Loving another sometimes means distancing yourself April 4, 2016 – Posted in: Relationships – Tags: , ,

Welcome to April; the month in which we explore what is means to love another. We’ll look at all kinds of ideas this month (send me your questions if you have them!) but today I want to start with a tricky one…

For me, genuine love and connection are the two things I live for but I’m old enough and wise enough to know that this doesn’t always feel soft and comfortable. Sometimes being loving can mean being tough. Sometimes, in order to be authentic and confident, we need to remove ourselves from a situation.

I heard recently from someone, lets call him Adam, whose friend is stuck in a relationship-rut but won’t budge. The relationship-rut-guy (we’ll call him Seth) is constantly complaining about the rut but won’t take the advice given by Adam to get himself unstuck. Adam is frustrated and somewhat dreading their next evening out for fear that the topic of conversation will be the same as ever; “I want to leave her, she’s a nightmare, I’m too scared to leave, If only she’d change” etc, etc.

Adam fears he won’t be a good friend if he doesn’t keep listening but is starting to resent the fact that all his advice to Seth (to leave her and start over) is falling on stony ground. He’s bored of having the same conversation and starting to feel a little used.

I see two ruts here. I see the relationship-rut Seth is in with his partner AND the friendship-rut Adam and Seth are stuck in. Adam is stuck in the, ‘I must try to help fix my friend’s life’ loop but I wonder if Seth might need to find his own way with this? Or maybe Seth enjoys the attention Adam gives him? Or maybe Seth needs to stop talking and start taking action.

Whatever the reasons, it’s clear that Adam’s counsel is not helping Seth to move on so my advice would be for Adam to stop! There is a way for Adam to gently say that he feels he can’t keep having the same conversation.

This is not easy but I wonder if it’s more loving and truthful than giving advice and getting cross that it’s not being taken…?

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