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Falling Back in Love

Falling Back in Love

Things will take time to repair but remember the best things in life don’t come free or quickly. Your partner will need as much space as you had to process things in a clear and meaningful way too. Giving them time and the free space to discuss things from their point of view will also allow you both to establish your needs and wants in this new time.

The Seven Deadly Sins: Part two – Gluttony and Greed

According to tradition, The Seven Deadly Sinsare: envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath.

This series of blogs looks into how these ‘sins’ can play into relationships. 

Gluttonyan inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

Greed– “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed”.Mahatma Gandhi

In life, as in love, we want it all; wealth, good health, the perfect partner and everything in between. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting it all, the way in which we achieve this can sometimes lead to disappointment. 

Let us start by saying, this blog is meant to explore these ‘sins’ in the colloquial sense as opposed to the biblical. 

We begin first with dating. Some take the ‘more is more’ approach to dating. They date as many people as they can, as often as they can, rarely stopping to truly consider the feelings of the other person or their potential to be a long-term partner. They go into it with an ‘I want’ attitude and can sometimes forget there are two people involved in the dating process. Whilst ‘the more the better’ can sometimes be a helpful approach to ‘putting yourself out there’ and exploring as many options as possible in order to meet the one, we need to ensure we do not overindulge and miss out on the very thing we have been in search of through our own ‘greed’. Try to focus on the person in front of you and if there is any potential to the two of you dating, instead of listening to that little voice in your head which is telling you to keep your options open and to date as many people as you can as opposed to choosing to ‘settle’, keep focused. Most importantly, avoid keeping one eye on the door for someone else who may come along and instead try to imagine that the person in front of you may just be enough. 

It is also important to remember that both people on the date have their own ideas about what they want in a partner. Often we become so focused on what we want that we forget we will also need to meet the requirements of the person we are dating; we too will have to ‘tick all their boxes’ in order to succeed. Be aware of what you want from a relationship but also of what you can bring to the table. Avoid being short sighted and remember that effort and attributes are required on both sides to make a relationship work. 

The key to any successful relationship is compromise and this can start as early as the initial stages of dating someone. It is commonplace to have some kind of ‘list’ which we want our partner to live up to: age, height, looks, wealth bracket, job title and so on and so forth, but the overbearing need to fulfil this list can sometimes be to our detriment; we miss out on what could be a wonderful relationship because the person we are potentially going to date has failed to tick a box. Keep in mind what you are prepared to compromise on and allow this to encourage some flexibility in your approach to a potential mate.  

Having said that, it is of course wise to know what your deal breakers are in a relationship but also not to get these confused with the ideals you would like in a partner rather than the must haves. The ‘ideals’ are things you can and are happy to compromise on if it means you are with the person you ultimately see a future with, whereas deal breakers are things you absolutely cannot compromise on. These usually encompass things such as abusive behaviour not being tolerated, religious beliefs, values and long-term relationship goals such as your views on having children or getting married. 

Mark D. White Ph.D.writes in his blog The Pros and Cons of Dating Deal Breakers“You need decide what things about a person are truly important to you and demand those things, but not get stuck on lesser things that really don’t matter and will just stand in the way of fulfilment in your love life”.So in essence, don’t let the inner ‘greed’ of wanting it all in a partner to jeopardise a potentially great connection. As Dr Georgina Barnett in her blog Set Relationship Goals states “Once you have defined realistic goals, then you can work as a couple to put steps in place to make the relationship work. If you have different visions, you may need to work together, communicate and look at ways that you can both compromise”so compromise regarding wants and needs in relationships does not have to be one sided; it can involve both you and your partner. 

Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D  in his blog ‘Is Greed Ever Good? The Psychology of Selfishness’ stated amongst other things“Greed is about never being satisfied with what one has, always wanting and expecting more. It is an insatiable hunger. A profound form of gluttony”. So, if we use greed as a motivator when dating, it is possible that we will never find what we are looking for, as whatever we have will never be enough. We will forever be searching for the ‘perfect’ mate which in most cases is an impossible position to fill. 

In her blog Seven Qualities of an Ideal Partner Tamsen Firestone writes “while the reasons we fall in love are often a mystery, the reasons we stay in love are far less elusive. There may be no such thing as the perfect partner, but an ideal partner can be found in someone who has developed themselves in certain ways that go beyond looks, charms and success”.

