While all couples need autonomy and closeness, many couples struggle with the pursuer-distancer dance and experience pain when their partner is pulling away or withdrawing from them. While pursuing and distancing are common ways that couples relate to one another when they are under stress, these patterns can become dysfunctional. If they go unnoticed and persist for a long time, they can even lead to the demise of a relationship or marriage. But with self-awareness and a willingness to change, couples can break their negative cycle of relating and build love, trust, and intimacy. Why is the pursuer-distancer dance so damaging to an intimate relationship? The problem is that if this pattern becomes deeply entrenched, neither person is getting their needs met. In his Love Lab, he observed newlywed couples during a hour stay and found fascinating results. Why is this relationship pattern so common? John Gottman believes that the tendency of men to withdraw and women to pursue is wired into our physiology and reflects a basic gender difference. But in this case, the ways that Kayla and Jack respond to each other backfire — going from bad to worse.
Make your next event both entertaining and educational. Audiences will learn tangible tools to improve their marriage and feel inspired and motivated to embrace new ways of connecting with their partners. Carly is a dynamic and engaging public speaker who provides information and inspiration to a wide variety of audiences. With enthusiasm, warmth, and a great sense of humor, Carly distills scientific findings into straightforward, practical suggestions that your audience can directly implement in their lives to have better, more fulfilling marriages and relationships.
Approachable and refreshingly real, Carly brings concepts alive by sharing pertinent examples from both her clinical work as a therapist as well as her personal life.
Are you stuck in a pursuer-distancer dynamic? The Date Mix Pursuer-Distancer Relationship Pattern: 4 Signs Of A Love Addict Or Love.
May Soo is a psychologist at RWA Psychology working with couples, helping them address their relationship issues. The pursuer-distancer cycle is extremely common and one worth mentioning because it is a major contributor to relationship breakdown. When a couple is not able to find a good balance between the two, they may wind up in the frustrating dynamic of the pursuer and the distancer. Pursuing occurs when one partner, usually the woman wants togetherness and seeks more contact with the other.
Her partner feels overwhelmed by her pursuit and relieves anxiety by withdrawing. When he distances from her, she pursues even more commonly with criticism and anger , creating a cycle of pursuing and distancing. When the initial distancer realizes that his partner may actually walk out, he may flip into the position of pursuer. According to renowned relationship expert and psychologist Harriet Lerner, pursuing and distancing are normal ways that humans navigate relationships under stress, and one is not better or worse than the other.
A problem occurs only when a pattern of pursuing and distancing becomes entrenched. As the above illustrates, the behaviour of each partner triggers and maintains the behaviour of the other. Either partner can be a pursuer and a distancer at different times, or over different issues. In order to feel secure and cared for, pursuers want and need attention, closeness, and affection with their partner.
How to Avoid the exact Pursuer-Distancer Pattern in Your Association
Subscribe to Posts Subscribe to Comments. Scoring : Yes answers indicates you are a moderate pursuer. Scoring : Yes answers indicates you are a moderate distancer.
With suitable information plus willingness, you can find dating how you will improve with the pursuer-distancer pattern when it happens inside your relationship.
I hear the same complaint over and over again from clients: “Why doesn’t my wife want to have sex with me? Rebecca, a willowy blonde dressed in casual jeans and a stylish blouse, has been married to Ethan for over seven years and they have a beautiful two-year old daughter. While they are a relatively happy and successful couple, they seem to be locked into a power struggle between Rebecca’s need for emotional connection and Ethan’s need for space.
Early on in their marriage, they both report being somewhat compatible but over the last several years, they are drifting further and further apart in their needs for emotional connection and sexual intimacy. Ethan, a self-employed contractor, works hard all day and desires more sexual contact than Rebecca is comfortable with.
As he describes his frustration with his wife’s lack of libido, tears well up in Rebecca’s eyes and she defends her lack of sexual desire. With intensity in her voice, she says “We just never have time to connect anymore and I don’t feel sexy after working all day, changing diapers, and running errands. Ethan just wants to jump right into having sex without caring about my need to talk and spend time together.
7 Ways to Overcome a Push-Pull Dynamic in Your Relationship
We can help you to reconnect with one another in an intimate, secure and loving partnership. Early in relationship, couples typically experience an idealized bonding commonly referred to as the honeymoon stage. The couple is largely positively focused on the other and is easy to overlook potentially problematic issues. Typical attachment styles may not manifest in this stage.
This transition may trigger the distancing and pursuing behaviors in some couples.
However, in some cases, men are pursuers and women are distancers. 8 Ways to Break the Pursuer-Distancer Pattern: Accept that the pattern.
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. Pursuing partners fear rejection or abandonment, and seek reassurance from their partners through closeness and connection.
Withdrawing partners fear being controlled or crowded, and seek relief through independence and autonomy. Here is an online quiz to help you identify if you have a pursuer-withdrawer relationship.
How to Avoid the exact Pursuer-Distancer Structure in Your Romantic relationship
All those wonderful men out there. Men who are interested in us and open to a relationship seem to fly beneath our radar sometimes. The guy who is unattainable is the one who catches our eye.
States whenever still left wavering, the particular pursuer-distancer find dating ways to answer typically the pursuer-distancer style if.
