What Are Your Survival Patterns in Relationships?

Do you use survival patterns… and not even know it?

What Are Survival Patterns?

They are skills you develop to help you navigate your emotional pain. These patterns, often referred to as love styles, help you manage and tolerate the feelings you have.

Survival patterns tend to show up when you have some unresolved emotional trauma.

Unfortunately, survival patterns don’t always serve you.

How Your Childhood Affects Your Love Style

To help you see if you do have patterns and show you how traumas create negative patterns in relationships, let me share my story.

I was born into a beautiful family. My parents loved each other, and this love flowed to my older sister, Joy Ann and myself. For the first couple of years of my life, I felt loved, wanted and cared for.

I felt happy and secure, especially with my father.

Then, when I was a toddler, tragedy struck.

My father drowned in a canoeing accident at the coaching camp we attended together.

He was in a canoe with another coach and two basketball players. They were joking around, splashing water on each other. And then my father fell out of the canoe. He never resurfaced.

It took a long time to find his body.

That day changed my life forever.

From that moment onwards, my mom checked out due to grief. She shut down. Worse still, the doctors told her that she should start drinking a couple of glasses of wine each night, to help her sleep.

She started with two, but this quickly grew to eight glasses… and developed into alcoholism.

At the age of four, I essentially lost both parents.

My mother was a beautiful woman and soon after my father died, she met a man in a bar. She remarried within six months.

My stepfather had no idea what he was signing up for.  He began to control our environment because my Mom had lost control.  It felt like he took her away from me. For the first time in my life, I had feelings of jealousy.

To deal with this I started to develop survival patterns, or skills to deflect the emotional pain I was feeling. The survival pattern I developed was secretive behavior.

And one of the secretive habits was stealing my stepfather’s peanuts. This helped me feel in control when everything around me had been lost.

I wanted to feel like something was mine.

I was only five, and I remember taking six to eight peanuts at a time. I knew if I took more than ten, he would notice and yell at me. This level of detail was a result of the trauma that I had early in my life.

Stealing peanuts was a silent way to control my emotional pain.

It was my way of rebelling against someone who took away my mother and started her alcoholism – or so my five-year-old self thought.

Does Childhood Trauma Ever Go Away?

Survival patterns typically remain the same in our adulthood. When my inner child was activated in my adult life, then I would once again turn to my secretive behavior as a survival pattern.

I would secretly go out on a quest to obtain something that I could take and claim as mine.

I developed these secretive behaviors because I felt abandoned as a child and wanted to have something of my own.

When I was a teenager, I’d steal clothes, so no one would know how screwed up things were at home.

When I was an adult, I continued being secretive by hiding my feelings and trying to control the outcomes in relationships.

Today, when I work with my clients as a relationship coach, I see them incorporating survival patterns to manage and tolerate their feelings. Feelings that trace back to their childhood.

They continue using the same love styles to cope in their adult lives.

The result… the drama continues, and the past trauma continues to get activated, even in situations where it’s not reasonable to have intense emotions.

It’s important to consider how your survival patterns are still showing up today and to see how they negatively impact your adult relationships.

What Is Your Survival Pattern?

See if you recognize any of these patterns below:

The Avoider Love Style

If you’re an avoider, you’re probably sensitive to criticism, rejection, and failure.

You may try to escape getting hurt by making yourself smaller or invisible.

You live within your controllable comfort zone, but you criticize yourself before anyone else can do this to you. You are constantly on the lookout for signs of judgment, criticism or danger.

As an avoider, you remove yourself from relationships where you have the risk of getting hurt.

The Pleaser Love Style

As a pleaser, you may believe that to avoid getting rejected or abandoned, you need to please everyone, making sure that everyone is “ok” with you.

As a pleaser you may have a role, such as:

  • The caretaker – you may feel very responsible for others;
  • The chameleon – you can fit in everywhere;
  • The joker – you try to win people over by being fun and the life of the party.

Whichever role you take, it’s all about putting others first.

As a child you may have grown up keeping the peace by helping. And as an adult you feel burnt out and unfulfilled. As a pleaser your sense of self-worth and safety depends on the approval of others.

The Controller Love Style

As a controller you feel you need to dominate people and situations. You may feel that you need to control outcomes in relationships, as well as every aspect of your life.

You may even take on the role of being the authority so you can enforce your ideas and rules on others, just to avoid feeling exposed, powerless and unsafe.

By controlling others, you feel more empowered and secure. However, underneath this you may have deep feelings of inferiority, vulnerability and pain, which trace back to traumas from your childhood.

The Achiever Love Style

Are you known as a go-getter, the one who achieves a lot? And who always exceeds everyone’s expectations?

Do you strive for the next achievement, never taking time to enjoy what you just accomplished?

Do you sometimes call yourself a perfectionist? And can’t accept mediocrity?

