Separation anxiety can disguise itself well: sometimes you don’t realize that it bothers you. However, the symptoms of separation anxiety show themselves clearly in your life if you pay attention to them. Hannah Cuppen, author of Love Fright and Love Expert, explains in this article what the characteristics of separation anxiety are.
Where someone with fear of commitment is aware of the ‘mistakes’ of the other and is rather too critical, with separation anxiety it works just the opposite: there is a blind spot for the painful reality of the partner.
What is Separation Anxiety?
People with separation anxiety are defined by psychotherapist Harriet G. Lerner as “emotional pursuers who reduce their fear of life by allowing others to share their feelings and seek close emotional contact.”
If you suffer from separation anxiety, you are often oblivious to the possibility that you are being scared of love because you have a strong desire to connect and also feel that you are capable of doing so. You are all too eager to find a new love and believe that you are ready for a long-term relationship once that new love is right in front of you. The special thing is that you have that wish and that desire with people who seem incapable of doing so, so that your feelings are not answered. As much as you claim to be ready, if you look at the availability of your partners,
you actually know that you are deceiving yourself. No matter how sincere your desire, looking at who you find yourself attracted to will reveal what you are capable of on your own.
Love as addiction
Out of fear of being abandoned, you can start to use excessive giving of love as compensation for your own lack of love. Love then becomes an addiction, because it has to fill a shortage in yourself and you need the kick every time again not to feel your own despair and emptiness. It is then impossible to release the other in who he is. From this addiction you are strongly focused on the other, which can be very suffocating because there is a strong self-interest hidden underneath.
What are the differences between commitment anxiety and separation anxiety ?
Where someone with fear of commitment is aware of the ‘mistakes’ of the other and is rather too critical, with separation anxiety it works just the opposite: there is a blind spot for the painful reality of the partner. No matter how much pain it causes with his or her aloofness, if you have separation anxiety, you continue to condone everything and brush away the impossible behavior because you “understand” him or her so well.
Those who suffer from fear of commitment are busy running away, avoiding connection and setting boundaries. However, if you suffer from separation anxiety, you are trying to do everything you can to bond with your romantic partner. The fact that the other person is not available makes it safe to let your feelings run wild. Instead of seeing the other person’s detachment, you start to ‘fill’ this gap with your own feelings of love. You surrender yourself completely to the other, as if you were entering into a merger. You connect in an emotionally profound way
What are the characteristics of separation anxiety?
What are the signs or symptoms of separation anxiety? Wondering: Do I Have Separation Anxiety? If you suffer from separation anxiety, you often recognize yourself in many of the following symptoms:
o You are afraid of being abandoned, rejected or abandoned
o You constantly seek confirmation, attention and support from the other person and you feel rejected and unhappy if the other person does not give it to you
o You have a tendency to claim and cling
o You have a tendency to beg, complain and demand
o You depend on the other person and adapt too quickly
o You have infinite understanding for the other person
o You tend to merge with the other person
o You have the tendency to be over-involved and romanticize the relationship
o You want the assurance that the other person is there for you
o You have low self-esteem and self-confidence
o Your negative self-image preferably expresses itself in self-underestimation
o You let yourself down too easily
o You find it hard to set your limits
o You direct your anger toward yourself rather than the other person
o You are more aware of your desire than your fear
o You are quick to wonder : may i be there?
o You are afraid to feel your own pain
o You have trouble taking care of yourself
o You find it difficult to be truly alone
o You have a strong attachment to unrequited love
o You may experience the need for the other as a ‘ addiction’
o You do everything to ‘reach’ the other and lose yourself in it
o You are stuck in a repetitive pattern of being rejected
o You cannot end the (destructive) dependency relationship