We all have unique ways of responding to stress. When in a relationship, couples tend to respond to relationship stress in one of two ways: by moving toward their partner pursuing or by moving away from their partner distancing. Why is this important? Couples are getting creative during quarantine and coming up with fun and innovative date ideas to help stave off the boredom. If you have a tent and a The Research Research shows that couples wait an average of 6 years of being unhappy before they seek any support for their relationship.
This statistic comes from the overyears of research by Dr. John Gottman. If you want couples therapy to be effective, you After reviewing that laundry list of factors in the previous post that interfere with the success of couples therapy, check out this more hopeful list. In order to make the most out of couples therapy, keep these simple guidelines in mind.
Prioritize Make I want to get real here and address some important aspects of couples therapy.
Pursuit and Distancing: Intimacy vs. Needing Space
In the study of 1, divorced individuals thirty plus years, E. Mavis Hetherington seen that adults who were caught in this setting were in the highest exposure to possible divorce. Examiner Dr. Bob Gottman likewise noted the destructive develop is an extremely prevalent cause of divorce. He claims that when left wavering, the pursuer-distancer pattern is going to continue in a second wedding and succeeding intimate relationships. The pursuer-distancer pattern Therapist Doctor Harriet Lerner summarizes typically the pattern in this way.
When parents finally make the time to go out on a date night together, it’s not The more that ‘The Pursuer’ reaches out, the more ‘The Distancer’ pulls back.
With she review of just one, four hundred single folks above thirty years, Age. Mavis Hetherington observed in which couple who have been stuffed on this method had been for any top in order to possible divorce. Expert Dr. Bob Gottman additionally observed until eventually this destructive the pattern is an extremely usual reason for divorce process. States whenever still left wavering, the particular pursuer-distancer structure will carry on proper secondly romance as well as far more affectionate bad reactions.
The actual pursuer-distancer style Pt Doctor Harriet Lerner summarizes the design by doing this. Someone with going after habits is likely to answer connection tension by means of transferring when it comes to one more. That they search transmission, debate, togetherness, in addition to manifestation.
Are You in a Distancer-Pursuer Relationship? 8 Ways to Get Out
John is distancing. In the woman study of just one, single individuals over thirty years, E. Mavis Hetherington found that lovers who were trapped in this form were with the highest risk for divorce. Examiner Dr. Steve Gottman in addition noted until this destructive develop is an extremely popular cause of separation.
The central problem in relationship issues is the balancing of closeness with space. Pursuers fear abandonment. Distancer fear control.
You can only help someone who is moving toward you. If they are moving away, they are distancing from you and not listening to you. How do you know if someone is distancing? You will feel in your body that you are pursuing. And the harder you pursue, the faster the person will distance themselves. This is what psychologists call the pursuer-distance dance, and it occurs not only in sales but also in dating. The First step in Princeton Selling is to get people moving toward you — to attract them rather than pursue them.
There are two critical aspects to this:. People tend to move toward someone they know, like, and trust — someone they feel good or comfortable with. The first step is to position yourself as a likable, trusted advisor, not as a salesperson.
How To Connect With A Distancer When You Are A Pursuer
Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Save to Library. Create Alert. Launch Research Feed. Share This Paper.
Semantic Scholar extracted view of “THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN ATTACHMENT STYLE AND UNI- AND BI- DIRECTIONAL PURSUER-DISTANCER.
Connection and autonomy are essential components of a healthy, secure relationship. When things are going well, it is easy to navigate the conflicting needs of spending time together and spending time apart. However, when things become stressful due to life transitions, illness, or other concerns, balancing these needs can be hard. This is especially true when one person pulls their partner close, and the other pushes their partner away. There is a struggle between the need for closeness and the need for distance.
When the pursuer experiences relationship stress, they turn to their partner for increased closeness and reassurance. The pursuer then increases their efforts to ease their own anxiety, often through criticism, anger, and making more demands. This causes the distancer to withdraw further and respond critically to the added demands, while avoiding their partner by increasing involvement in other areas of their life. The pursuer can eventually feel defeated and withdraw from the relationship, becoming the distancer.
How to Overcome this Unhealthy Relationship Dynamic
Learn about the push-pull effect of the pursuer and distancer and some instruction on how to change for the better. However, there are a lot of people out there that go from one extreme to the other. Something is going on. You might call, you might show up, you might cancel a date with a friend in order to see your partner because it feels like you really need to.
Do you enable your date or partner to remain selfish by making excuses for him? Do you feel like it’s your fault when things go wrong? Are you preoccupied with.
Remember that even positive intensity can also lead to more distance once the pursuit-distance dynamic is in place. This is not to suggest that these are neurotic traits or that you have some kind of personality disorder. A different partner, with a different cultural background, personal history, sibling constellation, and temperament might enjoy these very same qualities.
He might view himself as lucky to have found such an articulate, impassioned, energetic partner. Experiment with a low intensity style for a couple of weeks. Talk more slowly and less often, say it shorter, lower the volume, refrain from any interruption, avoid criticism, and leave more physical space. See what you learn about yourself or your partner if you damp down all communication from say, an eight to a two on a ten-point scale.
Sometimes you have to pretend to be less intense in order to become less intense. She is the author of 11 books published in 35 languages. Lerner hosts a blog for Psychology Today.