5 ways to deal with push-pull relationship cycle
First things first, what is a push-pull relationship cycle? It is when one person craves intimacy and the other actively avoids it.
It might start with the avoided starting to cool off the passion and enthusiasm that they originally expressed for their partner.
The avoided starts to spend more time alone and demanding for more independent time in the relationship. This leaves the person craving intimacy feeling confused and upset.
Both people in the relationship are unaware of their own behaviours that drive the push-pull cycle. They continue to bounce back and forth between short periods of discontent.
This brings us to talk about how you can reduce the negative impact it can have on your current as well as future relationships.
1. Be more understanding of your partner
Understanding in a relationship is essential for empathy. And empathy is crucial in changing the way you act and react. If you’re in a push-pull relationship cycle, you might fear intimacy and abandonment. Knowing how this feels, you should be able to empathize with the way these fears can consume your mind. Hence, always be extremely understanding of your partner to make the situation better.
2. Be more like your partner
If your partner is someone who likes to interact and communicate, be like them instead of withdrawing and becoming emotionally unavailable. Even if you need time to yourself, express it out and let your partner know that you’re overwhelmed and need some time alone like they communicate to you. Reassure your partner that there is nothing in specific that they have done to make you want to be alone. Explain how it’s your coping mechanism for dealing with your feelings.
3. Be vulnerable with each other
If you’re in a push-pull relationship cycle, both of you fear intimacy at some point or the other. And a big part of intimacy is emotional vulnerability. Being physically intimate with one another is not that difficult. Real vulnerability is where you open yourself up and let your partner know your weaknesses and your vulnerable side. Share the struggles, listen to each other, be supportive of each other.
4. Be a team
Remember that you are not the problem and neither is your partner. The dynamic of your relationship is the problem. Don’t try to change your partner’s behaviour. Let it come from them. Change in yourself has to come from you too. Don’t play the blame game, in fact, the success of your relationship depends on both of you. It’s a team effort. So become a team and support each other instead of giving up on each other.
5. Seek personal counseling
Some changes are more difficult to make than others. It’s alright to need help from someone with the knowledge and/or experience to guide you through a situation. A counselor can very much help you identify the roots of your relationship problems and suggest ways to work through them and change how they influence your thoughts and behaviour.
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