Watch Out For Extremes
During my work as a Psychologist, one thing that I have observed is that extremes in any form are often not a good thing. When a client tells me that they have met someone who is incredibly romantic and attentive and the described behaviour sounds ‘over the top’ it always rings warning bells for me. Behaviour that is extreme is unsustainable in the long term and often represents an underlying issue.
Many abusers start their relationships by lavishing attention on their new partner. They do whatever it takes to get their partner emotionally hooked as quickly as possible. Once someone is emotionally entangled they are much easier to control. In my naive days, I was always jealous of a friend who had met a really romantic man. But I soon discovered that the type of guy who has ended up reliable and has been there for me without any control issues or emotional manipulation have been the ones that were more even keel and perhaps ‘middle of the road’ in terms of their behaviour. They could be loving and bring me flowers but they could also be forgetful or downright neglectful at times. Of course, this behaviour isn’t gender specific and women are also guilty of acting in extreme ways.
One of my most loving boyfriends who sent me a dozen roses on Valentine’s day to my hotel in Austria really got my attention. He was sweet as pie initially and I was flattered. He would send me soppy text messages every day, at least 3 or 4 times a day and kept up the intense behaviour for 2 to 3 months. Once he could see that I was attached he began to criticise and become incredibly difficult. I have seen this pattern with some of my client’s relationships too.
Of course, I am generalising but I felt this was an important message to put in a blog as it has taken me a few years to pinpoint this issue and it is something I wanted to share…