Pieces of Chad,  Writing

Love is sometimes a game of tug-of-war.

Life has a funny way of throwing curve balls. What should have been a first anniversary is now a week since my relationship came to an end. Of course, this past week has been a roller coaster of emotions. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. Everything is still fresh and I’m trying my hardest to navigate through the process.

I don’t think it’s appropriate to go into details about why we broke up. That information is for us and who we chose as close confidants. Plus, it is one of those situations where I don’t actually hate my ex-partner as much as I’m disappointed with how everything unfolded. Perhaps if I did, it would make dealing with it easier. But then again, I’m not too sure that would be the case either. The truth of the matter was that there were more good times than bad.

There’s no denying we both love and care greatly for each other. But like any kind of relationship, it does take work, and it has to be a conscious decision to actively look at ways to overcome hurdles together. Sometimes, this means looking inward at what shapes our emotions and feelings and what we do with them when confronted with specific situations. Especially when one possesses aspects of an anxious-attachment and the other those of a avoidant-attachment.

Both can trigger each other’s worst fears, making it a game of tug-of-war. Hindsight has shown me that this can continue into the early breakup stage as well. The anxious attachment wants to try to calm and normalise things, while the avoidant wants space to feel calm and normal.

There were times during the relationship when our reactions to certain situations came from a place of fear due to our attachment styles., further triggering each other to go around in circles. We could have been more proactive and mindful of the other’s autonomy and needs rather than just our own, which could have led to navigating things in a more healthy and comfortable way for both of us.

Upon reflecting on the recent relationship breakdown, I’ve realised my part in how things unfolded. I recognise that aspects I could have handled better stemmed from fears tied to my attachment style. It’s crucial to acknowledge that while we may distance ourselves from a past relationship, the underlying fears that influenced our actions don’t simply vanish. Without addressing these fears, they linger beneath the surface, posing a risk of recurring patterns in future connections.

This is why relationships of any type take work. It’s two people with completely separate lives, emotions, needs, and feelings coming together to coexist in a space they have made a conscious decision to share with each other. Even at the moment, it’s clear we still care deeply for each other, but we’re both struggling with the dynamic of our connection changing after such an emotional event. We’re trying to navigate through the process while juggling certain behavioural patterns out of self-preservation. 

The solution doesn’t lie in avoiding similar connections in the future, as they aren’t inherently negative. Instead, it requires introspection and a commitment to confronting and reshaping these fears that arise in certain situations. By doing so, we can reduce the triggers of our current attachment styles, allowing them to evolve into more secure behaviour patterns.

Considering this, teamwork dynamics are vital for all successful connections. Effective communication and a willingness to understand each other’s emotions and feelings are essential components of fostering healthy relationships in whatever form they may take.

I am still determining what the future holds for both of us. Let’s be honest; it’s a shock to the system when you’ve grown accustomed to living a life together with someone and then go to living one without them in it. All those little habits and routines that you had grown used to have completely vanished. Space is needed to properly process what’s happened as well as the changes that come with it.

Whether we get back together or find a healthy way to remain friends, it is essential for both of us to remember that neither of us gets brownie points from the previous relationship. This new connection would a fresh start, with the lessons learned from our shared past.

Also if you would like to read more on Attachment Styles, check out What Are The 4 Attachment Styles? A Basic Overview written by Brianna MacWilliam