Your identity and self-worth are defined by your successes because your self-esteem comes through achievement. However, although you achieve goals, deep inside you may still have the fear of not being good enough, which motivates you to keep achieving.

This may lead to you feeling burnt out, empty, or unfulfilled. The result is that your relationships may suffer.

How Do I Overcome My Survival Pattern?

These survival patterns are your “go-to,” but you’ll see that most of the actions and behaviors no longer serve you. And they ultimately stop you from creating healthy relationships with other adults.

It’s not easy to change your behavior because it’s ingrained in your relationship dynamics. This makes it challenging for you to develop healthy emotional intimacy with your partner.

The first step is to be aware of your old patterns. See what triggers it. Early childhood relationships are the first place to look to identify survival patterns.

The next step is to know what your core wound is. Search your history to see what childhood trauma is unresolved. And GET HELP.

My core wound is abandonment and not feeling good enough. As a child, I constantly feared that I would be left.

The good news is that no matter what survival pattern you have, it doesn’t mean you’ve got this for life.

Let An Experienced Relationship Coach Help!

If you are committed to change, then you’re not stuck with your unhealthy love style forever. Instead, you need to be open to change and find a relationship expert to talk about the pain that’s inside of you and learn how to love yourself first.

Relationship coaching can also help you if you can’t seem to accept love or need help dealing with being ignored, as well as with a whole range of other issues. Remember you are worthy of happiness and love, and a healthy relationship.

Looking for a relationship coach online? If you are ready to create meaningful connections and overcome addictive relationships, then contact PIVOT. We offer effective relationship issues workshops at The Glass House, as well as transformative individual relationship coaching. We’re here to help.

What Role Does Self-Love Play In Your Life?

For many people, self-love means occasionally treating yourself to an expensive piece of clothing or dedicating a night just to yourself. However, the true feeling of self-love is something that you should build and nurture throughout your life.

In fact, one of the first steps in accepting love from others is learning how to love and appreciate yourself. Only by understanding and embracing your inner self can you build strong, intimate relationships and be at peace with others.

Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced society, people are often swept up in other people’s emotions, personal goals, and constant feelings of self-criticism. Consequently, this can lead to serious mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, as well as relationship problems such as a lack of emotional intimacy with your partner. This is why individual coaching for relationship issues often includes working on self-acceptance, self-esteem, and other aspects of self-growth.

What It Means To Love Yourself

It’s not unusual for people to either completely neglect themselves or mistaken self-love for selfishness and egocentrism. Some even believe that self-love is a shallow concept often propagated in commercial purposes.

However, self-love is so much more than this. While this feeling and attitude toward oneself may have different meanings for various individuals, it’s typically described as self-compassion, self-appreciation, and self-respect.

Of course, loving yourself requires you to first gain a deeper insight into your own mind and feelings, understand your personal behaviors and decisions, and learn how to accept your mistakes. By truly embracing your inner self, you will learn how to be gentle to yourself and your emotions instead of striving for perfection or criticizing yourself for every mistake.

Common characteristics of self-love

In general, self-love is characterized by the following features:

  • Mindfulness. When you love yourself, you don’t have to burden yourself with past mistakes or spend time thinking about what you could have done differently. Mindfulness also entails being aware of your emotions and thoughts free from judgment and self-criticism.
  • Forgiveness. Self-love also enables you to forgive yourself and others and move forward. You can understand the reasons behind your and others’ actions or mistakes.
  • Acceptance. After learning to accept yourself, you will be able to accept others too, including their flaws.
  • Self-focus. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, self-love inspires and motivates you to keep working on your growth. You’re also not ashamed to put yourself before others sometimes and dedicate attention to yourself, not solely your partner.
  • Intimacy. Loving your mind, body, and inner self enables you to establish healthier, stronger, and more intimate relationships. You feel comfortable opening up to your partner and don’t see vulnerability in your relationship as a weakness.

Why Is It Important To Love And Respect Yourself?

You’ve probably heard numerous variations of the phrase “you first have to love yourself in order to love others” a countless number of times. Even couples and individuals who join relationship building skills workshops first need to address personal issues and behaviors before working on their relationships.

However, you still may be wondering why this is so important. In fact, a certain dose of healthy self-criticism may even benefit your growth and relationship with others. So, why does self-love play such an important role in your life?

Here are several reasons why self-love and self-respect are the foundation of establishing a positive relationship with yourself and others:

  • You are not afraid to stand up for yourself.
  • You build and strengthen your self-esteem.
  • You don’t grow resentment for your partner.
  • You never lose yourself in your relationships.
  • You have more compassion for yourself and others.
  • You don’t spend time comparing yourself to or envying others.
  • You are likely to see the world from a more positive perspective.
  • You make decisions that can benefit you mentally and physically.

Why Is Self-Love So Difficult?

