Are You Pushing People Away?

Have you ever known someone who sabotages their relationships? They talk your ear off about how desperately they want to be in a long-term, loving relationship, but at the same time you watch as they push people away or blow up good potential relationships time after time.

I’ve seen it happen a lot, and it’s almost always about fear:

  • Fear of intimacy
  • Fear of what it means to be in a relationship (or of what might be required of you in a relationship)
  • Fear of someone seeing the “real” you
  • Fear that someone might eventually leave you
  • Fear that you might get hurt

This fear can manifest itself in many ways. Sometimes it’s the ole “I’m gonna get you before you get me” syndrome, where someone behaves poorly to drive the other person away or just flat out breaks-up for no real good reason.  I’ve also seen people who sabotage themselves by consistently looking for things to fight about, to be jealous about or to be critical of.

Other times, people try to test their partner to see if they will stick around…but this often ends as a self-fulfilling prophecy, pushing your partner away. This includes engaging in passive-aggressive behavior to test or to get back at something you’re frustrated with your partner about.

They say that the only common denominator in all of your relationships is…you, right? So, could your relationship struggles have anything to do with this kind of fear inside you?

If any of this personally resonates with you, here are some questions that I would like you to think through:

– Do you trust yourself to handle anything life throws at you – including the ending of a meaningful relationship? Do you realize that you will survive it and be fine?

– Do you believe that you are worthy? That you deserve love and to be in a loving, committed relationship?

– Can you actually picture yourself committed to someone long term?

– Do you trust that if your relationship ends, you will be ok and will absolutely have another great relationship again?

I’ve had several people I know swear by the results they achieved and what they learned about themselves after completing reading the book Calling In The One: 7 Weeks To Attract The Love of Your Life by Katherine Woodward Thomas. In the book, Thomas shares how to find a relationship that will last a lifetime by learning to truly be open and ready to create a loving, committed, romantic union. Highly recommended reading for those struggling to identify what’s holding them back in love.

Relationships are tough enough without making them harder voluntarily, right? So, if anything that I’ve shared today resonates with you, it might be worth investigating further so that you can embrace the possibilities of a successful future relationship and make one happily stick.

What do you think might be holding you back from having a successful relationship? Could you be sabotaging things?

Photo credit: DeSaint Lights’ Flickr photostream   


Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Discussion


I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better relationship at a time.

Subscribe Now

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

9 Comments on “Are You Pushing People Away?”

  1. January 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Kristin – I’ve loved your advice for a while now – would you mind terribly if I linked back to your site through my Blogroll?
    Kind Regards
    Heidi Lee

  2. Really!?
    January 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I love this. I had this same conversation with a friend last night who is afraid to talk with the man she is sleeping with. Call me crazy, but if you are having sex, you should be able to talk to that person about ANYTHING.
    She’s just afraid she’s going to hear something she doesn’t want. In which case, he’s gotta go. She’s got to find her strength and self esteem.
    When we want the best for ourselves, KNOW we are worth it and confident there are good relationships/people out there for us…you can’t loose. 🙂

  3. January 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I’m guilty of the ole “I”m gonna get you before you get me” syndrome 😦

    Good post!

  4. January 11, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    I think this is one of your best posts yet, and I’m going to get that book. Thank you, Coupletastic!

  5. January 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    My mouth tends to sabotage the relationship. It just can’t keep shut when it wants to say the awful truth … then again truth can be subjective … my truth can be a bold faced lie from his POV and vice versa … I need to achieve a “meeting of truths” in my relationship.

    This is a great and very thought provoking post.

  6. sqdrn06
    January 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head. There are so many times that I have let fear rule the way I act about things. No one can live in fear forever and it takes lots of baby steps to dig yourself out of that mindset.

  7. January 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    I have a friend who is like this. She always complains about being alone, but whenever she meets anyone she pushes them away making excuses about something minor about them. I have even introduced her to 2 great guys and she pushed them away too.

  8. February 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I was in a relationship with a nice man for a shot time we shared mutual interests, loyalties, and close friendship. As we developed a deeper caring for each other he would do or saything mean. I let it slide the first few times thinking he was scared of being in a relationship but when he didn’t stop I ended it. I call it the come- close go- away dance. I will never do it again it was not worth the lasting wounds. There a pleanty of guys who want to be in a close relationship and they are worth waiting for.


  1. Top 5 Most Popular Posts | Couple-tastic! - February 22, 2012

    […] Are You Pushing People Away? […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: