20 Signs Someone Has Abandonment Issues

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Is a fear of abandonment harming your relationships?

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Millions of people like you struggle with this self-sabotaging belief and the behaviors that go with it.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the main signs of abandonment issues to help you identify which apply to you.

The first step to changing any belief is to identify it. Only then can you get help and do the necessary work to shift your mindset to a more desirable position.

We’ll discuss how some of these issues might contribute to a relationship not working out.

This is important because failed relationships reinforce the fear of abandonment you feel.

What are the red flags you can use to identify abandonment issues in yourself or others?

1. You Attach Too Quickly

As soon as you meet someone, you go from first date to “in a relationship” in the blink of an eye.

You believe that if you don’t do this, you risk them dating someone else they like more. You don’t want them to be “the one that got away.”

But you don’t give yourself the time and mental space needed to assess how the relationship is going.

You don’t ask whether this person is someone you could spend the rest of your life with.

After all, isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

2. You Move On Too Quickly

When one relationship ends, you don’t give yourself time to breathe (and grieve) before you’re on to the next one.

You don’t deal with the emotional fallout of the breakup.

You jump head first into something new and exciting to distract yourself from the hurt and pain you feel.

You’re one of those people who “have to” be in a relationship because you’re a mess when single.

Unfortunately, you’re not allowing yourself time to process your breakup. You’re not grieving the end of your last relationship, or healing the wounds that it may have caused.

3. You’re A Partner Pleaser

You aim to please people at every opportunity including in your relationships.

The result is weak personal boundaries and a willingness to go along with whatever your partner wants.

You put your well-being second to theirs. You fear that if you don’t fulfil their desires, they will look elsewhere.

This will eventually lead to conflict when you begin to resent having to do all these things.

And this can cause you to jump ship, believing that things aren’t ever going to work out for the two of you.

Or, alternatively…

4. You Stay In / Settle For Unhealthy Relationships

Rather than being alone, you are willing to remain in a situation that you know deep down isn’t good for you.

Perhaps you realize that the match isn’t as good as you first thought. Or maybe your partner lies, cheats, or is abusive in some way.

somehow these things aren’t always enough for you to call it quits.

5. You Look For Flaws In Your Partner

Sometimes it’s not the case that the match isn’t a good one; it’s that you don’t allow it to be.

Your abandonment issues mean you focus on the flaws in your partner. You ignore all their positive attributes.

This way, when things finally go south, you can tell yourself they weren’t right for you anyway.

You seek a perfection that doesn’t exist anywhere other than in your head.

Unfortunately, this approach is likely to contribute to the breakdown in your relationship.

6. You’re Reluctant To Fully Invest In A Relationship

Sure. you might be quick to take a relationship from zero to sixty, but this doesn’t mean you are ready to invest in it.

In fact, you are often resistant to anything that signifies genuine commitment. Things such as meeting their family, moving in together, even discussing a “future” together.

By doing so, you send a signal to your partner that you don’t view the relationship as serious or long term. This may spell the beginning of the end of things between you.

7. You Avoid Emotional Intimacy

Perhaps it’s no surprise that you feel unable to invest in a relationship when you shun any attempts your partner makes at emotional intimacy.

To let your guard down would be to show vulnerability, and you’re not prepared to risk the hurt this may cause.

So you keep your guard up and compensate in other ways. You focus on physical intimacy instead and try to please your partner as mentioned above.

The problem is that, while you may be happy to live without these things, your partner probably won’t be. And if they aren’t, they may question your future together.

8. You Feel Unworthy Of Love

The thing that holds you back from being emotionally intimate with somebody is a deep-seated sense of unworthiness.

You just can’t see how anybody could possibly love you, so you never let anyone say those three special words to you.

If they should ever cross a partner’s lips, your response will be a quick and decisive “you don’t love me” and that will be that.

9. You’re Insecure

In your mind, there is no way that anybody could truly love you because you struggle to love yourself.

Your self-esteem has gone AWOL.

You doubt every decision you make.

You suffer from anxiety about most things (not just your relationships).

And this leads to…

10. You’re Jealous Of Every Friend/Colleague/Acquaintance

In your mind, there’s a strong chance that your partner is being unfaithful.

It doesn’t matter that every other relationship your partner has is purely platonic.

Unsurpringly, much of your jealousy will focus on members of the opposite sex.

But you also get jealous when they spend time with friends of the same sex and of the enjoyment they get from it.

This jealous behavior will put a strain on your relationship. It will likely cause arguments and ill-feelings.