However, even if you fully understand the importance of self-love and self-respect in your life, sometimes nothing seems more difficult than letting go of perfectionist goals, past mistakes and regrets, self-criticism, and other feelings and attitudes that damage your self-esteem and sabotage your relationships.

There are multiple reasons behind this even if you may not be fully aware of them. They include:

  • Past experiences. Your previous experiences have shaped you as a person, so it’s extremely difficult to leave certain traumas behind. The past often leaves individuals believing that they are unworthy of love and exposing themselves to constant self-criticism.
  • Perfectionism. Whether in personal relationships or work, perfectionism can hinder your efforts to love yourself. When you fail to meet perfectionist, unrealistic expectations, the first person to blame is typically you. In fact, it has been shown that perfectionism can lead to serious problems such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, IBS, etc.
  • Conflicts. Interpersonal conflicts may leave you questioning yourself and what you have done wrong. This is particularly common if you enter a conflict with a person who cannot or doesn’t want to understand your side and often blames you for everything that goes wrong in your relationship.
  • Selfishness. Some people believe that they’re being selfish and egotistical if they put themselves before others or expressing their feelings and needs. However, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you love yourself. This will allow you to be a better person toward others, too.

How Do You Love Yourself?

Although it is difficult to change well-established behaviors and attitudes, you can learn how to love yourself. Here are a few practices of self-love that you can introduce to your life:

  1. Practice mindfulness. Learning how to be present and aware of your current feelings and thoughts is truly liberating. You can forget about the past and focus on the present. The key to mindfulness is observing your thoughts and emotions without any judgment. Try to understand why you feel the way you do without criticizing yourself for it.
  2. Understand and focus on your needs. Ask yourself what it is that you really need rather than want or hope for. Try to consider your life and personal goals and decide what you need to achieve them. This goes for everyday habits and decisions, too.
  3. Know when to say “no”. Don’t be afraid to say no to people. Don’t spend yourself trying to please others, but focus on what you can do for yourself. Of course, this doesn’t mean neglecting others’ feelings and needs but simply learning to set certain boundaries in your relationships.
  4. Embrace healthy habits. Pay more attention to your nutrition and physical activity. The body and the mind are intertwined and you cannot love one without the other. Additionally, quality sleep, healthy nutrition, and exercise are essential for combatting anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
  5. Consider a problem from different perspectives. It’s easy to feel discouraged by certain problems and challenges in your life. However, instead of blaming yourself or believing you’re not strong enough to overcome them, try to see how you can grow using this invaluable life experience.

How Does Loving Yourself Change Your Life?

Working on self-love and personal growth will truly enrich your life, affecting its every aspect, including interpersonal relationships. By embracing yourself and implementing practices that support self-love, you will notice an array of changes in your life:

  • Higher self-esteem. When you love yourself for who you are, you are able to maintain a healthy level of self-esteem. You won’t compare yourself to others and will learn to appreciate your own personality, body, and mind. Stronger self-esteem will improve your life in general, as you will see yourself as a strong, capable person who can achieve their life goals and find the happiness they deserve.
  • Stronger relationships. After learning to love and accept yourself, loving and understanding others will be much easier. You and your partner will have a stronger, more open and honest relationship that won’t be sabotaged by your personal insecurities.
  • Enhanced overall health. The mind and the body are closely connected. So, a more loving, positive attitude toward yourself will reflect on your mental and physical health. You will be more inclined to take care of yourself and your personal needs, minimizing the risk of experiencing health problems and developing unhealthy habits.
  • Personal motivation. With more self-love in your life, you will be more motivated and inspired to pursue your life goals. You’ll believe in yourself more and be more resolute to realize your potential.
  • More control over your life. By getting in touch with your inner self and learning to accept it, you will feel more in control over your life. You will have the strength to change the things you don’t like, see challenges as an opportunity and face problems instead of withdrawing to yourself.

Individual Coaching for Relationship Issues: Start Your Journey Toward Self-Love

Self-love is at the core of your self-improvement and personal relationships. However, silencing that inner voice that has been telling you that you aren’t good enough or that you don’t deserve love for years is truly challenging. You may be even sabotaging your relationship with your partner without even being aware that the issues stem from your personal dissatisfaction and deeply ingrained survival patterns.

Here at PIVOT, we will help you not only address these issues but also apply high-result solutions to resolve them. Whether you want to work on yourself or improve your relationship building skills, our carefully devised process and workshops will help you identify the underlying negative patterns, take steps to modify them, and learn how to build a more loving, understanding relationship with yourself and others.

With us, you can join intensive workshops for personal growth at the Glass House or achieve progress through individual coaching with our PIVOT Advocate. We give you an opportunity to not only identify the problem and its cause but also intensively work on altering well-established behaviors. Get the support & professional guidance you need with us!

