Beckoning Instead of Chasing
Many relationships have a pattern in which one person is distant or detached and the other person wants closeness and pursues. The more the pursuer seeks closeness, the more the distancer pulls away. The distancer may avoid (nonsexual) intimate contact for fear of being suffocated, controlled, or robbed of independence. The pursuer may find that spending time alone feels like abandonment or that independent action is uncomfortable. Often, the pursuer will be the person to become dissatisfied with the situation and need to start making a difference. Change can begin with the following steps:
a. Depression is a mood disorder that is usually very responsive to medication and/or therapy. Signs of mild depression that may go
untreated are withdrawal, disinterest in sexual contact, inability to experience pleasure, few interests, little energy, difficulty
organizing thoughts, and indecisiveness.
b. Personality disorders are long-standing patterns of behavior that significantly impair relationships. Loyalty, dependability, and a strong work ethic may be enough to sustain some relationships, but the following characteristics suggest a person who has little potential for intimacy and change:
Strategies for beckoning are adapted from Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray (HarperCollins, 1992).