Do you a have person or multiple people in your life who you've wondered "will we, won't we" about? You pretend that you guys are friends but, in reality you aren't and it's more about the two of you keeping tabs on the other and around, just in case. Like a back up. Or background noise? Background noise can make us feel less lonely--whether we are working from home and we have the TV on in the background to give us the sense of being around people or keeping potential partners hovering in the background of our lives so we have the illusion of an option.
I used to have A LOT of these people. Guys, i used to date who I still hooked up with. Guys I never dated but would make out with when I was lonely. Guys I liked a lot and they kept me around for when they were lonely. Interacting with these "just-in-case" guys was more of an ego play and instant gratification to give me the feel good hormones of reaching out to one of them and feeling desired/wanted/sexy ie. externally validated. Once, I started becoming aware of the blocks these people were creating in my romantic life, not to mention the mixed messages being sent to the Universe about what I actually wanted, I let all of the outliers go. I was really proud of myself for clearing out the clutter in my life and have more room to welcome a partner inside. I thought I had cleared everyone out until last week when I realized I still had ONE background guy I was hanging on to! He had missed the clearing out stage. How was that possible??
I'll tell you-- I was telling myself we were friends. I met this man years ago when I still teaching. He was a student and I didn't date students so when he asked me out, I said no. The problem was, I liked him. Or the idea of him is a more apt description of my feelings. When I left the studio he was a student at, I asked him out. He turned me down. But, we began a "friendship". I have friendship in quotes because while we labeled each other as a friend, I never got to know him. I couldn't call him if something went wrong and I needed help like my other friends. I didn't laugh or enjoy hobbies with him like I did with my other friends. We would simply reach out to the other every 6 months or so, hang out for a couple of hours and then radio silence for another 6 months. I never looked deeply at the situation until last week. I wasn't hanging on to the possibility of him but, he was there in the background of my mind and I would wonder will we date?
Last week, per our 6 month schedule, he reached out. We casually talked about meeting up and then I realized what I had been doing. I had been holding on to this background noise (unconsciously) to not be FULLY alone. The possibility of him was always there and therefore, I still had an option even when I didn't. Upon realizing this I was shocked! But, it's very easy to lie to ourselves and not face the truth of a situation. I'm thankful for all the work I do so, I can catch these seemingly innocuous connections. It may seems harmless but, this person was still taking up space in my head and my energy every 6 months yet, was brining nothing real to my life. After traveling, I got clear on what's important to me. Real connections and relationships are at the top of my list. This is neither one of those things. So, he's gotta go! Bye bye background noise!
I'm settling into the silence and I have to say it's peaceful. I love continuing to be honest with myself about my own behavior and clear out the clutter in my mind. It allows me more room to receive whatever it is I'm calling in and that is really exciting.
Okay, so what to do when you realize you have all this background noise? How do you cut the cords? For me, I stopped reaching out and engaging when they reached out to me. Most dropped off after a couple times of non-engagement and wasn't a big deal. I don't think it's necessary or important to have a conversation about why you're pulling away from them. If the person continues to reach out and you do feel the need to say something keep it short and keep it neutral- "Hey! I'm looking for something different in my relationships that I don't feel is available here. No hard feelings and take care." Direct and to the point!
What about you? Do you have a lot of background noise in your life?
If you need help in this area, I would love to guide you through this block.