarre stuff the universe recklessly throws in our direction.

But we use our impressive intelligence to question beautiful things; we use our endless brain power to overthink the dreamy gifts life gives us; we use our intellect to question our instincts. Our heads oftenpull us out of our hearts.

In these ways, the mind can also be ourmortal enemy and quickly turn on us.

Sometimes, my mind convinces me that my heart and gut dont know shit about shit, and this fabulous person standing in front of me is too good to be true that they must be a mirage. And Ive pushed away amazing people because of it.

Good things, for so many of us, are unfamiliar. And were wired to keep pushing away the unfamiliar, right?

Luckily, Ive come to recognize thespecific signs and patterns that show me Im sabotaging something good.Becoming aware of these patterns has helped me break the cycle, and maybe it can help you, too.

Here are the threetell-tale signs you might be running away from someone you should be running toward:

You get freaked out by their thoughtful gestures.

A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with a close friend of mine named Cleo*.

Hanging out with Cleo often feels like looking directly into a mirror. We share similar issues, have lived through similar traumas and most importantly, we share the same habit of pushing away good things.

Historically,weve both been drawnto dysfunctional, narcissistic people.Were trying to free ourselves of this screwy pattern thats threatening to destroy our love lives, so we try to keep each other in check.

Lately, its been more me keeping her in check though we both fluctuate, taking our dutiful turns as the self-destructive one needing guidance.

How is that new girl youre seeing treating you? She seems to be that unicorn combination of hot and smart, I asked her at our recent dinner as I aggressively stabbed at my steak with a dull kitchen knife.

Oh, shes, you know whatever. Cleo tucked a piece of bleached hair behind her ear and cast her almond-shaped eyes downward her classic look of defeat.

What does whatever mean? I bitchily tapped my nails against my wine glass.

She bought me a fucking house plant.

You love fucking house plants.

Yes.

So, whats the problem? Why are you recklessly throwing whatevers at me?

I dont know. Its weird.

I practically threw my $16 glass of Sauvignon Blanc at her.

Its not weird! Youve been dating Maya for three months! You drone on and on about your epic love of house plants which, for the record, we all think is weird as hell but this sweet girl doesnt think its weird, soshe sweetly buys you one. You should be grateful she didnt break up with you for being such a weird house plant hoarder.

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Why was I getting so angry? Because I was so painfully irritated that I could see myself in her self-sabotaging behavior, and I didnt like what I saw.

Dont you think its too soon? Cleo pressed, her mesmerizing blue eyes, like two massive swimming pools, scannedthe room.

She bought you a $12 plant, not an engagement ring. I did my best to penetrate her gaze, hoping direct eye contact would snap her out of it.

Later that night, I really thought about Cleos situation. She had dated a bevy of emotionally abusive people who didnt give a rats ass about her. And finally, after years of heartbreak, here she was: finally dating someone who bestowed her with the sweet little gestures she so deserved.

And there she was, freaking out and running away from the first girl who actually listened to her when she spoke and paid attention to her quirkylove of plants.

Please allow me to teach you an imperative lesson that took me far too long to learn: Dont be like Cleo. Someone doing something thoughtful for you is not weird.Its actually a sign of kindness.

Allow me to teach you this lesson as well: Thoughtful actions do not mean someone is trying to marry you.

(The main theme for today is going to be learning to deal with discomfort.)

If you grew up with dismissive parentsor have only ever dated people who are so self-absorbed they would never think to go out of their way for you, its going to feel unfamiliar to date someone whos thoughtful. But you need to sit with the discomfort for a minute before you run.

Discomfort wont kill you. But staying in this pattern of pushing away amazing people will kill your shot at real love.


You turn sweet dates into destructivefights.

Were creatures of habit; we all get cozy and comfortable in the familiar, even if the familiar is bad for us.

So, when weredating someone who is good for us and wereon a peaceful, wonderful date, wesometimes cant help but twist the perfect evening into a toxic night.

I dated someone who did this endlessly. I would arrange a beautiful dinner somewhere picturesque and romantic, full with flickering candles and her favorite live music. It would be on these specific nights that she would choose to bring up something small I had done months back that had irritated her. It was triggering for me.

