Once we realize everyone, absolutely everyone we encounter has four different ages (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) which may or may not be aligned; we begin to change our expectations of them and the relationship.
For example, a gentleman may have a physical age of 35 with a corresponding mental age; yet due to unhealed emotional wounds, his emotional age may be much younger. We tend to become ‘emotionally stuck’ whenever we experience trauma, especially during childhood. Therefore, if the heart space has not been healed it serves as a block to how deep he is willing to go emotionally. Perhaps his emotional wounds were not acquired in childhood but later on in life due to a significant loss or maybe he was wounded when he allowed someone into his sacred, vulnerable heart space. This trauma impacts his willingness-ability to trust and as a result he may keep people, especially in the romantic arena at a safe distance.
In this particular example, to use the logic: “You are a grown man! My goodness, you are 35! That ish happened in the past! Get over it!” is not helpful nor encourages healing. Yes, his physical and mental age may align, but his heart space has been wounded and in the emotional space he is childlike; perhaps frightened, scared to experience that type of pain again or heartbreak, disappointment, etc. Couple this with societal and perhaps even cultural definition of manhood, masculinity, success, etc. the weight can become much heavier for this guy. And to add the emotional expectation and pressure from a woman with an expectation that because he is in his 30s, mature, perhaps successful, etc. he SHOULD be able to communicate, love, give, express, receive, etc in a very particular manner.
All of us are on a journey, a quite adventurous one called life; where we are experiencing, learning, revising all in real time. Life is not a simulation, where we have the liberty to practice and perfect in a sterile environment before the real deal. Our paths are quite different and some are extremely different and each of our experiences impact our four domains in ways that we may not even realize until years down the path or until we are in a very particular situation.
If you have emotional wounds, seek a therapist. You heart is much bigger, deeper and stronger but the blocks are hindering you. Be gentle yourself and with each other. – Misha N. Granado, MPH, MS