More essential reading on abandonment (article continues below):

We highly recommend you try this guided hypnotherapy MP3 specifically tailored to help people heal from their abandonment issues.

11. You Struggle To Trust

Your mind conjures up images of infidelity and you find it difficult to fully trust a partner.

Trust requires you to be vulnerable and we’ve already discussed how you hate to let your guard down.

You tell yourself that it’s better to assume the worst and be proven wrong than the other way around. That’s the pessimist in you talking.

Unfortunately, your partner wants to feel trusted. I’m sure you’d agree, it’s not nice to feel as though someone you love doesn’t believe you.

12. You Get Separation Blues

You like to be with and around your partner as much as possible because any time spent apart is like torture.

To be separated for a few hours or days has the effect of resurfacing your abandonment issues. It sends you into a downward spiral of doubt and despair.

Rather than “out of sight, out of mind," it’s quite the opposite. All you can do is ruminate about where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing.

This can lead to overbearing behavior such as checking up on your partner by message or phone every hour.

13. You Visualize Your Partner Leaving You

Time apart provides the perfect mental environment for the fear of abandonment to thrive.

Your thoughts enter a dark and dangerous loop in which you imagine your partner ending things with you. You think about the trauma and turmoil this will result in.

Your body reacts to these thoughts as if they were actually true and you suffer bouts of extreme anxiety and depression.

14. You Overanalyze Things

Your mind isn’t one to let anything slip by unnoticed. You see and hear everything and then set to work trying to figure out the hidden meaning in it all.

There’s no such thing as a small comment or an insignificant act when you’re around. You’re capable of taking every little thing and assigning far more weight to it than it deserves.

This can be a source of conflict because your partner may feel the need to walk on eggshells around you for fear of upsetting you.

15. You’re Hypersensitive To Criticism

You are on the constant lookout for criticism.

This is why you are so keen to analyze every small detail about what your partner says or does.

Your self-worth is so low that you convince yourself that your partner is unhappy with you.

And should direct criticism ever actually be forthcoming, your mind goes into a frenzy of defensive maneuvers and offensive counter-strikes.

You just can’t deal with it in the way most emotionally mature people would.

16. You Have Repressed Anger

Though not always the case, there is a good chance that you hold some anger deep inside you.

This occasionally bubbles to the surface.

You may have outbursts over seemingly insignificant things. Or you may find yourself resenting your partner for no obvious reason.

Either way, the source of these feelings is difficult to pinpoint.

When anger enters any relationship, it is going to put that relationship under strain.

It’s fuel to add to the fire caused by any number of the points in this article.

17. You’re Controlling

You try to control your insecurities, but doing so requires you to control everything else, too.

Your abandonment issues likely stem from past experiences where you had no control over the outcome.

The result is that you seek to micromanage your life and your relationship to try to avoid similar situations and the same outcome.

You fear the unpredictability of letting go and sailing with the wind.

This can make your partner feel diminished as an individual because they have no freedom to make choices of their own.

18. You Pick Unavailable Partners

You pick partners who are either currently unavailable or wholly incompatible with you.

This helps you avoid any situation that may result in emotional intimacy or require you to invest fully in a relationship.

You may pick someone who you know has been unfaithful in the past.

Or someone whose lifestyle doesn’t match yours.

someone who is moving away soon.

Or even someone who is already in another relationship.

You know nothing serious will ever come of it, but that’s actually a relief to you.

19. You Sabotage Relationships At Every Opportunity

Many of the things we have already spoken about are examples of self-sabotage.

You fear abandonment and avoid ever reaching a point where your heart can be broken the way it has been in the past.

You push your partner away, you grind them down with snarky comments, you act in ways that aren’t conducive to a loving relationship.

Yet you do it on autopilot.

It’s an unconscious defense mechanism designed to prevent emotional pain.

20. You Blame Yourself For Every Breakup

If you have genuine abandonment issues, chances are you aren’t very good at maintaining long term relationships.

And with every one that comes to an end, you can’t help but shoulder all the responsibility and blame.

You tell yourself you were never good enough for them – not physically, not intellectually, not emotionally.

You’re convinced that it’s your fault things didn’t work out.

So, do you really have abandonment issues? Here’s a quick test: for each of the signs above, score yourself from 0-2 where 0 means it doesn’t apply to you, 1 means it is kind of true, and 2 means it is very accurate. Scores of 20 or more signify a likely underlying issue while anything over 30 suggests that you have a strong aversion to abandonment of any kind.

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