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The Phone’s Off the Hook in Case No One Calls

March 29, 2013

So going a little further out along this “person who needs the least has all the power” twig, you might be tempted to pretend like you want less. Thinking that will get you some power, restore some balance. Trust me, it won’t. It might work in business or some other arena, where bluffing is a legitimate way to win, but not in love. Because you will know. Even if the other person doesn’t, you will.

Let’s say you try it. Let’s say you leave things as “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” The reality is that you are going to be a) still waiting, no matter what you tell yourself, and b) afraid to call because, if your feelings haven’t changed, the moment the person turns you down in whatever way, the cruel facts of your ugly dynamic will immediately be apparent.  You will feel the chill of self-betrayal instantly & have to start all over again.

If you decide not to call, then don’t. Ever again. Your heart may not be in it at first, but this is how you start changing the dynamic in your relationship. Really changing it.  This is a lot easier said than done. It may never happen. Depressing, I know.

But you have to get the point where you really don’t care, the point where whether the phone is on or off the hook is of no consequence. Anything else is delusion.

This requires brutal honesty. With yourself. You have to get to the point where “will power” is not a factor, and if that day never arrives in this particular relationship, then you have to consider yourself finished with that person.

Will power. Now there’s a phrase. I once talked about this with someone I know, the one who cheats on her taxes & says she’ll have integrity when she gets more money. I was telling her about this approach because she was on the short end in a relationship. Why was I not surprised when her response was that she agreed and Yes, she was going to get to the point where restraining herself felt like second nature? I said No, you are missing the point, but I said it kind of weakly because this is a person whose ability to confront herself is not her forte. Who thinks “not wanting” and “acting like you don’t want” are the same exact thing. The latter may be the best one can accomplish, but if you think you can get to that stage and continue in a relationship with the need-ee, you are only fooling yourself.

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