A Major Relationship Clue: Where Are Their Feet?


A Major Relationship Clue: Where Are Their Feet?
Feet are just Feet?

The third position is one foot in and one foot out. In this case the person is moving in two directions at the same time with one foot going forward and one foot going away. This is by far the most popular position of the three and represents at least 60% of the people you will encounter. It is preferred because it is the safest, since it covers all the bases. You can be sort of in and sort of out at the same time, and minimize any real risk or true vulnerability. Some scenarios will sound and appear like the following: “I want to be with you, but I am not sure,”  “They will come on like gangbusters in the beginning and then suddenly fade away,” “ have sex  with you, but won’t share anything verbally or “ let you know that you possess some flaw that stops their total commitment.”

The one- foot- out-one- foot -in person is a study in ambivalence, and if you choose to
be involved with them, you won’t know if you are coming or going. I was involved with one woman who made every day into a drama of whether we were either parting or getting back together. There were so many breakups that I stopped telling my friends because it was killing my credibility. You can be assured If you are in a relationship with this kind of drama and turmoil, l that you are in a relationship with a one- foot- in and one- foot- out person. Chaos will be the norm here. A big part of the chaos that occurs in these relationships is because this individual will not make any real agreements that you can count on. Since they frequently say one thing and do another, agreements are a hit and miss affair.


In addition, I must warn you, if you find yourself staying in a relationship with this kind
of person, then it is time for you to admit that you also are a one- foot -in and one- foot- out person, and you were just pretending to look different than your partner. My clients who fall in love with married men are constantly saying that they have found the perfect relationship, if he would only follow through and leave his wife. If you fall for this, you will be in for a rough ride and miss seeing that the person is a match for your level of emotional risk.

Now many people will present to you very quickly that they have two feet in because they know that this is what you want to hear. If you fail to pay attention to the indicators beneath the posturing, then you will probably be surprised when the one- foot- in –one foot out behavior starts. “The calls become less frequent, the energy dissipates, and vagueness takes over the relationship. If you ask certain questions such as, “What were your other relationships like? What are you afraid of?, or What can I expect in being in a relationship with you?” you will more likely be able to expose this contradictory position. This is definitely true if you encounter any defensiveness or grandiosity when you ask your questions, especially comments like “I don’t play games, I am never selfish, or I am not afraid of anything it is best that you start moving toward the door.

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Doctor Bruce Derman


Bruce Derman, Ph.D.


The great thing about my books is they provide you with a core understanding of relationship based on my 43 years of being a psychotherapist. They teach you how to move through your impasses without spending countless hours in therapy with the wrong therapist.                         

Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Credentials: PhD
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