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pursuer distancer relationship

How to Understand a Pursuer – Distancer Relationship

Scene from a Pursuer Distancer Relationship:

Partner 1: I wish you would pick up your stuff in the living room.
Partner 2: What? Well, I’ve walked the dog, paid the bills, and worked all day. I can’t get to it.
Partner 1: But it’s your stuff! I don’t want to pick up after you like I’m your mom!
Partner 2: Fine. Go away. Take the dog out. I’ll do it now.
Partner 1: Hey, don’t get mad at me.
Partner 2: Just go!

Silence follows for most of the day.

What happened in this exchange?

Partner 1 needed to feel cared about. This partner pursued it by complaining to Partner 2.

Partner 2 felt overwhelmed, judged as inadequate, and pushed the other partner away. Partner 2 withdrew.

Both feel alone, hurt, and rejected.

In an intimate relationship, you might think the pursue/withdraw (pursuer distancer) pattern would be the exception, not the rule. Committed partners are supposed to care about each other deeply, right?

Who would get angry or turn away at the exact moment … Come Read the Rest