Online dating has been a real education and has led me to copious amounts of self-awareness. Mostly, my self-awareness has been acquainting myself with my parts and their patterns. Now it is time to do the hard work of leaving my patterns.
Leaving my patterns ironically frees me up to give and receive more love. When my whole system is geared towards rejection prevention while simultaneously creating a replay of my personal rejection story, otherwise known as repetition compulsion. Working with my parts first of all means knowing when my parts are in trouble, and often I don’t catch it before it’s too late.
With this last round of a pseudo-relationship, I had the following parts come up:
-A pleaser part my therapist called “Stockholm syndrome” part
-an anorexic part that severely restricted eating, a part that has not successfully restricted eating to that extent in the past, but whose goal is to get my dad’s love since my dad was so wrapped up in appearance and would restrict my eating as a child, i.e. offering a plate of tomatoes and onions for breakfast when I was 9.
-an anxious part that was constantly triggered by abandonment
-a teen party girl part that came out also in response to abandonment (please look at me)
-an angry part that was retaliatory when faced with a lie
Piggybacking on avoidant attachment style and IFS, an avoidant man is just full of manager parts. You can’t get in through all his protections. I’ve noticed that avoidant men will say some of the same things:
-there is always something wrong with the women they’ve dated, meaning, they have a criticism about the women they’ve dated and no awareness of their part
-they are dismissive of feelings
-they lack self-awareness
-they don’t text back in a rhythmic and timely flow of conversation
-they become suddenly withdrawn, reclusive, or run from the relationship
-their feelings seem to be extremely controlled like a faucet that is either on or off
-their relationships are short-lived, or long and unhappy
-they live in a fantasy world with regard to relationships and have unrealistic ideals
-they love online dating and the illusion of the perfect one waiting for them, while simultaneously sabotaging closeness with anyone, and they stay on those sites for a very long time
-they are irritable or angry for no apparent reason, while having the perception that they are not moody
Noticing the parts that are triggered in me, and the frequency with which they are triggered, tells me if a man is compatible. An avoidant man is always going to trigger my abandonment wounds, and bring up those child parts of me that are starved for love. I could not stay in Self with this man, although I practiced a few times, mostly when I was giving him the boot. Being an avoidant, I’m sure he was pleased and relieved that I did the work of ending the relationship so he didn’t have to. Ultimately, a man with a lot of managers designed to deny his inner child and mine, to keep him from his feelings, and to shut him down when he gets close, cannot give me any type of relationship, and cannot give my parts what they need. He cannot give to himself the love he needs, so how can he give it to me or allow me to love him?
It is a learning path…to learn how to soothe and care for my inner child, to be sensitive to my abandonment issues enough that I seek an available man, to speak for my needs from Self energy, and to stop repeating my pattern of choosing the familiarity of unavailable men.
I do have compassion and don’t want to lump all avoidants in the “loser” pile…I do understand that no one wounds others without being wounded themselves. But they do say some stupid shit and do some really dumb things to women. So, sometimes they are losers and I will use their “loser” parts to help my “loser” parts get better.
Maybe I should start with the part that calls out losers…..ha!