Does Love Make The World Go Round?

All you need is love. Whether that is true or not, there’s no denying that most of us need and seek love in order to feel happy and complete. But how much do we really know about love? Is love all we need in a relationship? Do we have any control over who and how much we love?

Whether you wish to learn how to love yourself or find out why you are afraid of love, seeking information from an experienced relationship coach is possibly the best course of action. In this article, we will approach love from a number of angles in order to shed light on its nature and importance in our relationships. Read on!

Can A Relationship Survive On Love Alone?

Most of us are taught to believe in the importance of love, whether from our parents, movies, or literature. How come then that we see so many relationships fall apart even though love is very much still there? Is it possible that love isn’t all we need to make a relationship work?

Unfortunately, it is entirely possible to love someone who isn’t the right person for us. In fact, there are many situations in which love alone may not be enough.

When Love Is Not Enough

No matter how much we love, our relationships can still fall apart. While love may conquer all in some situations, here are some relationship struggles that even love may not be able to resolve:

  • You can love the wrong person. Your partner might not be right for you. They may be abusive, your relationship may lack intimacy, or you may just be too similar or too different. No matter the reason, it’s entirely possible to truly love a person who isn’t good for us.
  • It’s possible to love someone at the wrong time. You may love someone to the moon and back, but feel like you should end the relationship because you’re not ready to embrace it at the present moment. Sometimes, the timing is just not right.
  • You and your partner may have conflicting values. While it’s perfectly normal to be with someone who has different beliefs than you do, you may want to consider leaving the relationship if you and your partner keep fighting over your conflicting values.
  • Your partner may not reciprocate. Can true love be one-sided? Certainly, but that doesn’t mean that such a relationship is healthy. If you feel like your partner doesn’t love you as much as you love them, the relationship may not be the one for you.
  • Your friends and family may disapprove. Although it might sound like a Romeo and Juliet scenario, it’s quite common for family members to disapprove of a relationship. Sometimes, they have a good reason to do so, even though love is very much there.

Is Love A Choice Or A Feeling?

Falling in love is easy for most of us. It may even feel effortless, almost like there’s nothing we can do about it. Staying in love, on the other hand, is a different story entirely. In reality, love is more of a choice than a feeling. By this, we mean that we have to consciously decide to stay committed to a single person when the initial butterflies disappear.

Every single day, we have to make conscious choices to love or not to love a person. We may face serious fights or be incredibly annoyed by our partner’s habits, and still choose to love them and stay in the relationship. It is these choices we make on a regular basis that show our love, not the fleeting feelings we have when we start dating. So, while we may not exactly choose who we love, we definitely can choose who we keep loving when the going gets tough.

Can You Love Someone Too Much?

The short answer would be: no, there’s no such thing as loving someone too much. However, it is possible to smother someone with affection. Oftentimes, this is done out of selfish reasons. When we love a person, we wish them to be happy even though their idea of happiness may be different from our own. Smothering, on the other hand, means prioritizing your own needs over your partner’s.

Of course, if you feel like your partner isn’t giving you enough attention or that your relationship is one-sided, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are smothering them if you insist on seeking emotional closeness with them. Here’s what smothering in a relationship typically looks like.

Signs of Emotional Suffocation

If you worry that you may be emotionally suffocating your partner, here are some signs you should look out for:

  • You always wish to know where they are. If you keep texting your partner constantly, wanting to keep track of their whereabouts at all times, it’s quite possible that you’re smothering them.
  • You never leave their side. Sometimes, it’s best to leave the person you love alone. We all have days when we wish to have some time to ourselves or go and see our childhood friends. Insisting on following your partner’s every step is a sure sign of emotional suffocation.
  • You never disagree with your partner. While you may want to show your partner how much you love them by appreciating their ideas, you shouldn’t agree with every single thing they say just to impress them. Most of the time, you’ll achieve the opposite effect.
  • You don’t feel comfortable alone. Most of the time, we seek emotional closeness with others because we feel insecure and need reassurance. If you can’t be on your own, you may have some low self-esteem or abandonment wounds and survival patterns that need your attention.
  • They tell you they feel suffocated. Naturally, if your partner tells you they feel smothered in the relationship, you should take their word for it. The best course of action would be to have a serious discussion about the issue and see what can be done to resolve it.

Visit our effective couples retreat relationship workshop

At PIVOT, we work hard in order to help couples and individuals with their relationship struggles. It is our mission to enable you to heal your past wounds and work on happier, healthier relationships with the ones you love the most.

Our knowledgeable PIVOT Advocates will offer effective and transformative solutions to your relationship problems. We offer both couples and individual coaching for your relationships as well as effective five-day workshops at The Glass House. Give us a call today and start your journey toward a healthier emotional life!

Does Your Relationship Lack Emotional Intimacy?