Why do you have to choose tonight of all nights to pick on me? I would ask, feeling like I had been kicked in the stomach.

There are few feelings worse than throwing yourself out on a limb and stringing together a lovely date, only to be viciously attacked. Its actually incredibly humiliating. After all, its a vulnerable thing to put your heart on the line and do something nice for someone in this apathetic culture.

This scene repeated itself so often, I finally had to cut the cord and walk away from the relationship. When I threw my clothes into a duffel bag and called the cab to pick me up fromher apartment, she started to cry. And this girl was a no-crying tough girl.

She kept apologizing. She told me she had turned all of our romantic dates into fights because they all felt too good to be true.

Its too late, I said, finally leaving. I was done. I was tired of feeling like an idiot and having all of the well-planned evenings turndark. I was ready to step back into the light again.

I also realized Id done the same thing in the past. And Ive also been broken up with because of it.

I thought about why I had done the same toxic thing my girlfriend had done to me, and I realized I wasnt used to being happy and enjoying myself with a person. I was used to good things always abruptly ending. They always had for as long as I could remember.

Girl, I had issues. And this girl I was dating also had issues. So people like us under the false impression that its easier to sabotage something really good eventually turned on each other.The demise, in our minds, was inevitable, so we might as well control it.

But now that Ive come out on the other side, Ive realized sweet dates are actually magical. Theyre the sacred moments in arelationship that keep the love escalating and the spark flickering.

I dont want to destroy these moments, I want to savor them. I understand the fear of having something good go away, but you cant keep listening to the fear, baby.

Like I said before: Sit with the discomfort and the fear instead of letting themmanifest in mean, argumentative ways.

Because, eventually, these fears and anxieties will taper away. They might not ever be gone entirely, but the very real joy of a lovely date will eventually trump your fears of your happiness going away.


Youre mistaking tranquility with boredom.

My first romantic relationship was really chaotic. I was young, and it was with someone who was over a decade older. Even though I was a kid, it was a really pivotal relationship.

But this woman was wild. Not wild in the fun, Im going to streak through the streets at 2 am kind of way, but wild in an unpredictable way.

I never knew when she was going to turn on me. It left me constantly living in a state of fear and anxiety because I never knew when she was going to go the other direction.

One moment, I was the love of her life. The next, she was physically pushing me out of her apartment, leaving me on the stoop of a bad neighborhood at 2 am, telling me to never call her again. This would be followed by grand gestures, beautifully written apology notes and impulsive trips to exotic destinations.

Whenever I would tell her our incessant fighting made me upset, she would say, Our relationship is passionate. Thats what passion is. So I was convinced, up until very recently, that passion meant arguments. And who doesnt want passion?

We all want to feel passion, but so many of us have our definition of passion corrupted.

So when I dated someone and we seamlessly got along, talking things out instead of screaming about them at the top of our lungs, I thought our relationship was fucking boring. I wanted to run back into the arms of a toxic lover.

But asIve gotten older, Ive realized tranquility is not boring. In fact, a tempestuous dynamic is fucking boring.

It means you have no real connection and no real substance keeping you together. Youre just riding on the roller coaster of hurt feelings and makeup sex, only to crash on your face again later. Eventually, your face is going to hurt after youve fallen on it so many times.

And the other thing about roller coasters is, you cant live riding on one. Its not a sustainable life. Theyre fun for three minutes at an amusement park, but wed much rather prefer standing firmly on stable pavement.

Fighting is not passion. Real passion and real love are both deeply tranquil and safe. And safety should neverbe confused with boring. A deep, authentic relationship must have asolid foundation of respect.

And yelling, pushing, screaming and being vindictive is the antithesis of respect. In fact, theyre scare tactics. And in the more extremes, abuse.

Love can leave you feeling many things: confused, bewildered, insecure. But it should never make you afraid for your safety. Ever.

So, while this whole healthy relationship thing might be unfamiliar and bizarre at first, please dont push it away.

Once you break free from this pattern, I promise you, youre going to find that true love that is consistent, thoughtful, tranquil and, above all, kind. And true love is the only kind of love worth experiencing.

So dont push away the people who treat you the way you so deserve to be treated. Embrace those people instead. Those are the only people worth an ounce of your precious time.

*Name has been changed.

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