Push Pull Relationship
In the push-pull cycle, one person craves intimacy and another actively avoids it. It might start with the avoider starting to cool off the passion and enthusiasm they had originally shown for their partner, wanting to spend more time alone or planning an increased amount of activities independently.
push pull relationship
Intimate relationships can go south when partners get stuck in a pursue-withdraw cycle.In this push-pull dance, one partner seeks greater connection but grows increasingly critical when connection is elusive. The other partner seeks greater autonomy and increasingly withdraws in the face of complaints and pressure.
Underneath this frustrating cycle lies the differing attachment styles of partners. Its estimated that half of all adults have an insecure attachment style that can lead to either a pursuing or distancing stance in relationships.
Withdrawers know on some level that the pursuer wants closeness but it can feel overwhelming or frightening to provide it. Withdrawers fear that giving in to demands for more connection will lead to losing themselves in the relationship. The withdrawer, too, feels caught in a damned-either-way dynamic: Give in and feel trapped, or resist and receive mounting criticism.
Focus on changing the dance, not on changing your partner. It helps to view problems as happening to the relationship, not to your personally. This promotes a we mindset rather than a you vs. me mindset.
Pursuers and withdrawers in the same situation can have vastly different experiences of time. For a pursuer who is desperate to discuss relationship issues, an hour talking about a relationship may provide just a taste. But to a withdrawer, an hour may feel endless and overwhelming.
An intimate relationship is an opportunity to share your needs, fears and longings. Sharing your vulnerabilities is one of the key reasons we seek a primary partner. Dont let the pursuer-withdrawer dance get in the way of this.
A healthy person, generally stable and balanced, finds push and pull in a relationship confusing, causing them to second-guess what they believed and deal with rejection, creating a wound for the one simply looking for a loving mate.
The people who involve themselves in the push-pull relationship theory have typically unhealed wounds from previous experiences or have been exposed to unhealthy relationships causing them to develop unhealthy attitudes about partnerships.
Each individual will lack self-confidence or have lower self-esteem than most. One will have abandonment issues while the other will have a problem with intimacy, and these fears will create the push-pull mechanics.
One will initiate the relationship as the pusher. The other will avoid it for fear of being vulnerable to abandonment, and this sets the tone for the varied stages that comprise the cycling that the pair will endure throughout their partnership.
Those who want to sustain the relationship and attempt to remove the toxicity of the push-pull dynamic need empathy. Owning the fact that you play an active role in the unhealthy dynamic helps you understand your partner and the triggers for their vulnerability and fear.
Couples can become addicted to the dynamics of a push-pull pairing. But the turmoil placed on emotions costs the individuals exceptionally as each person experiences fear, anxiety, stress, frustration, confusion, alienation, plus anger, all of which are wearing and unhealthy.
Each person has distinct needs and attachment styles responsible for creating the push-pull basis. In some cases, the one pulling might want to have a lengthy discussion concerning partnership issues to feel security and stability so the abandonment fear can become satisfied.
For the pusher to be successful, the partner needs to meet their vulnerability with compassion, support, and understanding. If there is any judgment, the withdrawal will be imminent, and the fear compounds.
Time to get help and end the push pull cycle for once and for all? Our highly experienced London counsellors and psychotherapists can help you with your relationships. Or use our booking platform to source UK-wide registered therapists and online counsellors you can work with from anywhere.
When one partner is driven by a need for connection and the other a need for distance, a push pull relationship takes hold. While this explanation may sound simple and straightforward, being caught in such a relationship rarely is.
To make matters worse, the push pull relationship cycle plays out on a loop. This leaves both partners with no respite from the constant pressure, uncertainty, and conflict. If you feel as if there is an unhealthy amount of pursuing and chasing involved in your dynamics with your partner, pay attention to what a push pull relationship is all about and how you can overcome it.
