Tuesday, June 7, 2011


You meet a girl and everything seems perfect, you click in all the right ways, and then all of a sudden she disappears from your life as quickly as she appeared, and you are left wondering what went wrong.  The truth is, nothing was wrong, and that may be the problem, or you meet a girl that you really like, everything is going fine, and then all of a sudden she changes on you.  She becomes needy, clingy, wanting to be around you all the time, pushing things, and in the process pushing you away.  You do what anyone in that situation does, you run, fast as you can, and you don’t look back.

It isn’t a game she sets out to play, but one in which she is a willing participant, and even though she does this to get rid of you, it probably isn’t what she actually wants.  Are you confused?  You should be, because she is confused too.

What if I told you that the clingy girl is doing it on purpose?  That getting rid of you is her ultimate goal.  That instead of wanting more from you, as her actions would suggest, she is actually doing the very thing she knows will drive you away, but she can’t stop herself, because you are getting a little too close, and she is addicted to heartbreak.  She would rather get rid of you before you get to close, than open her heart to you. (but don't worry, if you make it through this stage, she will turn back into the girl you met).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the girl who just dumped you may be doing so, not because she did not like you, but because she was afraid she might be in love.

 I’m sure, most men and women, at one time or another, have been in this situation.  It seems to be more of a problem as people get older and may have experienced multiple heartbreaks.  The relationship usually ends, and the guy never really gets to know the girl, because her tactics are MEANT to keep you from getting to close.  Her actions are driven by fear…fear of losing you and fear of catching you.

The first time I really noticed this in a woman was with a former roommate, a woman of immense self-confidence.  Every time she met a guy she liked, and the guy liked her, she would end up pushing him away by putting herself down, saying things like, “you don’t love me”, “I’m not good enough for you”, or constantly hanging all over him, wanting him to hug and kiss her all the time.    I would ask her, “Why are you doing this?  You are driving him off!”  Deep down, I knew the answer to my question, but understanding the answer took some time.  She knew the answer too, but was just as confused as I was.

Her tactics always worked too, that is until she met a guy she could not get rid of that easily.

I watched as she did every thing in her power to get him out of her life.  When clingy and needy didn’t work, she would call him and break up with him. If they had not both liked to drink, I doubt they would have made it through this stage in their relationship.

There is a new phrase in Psychology today that recognizes this pattern, and has aptly named it “Abandonaholism”.  Most Abandonaholics tend to swing back and forth between fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment. 

For some, these traits may have been cast in childhood, but for others they just may have been hurt by love one too many times.

The following article from Narcissisticrecovery.com may shed some light on the subject for you.

What is Abandoholism?

Abandonholism is a tendency to become attracted to unavailable partners.  Many abandonment survivors are caught up in this painful pattern.

An Abandonholic is similar to other addictive personalities, but instead of being addicted to a substance, you’re addicted to the emotional drama of heartbreak.  You pursue hard-to-get partners to keep the romantic intensity going, and to keep you body’s love-chemicals and stress hormones flowing.

What makes someone an Abandoholic?

Abandoholism sets in when you’ve been hurt so many times that you’ve come to equate insecurity with love.  Unless you’re pursuing someone you’re insecure about, you don’t’ feel in love.

Conversely, when someone comes along who wants to be with you, that person’s availability fails to arouse the required level of insecurity.  If you can’t feel those yearnings, lovesick feelings, then you don’t’ feel attracted, so you keep pursuing unavailable partners.

You become psychologically addicted to the high stakes drama of an emotional challenge, and the love-chemicals that go with it.

Abandoholism is drive by both fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment..

When you’re attracted to someone, it arouses a fear of losing that person.  This fear causes you to be clingy and needy.  You try to hide your insecurity, but your desperation shows through, causing your partners to lose romantic interest in you.  They sense your emotional suction cups aiming straight toward them and it scares them away. (This is your way of driving them out of your life).

Fear of engulfment is at the opposite end of the spectrum.  It occurs when someone is pursuing you and now you’re the one pulling back.  You feel engulfed by that person’s desire to be with you.  When fear of engulfment kicks in, you panic.  Your feelings shut down, you no longer feel the connection.  The panic is about your fear of being engulfed by the other person’s emotional expectations of you.  You fear that the other person’s feelings will pressure you to abandon your own romantic needs.

Fear of engulfment is one of the most common causes for the demise of new relationships, but is carefully disguised in excuses like “He just doesn’t turn me on, or, “ I don’t feel any chemistry.  Or “She is too nice to hold my interest” or “I need more of a challenge”.

Abandonaholics tend to swing back and forth between fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment.  You’re either pursuing hard-to-get lovers, or you’re feeling turned off by someone who IS interested in you.

How does abandoholism set in?

These patterns may have been cast in childhood.  You struggled to get more attention from your parents, but you were left feeling unfulfilled, which caused you to doubt your self-worth.  Over time, you internalized this craving for approval and you learned to idealize others at your own expense.  This became a pattern in your love relationships.

Now as an adult, you recreate this scenario by giving your love-partners all of your power, elevating them above yourself, recreating those old familiar yearnings you grew accustomed to as a child.  

This fear tends to incubate, gaining over time.  Insecurity increases with each romantic rejection, causing you to look to others for something you’ve become too powerless to give yourself:  esteem.  When you seek acceptance from a withholding partner, you place your self in a one-down position, recreating the unequal dynamic you had with your parents or peers.

Insecurity is an aphrodisiac.

If you are a hard-core abandoholic, you’re drawn to a kind of love that is highly combustible.  The hottest sex is when you’re trying to seduce a hard-to-get lover. Insecurity becomes your favorite aphrodisiac.  These intoxicated states are produced when you sense emotional danger – the danger of your lovers propensity to abandon you the minute you get attached.

At the other end of the seesaw, your turn off and shut down when you happen to successfully win someone’s love.  If your lover succumbs to your charms –heaven forbid- you suddenly feel too comfortable, too sure of him or her to stay interested.  There’s not enough challenge to sustain your sexual energy.  You interpret your turn-off as her not being right for you. (

How about following your gut?

Following your gut is probably what got you into these patterns in the first place.  Your gut gets you to pursue someone who makes you heart go pitter pat, not because they are the right one, but because they arouse a fear of abandonment. Your gut gets you to avoid someone who is truly trustworthy, because they don’t press the right insecurity buttons.

As with anything else, recognizing the problem is the first step to finding a solution.  Each person needs to look deep within themselves and realize that these tendencies are probably not just your love interest’s problem, but yours as well.  I believe that abandonaholics tend to attract other abandonaholics, and breakthroughs only come with recognizing the problem and seeking to understand and help each other through


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