Everyone wants to be wanted or needed and to feel appreciated and let's face it, needing someone can be scary especially when you know from past experiences how awful and hard it is to recover from losing someone you felt like you needed. Another thing we humans like to have as much of as possible is control. We love to think that we are in control of something and when we feel out of control we tend to try and find a way to create it ourselves.
One way to generate that power we long for is by keeping distance because controlling that decision makes us feel safe and like we have control of our emotions. We must be at least willing to try something new, or we will perpetuate the same disconnected relationships of past. Doing something over and over again expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity, if you want a new result, you have to do something different.
The only thing that I've found helpful when trying to change has been the gratifying experience of learning to recognize when I am holding back or not saying out loud the thoughts are rolling through my brain and in real-time choosing to speak up about it. Sometimes I don't catch myself immediately but as soon as I do I stop myself and verbally acknowledge to myself and my partner what I just realized and sometimes there is a great deal of fulfillment experienced by both of us just because I was able to identify the obstacle almost immediately.
Of course, there is risk involved but what is the alternative if we never let our guard down?
"The vulnerability paradox: It’s the first thing I look for in you, and the last thing I want you to see in me." - Brene Brown
When allowing ourselves to be vulnerable we feel more connected, invested, respected, valued, needed and desired. That said, vulnerability is a paradox. You get a break from wasting energy trying to protect yourself. Stop worrying about having every answer. We no longer need to work to impress others; we don't have to worry about saying the right thing, we can just talk.