Already talking about leaving

Dear Lisa,

I’ve been dating a man for about a month, and recently things have been getting more serious. neither of us are seeing anyone else, we have both been introduced to each others friends, he calls me often etc. And simultaneously, he has started talking about leaving. Not me specifically, but going to other countries to volunteer, or take courses, and even doing an epic journey by himself! There is no mention of wanting to do these things together.

How do I take his flip flop behavior?

–Left Behind ( ♀ )


Dear Left Behind,

From what you say, your man is into you and perhaps beginning to trust that he can open up to you. So, if you are serious about being in a relationship with this man, your reaction to this dichotomy matters.

You see, men have several archetypes inside just like we do. Among others, there is a group of three: the Husband, the Father and the Backpacker, that are very important for him to be able to express and cultivate freely before you. The Husband, of course, is the part of him that is dedicated to protecting and taking care of you. The Father is the part of him that wants to ensure his progeny (whether physical or figurative); the propagation of his blood line. The Backpacker is the part of him that is for him – his connection to himself and his spirit/purpose. As women, we love the husband and the father, but the Backpacker makes us anxious; he plays on our ‘security nerve’.

When a man begins to feel the desire to become more intimately involved with a woman as Husband and Father, there is an equal and opposite force that pulls him away – the Backpacker. And the things he is saying, may, on some level, be tests to see whether you can accept all three parts of him equally. He may not go away, or he may, but it is important that he feels you are secure enough in yourself to handle it if his purpose/spirit calls him into the unknown. After all, it is through his connection with himself that he grows as a man, develops his purpose and feels why he is on the planet. Often, in their discomfort, women become jealous, or take it personally that their men want to go elsewhere, and at the very suggestion, shoot it down. This reaction either pushes him away and out of the relationship, or emasculates him, leaving him to repress his need for purpose, which will inevitably cause troubles later in the relationship.

This is why your reaction is so important. You need to tune into what is behind your discomfort when he says that he would like to go away – is it jealousy, or fear that you will lose him? Is it your own insecurity about being left alone, or not knowing the future? Or is there really something to worry about? More often than not, the issue lies in your own mind as stories about your self worth. If you can become comfortable with the source of your discomfort, you will be able to genuinely hear his excitement about developing himself as a man and eventually come to see that the backpacker just as important as the other two archetypes in terms of cultivation. It’s not easy, but if you can understand him, you will have a long lasting and supportive relationship with a balanced and purposeful guy.

Know, also, that when a man feels he can venture out on his own to grow himself, that you are his inspiration. Your support and love have made him feel so elevated as Husband and Father, that he feels that to be of service to the world, and you, that he must further cultivate himself.

Trust your heart,

– Lisa



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