Being romantically involved with another human being implies intimacy. Most of us place great importance on physical intimacy, and rightfully so, but there is also a whole other aspect of intimacy that is closely linked to the physical one: emotional intimacy. 

At first, it is physical intimacy that we might pay more attention to, especially when we’re infatuated and consumed by a fiery passion for each other. But emotional intimacy is what remains when the honeymoon phase is over and that initial excitement of being madly in love starts to wear out

When partners lack emotional intimacy in their relationship, they cannot face and overcome conflict and life’s challenges together. Are you dealing with emotional intimacy issues in your relationship? Are you seeing or ignoring the red flags? Learn to recognize the telltale signs.

What does emotional intimacy feel like?

When two partners have emotional intimacy, they have a deep emotional connection. They feel close because they feel free to be themselves around each other and express their feelings openly without being afraid to show their vulnerable side. 

What does a lack of intimacy do to a relationship?

Without intimacy at a deeper level, building trust turns into a difficult challenge which could ultimately spell trouble for the future of your whole relationship. Partners who can’t trust each other cannot stay together. 

So what are the signs that there are issues with intimacy between you and your partner?

Signs that your relationship lacks emotional intimacy:

Feeling distant and isolated from your partner

If you feel that you can never quite pinpoint what the other person is thinking or how they’re feeling, there may be a distance between you. This can turn into a major problem when conflicts arise, especially if your partner is giving you the silent treatment, making conflict resolution all the more difficult.

Lack of transparency and communication about emotions

When we say that communication between partners is key, it may sound like a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Partners who can communicate their feelings to each other have managed to build emotional intimacy. On the other hand, partners who never discuss their emotions but get into petty arguments all the time are probably not looking at a bright future together.

Imbalance in the degree of sharing

If one person is sharing too much and the other is not sharing enough, it might seem that the other partner is simply a good listener. On the other hand, it may mean that there is an imbalance. The partner who shares less might not feel comfortable enough to express their thoughts and feelings openly. 

Inability to listen to each other

Sharing your views, thoughts, and opinions with each other and being able to open up and reveal your feelings and emotions must mean that you have built emotional intimacy, right? Not necessarily. In order to continue to build your emotional intimacy, both partners in a relationship need to practice active listening and show empathy and compassion on an ongoing basis. 

If one partner tends to zone out when the other partner is talking about what they’re going through, this might mean the emotional intimacy between them is starting to fade. At this point, partners might start hurting each other indeliberately by forgetting the little things or showing disregard for the other person’s feelings. Little by little, they may start drifting apart.

Lack of support for each other

People in supportive relationships tend to open up with each other about what’s bothering them. Because their relationship is built on trust and understanding, the partner is their go-to person whenever they’re in need of guidance. They feel comfortable enough to ask their partner for help and advice. But in a relationship that lacks emotional intimacy, partners may lack the emotional security to turn to each other for support.

Leading separate lives could indicate a lack of intimacy

Partners who are private and refuse to share information about their lives with each other might be dealing with an emotional distance. It’s fine to lead separate lives and be independent, but keeping a deliberate distance from each other could be a sign of a deeper problem. After all, patterns like long phone calls, texting or talking face-to-face help us get to know each other, and sharing your daily life is a big part of that. 

You no longer share similar interests and hobbies

The experiences we share with our partners help us grow as a couple. Whether it’s going to the farmers’ market, cooking a meal or watching black-and-white movies together, these activities help build intimacy and deepen your relationship bond. 

When you stop doing the things you used to do with your partner, whether because you no longer care about their likes and interests or because they no longer care about yours, it should really tip you off that emotional intimacy may have started to dissipate and might disappear altogether.

Avoidance of physical closeness

Although a couple that has active sex life is not necessarily in a healthy, supportive relationship, frequent sex is known to benefit couples, both in the emotional and in the physical sense, whereas lack of sex increases the relationship’s vulnerability to detachment. But avoidance of physical touch can happen even to couples who are physically intimate in the bedroom on a regular basis. 

When couples have a strong emotional connection, this is manifested in physical closeness. Partners are comfortable touching each other outside the bedroom, whether it’s by holding hands, hugging or kissing, as this is how they express their emotional intimacy. 

On the other hand, partners who are reserved and have physical connection issues might be dealing with emotional intimacy issues as well.

Can a relationship survive without emotional intimacy?

When you love someone deeply, you might be willing to overlook any emotional intimacy issues, even put the other person’s needs first to keep the romance alive. But sometimes love alone isn’t enough. Your relationship might last even if you lack emotional intimacy and connection, but is that really what you both want? 

You both deserve to have a meaningful relationship that makes you feel loved and fulfilled. Does that mean you are doomed as a couple? Absolutely not. Building emotional intimacy is no easy feat, but it’s not impossible. Some couples may try to work everything out by themselves by working on their communication, while others decide to turn to experts for help.

