Why is the distance going bad for you

The play of closeness and distance in relationships

Love or what
vonLudwig / Seelenrave

I was sitting on the subway and my heart was pounding wildly. "Does he write - does he not write?" Everything in me was restless, emotional chaos, fear and far removed from that Walt Disney fairy tale I longed for so much. If he actually wrote, I spent hours analyzing the exchange of words on WhatsApp, yes, analyzing how emotionally close or far he was to me ... and whether he was just pretending.

If he didn't write to me, I tended to pretend he didn't mean anything to me anyway and sought relief from my pain in a mock escape into the distance. This was everyday life in a relationship that was characterized by a permanent change of closeness and distance. A relationship that was able to mobilize all pain, all struggles for love, all self-doubt and fear of loss in me and pushed me with full thrust on the path of healing.

All of this was several years ago. And I still love this person. Now in a very platonic, almost fraternal way. Nevertheless, we haven't been in a relationship for a long time. It feels peaceful, we have let go and I have recognized the higher meaning of this experience and have long since developed awareness of what I had to learn and heal in this relationship.

This interplay of closeness and distance in their relationships is incredibly painful, especially for sensitive people.

This interplay of closeness and distance in their relationships is incredibly painful, especially for sensitive people. And especially sensitive people, who feel themselves, their pain and the pain of their fellow human beings incredibly well, slip into this form of relationship again and again: A partnership or affair full of uncertainty, restlessness, instability, the constant back and forth between hope and disillusionment.

I have great compassion for you when you are in such relationships! And yet I have recognized that these relationships in particular release unbelievably great potential for awareness and healing in us. In fact, they hold up the mirror to us in a way that guides us very precisely where it hurts.

It doesn't matter if you are kept at a distance in your relationships or if you are the one who keeps running away. Both say a lot about your emotional patterns and actually lead to the same root of the problem, which keeps preventing healthy, eye-to-eye relationships that are actually good for us.

What the play of closeness and distance tells us about our patterns

I well remember how I always subtly accused the said person of being unable to have a relationship, and was firmly convinced that he was the one who was preventing a stable partnership through his fear of commitment. Today I know: I made myself a victim by assigning blame in order not to have to look for the cause in myself.

The mirror principle is relentless: No matter who in the partnership takes the supposedly excessively distant or the supposedly excessively needy part. This imbalance is always due to the fear of losing control, the fear of being "at the mercy" - of yourself and your partner - in the relationship that both partners have in themselves and which they often become extremely bizarre out of the subconscious. not always rationally explainable behavior patterns.


While one part, due to his panic of losing himself and control in the relationship, clings and constantly demands more closeness - be it obvious or in a subtle way - and fights for love and attention with all means and strategies, he takes hold other part of the same motive repeatedly fleeing. Because he too has a deep-seated fear of losing control and no longer being able to be in control of the situation - often due to the inability to set healthy boundaries for himself on the basis of a healthy self-worth and to stand up for himself and his needs.

This escape behavior in turn drives the needy part almost insane, his fear of rejection and thus control over the partner, over the relationship, over the feeling of one's own emotional security is triggered in the most massive way, which sets a completely normal protective mechanism in motion. Because the pain is almost unbearable, the part who once thirsted for closeness closes all the bulkheads and builds meter-high walls around his heart.

If the once needy part suddenly appears to be independent and free, a radical change of role can take place.

The consequence is astonishing: If the once needy part suddenly appears to be independent and free, a radical change of role can take place. Because no sooner does the once aloof part think they are safe, no longer fulfilling expectations or have to take on too much responsibility due to the emotional demarcation of their opponent, when they want their partner back. And in this context it can suddenly display clinging, needy behavior itself.

Because this gives the once needy part the feeling of security, stability and the final breakthrough, he is usually very quickly fire and flame again, longing and with high hopes for a new partnership. And the game of closeness and distance goes into another round.

Regardless of whether we always keep a distance out of the fear of too much responsibility or the inability to set healthy boundaries in our relationships or thirst for closeness completely in need. The root of these two superficially contradicting behaviors is the same:

We are not anchored in our strength, not in our self-love, not in our own wholeness, which enable us to find fulfillment in ourselves and to level off the two completely natural needs for closeness and distance to a healthy level. We feel powerless, at the mercy of our relationships, and even have a constant tendency to lose ourselves. We fluctuate back and forth between compulsive neediness and the obsessive pursuit of independence, repeatedly switching roles and often unable to recognize the deeper cause of this interplay in this emotional ups and downs.

The path to healing: self-love

If you recognize yourself in such a relationship pattern, no matter what role you play in this game, your focus should be entirely on yourself instead of continuing to hold onto blame or accusations that are nothing more than a strategy of your ego, the pain of the To split off powerlessness from you and to project it outwards.

Realize that the other person reflects those emotions and patterns that want to be healed, and that the drama between you is nothing more than a reflection of your own inner drama. The drama of abandonment. Of being lost. The drama of those beliefs and feelings that keep you small and keep you from finding wholeness within yourself.

Getting out of the victim position, from the relationship patterns you know, requires the decision to take responsibility and to be radically honest with yourself and your partner. This will not be easy for you because it brings you even closer to the feelings of your supposed worthlessness. But the greater the chance of directing you directly to the dreams, negative experiences and beliefs that obscure your unconditional self-love.

Where do you leave yourself so as not to be abandoned?

Where do you see parallels to the relationship with your parents in your current relationships? Which wounds of abandonment from your childhood do you carry around with you - wounds that still torment your inner child, so that it often shapes you from the subconscious with intense fear of loss? Where do you leave yourself so as not to be abandoned? Where did you split off your vulnerability from yourself, stole a piece of your own wholeness from yourself and built a protective wall around your heart? Yes, where did you stop giving yourself unconditional self-love, in which areas do you find it difficult to express your innermost truth and to show yourself with everything that is, your light as well as your shadow?

It is the healing of all those beliefs and feelings that bring you closer to yourself. Which promotes your unconditional self-acceptance and ends the fight against you. And that alone enables you to lead relationships at eye level on a foundation of stable self-love, without losing yourself, without sacrificing your needs, constantly fighting for love and demanding that your partner fill your inner emptiness as a savior.

Self-love is the key to relationships in which the mirroring of inner drama and emptiness gives way to a heart-to-heart bond that breaks the walls of fear. A bond that feels so much more peaceful than the emotional roller coaster ride that we are so familiar with from the interplay of closeness and distance.

Walk this path of healing, this path of self-love, step by step, as you feel it ... I wish you every success.

So much love
Your Ludwig

LUDWIG is something between hippie, hipster and nature boy and prefers to hang around naked in some lakes and forests in the Berlin area. In any case, he is very spiritual and sees this path as the key to personal release ... detached from all destructive conditioning, beliefs and self-manipulation. You can find more beautifully packaged spirits from the depths of his soul on his blog Seelenrave.