She may shame Alex for acting crazy. She may tell him that she isn’t going to talk, text or see him for 3-4 days. This eats Anxious Alex alive. All he needed was for Avoidant Alli to get close to him, but the more intense the withdrawal, the more intense Anxious Alex’s thoughts are about making up for “his” mistake.
This conflict causes Alex’s intimacy button to hit overdrive and focus on all the amazing aspects of the relationship – oh, the memories! He becomes flooded with regret for the relationship’s recent fight. So he attempts to work things out.
Meanwhile, Avoidant Alli’s deactivated intimacy button causes her to focus on all of the bad things in the relationship. His crazy behavior. The amount of time he spends with her. His constant texting.
Due to Alex’s narrowed perception on rekindling the relationship, Alex is willing to compromise his needs to keep the partnership working. Since Alli is contemplating ending the intimate relationship, she wants compensation for entering back into it.
Alex still fails to address the initial conflict – his need for intimacy – and actually finds himself in a worse position than he was before the fight. He works hard to return to the initial, unsatisfactory status quo of the relationship and he tries to compromise more of his needs in hopes to make things work. Being Lost in the Sea of Love washes any hope of a better life down the drain.
Over the years, Alex and Alli continue this vicious cycle until inevitability, Alli has enough and dumps him.
With every clash of intimacy styles, the anxious person loses more ground. It’s frustrating and unfulfilling. This toxic relationship has no checks and balances. The Anxious Alex feels the need to fix the relationship and compromises to the desires of the Avoidant. These types of toxic relationships feel very one-sided from the anxious person’s perspective.
The problem is the anxious person seeks closeness to their partner when something appears threatening, such as a relationship fight or jealousy, while the avoidant seeks separation and seeks distance. Intimacy differences are difficult to harmonize.
This is why I suggest finding a secure person to date. A fair amount of people assume that since Anxious Alex and Avoidant Ally really do love each other, then they’d find a way to work things out. As in the case of Alex and Alli, it is often times impossible to meet each other’s needs. In the typical trap, the anxious partner surrenders and accepts the rules imposed by the avoidant.
Let’s say Anxious Alex and Avoidant Alli ended up getting married, despite their unstable relationship. Things may get worse because intimacy differences impact more than just the relationship. It’s much more than one person wanting to cuddle and another needing space.
It’s reflected in opposed desires, assumptions, and attitudes. This may range from the way you sleep with someone in your bed to how you raise children. Each new change in life (making money, becoming ill, having kids, or getting married) will manifest the differences and expand the gap between the partners even more.
This conflict is never resolved because the solution creates too much intimacy. While the Anxious individual will seek to work out the relationship problems, the Avoidant will unconsciously want to avoid it. This may lead the Avoidant to become more hostile or distant. Since the underlying issue is never addressed, the problem expands like a space balloon and causes a lot of unhappiness.
When I was in this toxic relationship, I was completely blinded by love. I couldn’t see how bad it was. This is why I wanted to take some time to provide you some telltale signs of being Lost in the Sea of Love; I want you to have an amazing relationship, and intimacy is a core foundation of that.
6 Telltale signs you are in a most toxic relationship
1) Can’t Leave Syndrome.
You have this nightmarish feeling that the relationship is not right for you, but every time you think of leaving, the toxic emotional connection to the other person prevents you from doing so.