Pursuer distancer dating
While not a dysfunctional dynamic in and of itself, when chronic or fixed, intimacy is avoided and relationship trouble ensues.
For example, if one partner pursues for sex and the other is rejecting or distances from it on a particular night, little may be made of it; but if this same partner is rejected consistently, the dynamic can then split a couple physically and emotionally.
Those shocked the most have had wonderful dates just prior to a disappearing act.
It's just too easy for people to start something they can't, or won't finish, and to use the anonymity that these sites provide to "hit and run." I know this dynamic occurs in all forms of dating, but modern technology has made it all the more common.
They cannot tolerate the closeness, openness, and vulnerability that a truly intimate relationship requires.
Intimacy isn't all about sex, but emotional closeness breeds physical closeness in long-term, healthy relationships. If you didn't learn it in your family of origin you'll be more prone to becoming engaged in a chronic p-d dynamic as an adult.
As made evident in my book,, the pursuer-distancer cycle(p-d) is one of the most common yet challenging relationship patterns cited in the marriage and family therapy literature.
I've found it to be prominent in dating sites around the world. While all romance starts with a p-d dynamic, online dating usually begins with a great deal more distance.
Given our fast-paced technological times, online dating is perhaps the most popular avenue for finding a mate.
It's also a perfectly suited format for replicating dysfunctional relationship patterns.
No doubt things are more fragile at the outset than one or the other might like, but not everyone knows all the same steps.
Heck, according to Seinfeld (after returning from the DMV) 95% of the population is "undateable".
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At this rate, by the year 2050 it'll be up to fifty.