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Updated on June 12, 2008

Distancing: Barrier to Love


by Helen Borel, PhD

The Illusion of Love...The Elusiveness of Love Do you want a man or a woman in your life you can connect with on many levels? Are you feeling left out when your friends or colleagues excitedly relate aspects of their love relationships? Wondering if love will ever happen to you?

Not that you haven't tried to find "the right one." He or she, "the right one" that is, simply eludes you.

Have you thought that maybe it's not about luck? Or about being in the right place at the right time? Or about the shape of your body? Or your good looks? Or that scar on your cheek?

Could it be that there's something about you that - while wishing for a close relationship filled with love in your life - paradoxically doesn't truly want that? Or is afraid of that? Or unconsciously rejects that?

Could it be that no one you meet really never measures up? Measures up to whom? To whose criteria? Yours? Or some faintly-recalled parental dictates?

Do you have any criteria by which you make choices for yourself - one way or the other? Or are you relying on some other hidden rules, which you may or may not be distantly aware of, that are running your life? Probably ruining your life?

Whose life rules are you following, anyway?

Feeling Alone, Lonely and At a Loss How to Become the Other Half of a Couple? You definitely deserve better in your life than to go through it all alone. But it seems so hard to find someone you can comfortably relate to. Someone who you can trust and rely on. Someone who won't disappoint you. Someone who won't take advantage of you and then reject you.

On the other hand, do you sometimes think, "I enjoy being alone. It's not necessary to be part of a couple to be a happy person"? This is a valid position for many, many people. But is it really your true life perspective?

Your Psychotherapist Will Help You Sort Out Your Real Feelings and Needs You need to examine, in depth, your full needs and goals for your life to find your own specific answers to these questions. This is most expeditiously done in psychotherapy - where all your thought processes, feelings, childhood memories, and lifelong habitual behaviors can be examined.

These are explored to discover how crucial elements of your personality and life experiences contribute to your aloneness today.

How to Turn Your Life Around and Get the Love You Deserve And, then, your compassionate psychotherapist will guide you in turning your life around to get you on target to obtain the life results and love you want to connect with. Which is accomplished by countering your Self-negating beliefs, by trying new behaviors, by feeling ALL your feelings, and by working through the griefs of certain childhood happenings you were powerless to do anything about when you were little.

What Gets in the Way of You Connecting with a Special Someone? Remember this cardinal rule: YOU CAN NEVER CONNECT WITH ANYONE ELSE UNTIL YOU CONNECT WITH YOUR SELF. And that's what quality psychotherapy can accomplish for you. Self-connection!

By the way, that rule applies to ALL interactions in your life, to all lengthy or momentary human contacts. If you don't know your Self and don't accept and love your Self, it's impossible to honestly connect with others. Lack of empathy for your Self produces the inability to sense where others are at and what they need from you and whether you are, basically, comfortable with meeting them at the level of connection they may wish to have with you.

When you barely, if at all, know your Self and avoid coming to terms with your inner hurts and wishes...fear, confusion, withdrawal from other people, and other Self-defeating feelings and actions keep you in a distance mode. That is, to others you may appear haughty or snobbish - while, in truth, you are living your life and experiencing others from a defensive position, a far away emotional Bastille where you are protected from ever being hurt again.

But remember, this distance-armored place is a prison. A place away from social life where real relatioships would have to storm the defended barrier-walls to break through to the Real You.

To Get What You Want, You Have to Change to New Thoughts and New Behaviors Thus, in order to experience Real Life, Real People, and Real Relationships, you're going to have to break out of this prison-of-your-own-making, usually easier done with the help of your psychotherapist.

Yes, sometimes people disappoint us - or even worse. But, be honest, sometimes you disappoint others too - or even worse. That's because you're human too, just like them.

So, to get the relationships you want in your life, plus that special love relationship, you need to let down your guard, accept your total Self, and let others in. Take a chance. Doing nothing new gets you nowhere fast. Breaking down your distancing behaviors will feel like a wonderful BREAKTHROUGH for you. Why not start today?

(c) copyright 2008 Dr. Helen Borel. All rights reserved.

For permissions and rights, email me:

To read my articles on many other emotional health issues and psychotherapy, do visit


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