It seems inevitable that what
arises between two people in dynamic relating is this exchange of
wanting and being wanted, the trading of top and bottom, the either
slight or greatly exaggerated power imbalance. More romantically, the
trading of lover and beloved. These whirling exchanges seem to happen
very quickly sometimes in dynamic relationships, monogamous or not, but I've also experienced entire long years
within exclusive monogamous relationships where each person
basically...assumed a position? For much of the most recent
relationship, I was the pursued, she was the pursuer. I
never intended to set up this dynamic. It emerged out of my growing
dissatisfaction with monogamy. Not with her, just with the monogamous
I have also been the pursuer for long months. It can become
excruciating when the pursued recedes more and more and becomes a tiny
little black dot on the horizon. Running as fast as we can, we wonder
why this person who once was eager to play with us is now so desperate
to get as far away as possible. It never really occurred to me to just
give up pursuing altogether. If I'm not chasing, there's no one
running away. If I'm not looking for a person to be available for me,
there's no one cold and distant or snubbing me. It also never occurred
to me to just stop running. To let a pursuer catch me and then say,
okay, you got me, now what? Because then I wonder would the energy
just fall right out of it all? Would the pursuer suddenly come to her
senses in that moment and just start laughing? Or would it be
impossible to really catch me? Because the sense that i got with
the last relationship was that there would never, ever be enough of me. That she
would continue pursuing something like a simulacrum of me even if I
was standing right there, not running. And that sense of never being
enough for her really terrified me. It felt devouring and annihilating
and hopeless and desperate. And I do begin in longer exclusive
monogamous relationships to either feel like the other person will
just never be enough or I will never be enough. Nothing is ever
sufficient. The only sufficiency I have felt with great steadiness and
faith and constancy is when I have been single. I heal my way into
being sufficient. I am neither going toward nor turning away. This is
when I am truly single and not looking. I dislike looking ever so
much. Looking has so much fraudulence in it. Because, really,
honestly, how would I answer the question: "what are you looking for?"
I have often felt guilty and deeply undeserving when I am more wanted
than wanting. And I have often felt ashamed and unmanly when I am
more wanting than wanted.
Suffice it to say that the topic of who wants and who is wanted
touches on many of the wounds that are raw for me.
From the spiritual perspective, these imbalances of desire are
actually illusions IMO. Anything that reinforces the myth of
separation is an illusion. To get beyond is to just let it be enough.
It is enough. "Yes, but," I tend to say, sometimes very petulantly.
No. It is enough. Let it go. Game over. Stop looking. You are. Get
over it. It is enough. "Yes, but!" Etc. It's a cycle.
And here is the more hopeful part of it for me: I can plunge into the
ocean of forms with joy, relishing being wanted, relishing being the
one who burns with wanting. The roles then become just forms of play
and can be enjoyed. Liberating and freeing. I don't have to live like
But this is new for me. And it still breaks my heart when I think of
the rackets I have tried to run. Some of us understand what it is like to be clever in
relationship. To be convinced that we can figure it out, get it right,
do it right. We're smart enough. We should be up to that simple task.
Surely, loving another person is not that hard. It's not a thing
such a clever boy as I should fail at. Yet, there's the record. My 4th
step sex and relationship inventory is in black and white, staring me
right down. And isn't it something? The little "yes, but" flame still
leaps from the embers and says "This time, it will be different!" No,
this time it will not be different. Because there won't be a this
time. Because the toys have been put away, into the toy box. Because
Elvis has left the building. Because stick a fork in me.
There is a famous sentence in the Big Book: "The illusion that he will
someday control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every
abnormal drinker." Substitute "relating" for "drinking" and you get a
picture of the great obsession that has remained for me, even after
the obsession to drink has been removed. The key to opening the sentence
is to emphasize the AND. "Control AND enjoy his relating." This is the
great obsession of this codependent relater. And the
heartbreak of the repeated disappointment offers no real dissuasion.
The dissuasion now has come powerfully from my HP. "You are already
unconditionally loved. You have been looking for it in the wrong
places and in the wrong ways. Just give it a break and let it go.
You'll be fine."
This has turned into a lot. Thank you for reading.
I do invite comment here, by the way. Is that acceptable within this section of the forum? Or is it customary to not comment on blogs? Because I like the conversation and I don't mind people commenting. Every time someone does, I learn.