“Don’t be afraid to lose him, because if a man truly loves you, he’s not going anywhere.”
~ Steve Harvey
It can be quite confusing and painful when a friend or lover disappears from a relationship.
As a rule of thumb, the ones that disappear are emotionally immature.
They are the boys and girls in the world vs. the men and women therefore, it will be very difficult to ever have a happy healthy relationship with these individuals.
Think of it this way, it is one thing to leave someone confused and wondering what happened (emotional immaturity) vs. communicating that he needs some time and space.
Leaving someone confused with no idea what happened is thoughtless, shows very poor communication skills, and can be cruel. Pure and simple it is a mind/emotional game.
So you have to ask yourself if you really want to be in relationship with someone who is capable of treating you like this.
Don’t look at how they “seemed” to be rather look at the behavior of who they are now. The shine is rubbing off; do you like what you see? Be very clear, if they did it once they will do it again! Is this the character of someone you want to entrust your emotions with?
If you are willing to play the emotional roulette that is sure to follow, you need to ask yourself why.
While you may tell yourself you want him because he is so great, be clear that is a only what you are telling yourself not the real truth.
Is someone who is emotionally immature and cruel really that great?
The real question is what is it about you that you are willing to settle for less than the best in love and treatment?
All to often we get caught up in the “story” of what is going on rather than looking at the facts and red flags.
Yes, emotions make it hard! But is it better to tear the band-aid off now or ride the emotional roller coaster and have to do the same thing later?
Cynthia Pickett, LCSW, LADC – www.cynthiapickett.com
Sometimes, leaving and returning are part of the normal ebb and flow of relationship, especially in the beginning stages.
Most long-term couples say they experienced a breakup or two back in their early days. But sometimes this pattern of now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t indicates a serious problem with attachment.
By now, you probably know I’m going to tell you: if you love this guy, go with it.
We love who we love, for good reasons. Trying to deny that only creates disturbance elsewhere. Be honest with yourself. Be with him if you want his company. Tell him how it feels to have him disappear. Tell him about your misgivings.
Allow yourself to feel all the doubt and deliciousness of having him back. But notice everything.
- To his response to your feelings.
- To subtle shifts in his demeanor.
- To his ways of pulling back when you lean in.
- To your feelings of desperation, longing, grief, and anger.
- To old memories that surface – perhaps about earlier loves or even childhood situations.
As you notice his pattern, and yours, you get a window into your psyche.
Trauma disrupts attachment in young children. So these loves show us what kinds of losses of connection we had to endure back then, most likely with our parents.
You (and he) may benefit from trauma therapy to target early losses in your life, like parental divorce. EMDR (eye-movement-desensitization and reprocessing) therapy addresses relationship trauma and attachment problems and helps people make new bonds with the ones they love.
Dr. Deborah Cox – www.deborahlcox.com
If a guy disappears without so much as an explanation or anything, and then all of a sudden re-appears the same way he left; what’s to say it won’t happen again?
I’m reminded of a quote by Maya Angelo, spoken so often by Oprah Winfrey, “When people show you who they are, believe them; the first time.”
Doing it once by no means guarantee he will definitely do it again; but it most certainly does say it shouldn’t be a surprise to you if he does.
Why? Because he has already shown you that he is capable of it.
What’s the other saying? Fool me twice, shame on me. If you’re willing to allow this to happen time after time, he isn’t necessarily at blame, because he can get away with it.
There needs to be proper boundaries established here in order for them to not be crossed.
And then, bite your tongue, grit your teeth, and scream and cry behind doors, but be consistent.
If you aren’t, how can you expect him to be?
Besides, if you’re left confused, anxious, angry and sad because he suddenly left, and tries to return when you’ve gotten over him, why would you want to take a chance and go through this ordeal all over again?
I’m just asking! It’s not a matter of ignoring him when he tries to return suddenly; you have since established new boundaries to protect yourself, and need to abide by them; and expect him to as well.
Come on ladies; guys will get away with whatever they can, and you can’t fault them for trying.
Don’t make it that easy for him. Respect yourself. Love yourself, when he’s there, or not there to do so. You can’t expect someone else to do for you what you aren’t willing to do for your own self. Teach him how to treat you!
If this is who he really is, is he the one you really want? You decide, now or later.
Barbara Ann Williams, LPC, MS – www.barbaraannwilliams.com
Does this sound familiar?
You’re seeing a guy and things are going well and then he ends it. You go through all the emotions of heartbreak and depression, but then you hear from him again.
He wants to give it another try. Should you give him a second chance?
You may never know why the relationship ended the first time, but sometimes men are scared of moving too quickly and don’t know how to handle the intimacy and connectedness that is involved in real relationships. However, that is no excuse for his leaving and then reconsidering.
You were hurt and, while the heart is saying, yes to seeing him again, your logic is saying no.
Would he do it again? Can you go through the uncertainty of a repeat situation? Can you let go of the pain and start all over as if nothing happened?
This all really depends on whether you can forgive him and move past the pain. And of course, you need to do what is best for you. Talk to him.
One of the most common deal-breakers for long-term relationships is not knowing if your partner shares the same goals and intentions as you.
What does he want? You don’t want to waste your time with someone whose long-term goal is out of sync with yours. Early on, you need to stop second-guessing the relationship and find out what your partner is looking for and what he truly wants.
- Discuss what you both want out of the relationship.
- Share your hopes and dreams and see if it meshes with his.
- Keep the dialogue going so no one feels clueless.
- If you’re feeling insecure, broach the subject, because he may be doing things that are truly causing the insecurity.
- Do not accept any behavior that compromises your trust or questions the integrity of the relationship. In other words, set your boundaries and stick with them.
