Question: Thank you for everything you’re doing. This is by far the best advice site and blog on authentic relationships.
My story in brief is that for 3 years I have been hiding my true feelings, lying about who I’m with and where I’ve been and generally playing mind games with this one man whom I love very much. I just don’t know how to stop. I’ve been unsuccessful in making a long-term relationship work because I’m afraid of getting hurt. I still remember the pain and don’t want to get hurt again. There’s also something about knowing someone has that power over me that makes me create a buffer of distractions in case things go wrong. However, I know I’m missing out on something potentially great by not being open and straightforward in my relationship.
He told me he’s fed up with the evasiveness, lies and mind games and if they don’t stop he’ll break up with me. How do I start being real with him? I don’t want to lose this most wonderful man too.
DJ Statix’s Answer: I admire your candidness. It’s almost hard to believe you’re not this open and honest in your relationships.
The potentially great something you’re missing out on is that feeling of true connectedness. True connectedness, love and intimacy are dependent on psychological safety. But you can’t get to that place of “safety” if you’re creating distractions, lying and hiding from the one thing you want most.
A good place to end the mind games would be to start by telling him what you just wrote here. That you’re afraid of getting hurt so you create a buffer of distractions – evasiveness, lies and mind games – to protect yourself. But by so doing you realize that you’re missing out on that true connectedness.
This will not come easy. Even just thinking of telling him feels like “asking to get hurt”. Your mind will come up with all sorts of reasons and “evidence” as to why being direct and honest is a bad idea. But despite all the fear-filled reasons, opening up completely about who you really are, sharing your fears and insecurities as well as your joys and desires will feel almost like a big huge load has been lifted off your back just by being honest.
I won’t lie that there is no risk to being real, true and honest. There is a potential risk, that’s why it’s only for the brave at heart and for those who sincerely seek the experience of love and not just the illusion of it. Sometimes the other person just can’t handle it even if they thought they could. Other times, especially if the other person has never experienced that type of vulnerability may not know what to do with it. But this is not about him, this is about you – living your truth and giving him the opportunity to love you just as you are. In an unintended way, it’s a test of his own authenticity (and his love).
That said, this is not about testing his love for you, this is about your “coming out”. So try not to make this about him, fear of losing him or even try to justify why you play mind games. Just lay it out there and let him process the information in his own time, way and pace (no expectations or demands that he responds or reacts a certain way). And try as much as possible not to worry or over analyze what is given and what is taken. Simply let your ‘truth” out and give all that you can, then receive all that is offered (without over analyzing it).
With more practice and consistently choosing to face your worst fears and be real instead of creating distractions, you get more confident, more authentic and more transparently attractive. The result is a relationship built entirely on honesty (no pretenses) and more genuine “connectedness.”
Once you’ve “tasted” that great something that genuine and true connectedness offers, you’ll never want to go back to lies and mind games. Never! It’s that GOOD.