“Let them come looking for you”
The phrase is simple. We’ve all heard paraphrases or iterations of it before. It often comes paired with an appeal to be your better self. The self that you want to be. The amazing person you are without any pushing from another. It implies that to be this amazing person you want to be has a side benefit of having people seek you.
It doesn’t usually come with an explanation of why not seeking out, but rather letting people seek you out is better. Refer to article one below.
It doesn’t often pair with a discussion of how people who seek you out might have you on a pedestal… and the inherent danger of pedestals. Refer to article two. Nor does it talk about the issue of when other people throw their expectations on you because you’re an amazing juggler but they fail to see you are already juggling an obscene number of things already. They fail to see you might be doing so from a precarious position. Having done this before a few times in a few different ways I feel I have unique understanding of some of the mental distortions that can go on when our idea of love gets in the way of our practice of love. Refer to article three.
Article One: You have the option to let people come to you rather than continually seek people out who have no interest. This is highly dependent on you and who you are. Most of the people I have been with I have sought out. This is who I am. Impatient and kind of annoying. I have found more often than not people who would never seek you out are delighted enough to give you a chance if you but ask them for it. Personal compatibility is rarely so accommodating, but the chase is part of the fun too.
Appeals to drastically change one’s nature in this regard often come with a disregard for the fact that the world requires both people who attempt to chose and people who desire to be chosen. There are so many words to describe these two groups it could be its own post. There is no difference save method for who remains in the lives of these people. Both can be active and engaged in choosing life friends/partners, both can be passive and unengaged. Neither is more ‘authentic’, and there is a heavy gender and power dynamic bias whereby men and doms are ‘seekers’ and women and subs are ‘found’.
If you are a person who has always chosen others, there can be power in withholding that very visible sign of approval of others and waiting for someone to show interest in you. Knowing the many signs of interest that can be displayed, you might be better suited to see when someone is interested in you than someone who has not made an active choice to be pursued.
If you are a person who has always let people come to you, you might find great power and fulfillment in taking a more active role in seeking people out. Dealing with rejection is hard to over-come but therein lies the power you gain: not over other people, but over yourself. This can help with the shadow side of waiting to be chosen.
What’s the shadow side? If there is a degree of power in waiting to be chosen it is denial. This unfortunately can be painful for the denied but it is essential in the chosen’s ability to dictate by whom they are surrounded. This doesn’t always work for people, and they can find themselves surrounded by people they don’t feel are helping them be their best. I see a response to the shadow side of being ‘chosen’ in memes that try to remind people to cut toxic people out of their lives, which can be used very negatively and without proper understanding of what toxic behaviour is and how it is caused … simply relegates ‘people who make the reader feel bad’ to people labeled as ‘toxic’.
There’s a shadow side of choosing others too. A couple. We come to Article Two: Pedestals. Sometimes we fall into the trap formed by following our perception of a person rather than that person. We all create a story of ourselves and our lives in our heads. It can be extremely unpleasant to have someone act out of character in reality for the person in the story of our lives in our head. Sometimes when we choose someone to be in our lives… they may have engaged in some subterfuge about their person… we may have engaged in some blind ignorance of certain things.
We all want to believe the best of others. Sometimes we want to believe the worst. Inverse pedestals are a thing.
A pedestal is a kind of mental distortion. Which brings me to Article Three: What if someone else has you on a pedestal ? What if you have communicated with them specifically about the reality of your life and your inability to deal with love and they throw their love at you like a juggling ball into your 8 object cascade wherein you are already juggling bowling balls and chainsaws on top of a balancing chair on a tight rope. They don’t see the two bowling balls and two chainsaws because they have no conceptualization of juggling those things and thus they only conceptualize you juggling a flower pot, a tea cup and two juggling pins. What more is my juggling ball of love they ask themselves? And toss it into your pattern.
No matter how much you care for that person you’re going to drop their ball and hurt them. Maybe you drop everything and hurt yourself too. Maybe you don’t. I’m not saying you should. Well. Jean Luc says it better:
You cannot control how other people put themselves on you. You can only control your own life.
I have put people in the situation of being in love with them more because of what their love would mean about me than really because I was assuredly in love with them. I loved the idea of them. I have hurt myself and hurt others who didn’t want to hurt me by hurting myself on them. I’m sure many of us have done the same.
I have told myself I would love someone and not need their love because love was love and it didn’t need to be reciprocated to be a thing. Yeah. I was also fucking them and my love without reciprocation needs serious boundaries as I have discovered by fucking the people who did not love me and loving them and then being very very distraught when they found their own ‘the one’.
That’s not love. It’s something but its formulated an opinion of mine that I will not ever have sex with someone who loves me but I do not love… because I have been deeply harmed by people doing that to me. I can share their love at the level that I want it. And I will not let them compromise their emotional safety for me. Because I understand it can be compromised.
And I won’t have sex with the people I love that I’m not sure love me. Because I don’t trust them to keep me safe and it isn’t fair to put that expectation of me.