A push pull relationship begins like any other. Two people meet, they feel attracted to each other, and a relationship ensues. In fact, the honeymoon period of such relationships is typically marked by an intense passion. However, as the relationship begins to settle into a rhythm, a yearning for distance on part of one partner triggers fear of loss and panic in the other. The push pull relationship cycle begins.
In such a relationship, one partner displays classic traits of a commitment-phobe and actively avoids intimacy, which the other partner craves. The partner who is trying to avoid intimacy may become withdrawn and cool off the enthusiasm and passion they displayed early on in the relationship. They may start devoting more time to individual interests and hobbies or make excuses to not spend time with their SO. This causes the other partner to feel upset, confused, and insecure about being abandoned.
The panic created by these feelings, then, drives them to go above and beyond to pull their drifting partner closer. They may try to entice them by paying more attention to their looks, complying with their every ask, or nagging them for their indifference. The response of the puller builds up pressure on the pusher, prompting them to become even more withdrawn.
At this stage, one partner starts to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of the relationship. Particularly, if they feel that the intimacy between them is starting to run deep. This person would want to break free or at the very least, do everything in their power to dial back on the intensity. As a result, they may become withdrawn, distant, as well as physically and emotionally unavailable.
More importantly, can you really be sure that a breakup is for good when you keep doing the on-again-off-again dance? If not, how do you save yourself from getting addicted to push pull relationships? And do so without ending things with your partner? Push pull relationship psychology is such that it makes it hard for you to recognize the signs of being in such a relationship until things have worsened to a considerable degree.
Until your friends are tired of hearing you cry over the same person again and again. Until you exhaust yourself with apologies or waiting for the other person to come back. Until you tire yourself out by constantly being overwhelmed by the intensity of the relationship, a quality that you both love and hate. But it is possible to break free from this exhausting cycle without necessarily losing a partner you love. Here are 9 actionable tips that can help you overcome the push pull relationship dynamic without having to say goodbye to each other:
Both partners in a push pull relationship have more than their fair share of issues. Working on these to become better versions of themselves can make a world of a difference in successfully ending the push pull dance. If both partners struggle with low self-esteem, for instance, work on gaining some self-confidence.
If the puller in the relationship needs to learn viewing distance positively, the pusher needs to learn how to be vulnerable with their partner. A fear of intimacy stems from an underlying fear of being emotionally vulnerable with another person.
To make sure that the pusher succeeds in their attempts to let their guard down, their partner must welcome this openness with support, empathy, and understanding. If the person feels judged, they will withdraw instantly. This will only cause the fear of intimacy to be compounded manifold.
The way we behave in relationships is largely governed by our life experiences and conditioning. This, in turn, tells us how romantic partners ought to behave with each other. For instance, if you saw your parent(s) walk out on children without any warning, discussion, or intimation, it is natural that distance in relationships can make you feel anxious.
Being in a push pull relationship can take a toll on your mental well-being and worsen the very issues that trigger these tendencies. Recognizing the red flags and taking corrective measures is the only way two people prone to push pull behavior can stay together without losing their sanity. If you see yourself as being in such a relationship but are unable to make progress in the right direction, know that expert help is only a click away.
Love is complicated enough without the added pressure of trying to always second guess what your partner will do at any given moment. But it's the never-ending back and forth swing stance that wreaks havoc on an otherwise passionate, happy and intense relationship. That fairy tale of the perfect connection can often turn into endless turmoil, explosive drama...and a lot of pushing and pulling.
In the beginning of the push-pull relationship, there is a credible and unwavering pursuit by the man, typically a classic commitment phobe, who we will call the "pusher." His relentless pursuit and "take no prisoners" approach to getting the girl is what gives him the high he so desperately seeks. Eventually, the target female, we'll call her the "puller," tires and the eager charm of the lone and insistent prince wins her over. That is, until she turns to face him. After just the first few months (or sometimes weeks!) of newfound relationship bliss, the pusher starts to slowly push away, leaving the innocent puller wondering where all of the love, promises and affection have gone. 350c69d7ab