Annie Wright wrote in her article The Myth of the Perfect Partner & The Myth That Love Should Be Easythat “The Myth of The Perfect Partner often causes us to have unrealistic expectations of others (and often of ourselves, too) which can lead to a great deal of emotional pain in and out of relationships”.Constantly wanting your partner to be the cardboard cut out of what you deem to be the ‘perfect mate’ and never leaving any leeway for them to be their true selves will ultimately lead to disappointment for both you and them. 

As Noam Shpancer Ph.D.said in his article Laws of Attraction: How Do We Select a Life Partner? “the final selection among all the worthy candidates is decided by a subjective internal process that is obscure and whimsical and does not necessarily obey the dictates of rationality, evolutionary mandates, cultural pressures, or even our own conscious will, plans or intentions. At the end of the day, as the philosopher Blaise Pascal said, the heart has reasons that reason doesn’t understand”.

Many of us are in search of our happy ending but in reality, does that actually exist? If you have ever been in a long-term relationship you will know there is no such thing as the conventional happily ever after, its not a case of meeting your dream partner who encompasses everything you have ever wanted and walking off into the sunset, never to argue or experience a problem ever again. Relationships of all kinds take hard work, commitment and compromise to reach the ‘and they all lived happily ever after’ moment, so its important to enter into them with clarity that as much as you would love to take the ‘I want, I want’ (greed) approach, this is not what will bring you the happiness you crave. Being open to change, taking off the rose tinted glasses to what you believe ‘perfect’ is and seeing someone for everything they can offer rather than instantly discounting them for what they can’t, may in fact bring you more success and ultimately help you find the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. 

Are you an ostrich? - How avoidance can cause a break down in relationships.

There is a myth that when an ostrich feels threatened or stressed it will bury its head in the sand. Whilst research has disproven this myth as ostriches in fact flop over when they are stressed, it still provides an interesting theory of coping with arising problems. In a relationship there are obstacles that will occur as you progress down the line. These can be anything from changes in circumstances, conflicts in emotions or something as serious as infidelity. However, the way in which we deal with these obstacles can vary. So, what do we mean by are you an ostrich? 

The ostrich myth is a maladaptive way of coping with stressors, closing your mind and avoiding problems without solving them and is a form of avoidant coping.  Avoidant coping is higher in those who possess an avoidant personality or have developed an avoidant attachment type. An avoidant personality can stem from traumatic childhood experiences or events later in someone’s life whereby individuals form a way of coping by avoiding the fundamental issue caused by these experiences. (Finnegan, Hodges & Perry, 1996).

An avoidant attachment type is an evolutionary aspect that has stemmed from a very young age which becomes a template of how we behave in our future relationships. Psychologist Mary Ainsworth, theorised and looked into the different attachment types within children using the strange situation experiment and was the first to classify the term ‘insecure avoidant’ and which is more evident when a caregiver rejects their child’s needs and is insensitive. This is what the child learns from a very young age and shapes how they may view relationships growing up. Research by Hazan & Shaver(1987) showed that avoidant lovers were characterized by fear of intimacy, emotional highs and lows, and jealousy. 

Whilst having an avoidant personality disorder or possessing an avoidant attachment type is positively correlated with using avoidant coping, anyone can shut down and avoid confronting arising issues. Emotional stimulation (whether it be good or bad) can make someone draw into themselves and ‘bury their head in the sand.’ This can be because of a lack of confidence and fear of rejection, demonstrating that avoidant coping and ‘being an ostrich’ can impact relationships. 

The first stance on being an ostrich in your relationship can be an overwhelming sense of change, either in your personal circumstances or in your relationship. The sense of change can impact how well you feel the relationship is going. Instead of facing these problems head on, as and when they happen you avoid them, pretend that they don’t exist or try and hide them from your significant other for as long as possible until you can’t any more. Acting in this avoidant way creates problems for your relationship and can create a break down in intimacy. Not communicating these problems or tackling these obstacles through fear of losing your partner or expecting the issues to go away will just create more pressure.

Individuals who behave in this way are not necessarily avoiding physical confrontation. We avoid the way it makes us feel and look in the eyes of others. No one wants to be blamed or seen as the ‘bad guy’ who breaks up with their partner and be the cause of another person’s pain, so people deem it easier to avoid communicating these feelings and start to suffer internally. Before long, these internal feelings build up and often to lead to a break down in intimacy, closing the other person out and emotionally detaching yourself and in some cases infidelity. 

