There’s a certain thing that happens in relationships. Most people don’t seek out it out, but once you’ve fallen into this particular situation with someone, it’s hard to undo. Most people might not even admit to themselves that there’s anything wrong with behaving this way. It goes like this. I’m single. He’s single. I have needs. He occasionally fills them. He can fix that broken drawer, listen to me vent about my job, my family, my friends. He boosts my confidence, makes me laugh, splits the check, the list goes on and on. I love him, but I see all his flaws and I don’t want them to be my problem. At one time I thought I really wanted to be with him, but now I’m not so sure.
Why? I don’t really want to be in a relationship with him. Why not? Honestly, I’m waiting for someone better to come along. Until then, he’ll do. My good friend Colleen calls this behavior cheating at the game of life. And she’s right. Not only am I cheating him out of the possibility of any true intimacy with me, I’m cheating myself out of experiencing intimacy. Because if I’m really honest, since I have a go-to person to do the stuff I don’t want to do, I’m not going to spend a lot of time looking elsewhere. I’m too busy living my life which is code for too busy indulging my ego. Besides, he’s doing the exact same thing to me.
Every time I’m unwilling or unable to open my heart, every opportunity I get to dive in with another person, but choose the shallow end of the pool, I’m cheating myself. While I don’t really want to, I do it because I don’t want to get hurt. How can I be hurt if I don’t put myself out there? But by not putting myself out there, I’m sending a huge message that I’m not available. And I’m not because I’ve unconsciously settled for the person I’ve already decided I’m not going to settle for.
A few people I know are doing this with someone right now. Maybe it’s not wrong for them. But it feels awful to me.