By Rhonda Findling
If you want to be free from unhealthy relationships, then the first step is not to call, text, e-mail or even Facebook a person that you:
· Have broken up with or has broken up with you
· Have determined is abusive
· Are highly attracted to but they are not returning your level of interest (for whatever reason)
· Have an unhealthy connection or relationship with
· Is presently in your life but you’re trying to not act needy with
When you contact someone you're not hearing from or trying to let go of, there can be a pleasurable rush of adrenaline from the anticipation of seeing them, hearing their voice or reading their message. But this rush is just a temporary fix, which you may have to pay a tremendous price for.
Even if the person does respond positively when you contact them, it may be momentarily thrilling or electrifying, but soon the anguish will return, because the problem is still there. Nothing has really changed. You're still not a couple or the person remains emotionally unavailable. You'll just have to start detaching all over again, doubling your efforts.
If you've ended the relationship because someone was doing something that you experienced as hurtful or refused to tolerate any longer, contacting them would take away your credibility for the boundary you set. By initiating a contact you would also be colluding with the behavior that you already told them was unacceptable.
When you contact someone you're trying not to act needy with, it's often impulsive. Acting on impulse can make life exciting and dramatic but it can also put you at risk because you are not reflecting on whether it's a productive behavior. You're not thinking of the future and consequences. You're just acting in the moment.
So if you're thinking of making a contact, take time to reflect. Sit on your feelings. Endure your anxiety. Don't just do something because you feel like it. There could be disastrous effects if you do.
Call people in your support system to discuss any impulsive urges that come over you- whether to see, e-mail, call, or text them. Discuss and process your feelings with safe reliable people Remember that feelings do pass. Feelings are only temporary, which is why it's important to hang in there even when the urge to contact them feels unbearable.
You have to do whatever it takes to endure urges to make a contact and move past them. As you do this more and more, you will feel yourself gaining emotional strength.
Clinging is any behavior that demonstrates holding on, not letting go. This can be exemplified by activities ranging from a compulsive phone call, text, or e-mail when they haven't responded to any of your previous contacts. Contacting someone who is not reciprocating your interest, or has rejected you is a form of clinging. The urge to cling can be irresistible. You know with your rational mind that your behavior isn't appropriate, but you are driven by a compulsion you feel you can't control. You may experience actual discomfort when you don't carry out the compulsive act.
It's essential to remember that clinging behavior causes most people to distance themselves even further. If someone has issues about intimacy your clinging will make them feel closed in and claustrophobic. They may feel that they have no room to breathe from your relentless trying to get them to prove that they're not going to leave you. Your clinging also makes you look emotionally hungry making them feel that they'll have to endlessly supply you with reassuring love which will scare them off.
It's human nature to have a hard time falling in love with someone who's bombarding them with phone calls, texts or e-mails. A clinging person doesn't leave someone a chance to long and yearn for them. They are so available another person doesn't have the space to fantasize about or miss them, which unfortunately is sometimes what falling in love, is all about.
Why clinging is not productive
There are people whose psychological problems prohibit them from having a relationship. These people are married to their pathology. Your chasing them will not break through their defenses, resistances and impairment.
Sometimes their lack of response or reciprocating is not even about you. It's truly about them. It doesn't make a difference because no matter who it's about; they just can't do it. They can't be there for you. You must face the truth of their unavailability so you can let them go and move on. Bottom line, you can't force another person's feelings, motivation for relationship, or emotional health no matter how many rules and programs you follow or implement.
In fact if you don't chase them around you'll get an opportunity to see what they do when they don't get any prompts or reminders from you.
Action steps: What you can do when you want to cling
· Go on dating sites online. It will also show you the abundance of people out there. You might also meet someone new who is even better than your ex or a person you're trying to let go of.
· Distract yourself - do whatever it takes to not think about your ex or a person you're trying to let go of even if it feels counterintuitive.
· Call someone in your support system.
-Think of a time you were clinging to someone you were in love with. What were you feeling? What was behind the clinging? Was there another action you could have taken to not cling?
-What does it feel like to show someone that you have been clinging to that you are now independent? Does it feel empowering?
Action step/ Writing Exercise:
·The next time you feel insecure or lonely, try not to reach out to the emotionally unavailable person you are currently attached to. Instead, see how you get through it on your own. Write about your feelings that come up in your journal.
·Try to imagine life without the stress of an emotionally unavailable person's confusing behavior. Get to know how it feels to have emotional space free of them. Write about your feelings in your journal.
·Visualize yourself in a relationship with someone who's sure of their love for you. Someone who makes you feel secure. Someone who has never disappointed or betrayed you. Describe your relationship in your journal? What is that person like? How do you feel with them?
Spiritual Tip #5: Surrendering To What Is
If you're trying to hold onto someone even though you know it's a hopeless situation then you are resisting the inevitable. When it's time for someone to go you can't fight it. The relationship time with them has passed, even if it hurts. Surrender to what is.