What You May Not Know About Push-Pull Relationships

The behavior behind-the-scenes & stopping the cycle.


“In insecure relationships, we disguise our vulnerabilities so our partner never really sees us.” ~Dr. Sue Johnson

I write a lot about push-pull relationships, or “chasing and running” because these patterns influence our happiness and our ability to authentically connect with others. The attachments we form early in life dictate not only the quality of our adult relationships, but the security and health of them.

The Behavior Behind the Scenes

These types of relationships aren’t based on love.

The easier the challenge, the faster boredom and indifference set in.

The push-pull is an addiction, as in any other addiction. It’s based on the highs of the chase that trigger releases of dopamine and oxytocin.

In the eyes of the runner, it’s a hell of a lot easier running away and starting the cycle over again with someone else, than risking being abandoned by someone they ‘love’.

They don’t love you and they don’t love themselves. This is where things get a little confusing. “Love” can be felt, but it’s felt at a superficial level, and partners are kept at arms-distance as self-preservation. Love is a foreign feeling, and if it is felt, it becomes something to fear and avoid at all costs; it’s excruciating, painful and engulfing.

Stopping the Cycle

The hardest thing for both partners to do is to break the insecure attachment, and replace it with a secure one.

One of the biggest challenges to face in creating a secure attachment is the fear of giving and receiving love — because this is the root of a fear of rejection and abandonment.

Anyone who is love-avoidant or a ‘runner’ may understand when I label love as an overwhelming, gut-wrenching, panic-inducing fear that is associated with getting too attached or close to someone you were in a relationship with. For anyone who pushes away love, it’s because love hurts.

Hello, Love

Love changes us. Love makes us human.

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