It’s not to say that lifting your head from the sand will definitely save the relationship, but it increases the chances of it being successful in the long run or ending in a respectful and mature manner with no animosity or wrong doing on the other person.  The truth is, some relationships are meant to end and some are meant to be forever. Keeping things bottled up and avoiding communicating will create un-happiness and frustration, so don’t be afraid to bite the bullet express your concerns or change of circumstances. If the relationship is meant to be, you will be able to work through and past it and if it is not then you can both close the book on this love story with dignity, loyalty and the comfort that you did all you could to try and make it work. 

On the flip side; if you are aware of a fundamental issue going on in your relationship and you still avoid confronting your partner this can exacerbate the issue. For example, when communication breaks down and your partner doesn’t necessarily treat you in the way in which you should be treated but you continue to act as if everything is normal avoiding that there is an underlying problem, keeping this in can build resentment. People act in this avoidant way as they lack confidence to approach their partner to find out what is going on in fear of the answer and getting rejected. Research has shown that we often stay in relationships, even if we are unhappy and turn a blind eye to problems in fear of becoming lonely but this in turn can stop you from finding true happiness (Spielmann et al, 2013).

There are many other reasons as to why we turn a blind eye to a relationship that is going bad; emotional affection, being habitual to bad treatment, dependence and the hope of change to name a few. 

Emotional affection clouds your judgement in relationships as we have an emotional attachment to our partner. It can be hard to detach yourself from that person and see what is really going on, so it’s easier to subconsciously avoid this, turn a blind eye and carry on as normal.  

Being habitual to bad treatment, is that you have turned a blind eye and buried your head in the sand for so long that this bad treatment becomes an everyday reality. You continue to avoid confronting the disrespect and bad treatment as nothing about his/her behaviour surprises you anymore, it is barely noticeable to you, only to others who might point out the severity of the toxicity of your relationship. 

Dependency on your partner is one of the biggest reasons for remaining in a relationship. Dependency can come in many forms, whether it be emotionally, financially or even family orientated. You have built a life together and if everything else is going well other than the relationship, its easy to avoid the anomaly in your life. If you have children together you may be dependent on your partner in many ways to be able to provide them with the best possible upbringing, whilst jeopardising your own happiness. 

The biggest reason of all to tie all the reasons together is that we bury our heads in the sand, as we hope that there will be a change. You tell yourself that this is only temporary, it’s just a phase, it will eventually pass, and you will get back to how you used to be before any of this happened. The reality is that is both parties or even one individual is behaving in an avoidant way until you communicate and confront what is going on it is going to continue lingering there.  

In order to move forward and to stop avoiding the issues, both partners need to lift their head from the sand so to speak. This is done by communicating and communication is key, if something is niggling away, then confront your partner about it. If you’re having second thoughts about the relationship explain to your partner why, they may have no idea that something they are doing is pushing you away. Don’t live in fear of confrontation, rejection or being alone, burying your head can make you feel safe for the time being but is not feasible for the long run. Don’t be an ostrich, as a happy healthy relationship has both partners with there heads rising above, looking over the horizon and tackling these problems as soon as they become visible. 

 

 

References: 

Finnegan, R. A., Hodges, E. V., & Perry, D. G. (1996). Preoccupied and avoidant coping during middle childhood. Child Development67(4), 1318-1328.

 

Spielmann, S. S., MacDonald, G., Maxwell, J. A., Joel, S., Peragine, D., Muise, A., & Impett, E. A. (2013). Settling for less out of fear of being single. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(6), 1049-1073.

The Impact of Family on Your Progressing Relationship

Finding a companion you really care for and adore is truly one of life’s many joys. The time you spend together is cherished and can sustain your desire to see them until your next meeting, as well as the fluttering presence of butterfly like sensations when a phone call or when a text message from your companion appears. Hence demonstrating that your new-found love is seriously exciting and engaging. NBC news’ Nicole Spector presented a wonderful article explaining why falling in love gives you butterflies- Nicole’s article explores the physiological phenomenon of feeling butterflies in our stomachs. It is our body’s response to our mental state in that moment in time, whether we realise what our minds are thinking or not. However, there are a number of reasons as to why we feel those sensations; as such the activation of feeling nervous or excitement that stimulates the gut and our real and unconscious desires of sexual passion with the person we are thinking about.

