August 13th, 2010 by Nina Atwood
Sara writes: “Help! My boyfriend, after a 3 month intense relationship, suddenly backed off. Is there any hope he’ll come back?” Danielle writes: “What can I do to win back the man I love? He broke up with me after two years saying he wasn’t ready for a commitment.” Chris writes: “I’m in love with Kristen and she went back to her old boyfriend after dating me for six months and telling me she loves me! Can I get her back?”
What all of these stories have in common is loss: the person you loved left, backed off, or went away, and you’re grief-stricken. All you can think of is how, when, or where you are going to reunite with your loved one. So you ask anyone and everyone who will listen for more than a couple of minutes for their insight. Desperately, you stir the cup, trying to read the tea leaves so you will know if this loss is permanent or temporary.
The problem is that your focus is in the wrong place. Loss and grief obscure rational thought, and although it’s challenging to do so, we must maintain a bit of logic in any situation, especially this one. The straight truth is this: if I walk away from a relationship, I pull all of the power with me. Now the relationship is out of balance because the person left behind has no power. If the person I left chases after me, begging for a chance to get back together, I still have all the power, and additionally, I begin to lose respect for the other person as well as myself. This is a formula for an unhealthy, addictive relationship.