Rachel and Shachar were dating for a few months before he disappeared.
Rachel was super enthusiastic about the relationship. When she was with Shachar she felt certain the relationship was heading to something more serious in the near future. She could even visualize herself with him after marriage.
She imagined waking up next to him and drinking coffee while sitting next to him on their porch, with a cute dog cuddling at their legs. Reading the paper, sharing their thoughts on politics and things happening in the world around them.
Then suddenly, kaboom! The dream ended…Shachar went cold and disappeared, as if into thin air.
Rachel racked her head, trying to figure out what could’ve gone wrong? She scanned her memory trying to think what she said that made him blow hot one minute and cold the next.
“How could he be so present in my life and just disappear?”
“He seemed so into me.”
“Am I so awful to be with?”
“Couldn’t he have had the decency to tell me what went wrong?”
“How can we make sense of this?”
“Where do I go from here?”
What is happening for the person who suddenly “does a runner?”
When someone chooses not to be a part of our life anymore the pain is devastating. But how much more so when that person told us one thing, but felt another.
So many conflicting and confusing feelings arise when this happens.
The predominant feeling is having the wool pulled out from under us. Feeling like we can’t trust the foundation beneath our feet to support us.
Every relationship is a dynamic. For those of us that have a subconscious fear of losing someone, when we’re in a relationship, we may actually do things to turn someone away without realizing it. We might say things that suggest we’ll never be able to commit, or we may do the opposite- act needy.
In Rachel’s case, her parents rejected her as a child for being the family “drama queen”. As a young girl she always drew attention to herself by doing especially silly things. For some unknown reason, her parents made her feel badly about herself for behaving this way. As a result she subconsciously internalized this to mean “I’m un-loveable”.
As an adult, Rachel behaves in an even more exaggerated way which drives many potential love prospects away.
So why does she do this?
Two reasons: First, people who don’t feel deserving of love, subconsciously test others. It’s as if their fear of rejection is so great, they don’t even want to allow others to get close unless they can prove they’ll remain.
Secondly, they know something made them feel unloved, but they’re not fully aware which aspect of their behavior drives people away because it was never clear enough.
What sadly ends up happening is that no one really gets close to them. Being around them feels too hard. Rather than staying and explaining this, it feels safer and easier to just disappear.
In order to make sure we don’t fall into old habits and keep potential lovers away, we need to become aware of our past wounds. This will inform how to create new habits that will actually get us into a loving and lasting relationship.
What habits might you change to let love in? Drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Micki Lavin-Pell, MS, MA is a Marriage and Family Therapist and Relationship Coach, since 2002. She has worked with hundreds of individuals and couples to help them create relationships which fulfill them, enabling them to thrive. With individuals she explores: the role of attraction; overcoming barriers preventing them from creating relationships, navigating the transition from dating to relationship to marriage.