Over the course of a few weeks or even months perhaps, we will have our intense passionate moments fulfilling needs like sex, intimacy and closeness, but with meaningful, passionate sex it almost always leads to the developing of meaningful emotions. The developing of our emotions and connecting on another level allows undiscovered feelings to emerge, and the love between you both to most definitely blossom. Clinical Psychologist, Robert Firestone, Ph.D discusses the negative responses we may all feel as a reaction to feeling and being loved. He mentions that there can be a paradoxical reaction of which being or feeling loved can make us exhibit negative feelings as such Robert Firestone, Ph.D says, “Although the experience of being chosen and especially valued is exciting and can bring happiness and fulfilment, at the same time it can be frightening and the fear often translates into anger and hostility.”

Of course, we all know the feeling of falling in love and opening up our hearts to let someone in can make us feel uncomfortable due to our vulnerabilities,expectations and to some extent, anxiety, in some circumstances. We must remember that we do not wish for this to ruin the magical and personalised experience of finding, being in and the feeling reciprocated love brings to us. Relationships have to follow a natural progression, which means we must pass through stages to become more comfortable in each other’s presence and understand one another more, throughout our time spent together.

The ‘I’ you once spoke of will become ‘we’ as you soon enter into the next step in your ever-flourishing romance. The mile stone will be to collate your lives — sharing friends, family and of course eventually a property, or a few. Now, before we rush ahead and think too far into the future, we all feel we must present new and exciting things (such as our beloved) to our family and our dearest of friends. Being introduced may seem, again like another anticipatory anxiety inducing stage in the relationship, but we must look at this in a different light such as, “my beloved is introducing me to their family”, “my beloved is showing me off to their family”, and reframing to focus on the positives and why your partner is doing this. They are doing this as they are proud to say, “I am happy with this person and I want you to meet them, so you can see why I feel the way I feel about this person.” We feel like we must present our new partners to our closes friends and families as they pose the most influence over us throughout our lifetime and across the phases in our life. In addition to this, Theresa E DiDonato Ph.D. says “Both men and women introduce their dating partners to parents when they are ready to gain their parent’s approval and want to signal to their partner that they are serious about the relationship (Fisher & Salmon, 2013)”. Thus, rest assured it is a positive sign if you are asked to meet the family. 

However then comes the question, when the right time is to introduce your partner to the family? Rachel Shatto for Elite Dailyevaluates all aspects and has created the perfect guide to meeting the parents. Rachel explains picking the right time is essential, wanting to make sure your relationship is new as not to let anyone think that you don’t want anyone to meet your partner, but yet not too fresh for anyone to think your relationship has just been fueled by lust. Furthermore, Rachel also mentions that to relieve the anxiety, or awkward situations it is better to stay by your partners side in the first instance or first few questions, to get a feel for their family, but not to let them answer all questions for you, as after all, you are your own distinctperson.

When it comes to meeting our partners’ loved ones, many things can happen. In the best instance, your family love your partner and agree the two of you make the perfect match, but what if first impressions fall short and you find yourself in the scenario where your loved ones do not see the amazing person you see. Are you blinded by your loves or blinded by your love?

Your family and friends will always be your biggest critics and yet they only want what is best for you. They are there in your times of greatness, and your times of need. Although their judgement can have a powerful influence on you, they have always supported you down every avenue you have ventured. Bearing this in mind, the initial thing to do is to ask your loved ones to explain their reasons as to why they think your partner is not a good fit for you. Perhaps you are seeing your partner through ‘rose-tinted spectacles’, or it is a little aspect they noticed which may grind your gears later down the line. Nevertheless, whilst you might feel hurt your loved ones have questioned your judgement, try not disregard their views as this can be detrimental to your relationship with them.  As Mieke Rivka Sidorsky, LCSW-C explains for Good Therapy“we can choose our partner, we cannot choose family”, thus with this in mind it can be difficult for a partner to build a rapport or any form of relationship with family and friends due to them being aware of your past and not wanting you to get hurt in any way. 

The next best thing to do is to communicate with your partner, asking them how they think it went, as it is important to hear your partner’s perspective. You may find your love was acting out of sorts to try and present a better version of themselves and if this is the case, then your solution is simple - just set another date to meet the family and be reassured they are still the person you fell in love with. Communication in any relationship is necessary, as it allows for the exploration of thoughts and feeling to be expressed and acknowledged. Communicating also allows for you both to connect on an emotional level as opposed to just a physical connection. Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC discusses “Why Communication Is Crucial in a Relationship”, mentioning there are two ways to communicate between you and a partner, verbal and non-verbal, she mentions how these will explain in one way or another how one is really feeling. Marcelina also mentions communication allows for growth in a relationship.

