Are you attached to someone who doesn't seem as committed as you are? Maybe they're giving you double messages, keeping you at arm's length, or pulling away when you try to get closer. Whatever the signs, your fear of abandonment has been triggered and you want to go back to feeling secure.
It's disquieting to wonder if your partner might still be shopping, even if they're not conscious of it. You've done all the right things to make the relationship work - kept it healthy, managed not to lose yourself- but what if that won't stop them from getting themselves on a slippery slope with a shiny new object and sliding right out of your life?
If your partner shows commitment-phobic behaviors, what could be behind it? Perhaps they resist taking the plunge because they're afraid it will make the walls close in on them and cause them to act badly toward you. Or perhaps they're skittish about losing other options - all of the potential suitors who might make them even happier then you do. Or perhaps it's their codependency - they feel unduly emotionally responsible for you. To the codependent, commitment can feel like a burden.
If you sense your partner is hedging, it doesn't mean that things have to fall apart. Don't panic; going through an uncertainty period is normal to a developing relationship. Avoid aiming your emotional suction cups and risk scaring them away. Instead employ some finesse. Weather the storm by using it as grist for developing some emotional self-reliance. By increasing your own stability and constancy, you gain strength and help to advance the relationship.
When your partner starts treating you ambivalently, here are a few tips for handling it:
1. Ambivalence is normal. Use the turmoil as an opportunity for your own personal growth.
2. Work on your relationship with yourself before tackling this issue with your partner.
3. Use the tools of abandonment recovery to strengthen the internal bond - Big You and Little You - so you can complete your own emotional loop rather than leaving this up to your partner.
4. Live this mantra: It's nobody else's responsibility to make you feel secure, except your own. It's nice when someone else can give security directly to you, but when they can't or won't, you must do it.
5. Use the program to give security to yourself so you won't lay this need at your partner's feet and lose your power in the process.
6. Take responsibility for your own emotional needs to reduce your neediness quotient.
7. Practice the tools of the program until you can come from your most self assured and self loving self.
8. Build your personal power: Center yourself in a place that presupposes desirability and strength.
9. Exude confidence and optimism. Impress everyone in the room with it, including yourself.
10. Be bold and guide the relationship to some emotional truth. You can put the question to your partner: Are you struggling with the committed part of our relationship?
11. Even if they deny this, you've accomplished three things: a) taken power and responsibility, named the elephant in the room, and released some of the tension; b) showed courage, emotional self reliance, and self respect; and c) planted a seed that might grow in your partner's mind where it can sprout some needed maturation.
12. Mature people don't shop, they commit. But how do they gain maturity? We grow through our relationships! Become a growth tool for your partner by exercising emotional self reliance and personal strength.