When I started dating the man I’m currently with, we had an interaction that I’m pretty sure transformed my relationships with men forever. My decision led to one of the most profound interactions I’d ever had with a man.
He and I had been getting close over the course of a few weeks, and it seemed like an appropriate time for us to take our physical intimacy to the next level. Here’s what happened: While cuddling at his place, I could feel my fear and discomfort rising, knowing I was going to have to tell him soon. “I have something to tell you, but I’m really scared to say it.” I scanned him to see his initial reaction. And I’m scared that if I do hurt or disappoint you, that you might stop caring for me or back away from me. This is my truth right now, and I have to stand by it.” It was terrifying to say those words to him, but it also felt like such a weight had lifted.
I realized how significant this interaction was — not only for me but for couples everywhere. Our sneaky egos tell us, “If you do what he likes, then he’ll like you.” Sure, there’s logic there.
So we follow that impulse, we disconnect from ourselves, we try to be liked, and eventually, we feel disconnected from everything: from our partners, ourselves, the relationship, and even love itself. When we try to be pleasers, we don’t give our partners the opportunity to know who we really are.
Your truth is how I’m able to connect with you, and that’s what I want.”Whoa. I stared at him, speechless, taking in the immensity of what he had just said. That’s what makes the urge to please others so crazy!