Friday, March 14, 2008

Stop the Pursuit!

A common response to feeling distance from your partner is to try to get them to reconnect. Some suggest dates, push for conversation and affection, cry because they feel hurt, complain about loneliness, nag about intervening “culprits” such as work, friends, sports, family, etc. Even though this may be done with the best of intentions and from a sad rather than angry place, it often engenders feelings of being trapped or pursued and this then can lead to even more distance.

Some people in relationships find that they have a need for space more than others. It might be indicative of a problem … or might be just a need for more autonomy and alone time. While it certainly can feel scary for one who is waiting and wanting connection, trying to make it happen is the last thing that you want to do.

Think of this concept sort of like the game you played as a child … the person who was “it” chased after you … and every time that they did, you ran away. That is the same thing that happens in relationships … when you chase after someone, the tendency is to run away.

Instead of a pursuit, think of this as a time to focus on yourself. Look for ways to improve your own goals in life. At the same time, be sure that you are very positive with your partner, talking a lot about what you like and enjoy about him/her and the relationship as well as being available for the invitations offered to you. When you notice positive steps toward you, be sure to share appreciation … and then be quiet.

Please share your thoughts about this idea.

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