Uhhh… I was just avoiding talking in the hopes he’d fill up the vacancy with his own voice.
5. You make up excuses to leave places/events early or not attend at all.
I always had something going on. Friends were getting married. I had “appointments” or children to babysit. My parents needed me.
Whatever excuse I could use, I would. I didn’t want to be someone’s “plus one,” and I surely didn’t want them to be mine either. That was too… couple-y, and that’s exactly what I didn’t want.
6. You complain that your partner is too needy or controlling if they push for more.
“Why? Don’t we see each other enough?” I asked.
“No. I mean, the last time I saw you was two weeks ago,” the guy I’d been dating for a couple of months said.
“I can’t give you much more than that. I’m just so busy. Most guys would like that I’m not clingy,” I said.
“Well, yeah, I don’t want you to be clingy, but I’d like you to…I don’t know…want to spend time with me.”
I can’t remember if I did for sure, but I probably rolled my eyes when he said that. I felt like he, and the other guys I dated, knew what they were getting into. I wasn’t a clinger. I was cool being by myself, and I could go a while without seeing them if necessary.
Why did these guys all of a sudden want to change what (I thought) was working? Well, because that’s what happens when relationships develop, and I didn’t want that.
7. You never commit.
This one should be clear from all of the previous steps, but I did everything I could not to be pinned down.
Can we go out on Friday? I don’t know. Maybe.
Would you like to only date each other? I don’t know. Maybe.
I rarely gave anyone an outright “no,” but I didn’t really give them a “yes” either. Strangely, the further I seemed to run from some men, the more they seemed to chase me. No relationship is on equal footing if someone is always fleeing and someone else is always chasing.
For me, love avoidance was a phase that lasted a couple of years. My previous relationship had burned me, and I needed both time and to do some work before I was willing to open myself up to the risk of being hurt again.
For others and possibly yourself, love avoidance may have become a pattern of relating. You get stuck in a cycle of relying solely on yourself, so you don’t have to depend on anyone for anything. You don’t let people in, and you run at the first sign that anyone wants something more from you emotionally.
If you eventually want a healthy, stable, secure, safe relationship, you’ll likely need to learn how to relate differently eventually.
For me, working with a therapist helped me overcome some of my fears around relationships and begin moving forward. Sometimes we need to retreat and that’s okay, but it shouldn’t last forever.
This post originally appeared on Medium and has been republished with full permission.
Tara Blair Ball is a freelance writer and author of the memoir, The Beginning of the End. Check out her website here or find her on Twitter: @tarablairball.
Feature Image: Getty.