boundaries

Remember Those Walls I Built?

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Gather round as we make sacrifices at alter of the Queen Bey this week and chat a bit about protecting ourselves whilst out in the wilds of modern dating.

Self-protection is one of your brain's most primary purposes.  Right behind, keeping all your organs functioning.  The ability to learn, adapt, create and change our environments is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom on this planet.  However there are two sides of that brilliant brain of yours, dearest one.  Which one is ruling?

 

There is a logical side of our brain and an emotional one.  Both are vital and yet they tend to respond to threats quite differently.  

Logical brain, says ‘Right, touching that stove when it’s on burned my human, we shouldn’t touch it when its hot again.  The emotional brain says ‘OMFG that stove is evil, you know what? This whole kitchen is dangerous, heck this whole house is trying to kill me, I am NEVER EVER going in there AGAIN!!!’

 
Photo by  Rochelle Brown  on  Unsplash
 

Yeah. Emotional brain is a RuPaul Drag Race level drama queen, and...

She.

Ain’t.

Playing.  

 

And if you think her response to your hand getting burned by the stove is OTT, you obviously never had your heart broken, cause that is when emotional brain loses her whole damn mind!  

 

Logical brain institutes boundaries to safeguard against reasonable and obvious dangers

Emotional brain builds walls.  And moats.  And minefields.  Ensuring no one EVER gets close enough to cause harm, EVER.

 

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I remember the day I realized that my own carefully constructed fortress, was actually a prison. 

That behind those high walls, the barb wire, the minefields, I was slowly suffocating in the darkness of my own loneliness, and that not only could no one get in… girl, I was locked up so tightly inside of that prison, I couldn’t get out, even if I wanted to.

 

And I wanted to!  I was telling myself all the time, I was ready for love, I wanted to meet someone amazing, and I wanted companionship and yet, my actions were keeping me hostage in that prison, isolated from real human connection.

 
Photo by  Velizar Ivanov  on  Unsplash
 

I’m not saying you need to throw open all the doors and let any Tom, Dick or Jane waltz on in. 

By all means, check ID’s at the door, at the very least.  However, if you think building your walls up high is keeping you safe, that if someone REALLY wanted to get to know you they would take the time to pry, brick by brick each of those walls down, then you are literally taking the key to human connection, and even your happiness and throwing it in the moat, never to be found.

Without vulnerability, no one can even get close enough to see how worthy of the good fight you really are, darling.  And you are. Worthy.  A shimmering prize! 

 

Tear those walls down yourself, Learn the crucial skill of boundary settings, and let them see you shine!

 
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The Fallacy of the 'COOL GIRL' and why playing it cool, rarely gets the love

The Cool Girl.  She's so easy breezy, drama free, roll with the punches, always up for a good time, ride or die chick.   She is available for fun, whenever, wherever.  She doesn’t make demands on her new love interests.  She doesn’t inquire about messages that go unanswered, dates that are canceled last minute nor does she pay any mind to the fact they are still on dating apps, 3 months into seeing each other. 

 

The Cool Girl always has their back, and will support you through it all, whilst never expecting any acknowledgement or commitment in return. 

 

You need a cheer leader for that new job interview? Give me a ‘C’! 

You need a cheerleader to get over your Ex? Give me a ‘O’! 

You need a cheerleader for your sick mom?  Give me an ‘O’!

How about a cheerleader for that redundancy you didn’t see coming?  GIVE ME A ‘L’!! 

What does that spell?? COOL! COOL! COOL!

Yup. She does it ALL whilst never asking for much in return.

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The COOL GIRL never say’s I LOVE YOU, first.  She never has the big relationship ‘talk’.  She never say’s their behavior is unacceptable.  Rush? What rush? There is no rush from a cool girl!  Cause’ she is WAY TOO COOL for all that. 

She is both too cool to care and too cool to make waves, whilst simultaneously being their BFF, with so many benefits.

 

And that nonchalance? That uber coolness… is why people fall madly in love with her, right?

WRONG!

 

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We think, by playing to cool… by being a consummate bad ass support, by not challenging others to meet our needs, to love us and to show up for us, that will ‘make’ someone want to stay. HOWEVER, time and time again, that is not how that story ends. 

 

This is the fallacy of the Cool Girl. 

And it is most certainly, a cautionary tale!

Now, here is an all more common bed time story.  Girl does all of the above, and possibly so much more.  She blends into the walls, being all laughs and good times.  She NEVER says she want’s something serious, yet she is fulfilling all the boss ass roles of the perfect girlfriend.  She helps them through some of the toughest times in their life, she is a barrel of laughs, drinking beer with the boys, no pressure, no drama perfection… and then, THEY LEAVE.

 

Uh oh, the Cool Girl is a hot mess, now. 

WHY?, She laments.  I did EVERYTHING for them! I was sooooo easy, breezy, calm and collected!  I NEVER ASKED FOR ANYTHING and I DID EVERYTHING for them!  How could they not SEE what an amazing partner I would be????

 

Ready for a psychology truth bomb?  Take cover!

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Making a commitment involves dedicating yourself to a person, its obligates you to DO something.  Committed long term relationships, ARE WORK.  Hard work. Worthy work.

People make commitments to other people based more from obligation, then from passion. 

They feel it is the right thing to do. AND, they feel they are a better person for doing so.  They have experienced some of the ‘work’ and they have experienced some of the reward, from that work.  Psychologically, we are driven to commit, because it is being required of us to continue on the path, to attain more of what is giving us the sensory of accomplishment and appreciation.   

In hetero normative relationships, add in a healthy dose of gender socialization for, um, millennia, and you have MEN who have an overwhelming need to provide.

 

The Cool Girl?  She did all the providing.  She required no sense of obligation.  She never gave them the chance to do any of the work, so they never experienced the reward.  They also never truly experienced reward, accomplishment and appreciation based on that work.

 

PLUS, she never truly showed her cards, she was TOO COOL to express the deep emotions she felt for this persons, TO BE VULNERABLE.   When we are vulnerable, we do indeed open ourselves up to the possibility to rejection and hurt, HOWEVER it is through that very same open space, that void of need, that someone can step in, AND PROVIDE LOVE!

 

The reality is, the more instructive you are about what you want and need, the more clearly defined the role is for someone to actually, FILL IT!

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And don’t even get me started on how, even when we do ‘get the partner’ the devastation that follows when you do, drop the cool girl persona, and start truly showing up as you, does to a partnership.  ‘They were SO different when we first met!’ becomes a battle cry that couples have a very, VERY hard time getting out from under.

 

Any pennies dropping for you, dearest one?

Feel like I am telling your story?  

Are you a COOL GIRL?  How’s that been truly serving you?  

What will YOU do to drop the cool and make them WERRRK for it?

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Boundaries used to terrify the shit out of me. OR, what I learned from watching Dirty Dancing…

Learn why setting boundaries is crucial to finding real love and keeping real love.

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