The hedgehog’s dilemma, or sometimes the porcupine dilemma, is a metaphor about the challenges of human intimacy. It describes a situation in which a group of hedgehogs all seek to become close to one another in order to share heat during cold weather. They must remain apart, however, as they cannot avoid hurting one another with their sharp spines. Though they all share the intention of a close reciprocal relationship, this may not occur, for reasons they cannot avoid.
This about how this applies to your present and past relationships...
- Are there people you desperately want to be close to, but can't, because you get hurt every time?
- Do you have a problem with boundaries, leading you to "rush" into relationships and get too close, thereby leading to you getting hurt?
- Or are you too careful in hopes to avoid getting hurt, which often ends up in not allowing yourself to get close to anyone?
There is no "perfect" strategy when it comes to relationships, as there will be both pains and gains. We just have to figure out the correct balance and make sure it (hopefully) weighs out heavily in the gains column.