Your relationship is meant to enhance who you already are.
You must never doubt where you stand in the relationship or how important you are in his life. If you are giving him a second chance, be sure he knows how lucky he is that you did!
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
Whether it is the inability to maintain sustained intimacy or a fear of being entrapped, there are men and women who are very convincing in their love when they are present, but disappear without warning when they need to bolt.
Many partners involved with these hit and run lovers are understandably confused. With most relationships, there are warning signs that predict that things are not going well and, sadly, there are people who don’t heed those signs and continue to interact as if things are just in a temporary lull.
But hit and run partners actually do love someone intensely and then seem to erase the relationship often were sincere in their love when they were present but still leave without warning or trace.
The partners left behind are naturally bereft, often tearing themselves apart with obsessive recaps of what could possibly have gone wrong. They grieve a seemingly irrevocable rupture that they could not foresee and have no idea how to make sense of it.
Most fall into grief responses and blame themselves for being a fool.
Others vow to never fall for that kind of ruse again, undoing what they previously and absolutely felt was the real thing. Some become almost obsessive in their attempts to contact the absent partner and try to convince him or her that leaving was a mistake and the relationship can be fixed, usually to no avail.
After some mystical period of time that ensures the abandoned partners have gotten to the point of eulogizing the relationships, the fleers spontaneously return.
Hoisting remarkable re-entry seduction, they are somehow able to come up with unusual and phenomenal reasons why they had to go. The pleading presentation to come back often includes blaming themselves and idolizing the abandoned partners.
If those that have been left behind still harbor feelings for them, they too often turn a blind side to prior heartbreak and believe that the relationship has now been chosen anew, and will, this time, last forever.
I have certainly seen many people grieving the loss of an escaped lover, but I’ve also had a number of these temporary passionate people as patients. They come in for help when their tactics are no longer working or they are heartsick at the people they’ve hurt without meaning to.
They wonder why they fall so deeply in love but panic after a period of time and need to escape.
Rarely, have I seen hit and run lovers who justify their behavior. They are not likely to see themselves as the false committers they might be, and are still out there seeking available recipients.
Because we human beings love a hunt and thrive on novelty, sequential experiences with one person or many gives us the excitement that only new discovery can.
Being lonely and lost, then joyful and claimed again, can be its own reward for many, even if the process is, at times, anguishing.
Given enough attachment and closeness, even when temporary, many people will play out several rounds of connect-disconnect-reentry before the price becomes higher than the gain. And, because each new round is filled with magical passion, that price can be ignored for a long time.
There are really two issues here: the first is how well you get to know your current lover’s past and how he or she has behaved in prior relationships.
Beware if they tell you about many failed relationships that are never their fault because you are likely to be the next.
Before counting on a new partnership, you should have an authentic dialogue that includes how their past relationships have ended and what they’ve learned from the experience. Of course, they have the right to ask you the same.
The second issue is whether, even well informed, you don’t believe that you are exempt because this time the love is different or more real.
Unless that person understands why and when he or she bolts, they are bound to repeat that behavior, sometimes especially because the relationship is good.
Their underlying attachments to seeking deep intimacy combined with a terror of being entrapped become bookends of the relationship’s ultimate and predictable demise. You can still partake, enjoy the moments of ecstasy, and let it go when it’s done, without feeling any need to control the future.
These hit and run conflicted but highly present people do not exist just in intimate relationships.
They come into therapy without realizing that they will create the same pattern in that relationship.
They will start off with
“You are the best and most exciting therapist I’ve ever known. You get me and I’ve only known you an hour. I know this is time therapy is finally going to work.”
My response is, “How long have you lasted with all these prior therapists?”
They reply passionately, “It just never lasts more than a few months. I realize that I just wanted to believe they were the one, but it fell apart, just like the others.”
I reply: “Well, we better work hard because we don’t have much time.”
I mean it with compassion. My heart is touched by their sincerity, but I know we’re doomed from the beginning if we don’t foresee that outcome and work on the real problem that lies underneath.
Yes, there are reasons why these not bad-guy hit and run partners do what they do.
But the important thing is looking at your own susceptibility, not allowing yourself to be exempt, and intending what you want to do about it. Own your own participation and awareness, and ride the wave if you still want to enjoy the special times.
Dr. Randi Gunther – www.randigunther.com
Often, men who do this are juggling more than one relationship.
- What was the reason he gave for disappearing?
- Was he ill or was a family member ill?
- What kept him from communicating what was happening in his life?
Even if you are just dating, it is a courtesy to let someone know that you are not interested or communicate that that you will be unavailable for a certain amount of time. You don’t need an explanation since you are just starting to date, but a heads up would be respectful of you and your time.
Often this is a way for men to play the field and date more than one woman at a time and then decide which woman to continue dating.
The other reason a man might do this is to establish a pattern so that he does not have to be accountable later in the relationship. He can say that this is something I did before when we were dating and why should it bother you now?
As women, it is important to respect ourselves and not tolerate discourteous behavior.
If a relationship starts in this manner, be mindful that this behavior might continue. Ask yourself what is your threshold for not knowing what is going on and how does it affect you?
If something tragic happened like illness or a death in the family, maybe you can move on and it will never happen again.
If the reason he gives you leaves you confused or uncertain, then you might re-evaluate whether you should continue spending you precious time with him.
Stay in your integrity and even if you are into him; ask yourself if this relationship will add value to your life and will it be healthy for you to continue?
If he disappears more than once, that is a huge red flag.
This means that he does not respect you or the effort and time that you are putting forth in developing the relationship.
There are times when a man can seem like a real catch, but if it is too much work to be with him, then you might want to reconsider how good a catch he might really be.
Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net
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