This is a hard pill to swallow, but the good news is that the person may not mean they are polyamarous. There are many reason why they ‘told’ you this…they may not mean what you heard.
The first step is to identify why the person feels that way. If you do not know the foundation, you will not be able to ascertain whether there is hope if this is not your cup of tea. Here we have provided a breakdown of some of the possibilities. Try to identify which ones suit your partner best and then you can have a valid discussion with him or her and know where you stand and predict the future of your relationship. Keep in mind, however, that some people do not understand themselves well enough to know where they stand; it is for this reason this breakdown may be very helpful to both of you, as it lists possibilities and then goes on to further refine them.
1) Some people are not comfortable with who they are and as a result they do not feel comfortable if someone treats them well. This is usually caused by being raised in an environment where the person did not get the validation they deserved.
Perhaps their parents treated them as possessions, and not as individuals. Perhaps they lacked a parent and there was no time for them or their needs became an inconvenience. For others, perhaps they were not good at sports or had some physical attribute that made them less than popular. This then lowered their self-esteem, and as adults, they felt ‘less than’. If you now enter the picture and treat them with the respect they always felt they deserved, they may not know how to react and respond.
2) They may feel that you, the other person, have other reasons for being with them and so do not get close to you. In today’s society, many people have turned the word ‘networking’ into a four-letter word and as a result you find that more people are crossing the boundary between the social and the business aspects. As a result, some people will do ‘whatever it takes’ in order to get something they want. Professionals who are accustomed to being utilized for their contacts, prestige, money, or other qualities tend to build a wall around them and as a result, over time, start to generalize and even tend to turn away people who are sincere because they meet so few of them and simply assume everyone wants something from them.
3) They may feel uncomfortable with accepting the warmth or closeness you are offering. This is a close relative to the first item we discussed. In this situation, a person has either not been brought up with a lot of warmth and affection or has not encountered much in his or her adult life. As a result, this person finds warmth and closeness to be foreign, and does not know what to do with it. This is especially the case when someone comes across with “too much too fast”. Obviously, there is no set standard for ‘speed’, if you will, as one person may be accustomed to one speed for being in a relationship, where another is accustomed to going much slower, for example. Where the two mix, it is inevitably oil and water and if you are the faster one, you really should consider slowing down substantially because you may scare the other person, and our interviews have shown that regrettably, one can often pass the point of no return and this is fatal to the relationship.
4) Your date/partner may feel this is a temporary situation and does not want to be close as it going to end soon anyway. This is especially common amongst people who have not had great dating experiences for one reason or another. This type of person looks at a relationship as something very temporary. If it is not going to last, just like the other ones didn’t, then what is the point in investing in it? Additionally, if is not going to last, it makes sense to play the field so at least when this one ends, there will be a soft cushion, rather than the thundering sounds of silence he or she is accustomed to.
5) Your partner does not feel he or she has control over you. There are some people who are simply not comfortable in a relationship if they do not feel they have control over their partner in one way or another. This is a topic one can write an entire book on. However, some salient points to consider are whether you want a relationship where someone is in control, and whether or not you can negotiate times and terms as to when one partner is in control or what he or she is in control of. In other words, one can be in charge in the bedroom, the other can be in charge of family finances, and so on.
The good news here is that ‘some’ people do not need to be in control of everything but if they cannot be in charge of certain key areas, they lose a comfort level. Your job is to extricate the areas of importance to the other person and then decide where you both stand. If only you can find out the answer as to whether your partner wants to be in charge of everything, you will be ahead of 95% of the couples that suffer from control issues that threaten their relationship.
There are many more issues that need to be addressed with this very complex and pervasive issue that the author has dealt with on numerous occasions. They will be addressed on our next article, as this article provides plenty of information for you to get started with, and the other topics we will cover approach this situation from a different perspective.
Relationships 901 is a 6-hour program produced to help you overcome relationship issues in a week. Authored by globally-known, high-level negotiator Steven Riznyk, it demonstrates, through actual event footage, how people behave when challenged. It uses conflict resolution methods created by Mr. Ryznik who has successfully resolved kidnappings, extortion, and a host of business and marital issues. Learn more about our relationship program here