How to improve intimacy in a relationship? We can help!

Building emotional intimacy is hard work, but that’s just it: you can work on it. If both you and your partner are willing to make it work, we can help you build trust and improve emotional intimacy in one of our workshops that rely on relationship intimacy coaching. 

Would you feel more at ease in our individual coaching program or do you think it’s time you give our intensive workshops at The Glass House a go? It’s up to you but one thing is certain: PIVOT Advocates are here for you. We’re ready to help you patch things up with your partner and learn to deal with the intimacy problems in your relationship before they escalate. We’re your key to building healthier relationships. 

It’s time to turn the page and the PIVOT process is the way to do it!

Philophobia: Why Do We Fear Love?

For most people, love is the ultimate ideal. We crave it, we seek it, we cherish it when we receive it. However, not everybody is so willing to open up their heart and experience everything that love has to offer. Why is that? Why are some of us scared of love?

Just as some people believe that love is all a relationship needs, there are individuals who struggle with love avoidance and find love a terrifying concept. While certain levels of fear are completely normal to most of us, people suffering from philophobia are terrified of falling in love and being in an emotional relationship with another person.

Read on if you wish to better understand philophobia and learn how to deal with it.

How Do You Know If You’re Afraid Of Love?

By definition, philophobia is an intense and irrational fear of being in love which causes great emotional distress and interferes with your normal life. It can be manifested in a wide variety of ways depending on the person and circumstances.

Common Signs Of Philophobia

If you’re wondering if philophobia is to blame for the lack of genuine emotional intimacy in your relationships, you should look out for the following symptoms:

  • You experience intense panic or fear at the thought of emotional closeness.
  • You show signs of love avoidance.
  • You sweat profusely in intimate situations.
  • You experience rapid heartbeat and difficulty breathing.
  • Your new love interests open up old wounds.
  • You struggle with vulnerability in your relationships.
  • You have difficulties in your daily life because of your fear.

If more than a few of these symptoms apply to you, it’s very likely that you, in fact, struggle with philophobia. Most of the time, fear of love feels overwhelming and even though you are aware that your fear is unreasonable, it’s very likely that you feel incapable of controlling it.

Why Am I Afraid To Accept Love?

But why are some people terrified of love? What causes philophobia exactly?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, it has been shown that philophobia is more common among individuals with unresolved past trauma, whether in their past relationships or childhood abandonment issues. Often, we fear and run from love because we wish to avoid getting hurt once again.

Why Do We Fear Love?

If you wish to better understand why you fear love so much, read the following statements and see if they resonate with you:

  • I can’t stand being vulnerable in front of another person. Showing our true feelings and deepest fears can be frightening. By being vulnerable, you give the other person a chance to hurt you and that makes you terrified.
  • New relationships bring back painful memories. If you’ve experienced trauma in your past relationships, it’s only natural that you don’t want to relive the pain again. Unfortunately, getting close to a new person may stir up your past hurts.
  • I feel unlovable. Sadly, many of us feel like we aren’t worthy of love and happiness. This is often caused by hurts from early childhood as well as by negative feelings our parents harbored towards themselves. Such feelings can hold you back from falling in love.
  • I fear happiness because it’s always followed by pain. Are you afraid of giving your all to another person and feeling immense happiness, just be disappointed and devastated in the end? If you feel like joy and pain go hand in hand, that may be one of the culprits for your philophobia.
  • I worry that I am incapable of loving someone truly. You may be hesitant to enter a relationship because the person “loves you too much” and you fear you won’t be able to reciprocate or that you will fall out of love and hurt them in the end.
  • You are scared of losing yourself in the relationship. Some people are scared of falling in love because they feel like the relationship won’t give them the space they need to be themselves.

How Do You Accept Love?

Philophobia has a way of making us feel like we don’t belong or like we are missing out on all the beautiful aspects of love. While we may be terrified of letting go and loving another person, that doesn’t mean that we don’t crave affection and emotional connection.

How To Overcome The Fear Of Love

If you are aware of all the ways in which your fear of love is holding you back, you’re probably looking for a way to change and learn how to embrace love. However hard it may be, overcoming philophobia is entirely possible. Here’s how you should go about it.

  • Examine your past hurts. Understanding the history of your pain and fears is the first step towards healing. Try to get at the root of your philophobia and start from there.
  • Learn how to love yourself first. As you probably already know, you can’t truly love someone unless you love yourself. Make an effort to accept your flaws and take time to heal your wounds.
  • Stop listening to your critical inner voice. We all have that inner critic that prevents us from letting go and being vulnerable. Learn its triggers and do your best not to listen when it speaks.
  • Choose your partner carefully. While we don’t choose who we love, you should make sure your new love interest is worthy of your love. Take your time and look out for red flags in the dating phase.
  • Learn how to be vulnerable. Feeling your feelings deeply and opening up your heart to the right person is the ultimate goal of overcoming philophobia. It will take time, but learning how to be vulnerable will surely set you free.