Failing that, there is always compromise. It is all very cliché, but every relationship has its ebbs and flows and of course ups and downs. There will be times in which compromises are needed on both sides. Just being open and honest will mean it will be reciprocated, and what is more, respected in every instance. Whilst it may feel discouraging and difficult to approach a fault in someone, especially someone you’re connected to emotionally and physically, do not feel too disheartened, as together there will be many opportunities to discuss problems and set other dates to be with family and friends in the future. 

At the end of the day, there is always more than one perspective to every situation, so being openminded to others’ views will allow you to not be blindsided, and yet shows you respect your partner’s and your loved one’s opinions. After all, everyone may not see what you see, as they are not the one who is falling in love with them, you are. The important thing to remember is there is a reason you chose your partner to be “your person”. They are the one who can console your mind, your body and your soul

Blame

Often, when any kind of relationship comes to an end, the easiest thing to do is to blame the other person; I lost my job because you didn’t support me, our relationship ended because you didn’t prioritise me, our friendship drifted apart because you didn’t call, and so on and so forth. There are of course times when these statements may very well be an accurate analysis of what happened, however more often than not both parties have played a role in the ultimate outcome and it is vital that you take responsibility for your actions. 

With the current political climate where everyone is looking to point the finger of blame, be it at Theresa Mayor Jeremy Corbyn, the “Brexiteers” or the “Remoaners”, we at Seventy Thirty felt now would be as good a time as any to explore the role of blame and responsibility in relationships.   

There has been much written about the impact of blame on a relationship and how not taking responsibility for your actions can lead to you continually repeating the same mistakes. If something is never your fault, why would you need to learn from the situation to make sure things would turn out differently next time; whether that be in business or everyday life.

Peter Bregman wrote a very informative article for the Harvard Business Revie won Why You Should Take the Blame and found that “To take the blame, you need to have confidence in yourself and your capability. You need the personal strength to accept failure. You need enough self-esteem to believe you can learn from your mistakes and succeed another day. You need to accept failure as part of life and not a final sentence on who you are as a person”.So, in any given situation, instead of instantly looking to see whose fault it is, take a moment to think, regardless of who is to ‘blame’, what role you played and how could you have done something differently. Stop trying to find all the different reasons as to why you are not responsible and instead try thinking that, actually, you may very well be the one at fault here so what can you do to rectify that.

When it comes to blame, individuals tend to go into defence mode and instantly hit out with ‘well if you didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have done this’ or ‘it’s your fault because…’ and then proceed to list a whole host of reasons, sometimes seen as justifications, as to why they themselves are blameless and responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship lies solely at the other person’s door. 

The danger with this attitude and approach is that you end up failing to grow. Instead of standing back and reflecting on what went wrong, what you could have done differently, and what you have learnt from that particular situation, you instead adopt a ‘woe is me’ attitude which can lead to loneliness and the end of a potentially fantastic relationship. After all, there is nothing attractive or inviting about spending time with someone who in their opinion is never at fault and who isn’t mature enough to take responsibility for the part they played. 

The term narcissist can sometimes be banded about all to easily without any real insight into the actual meaning of it; psychologist Rachel Sharpless wrote about Narcissism and found that a trait connected with NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is an unwillingness to compromise and not seeing something from someone else’s perspective. This trait can also be linked to how some people approach blame for any given situation in a relationship; the ‘it’s not me it’s you’ approach. Narcissism can also involve delusions of grandeur where someone struggles to comprehend the very idea that they are the one in the wrong.  Blaming others for your actions is also an aspect closely linked to NPD. So again, we must consider our role as individuals when it comes to apportioning blame and to not always assume that you are the ‘victim’. 

Neil Farber writes about 5 Ways Blaming Hurts Relationships and makes reference to “the use of “I” statements that reflect your feelings – “I feel hurt or sad when you do this,” rather than “you” blaming statements – “you always do that,” are more likely to evoke emotions that bring us together rather than tear us apart”.Accepting and understanding the part you played can help resolve the conflict sooner. Whilst it’s important to consider how any particular situation affects you and how that subsequently makes you feel, it can be advisable not to be defensive, automatically assuming the role of ‘victim’ and to instead consider how your actions affected the other person. 

