Relationships: a flag of independence vs energetic enmeshment

So often I hear women say: “I don’t want him to think that I need him” or “I don’t want my freedom to be restricted by a man.”

I also hear the opposite being said: “I want us to do everything together!” “Sometimes, I miss him so much that I can’t focus on anything. I don’t want us ever to be apart!”

… and multiple different variations of the above.

Unfortunately, both of these attitudes can be an indication of the unhealed childhood wounds in a woman that give rise to destructive feminine archetypes.

The real message in the first scenario is: “Go away, I am not ready to receive your love and support”. In the second scenario, the message is even less helpful: “You will never be safe in this relationship as you will have to sacrifice parts of yourself to be with me”.

If a woman is not self-aware about what makes her take one or another stance with regards to relational interdependency, she remains trapped in the vicious circle of either attracting men who she would later describe as “he was only interested in one thing…” or of “falling madly in love” but then collapsing into a painfully familiar feeling of being “rejected” or “not good enough”.

Yes, many of us have been hurt in the past by situations when our personal space was invaded, our feelings were not appreciated, criticised or ignored, or when our essential needs were neglected. Our fear of this happening again has formed our energetic imprint of how we show up in a relationship. This is how we learnt to protect our innocence and our delicate inner world, which is very understandable. However, if we want to become a fully conscious human beings and enjoy a relationship that is fulfilling and nurturing for our heart, body, and soul, we will benefit greatly from freeing ourselves from these old ways of protection, because, paradoxically, they often get us into the exact kind of “danger” that we are trying to avoid: being taken advantage of or abandoned by others.

What I know is that when we learn to take care of our inner child, our compulsive desire to assert our “independence” and “non-neediness” with men drops away. When a woman learns to take care of herself, she has no problem to express her vulnerability or appreciation by saying to men in her life things like:

“I really don’t know what to do. I need your help…”

“You made it so much better for me…”

“I wouldn’t have managed this on my own.”

She knows she can manage on her own. She knows she is strong and capable. She doesn’t see herself as a “burden” or a “liability” to the man in her life. This woman knows her value for her partner and he knows that, too. And, that is why he sees her as a “safe” woman to be with. He feels that she is not a “damsel in distress” and that he is free to say “No”.

A man appreciates when a woman he likes can make it clear what she needs for herself, what she wants from life, and what would make her happy. This way she allows him to decide whether he will be able to give her these things. Because – surprise, surprise – feeling confident that he can make his woman happy is one of the most important reasons for him to stick around.

(Photo by Florian Pérennès)