Change Your Ways With Professional Emotional Intimacy Coaching

At PIVOT, we strive to assist couples and individuals on their journey to healthier emotional lives. By sharing your fears and hurts with our PIVOT Advocates, you will learn how to love yourself and let other people in, one step at a time.

Whether you wish to attend an intensive relationship coaching retreat or try our effective individual coaching sessions, PIVOT is the perfect way to start changing your life for the better. Give us a call and start seeing love in a new light!

How Does It Feel To Fall Out Of Love?

As sad as the notion may be, love doesn’t always last. No matter how intense the feelings are when you first fall in love with someone, it’s always possible to fall out of love with a partner eventually, even if you still care for them.

Although there’s not always an exact reason why you fall out of love, factors such as emotional intimacy issues and being unable to love yourself first can increase the possibility of this typically unpleasant scenario. However, as no two relationships are the same, falling out of love can play out in a wide variety of different ways.

Read on to learn what falling out of love feels like.

How Do You Know When Your Partner Doesn’t Love You Anymore?

If you’ve been feeling like something is off in your relationship, it may be the case that your partner is no longer in love with you as they once were. Unfortunately, it’s completely natural for our feelings to change over time, so you should keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world if your partner doesn’t feel the same way anymore.

Signs That Your Partner Doesn’t Love You

Here’s how to tell if your partner is no longer in love with you:

  • They don’t have the time for you. If your partner is always too busy to spend time with you, it may mean that they are avoiding you because they don’t feel the same way about you anymore. Look out for signs of withdrawal if you suspect that may be the case.
  • They don’t make you feel good about yourself. Both parties in the relationship should feel comfortable and confident when together. If your partner goes out of their way to make you feel bad, that is a surefire sign that they don’t love you as much as they should.
  • They aren’t sharing their thoughts. Does your partner feel the need to tell you about their day and talk about how they feel? If not, they may no longer feel comfortable being vulnerable around you.
  • They aren’t interested in what you have to say. Similarly, if you feel like they don’t listen to you when you speak or if they never comfort you when you are down, it’s likely that they don’t care as much as they used to.
  • They are overly critical of you. Arguments are a normal part of any relationship, but if you feel like your partner criticizes you all the time or starts fights over trivial things, that’s a good sign that your relationship is nearing its end.
  • You’re experiencing intimacy problems in your relationship. Whether emotional or physical, intimacy is a core ingredient in any relationship. In case your partner seems withdrawn and less interested in making love, they may not be sure of their feelings.

How Do You Know You’re Not In Love?

Are you worried that you may be the one in the relationship who doesn’t feel the way they once did? Falling out of love is never easy, especially if you still deeply care for your partner. Still, if you no longer feel warmth and excitement at the thought of spending time with them, it’s entirely possible that your feelings have changed. Here are some additional signs that you have fallen out of love.

You Rarely Think About Them Throughout Your Day

When you’re in love, it’s normal to spend quite a bit of time thinking about your partner as you go about your day. You wish to know how they feel during the day and you may even bring them gifts and whatnot to show your affection. If that has changed, you may no longer be in love.

You Don’t Talk To Them About Your Problems

A healthy relationship should be based on trust and mutual respect. If you don’t feel the need to share your thoughts and fears with your partner on a regular basis, that is a good sign that you’re falling out of love.

You Don’t Imagine A Future With Them

When you think about your future, do you see your partner by your side? If not, you may not truly love them. While it’s normal to care about your career and social life, you’d want your partner to be a part of your life if you loved them.

You Avoid Spending Time With Them

Two people in love want to spend as much time with each other as possible. If you don’t feel like being around your partner and go out of your way to find other things to do, things probably aren’t right between the two of you.

Can You Fall Back In Love?

So, you’ve realized that you have fallen out of love with your partner or that your partner has fallen out of love with you. It is what it is. The logical next step for the two of you would be to decide whether to break up or stay in the relationship. The question is, Is it even possible to fall back in love? Can we choose to love a person or not?

One thing is certain – your relationship can’t be rekindled overnight. If you wish to bring back the magic, know that you will have to put in substantial time and effort into making the relationship work. You and your partner may be vastly different persons than you were at the beginning and these new versions of you may not be as compatible as before.

After all, choosing to end the relationship is also a viable option. There’s no point in prolonging something that just doesn’t work anymore unless you want to experience more pain as time goes by. However, if you choose to rekindle the spark, know that it can be done – but it won’t be easy.

How Can I Save My Relationship?

