Is the Person You Love Afraid to Love...

Is the Person You Love Afraid to Love You? – Stage 4: The Great Escape and Encore

Welcome to Part 4:  The Great Escape

This is the final stage in the vicious cycle of the commitment phobic relationship. In this stage, the runner is trying to negotiate the end, but they are rarely sure how to do it. However possible, they will find a way to blame you or make you responsible.

Phrases such as:

“I can’t give you what you want.”

“You are looking for a different kind of person; I’m not the one for you.”

“You are too difficult, high maintenance or picky.”

“You are putting too much pressure on me.”

And so on…

Push and Pull

They may also pull away one moment and then draw in the next. Why? Because their decision to leave relieves some of their anxiety, and they may once again re-connect to their feelings for you. Their confusion and inability to understand what they themselves are experiencing often produces behaviour that appears bizarre and makes you think they are undergoing some sort of breakdown.

They typically end the break up in one or some combination of three possible ways.

Here’s how:

  1. They provoke you into ending it by starting a huge argument or engaging in particularly outrageous behaviour.
  2. They withdraw so totally (they may even move) that the relationship ends from lack of communication.
  3. They stop calling, don’t return your phone calls, and totally disappear from your life, often in a way that is bizarre as well as destructive.

Encore! Curtain Call

Authors of He’s Scared, She’s Scared, Steven Carter and Julia Sokol warn us to beware of the “curtain call” or what we describe as the “encore”. This is when the commitment phobic has had the time and space they need to relieve their anxiety and realize that they truly “miss you”.

Now that the relationship is over, they have settled back into their comfort zone of required space, the hot pursuit may start again. No longer frightened by the commitment trap, the feelings they have for you are free to surface, so they call to see “what’s up”. BEWARE! When this happens, usually the whole cycle is played out all over again. The only difference is that this time you will go through the 4 stages at a faster rate.

Ask Yourself

To make this conversation more relevant to you, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have I exhibited these traits in previous relationships or in the relationship I am in now?
  2. Am I or have I been in a relationship with a person who has ended a relationship this way?
  3. Do I have a history of “break up” and “make up”?
  4. The relationship you have is a reflection of your beliefs – what are some of your fear based beliefs around relationships or commitment?
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