“Do you think you deliberately try to sabotage your own relationships?” my therapist asked me the other day.
I think about it. I tend to find a reason and leave pretty early on. The past few years I’ve only dated people for 2, maybe 3 months and then it ends.
When I’m in a particularly low mood I don’t even try to find someone, and tell myself I can’t possibly inflict myself on someone else because I’d just be a burden. I tell myself that I’ve got nothing to offer. I tell myself that no one would ever put up with me. My first boyfriend told me that, and I guess it stuck.
As my relationships have typically been so short-lived, I’ve been on and off dating sites over the years. I got this lovely message the other day which played on a long-held fear:
I asked myself for years why I couldn’t find someone. I didn’t date til I was 20. ‘There must be something wrong with me,’ I thought. I got into a relationship and eventually he came to hate me, told me that I was f*cked up and that no one else would ever put up with me. I remember him picking fights all the time and me just pathetically crying and begging him to stop being like this. I remember the first time we broke up, crying so hard I thought I’d stop breathing. I remember wishing I actually would. I remember being so pathetic, that no one could have loved me then. I remember thinking I probably deserved to feel like this.
My therapist asked whether I let myself actually get emotionally involved with the people I date. I realise that recently, I haven’t. And truthfully, for as long as I can remember there’s been a kind of disconnect because I just don’t trust people.
There’s nothing more terrifying than making a person your entire world, and then having them throw you away like you’re nothing. It makes you feel like all there’s left to do is die. I can’t feel like that again. I wouldn’t survive it. I just do what I need to do to survive. Does anyone even love as openly and fully as I once did? Surely no one with any sense.
I don’t know. I think that’s why I leave. I date people I’m not really into and I get bored quickly because I miss that very same intensity that I’m so terrified of. Because if I actually like them I’ll lose my inhibitions, lose my senses and get hurt. That’s how it goes.