Saving a relationship that is no longer exciting is surely difficult but it can be done. If you decide to work things out with your partner, here are some tips:

  • Let go of past mistakes.
  • Embark on new adventures together.
  • Learn how to forgive.
  • Keep your expectations in check.
  • Share your thoughts with your partner.
  • Try to remember what brought you together.
  • Give yourself time.

Even if you follow these tips, you should know that your relationship may not work out despite all the effort. However, if you want to give your relationship your best shot, consider attending a couples retreat or a relationship workshop. With help from professional relationship coaches, you will learn more about your relationship and why it went downhill, as well as discover the best ways to rebuild it, heal your relational wounds, and change your survival patterns.

Bring Back The Magic With #1 Relationship Building Skills Workshop

Looking for an effective method to salvage a failing relationship? PIVOT can help! Whether you struggle with letting love into your life or fear that you no longer feel the same about your partner, the knowledgeable PIVOT Advocates are here to provide invaluable advice and insight with you.

At PIVOT, we provide assistance to couples and individuals with a whole range of relationship problems. Through comprehensive individual coaching and our five-day relationship coaching retreats at the Glass House, we can help you breathe new life into your relationship in no time. Reach out to us today!

What Is Anxiety?

If you’ve ever felt anxious, you’re not alone.
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about the unknown. Perhaps a job interview, giving a speech or going on a first date may cause individuals to feel fearful and nervous.
But if your feelings of anxiety are extreme, or and are interfering with your life then, you may have an anxiety disorder.

What Causes Anxiety?

It’s important to note that anxiety disorders are not the result of personal weakness. For some, it is a strength that you onboarded early in life to protect yourself and others from drama and more trauma.
From scientific research, we know that anxiety is caused by a combination of factors, including brain chemistry and environmental factors.
Life challenges and different circumstances can often cause anxiety to drive our emotions. It can get so intense that the feeling of powerlessness can be destabilizing.
What’s more, if anxiety is not treated, it can lead to deep feelings of depression and other challenging health problems. And, when anxiety is treated, some find underneath the anxiety may be a mound of depression. The anxiety can act as a gatekeeper to keep you from feeling depressed. So, often the two go hand in hand.

How Anxiety Affects Relationships

Most individuals who experience anxiety often feel relationally challenged with people and situations. People who experience intense anxiety, struggle to live their everyday life healthily.
Unfortunately, anxiety can lead to a pattern of attracting addictive relationships, which can result in love addiction and even serious codependency issues.

Do I Have Anxiety? Here Are Some Common Signs

If you’re wondering if you or a loved one has an anxiety disorder, here are the most common anxiety symptoms:

Most Common Signs Of Anxiety Disorder:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Rapid breathing and shortness of breath – leading to not enough oxygen
  • Difficulty falling asleep or interrupted sleeping patterns and insomnia
  • A fear that something terrible is going to happen to yourself or your loved ones
  • Stomach problems – indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea
  • Restlessness and feeling unable to relax – feeling tense most of the time
  • Constant “thinking” resulting in fatigue
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness
  • The inability to let go of worry
  • Feeling fearful all the time
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Nightmares
  • Panic attacks

Anxiety And Depression

If you have an anxiety disorder, you may also be feeling depressed. Although anxiety and depression can occur separately, it’s common for both to occur together.
Anxiety can be caused by clinical depression. Likewise, severe depression can be triggered by an anxiety disorder.
The good news… symptoms of both conditions can be managed with the same treatments: professional counseling, medication, and lifestyle changes.

What To Do If You Experience Anxiety Disorder?

If you think you are in experiencing an anxiety disorder, the first step is to get diagnosed.
You will need to be patient, as an anxiety diagnosis includes a lengthy process of physical examinations, mental health evaluations, and psychological questionnaires.

How To Deal With Anxiety

Once you’ve been diagnosed, you can explore treatment options. For some individuals, lifestyle changes may be enough to cope with the symptoms.
In moderate or severe cases, however, counseling or medical treatment can help to overcome the symptoms and help you lead a healthy life.
The good news is you’re not stuck with this forever. You can learn how to calm anxiety and create a healthy relationship in the future.
Recovery starts with being aware of and recognizing the symptoms. It is about healing yourself and being committed to healing.

Let PIVOT Advocates Help!

We recommend that you seek support from professionals. Remember, you are worthy of happiness, love and a healthy relationship.
The Glass House offers intensive relationship building skills workshops designed to repair and restore relational challenges as well as calm down the nervous system and begin to tolerate feelings that occur. This is a BIG help to reduce anxiety brought on by relationship challenges.
What’s more, you can work with the PIVOT Advocates whenever it suits you. Our coaches can help you with your relationship conflicts, enable you to express your desires and emotions in a healthy way, practice vulnerability in relationships, and assist you in achieving a greater understanding of yourself.
Whether you choose our couples or individual coaching programs, you can expect swift progress towards healthier and happier relationships. We’re here to help.