Updated: Aug 12, 2020
We all have them! As single women in the dating world and those of you who are in new relationships too, we are sabotaging our connections and relationships while we are in them.
In Chapter 9 of Ken Page's Deeper Dating book, he shares about the flight patterns that come up due to our fear of intimacy and ways in which to work with these. In the podcast episode, Katrina Marie and I go through the lessons shared and how these apply to our own lives.
This phase or behaviours we exhibit to keep us protected from the vulnerability of falling in love, Ken calls this the "wave of distancing". He defines it as coming up when "The Wave occurs when we push a caring and available person away by inwardly diminishing his or her worth."*
How do you know you're in the wave of distancing? Ken shares these signs:
You can't find the sense of affection and desire you once had.
You keep getting irritated at him or bored by him.
Her flaws make you quickly lose respect for her, even if you don't show it.
You start yearning for the excitement of the hunt.
You feel like a fraud, pretending you're still interested when inside you just don't feel it anymore.*
Oh, how deeply I can relate to these feelings coming up! I recently thought I had met "my person" and that was followed up by me having a complete freak-out about it and then afterwards nitpicking all the things I didn't like about him.
This wave of distancing allows us to open our hearts up and see the saboteur for what it is. If we can acknowledge it for what it is and permit ourselves to take the space we need and continuing being present with the person we're dating, then there's potential for us to move past the fear of intimacy and let the person in.
Here are the 6 ways in which Ken describes those dating and in new relationships can handle the self-sabotage that comes up:
Don't assume that your feelings for this person have completely disappeared and that it's time to move on.
Take the space you need and avoid doing things like picking fights, criticizing or taking actions that would alienate or hurt them.
Don't pressure yourself. There is no rush to decide before you're ready, to sleep with them before you're ready or anything else. The more pressure you feel, the likelier you will be to flee.
Try to connect in with the aspects you appreciated and liked about the person before this wave hit.
Work through your fear by talking it through with your learning partner, a coach, therapist or friend.
"If there's a conflict or a sense of discomfort with the person, try to work it out. If we suppress our gifts or feelings, we will be much more prone to the Wave."*
In really being able to recognize these patterns and shifting them, requires that you spend time in personal reflection. You can do this by looking at past dating experiences you've had, but also noticing if in the present any of the signs above are coming up for you and feeling into why. Once you're able to recognize your flight patterns, then you'll be able to watch out for them and not allow them to run your dating life. Ken recommends focusing on one of your flight patterns and working with overcoming it.
Being open and intimate with someone can be very scary and it's something that takes a lot of practice. Being compassionate with yourself while doing so and allowing yourself to fumble through the process will make it a lot lighter of an experience. You never know, perhaps the next time you stop yourself from fleeing when the wave hits, you'll end up allowing a loving long-term relationship to grow out of it.
Do you know what your flight pattern is? You can hear about mine and Katrina's in the podcast episode!
Information referenced from: (Page, Ken. Deeper Dating. Colorado, Shambhala Publications Inc., 2015.)