By: Liz Wallenstein, LMHC

You make each other laugh, never want your time together to end, have great conversation, and make each other feel special and wanted. But you also have a lot of misunderstandings, tend to push each other’s buttons, and feel frustration or hurt too often in your relationship.

If you find yourself in this can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em dynamic, chances are one of you wants to move the relationship forward, but the other wants to keep it where it’s at. So whether it’s conscious or subconscious for one or both of you, one keeps expecting more and then gets frustrated and disappointed when they feel the other resist or withhold to prevent it from becoming more. And if the pursuer isn’t given a satisfactory reason why the withholder doesn’t want a relationship, the pursuer gets anxious or sad convinced they could be in a great relationship if only the other person didn’t have issues holding them back.

They may be right. Timing is a significant part of compatibility. A person only gets into a relationship when they are wanting AND ready for one. A person who still has personal work to do before he or she can be available for a relationship will always find reasons why they shouldn’t go forward with someone (commonly referred to as “being picky”). But a person in that place often can’t see that’s what they are doing and may sincerely think they are ready. And if that’s the case, unfortunately there’s nothing anyone can do to get them to see it. People only come to realize it when they come to it on their own, in their own time, in their own way. And if the other tries to get them to see it, they just risk looking desperate or crazy and the person may want to distance themselves from them even more.

A relationship where two people choose to give to each other and care for one another is love. A need to be with someone or prove how right you are for them is compulsion. Love is peaceful, compulsion is exhausting. Love makes you feel good, compulsion hurts.

If a relationship, or desire for a relationship with someone is causing you hurt, frustration or anguish, you don’t have a relationship problem, you have a self-esteem or faith problem. Why do you want to be with someone who’s willing to let you go, rather than find someone who would love you and work to keep you? Do you believe you can have that?

It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong with someone else. People will provide you with lots of opportunity to do so. But it’s impossible to change others and you’ll only give yourself lots of unnecessary heartache and turmoil in waiting and wanting for them to change. The only way to make progress in relationships is to focus on changes you can make within yourself. And when you grow, you see your options grow and feel yourself moving closer to what you want.


Want to be in a relationship but not sure you’re available for one? Feeling stuck holding on to a relationship that’s not giving you what you want? Contact Me to set up an appointment.