Christian Maciel wrote about the 14 Signs Someone Is Always Playing The Victim and found amongst other things, that “people that believe they are victims tend to push friends, family and co-workers away”.This can often be the biggest side effect of not having the ability to take responsibility for your actions and instead constantly playing the blame game. Afterall there are only so many times your support network; be it friends, family, colleagues or a partner, will continually see the situation from your point of view and agree that you are consistently ‘blameless’. Eventually they will start to wonder if perhaps the error lies with your approach to the situation and if its time you realised that. After all, none of us are perfect and therefore its simply not possible for us to always be right and to always be the ‘victim’. So, if you find you are forever having to justify to others why you are so hard done by and why ‘everyone is always against you’, it may be time to take yourself out of the victim role and into the mindset of a mature, responsible adult who wants to learn from every situation they find themselves in, be it good or bad. 

In life, we make decisions and we live with the consequences. Sometimes these will lead to fantastic opportunities that will shape the person we are today, but sometimes they will lead to the loss of a relationship due to something we could have done differently. It is in these times, that a period of reflection is required so that we can learn, grow and not repeat the same mistakes. 

Try to stop yourself from using someone’s goodwill gestures of the past where they have tried to help you, as justifications as to why they are now at fault. For example, ‘in the past you’ve always supported me on this so now you’re not, it’s your fault’. Or, ‘you always helped me before so why won’t you now?’. 

So in conclusion, when it comes to relationships past, consider asking yourself the following questions: What role did I play in this situation? Is there a chance that I too am at fault rather than solely just the other person? Would things have been different if I acted in a more respectful and thoughtful manner towards the other person? All of these questions can help you: identify the patterns with past relationships that you want, or in some cases do not want to repeat, what this experience has taught you about your needs in a relationship, and if you have any faults or weaknesses in a relationship which should be addressed. 

The important thing to remember is to take responsibility and to own the decisions you make. Don’t hide behind always blaming others, hidden meanings in conversations or online quotes you post about continuously being the one who’s hard done by. Instead, take the lead, accept what’s happened and allow it to help you to become the bigger person and therefore a better partner in the future.  

Feeling the fright, don’t back out of love

You can be in a new relationship where all is going well - you are enjoying each other’s company, have common outlooks and values, and yet for some, there comes a time where you may consider ending it - sometimes for no reason at all. If you find yourself switching off and backing out of relationships, you may need to start asking yourself why that is. There may be instances where, for no good reason, you give up on a love that could have grown and developed in a healthy way into something special. You may be spooked by the prospect of a love you’d never imagined, or thought wouldn’t come true.

This is where a considered contemplation and evaluation of perceived red flags needs to be undertaken. Quite often we can over-exaggerate signs that we may deem as red flags and blow them out of proportion, leading to an otherwise unnecessary break down in a relationship. It is of course important to balance “imaginary” red flags with demonstrations of actual concerning behaviour. Its not to say that you should ignore worrying behaviour from a partner or potential partner, but rather to assess whether this behaviour is indeed an issue or whether you are using it as an excuse to cut ties and run away from potential happiness. 

Giving someone the benefit of the doubt can be one way you express compassion for your partner, depending on what it is they have done. For example, if your partner has had a particularly stressful day at work and comes home and verbally snaps at you, then perhaps standing back and understanding where this has come from can allow you to have a discussion or at least hash out the root of it. However, if your partner exhibits this behaviour frequently and without a triggering event, it might be time to review how you are being treated in the relationship and reassess. Again, taking the time to consider your relationship and the events that occur in it will help you from cutting and running. Often those who are frightened to love won’t take a moment to breathe and think, but simply work off a kneejerk reaction. This - which although can bring short term relief to that person - will merely bring about a cycle of long-term despair, resulting in loneliness and a sense of loss, thinking “what could have been?”. 

On the opposing side are those who stay in bad relationships because they are too afraid to be on their own. This is just as unhealthy as those who exhibit avoidant behaviour, as both paths lead away from love. By remaining in a negative relationship, you are shying away from meeting someone who could bring you a real sense of joy. Being alone can be a frightening prospect for some, but it is important to remember that not only are you wasting your opportunity to find happiness and love but that you are also withholding this love from a potential future partner. Finding love involves a little bit of faith in yourself, and in potential partners. Fear will only hold you back from achieving a healthy and successful relationship and will keep you backed into your bad relationship. 

Be brave and give yourself a chance to be happy. We all deserve love and we all have the ability to find it, so don’t be frightened to find the success you seek - don’t back out of love.