Have you ever been in a relationship where things are immaculately smooth and suddenly, your partner pushes you away and walls up for no apparent reason? It seems like they have lost interest in you and to prevent you from getting crestfallen they decide to give you a cold shoulder instead of having an adult conversation. However, the reality is completely different. A partner may be pulling away from you in a relationship for a plethora of reasons and none of them is you, especially when things are going pretty serious and uphill.

This article will deal with some of the major reasons why people pull themselves away from their partners when the relationship gets serious.

Recommended reading: Is Unselfish Love Romantic Or Toxic?

Why do people pull away in a relationship?

1. Relationships shared with caregivers

To understand the root of the problem, you need to dig deep. Once you’ve hit the bottom, you will realise that a person’s relationships with everyone depend a lot on the relationships that they had with their parents.

According to the attachment theory propagated by John Bowley, a British Psychologist, the development of a child largely depends upon their ability to have strong relationships with at least one parent

As humans, we’ve developed certain attachment behaviours to ensure our survival which is highly influenced by parents who dominate our development years and the years following that. Sometimes these behaviours can be secure or insecure depending on the type of relationship you had with your caregiver. 

Part of the reason why people push the ones they love is that the latter have insecure attachment patterns which result in a toxic relationship. A person with a secure attachment pattern, however, is not fumed when their partner is not in their room or hasn’t replied to their texts. Effective communication flows between two people who have secure attachment patterns. 

Sometimes when the parent is ignorant of their child, the latter will do everything in its power to gain the former’s attention and validation in everything they do. Strong parental support ensures a backup for kids, so they’re free to lead the life they want, which is normally, an adventurous one. On the other hand, weak parental support does prohibit the child from trying new things in life and just jumping from one relationship to another.

This explains why a person isn’t comfortable getting with their partners on a deeper level. 

2. Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions that has grappled a majority of the population living on earth. It does not only affect their day-to-day routine but also inhibits them from having deep and intimate relationships with people. 

People with anxiety are often gripped with the fear of performance in their relationship which inhibits them from being present in the relationship. For instance, you go out on a date with this one cute girl and you hold hands with her, kiss her, hug her and you laugh at some funny incidents. However, there’s always this tiny voice in your mind, saying, ‘is this the right way to go about it? Did I say this correctly? Should I have said this? 

Mentally, a person with anxiety has a vortex of thoughts swirling from one corner to another. This prohibits them from being truly mindful of what’s happening around them. They start to centre themselves and forget the world. After a certain point, a person with anxiety will refuse to be intimate with someone because they have raised their standards to an implausible level. 

Another way to understand this is through the perfectionist concept. There are two types of perfectionism behaviour: productive and unproductive. People who belong to the productive group often get things done as fast as possible and as perfectly, whereas the people who belong to the unproductive types often procrastinate. They procrastinate because they have such high standards for themselves which makes them question whether they’ll be able to fulfil them or not. 

3. The nature of other relationships

Despite having a stable and sound childhood, people end up feeling broken and crestfallen at later stages in their lives, especially when they are in a relationship. This generally happens when you are attracted to abusive or emotionally unavailable people. 

Ending up with a person who is emotionally unstable, or unavailable or someone abusive, can make your life topsy-turvy and you’re left with no choice except to make them and their happiness the center of your life. 

Not having an effective symbiotic relationship with your partner can shatter your perception of life and divest you emotionally, physically, and mentally. 

These are some of the most commonly occurring reasons as to why a partner would push another. Apart from these, there are several methods people find to sabotage their intimacy and relationship. 

For instance, people become instantly critical when the partner is getting close to them and start questioning their motives. They think that they don’t care and are just putting up a ruse. This influences their behaviors and resultantly, their fears later manifest themselves into reality. 

Another way people push their partners is by saying that they are extremely busy and they have a lot of work to do. This way they don’t have to worry about investing time or effort in a strictly platonic relationship. In a toxic and abusive relationship, the survivors are the hardest to start with new relationships as they have a fear response instilled in them whenever a new relationship starts or when the people get too close to them. Resultantly, the survivors of abuse will always have some emotional distance between them and the people they meet, because they don’t want to be hurt again. 

Holding onto a relationship

Certain incidents in life hold the authority to damage us physically and emotionally, and sometimes the depth of their scars cannot be covered even by the love and affection that other people shower on us. This is why people often resort to negative statements saying they’re unworthy or unlikeable. To heal and cherish every relationship, one must break ties with toxic or abusive people and start loving them. Replace all the negative statements with positive affirmations. Don’t be afraid of vulnerability; allow yourself to be vulnerable. Stop being the perfectionist you boast to be and tether yourself to reality. In a relationship, one must focus on uplifting ourselves and our partner together.