7 Bad Habits That Push Love Away

When I was very young, a man told me that running away from love and being difficult in a relationship were the flip sides of the same coin.

He warned me to look for these behaviours in the men I dated, as both behaviours were based on fear.

Because of his red alert, I was able to notice it again and again. Although it is counterintuitive, once you train yourself to understand the causes and the effects of pushing love away, you will notice it, and know that this isn’t you — it truly is them.

When we are warm and loving, it may be very hard to understand why others are not. Maintaining a list of love-averse behaviours is useful because people who cannot love are emotional “criminals.” They steal your affection, your time, and your peace of mind.

Seven forms your fear of love can take — and how to recognize them

1. Dr Dolittle’s Pushmi-pullyu

This fictional movie animal, pronounced “Push-me-Pull-you,” is a “gazelle/unicorn cross” with two heads, one at each of the opposite ends of its body.

This pushing/pulling behaviour in a partner can drive you crazy because you never know where you stand. Like inadvertently landing on quicksand, you will eventually go under. Since one side of the conversation is great and the other end is not, it’s up to you to notice the disconnect and run as fast as a gazelle to escape.

2. The “cold snap”

When you have a partner who is unable to love and be loved, you will find that the relationship seems perfect for a few weeks and then your partner will make a shocking pivot to coldness.

If you would leave a vacation location if the weather report called for dangerous squalls and hail, consider avoiding this cold snap mood disaster before it’s too late. By sweetly informing a new partner that mood swings end relationships with you, you will have a head start on a more peaceful, productive future with or without this candidate.

3. The “now you see him, now you don’t”

The partner who suddenly leaves is often unable to love and be loved. Sometimes this “travelling” partner tells you about a career in the FBI that isn’t even true or suggests that frequent trips are work-related when in fact there is a second family stashed somewhere.

If you want a steady, loving, committed relationship, avoiding this is easy when you’re clear that you require steadiness, stability, and consistency.

4. The “preemptive strike”

When you call this “ghosting” you may have accepted it as normal behaviour though it is not. Someone literally pushing you away by pushing himself or herself away first is terrified of being left behind or “abandoned.”

Fifty years ago this was understood to be the behaviour of someone who didn’t want to wait for you to leave so they would simply be the first to go. This is the height of cowardice because it feels as if they are leaving a comrade on the battlefield and that comrade is you.

5. The “long con”

This happens when you date a married man. This con game is a recent iteration of the Spanish Prisoner Con that has been in play since the 1800s using the “pigeon drop” archetype in which risking a certain amount of money supposedly gives the marked access to a large sum. This is a con, so no large sum exists.

However, the con artist often reaps considerable rewards before being discovered. Your job when being pursued by a married man is to consider the risk/reward ratio.

For most women who have experienced this, the suffering outweighs the benefit unless they are also married and indifferent to a shared future. If you are looking for a serious, committed relationship that “has legs,” then use your legs and keep on walking in the opposite direction from the married man. Remember that anyone who is married has access to countless experts who teach reconnection and reconciliation to transform a marriage instead of pursuing you.

6. The “multiple choice”

This happens if you date someone for two months and you want to move to the next level. Beware if he or she tells you that it’s too soon. The truth is that enough of your date’s needs aren’t met by you and perhaps they can’t be if true love isn’t an option with this person.

When you feel as if you’re being moved around like a piece on a chess board you’re probably right. Instead of tolerating this, sweetly explain that it seems that a one-on-one connection isn’t for him or her and that multiple choice isn’t for you. Then listen carefully to what you hear and make a decision that you stick with.

7. The “Family Ties” excuse

This was the title of an ’80s TV show, but it’s not an excuse to avoid a relationship. Many divorced parents are looking for fun rather than a new life which is fine if you are, too.

Other contestants are more committed to a parent, sibling, or housemate but that’s not your issue, right? If you’ve always wanted children this might be a great option for you, but only if and when you are invited to participate in family events.

Until you are offered the openness and companionship that you need, you’re not in a relationship, you’re drowning in hope.


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