Stalking: Is This You?
I am not talking about criminal stalkers who truly intend to do someone harm. What I'm talking about are regular people who have a relationship end before they were ready and some of the behaviors they use in their best attempt to hold on to their partners. Has this ever happened to you?
Let's talk about the potential dangers of what can happen. You are in a love relationship. You are happy and content most of the time. Perhaps you notice your partner's lack of attention and possible discontent, or possibly the realization that he or she no longer loves you comes as a complete shock. Whichever is the case, the ultimate result is that your partner wants out of the relationship that was satisfying for you.
I talk to many individuals who have experienced this scenario as a total and complete shock. They had no idea. They insist there was no warning. Everything was fine and then one day. . . BOOM. The bottom fell out of their world. This experience can be completely devastating.
If this has happened to you, you know what I mean. Everything seems fine. You are happy. You have a partner in your life who meets most of your needs. You depend on that person. You imagine your future together. You take for granted that you will always be together. Then something happens that is totally out of your control and your world is shattered. What can you do?
Before we talk about what to do, it is important to really look and define what you want. Most people who are left in that situation want their lover back. They want to pinch themselves and realize they were just having a nightmare. They want their partner to love them again.
Without taking a good look at what you want, you tend to start behaving automatically. You want your life back so you start engaging in activities to try to change the other person's mind. You cry, you rage, you depress and sometimes in desperation, you engage in what I call stalking behavior.
Your partner has told you the relationship is over. He or she is not interested in continuing your life together. Your partner doesn't love you anymore. Well, that is completely unacceptable to you. Some of you will even imagine that the person is losing his or her mind. He might be having a midlife crisis or she may simply be experiencing PMS. Your mind kicks into denial. You simply don't believe it.
You call your friends. Try to get them on your side to validate whatever it is you are thinking. And in sheer desperation, you start to spy on your loved one. You drive by where they work. You make unwanted phone calls, begging them to come back and give you one more chance. You start approaching their family members and friends hoping to gain some insight that you lack.
All of this is understandable when you start behaving without your goal in mind. If you don't understand your goal is to reinstate the relationship, then your behavior seems justified. However, when you clearly define your goal, then that begs the question, "Are these behaviors that I am engaging in helping me to bring this person back into my life?"
If you can honestly see the situation, then you will have to admit that what you are choosing to do is more likely pushing your loved one away. Once you recognize this, you need to switch out of your emotional mode and move into a more logical, intellectual mode.
You need to understand a little about relationship dynamics. Until a couple truly moves into an area of mature love and relationship commitment, they tend to go through cycles. One person withdraws and the other person moves closer in an attempt to fill the gap created by the other's withdrawal. In so doing the person attempting to fill the gap often crowds and smothers his or her partner, thus increasing the likelihood of their own rejection. It's a vicious cycle.
What can be done about it? You must honor your partner in your relationship, while at the same time honoring yourself. You do not have the right to get your own needs met at the exclusion of your partner meeting his or her needs. When a relationship exists that is not meeting the needs of both individuals, sometimes one or both people decide it's time to end the relationship.
The problem occurs if you don't want the relationship to end and your partner does. What can you do? The first thing to always ask yourself is, "Whose behavior can I control?" If your partner has decided to end the relationship, is there really anything you can do to stop them? Maybe, and that's a big maybe, you can make them feel so guilty that they will return to you. However, is guilt the foundation you want your relationship to be built upon?
I say you must honor your partner's wishes to end a relationship gracefully if maintaining any type of future relationship is your goal. You may be able to salvage a friendship that way. It's even possible that down the road, your partner may want to return to you once he or she realizes that you respected them enough to let them go gracefully. However, don't let this be the reason you do so because then if it doesn't happen, you can reengage in some crazy and potentially stalking behaviors.
You have a complete right to a fulfilling, satisfying relationship. That is true. However, you may not be able to have it with the person you'd like to have it with right now. Hold on to your vision of the futureâ¬"your dream of happily ever after. Simply allow yourself the flexibility to imagine it with a different partner in your life. After all, isn't part of your vision being in relationship with someone who loves you as much as you love them? Then your current relationship isn't the answer.
Gracefully, let it go with the inner knowledge that you are better off for the time you spent in the relationship. It met your needs for as long as it existed and now you are on to bigger and better things. You have been freed to continue your search for a person to love you in your here and now.
Remember this quote by Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened."