Notice rudeness to waiters and others, revealing pent-up rage. This type of person is demanding and probably emotionally abusive.
Avoid someone who brags and acts cocky, signaling low self-esteem. It takes confidence to be intimate and committed.
Chronic lateness is inconsiderate, and can also indicate the person is avoiding the relationship, but don’t assume that punctuality means he or she’s a catch.
9. Invasiveness or Evasiveness.
Secrecy, evasiveness, or inappropriate questions too soon about money or sex, for example, indicate a hidden agenda and unwillingness to allow a relationship to unfold. Conversely, someone may conceal his or her past due to shame, which may create an obstacle to getting close.
Beware of sexual cues given too early. Seducers avoid authenticity because they don’t believe they’re enough to keep a partner. Once the relationship gets real, they’ll sabotage it. Seduction is a power-play and about conquest.
Most people reveal their emotional availability early on. Pay attention to the facts, especially if there’s mutual attraction. Even if the person seems to be Mr. or Mrs. Right, yet is emotionally unavailable, you’re left with nothing but pain. If you overlook, deny, or rationalize to avoid short-term disappointment, you run the risk of enduring long-term misery.
Be honest with yourself about your own availability.
1. Are you angry at the opposite sex? Do you like jokes at their expense? If so, you may need to heal from past wounds before you’re comfortable getting close to someone.
2. Do you make excuses to avoid getting together?
3. Do you think you’re so independent you don’t need anyone?
4. Do you fear to fall in love because you may get hurt?
5. Are you always waiting for the other shoe to drop? Although people complain about their problems, many have even more difficulty accepting the good.
6. Are you distrustful? Maybe you’ve been betrayed or lied to in the past and now look for it in everyone.
7. Do you avoid intimacy by filling quiet times with distractions?
8. Are you uncomfortable talking about yourself and your feelings? Do you have secrets you’re ashamed of that make you feel undesirable or unlovable?
9. Do you usually like to keep your options open in case someone better comes along?
10. Do you fear a relationship may place too many expectations on you, that you’d give up your independence or lose your autonomy?
If you answered yes to some of these questions, counseling can help you heal in order to risk getting close. If you’re involved with someone emotionally unavailable, pressuring him or her to be more intimate is counterproductive. (See “The Dance of Intimacy.“) You may be involved with a narcissist because typically narcissists avoid emotional vulnerability. (Learn more in Dealing with a Narcissist.) However, marriage or couples counseling can change the relationship dynamics and help you to have a more fulfilling intimate relationship.
Copyright, Darlene Lancer 2012
Written by Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT
Originally appeared on WhatIsCodependency.com
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