broken heart


August 29, 2009

Telling Too Much in the Name of Intimacy – Holly and Todd met three months ago on an airplane, somewhere between Los Angeles and Boston. Kismet ruled and they were seated next to each other for the five-hour trip.

Todd, a marketing executive on a business trip and Holly, en route to visit her family exchanged a lot more than phone numbers, by the time the plane landed.

Have you also noticed that there is something about air travel that seems to give people permission to bare their secrets to strangers?

Holly told her seat-mate all about her failed teenage marriage and about her more recent abortion. She told him about her sporadic bouts with depression and her verbally abusive grandmother. Todd was sympathetic.

“I’d be depressed too,” he smiled and looked at her pretty hair.

Then, Todd reciprocated with his own tales about his two failed marriages, and about how he distrusts women. He told her he could never get married again.

“You just haven’t been with the right woman,” Holly fired back.

Back in LA, in spite of revealing all their dirty laundry, these two began what now feels like a doomed relationship.

When they had their first fight, Todd scolded Holly, “You’re always late. No wonder you had so much trouble with other men. They couldn’t trust you.”

“I’m not your first wife, or your second. And just because I’ve been late a few times, doesn’t mean you can’t trust me.” Holly had as much ammunition as Todd did.

Maybe it was airplane intimacy that set the stage for their troubles. But, experience tells me, that even on the ground, people tend to reveal too much and too soon. The motive may be honest enough. “I want you to know what a survivor I am, so you will love me more.”

Watch out!

I’ve never known a man or a woman who has responded to stories about abusive treatment from former lovers, with admiration. Even on an airplane.

And talking too much about old loves with a new intimate partner can give your new lover the idea that you are still too connected to the past.

Is it all right to talk about the virtues and charisma of old pals to a stranger on an airplane? May be. But if he or she turns out to be a potential new love, it can also be a turn-off. He or she may think you are not really ready to move on.

Intimacy certainly demands sharing, but it’s best to save details for discussions later or for not at all. There will always be things that are better left unsaid.

Thanks For Visiting,

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