When you first start dating someone, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of excitement and anticipation. You feel an attraction, like the way this person makes you feel, and believe he or she has the qualities that you are looking for. After a few dates, you might even conclude that there is a future here for you and the answer to your relationship woes. And even though you have only known this person for two or three weeks, you feel like you’ve known this person forever.
But then something happens. The frequent or daily calls subside. You sense that your new love is pulling away. You panic. Your anxiety builds to the point where your common sense and rational behavior disappears. All of a sudden you will do just about anything to reassure yourself that this person is still connected, still interested, still pursuing. In pursuit of this goal, you become a lunatic—turning into the pursuer instead of the pursued—losing sight of your personal worth, integrity, and self-respect along the way.
And why did this happen? It happened because you became attached—very attached. The problem is that you are not attached to what you think you are. You think you are attached to the person. Wrong! You are attached to many things, none of which resemble the new love in your life.
Here is a list of what you may be truly attached to
- The fantasy of who this person is
- The hope of what might come to be
- The end of feeling lonely and alone
- The need to feel wanted and loved, not rejected and unlovable
- The need for physical and sexual connection
- The desire for emotional intimacy
- The wish to get married and have children
- The removal of any and all stigma associated with being divorced, single, or widowed
- The way this person made you feel on date number one (or fill in the blank)
- The feeling one gets from hormones, such as dopamine, testosterone, and oxytocin
- The need to take care of, rescue, or control another
- The need for others to take care of, rescue, or control you
- The fantasy of a perfect relationship
- The fantasy of a one and only soul mate
Okay, enough already. I could go on and on and on. I think you get my point. At the beginning of any relationship, there has not been enough time and shared experiences for a real attachment to have formed between you and the other person. This is the time to sort out what is real from what is not and to discern if and in what way you want to continue to get to know someone and develop a real attachment based in real love.
So remember this… When someone is pulling away and you feel panicked, do the following: