Pennelope0214 asks: The wonderful guy I wrote you about, who’s helped me move past those awful experiences, is acting strange now. He is behaving like “just a friend,” he won’t even sit beside me but in front of me instead. He won’t even hold my hand, and when I do he’ll leave it soon. Another moment he’ll make me listen to a love song and won’t hang up the phone until I am done and talk to me about the worst incident of his life when asked. I want to but cannot leave him since he made me promise to stay while I am dying to see him this way. Another girl who kind of had a crush on him is talking about me, which made me uncomfortable since there is nothing going on the way she says. I think a lot and when I heard her say that I was like this is the last thing I want after my incident but still dropped it since what mattered to me was him. I remember saying that after what happened, I cannot even think of being in a relationship. We both confessed we like each other. The whole time he’ll seem as if he is thinking something. In the end he kissed me. Now, he is making me listen to that song and won’t hold hands, he’ll be caring and listen to all my problems but behave strange sometimes. It all feels as if there was one thing which made me happy and now it is driving away from me. My life is so messed up right now.
Hi Pennelope0214 –
The most important line in your letter, to me, and the one I agree with the most, is the last one. Yes, after all you went through with that ex, your life IS messed up right now – most importantly in your views on relationships. You want one and you don’t – and that makes tons of sense, given what you’ve been through – but it means nothing can possibly feel right. At least not right now.
And that’s the way it’ll be for a little while. I hope not too long, but for a bit. So I want you to do what we dogs are great at: Relax and breathe deeply.
Try it right now. Take as deep a breath as you can, and hold it. I’d guess you’ll feel tons of tension around it, and all over your body. That’s fine, just let the air out slowly, and give yourself a minute. And then take another breath, and this time, just hold it for a few seconds, and then breathe it out, and breathe in again. So you’re slowly taking very full breaths and letting them out. And as you do, try to picture your breath moving around your body slowly. Down one arm, into some organs, around your feet, a whole journey. And if you feel your breath hit a really tight, stressed place, breathe into it extra, so, like water into a sponge, it’ll fill that area and relax it.
Some people take this process to another level, and call it mindfulness or meditation, and that’s all great, but for now I just want you to do this. Ideally a couple of times a day.
Now as you do it, you might find memories and thoughts come into your head. That’s fine, just try to let them out with the breath. And if it gets to be too much (say, memories of that guy hurting you come in), maybe stop doing the breath for a bit, and come back later that day or the next.
What I’m trying to do is to get you to relax as much as possible. Yes, your life is crazy right now. But you’re holding tons of tension inside from all this other bad stuff, and we want to get that out.
And my guess is, as you relax more, you’ll be able to get a better sense of just what YOU want from this boy. Whether you want to try a new relationship, or keep things friendly, or… whatever YOU feel. That’s what matters.
And it’s only then, when you can know what you want, that you can pursue it. And whether you get exactly what you want or not, your life will make a lot more sense then.
With loads of puppy love,