You know that thing – where your neediness drives someone else away or vice versa? The more you feel someone’s neediness, the more claustrophobic you feel – or the other way around: the more you feel someone’s avoidance of intimacy with you, the more needy you feel. And into the downward spiral you go.

So many of us spend years in turmoil in relationships like this.

Both movements – running away or towards – ultimately come from the same place. Even the running towards is also a running away – just from oneself. And so often we attract someone with the opposite pattern to us, as life has that funny knack of giving us exactly what we need to bring everything unconscious into the light. So painful though, right?

What to do?

When we have a pattern that keeps repeating, it will continue to do so until we move through all the protective layers and meet and feel what there is to feel. We have to go right into the heart of the exact thing we most definitely do not want to feel. Intellectually understanding a pattern is not enough.

Easier said than done though, as the feelings that come up often originate from experiences we had when we were very, very little, that are often quite existential in nature and are centered on the experience of feeling abandoned. It takes a lot of courage to go there. And there is a time and place for holding and loving yourself in those feelings, and a time and place for asking another to hold space for you. But lovingly meet ourselves in these states, we must.

I believe that if both people in a relationship with this dynamic want to transform it, it IS possible. However if you are in a relationship with someone who has no interest in facing these issues, and you are in a state of perpetual avoidance or distress, I believe it is best to leave. You deserve better. Right? :)

There is so much shame it feels around the fear of abandonment. I see so many beautiful, powerful women who silently carry the secret burden of this with them… And it takes such courage to own these most delicate parts of us. But it is so worth it. By not facing our fears and the way we compensate through them, we continue to pass them down through the generations, continuing the pattern of war between genders. And the world is most definitely ready for that to change