Do You Chase When Someone Withdraws?

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Do You Chase When Someone Withdraws?
How do you feel when you chase after someone, and what is generally the result?

A member of our website asked this question in our advice section:

“I've read several of the articles on the site, but have not seen anything mentioned about "chasing" after someone who is pulling away in a relationship. That has to be a form of protection against deeper feelings, though, right? If someone is pulling away and the urge to chase after them comes up, what is the best thing to do in this situation? Thanks!”

I know exactly what this woman is going through, as I used to go through the same thing. When a man I felt connected to would withdraw, shut down, or pull away in any way, I would feel a sense of panic. In my panic, I would convince myself that by being a certain way - attractive enough, sexy enough, nice enough, right enough, or convincing enough - I could get him to reconnect with me.

Now I know that the panic over another disconnecting from me was coming from my own disconnection from myself.

I used to disconnect from myself right at the beginning of a relationship, making his feelings more important than my own. I would put my own feelings - my inner child - in a closet, and instead take care of his inner child. My hope was that if he felt loved enough by me, he would take my inner child out of the closet and love her. I was abandoning myself by caretaking him, hoping to get the love from him that I had no idea how to give to myself.

Because I didn't know how to love myself, I was emotionally dependent on my guy to feel lovable and worthy. Hence, the panic when he would leave - taking my whole sense of self-worth with him.

The question asked is: What is the best thing to do in this situation?

The Best Thing to Do

The best thing is to let go and take loving care of yourself. But this is easier said than done.

There are a number of things I had to learn before I could do the best thing for myself:

  • I had to accept that I had no control over how he felt about me, no matter how much I chased him, or how wonderful I tried to be. I recently read this on another site (http://stepperswisdom.blogspot.com/):

Codependent's Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,

the courage to change the one I can,

and the wisdom to know it's me.

~Author Unknown

This article was originally published at Inner Bonding . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
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