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and why you break up with someone smothering you

copyright 1997 by Harlan Jacobsen

You get that big romance going and no one else or nothing else seems important. You spend every possible waking moment together and you even talk, talk, talk on the phone when you are apart. You just can’t seem to ever get enough of each other. It’s one tender kiss after another Sunday thru Saturday and it’s really togetherness.

Then, rather suddenly, it’s SPLITS-VILLE. What happened? Perhaps it could have been a long permanent relationship yet it wound up in good-byes.

A single has gained certain personal freedoms, freedom on how to spend time, money, and your energy. They may not be totally aware that they have these freedoms until that certain someone comes on the scene. Togetherness is nice but soon they get upset, nervous, aggravated. They are being smothered and they wish they were out of it. (They haven’t lost interest but they think they have because they know they want out).

Tonight maybe, they want to stay home alone and read, but they can’t tell you that. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. You like this end to loneliness and you want to work at it full time. If you still care about me, why can’t we be together tonight?

You do not own them and you are not entitled to 100% of their free time, attention or energy. Freedom to run around or freedom to be untrue is not what we are talking about. You need to allow the other person as much personal freedom as they want to keep. So you must play it cool by loving but not smothering.

You must allow room for individuality. Insist that they allow you time and you allow them time to maintain other outside interests. When it’s constant togetherness with no outside interests, soon there is nothing to talk about.

The big problem is learning to play it cool, a middle route, not do nothing or not go overboard.

Be involved, be in love, but don’t suffocate them with too much of you.