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5 Ways Abandonment Issues Can Destroy Your Relationships!

abandonment fears

Do your fears of being abandoned keep you from entering into new relationships with others? Do you sabotage any chance of romance because you don’t want to get hurt?

Has love eluded you because the risk of experiencing emotional pain is too great a risk? If so, you may have major abandonment issues.

At their core, fears of abandonment are a collection of feelings and thoughts that a person carries with them from earlier life experiences.

In many cases, these fears can manifest into certain behaviors which can paradoxically prevent and destroy that which you want so much – love.

What follows are 5 ways you may be destroying your relationships because of abandonment issues. The information that follows is not intended to be exhaustive in nature but does contain several of the “biggies”.

Read them all so that you can gain a better perspective on how your abandonment fears may be ruining your chances of receiving love.

Are you ready? Let’s jump right in.

1. You seek out imperfections

When you meet someone new who may have dating potential, do you immediately begin to create a list of their imperfections? Are you more focused about what is wrong with this person than what is right? According to Chicago Counselor Frank Moore who works with clients around these issues, “Looking for flaws is a primary way people with abandonment fears keep themselves from becoming attached to another.”

2. You avoid certain social situations

Do you have a history of avoiding social situations that may offer the opportunity to meet someone new in the romantic sense? Do your fears of being hurt cause you to isolate? Would friends describe you as the “shy type” because you have a hard time getting close to others? If so, look at your past for insight and see if there have been issues around emotional abandonment.

3. You can become “clingy”

When you do find yourself attracted to another, do you have a history of falling for the person hard and fast? Does it seem like you immediately attach to individuals in a way that others might describe as “clingy”? The painful truth is that this particular attachment style has the unintentional effect of driving the person you want to be away.

4. You need to be perfect

Because you fear judgement and ultimately rejection, do you strive for perfection in all that you do? Does this need to be perfect extend to your personal appearance with particular focus on your body image? If this sounds familiar, it is possible that your fears of abandonment have manifested into a behavioral pattern where love and happiness are impossible obtain because you never feel you are “good enough”.

5. You fear commitments

Do you find it difficult to make a commitment to another in the romantic sense? Would some people describe you as a serial dater? Are you hooked on the newness of a relationship but the moment it gets stale, you bolt? People who have abandonment issues sabotage any real chance of love because they are afraid to commit. Some describe this as a kind of commitment phobia.

Summing Things Up

To a lesser or greater degree, all of us hold some fears of abandonment. In fact, having legitimate concerns about how we attach to others can be a healthy thing.

The problem arises, however, when our fears and anxiety become so amplified that they act as mini-saboteurs on love’s pathway. This is turn can contribute to feelings of hopelessness and depression.

If you are a person who has struggled with abandonment issues, I want to recommend a book by Dr. Claudia Black entitled, Changing Course: Healing from Loss, Abandonment and Fear.

What I like about this book is the compassionate yet practical approach the author takes in helping to work through attachment issues while challenging us all to rethink long held notions about love and personal validation.

The most important thing to keep in mind is this – you are worthy of happiness. This psycho-spiritual principle is a universal construct that empowers all that we attract to us; including romance, wealth and emotional wellness.

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5 Ways Abandonment Issues Can Destroy Your Relationships!

John D. Moore, PhD

Described as folksy and down to earth, Dr. John Moore infuses current events and pop culture into his posts as a way of communicating wider points on issues related to wellness and goal attainment. His work has been featured in nationally syndicated media, including Cosmo, Men's Fitness and CBS Market Watch. He is a consultant to a number of Fortune 500 companies and institutions of Higher Learning. Dr. Moore is author of Confusing Love with Obsessionand Editor in Chief at: Guy Counseling.

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APA Reference
Moore, J. (2015). 5 Ways Abandonment Issues Can Destroy Your Relationships!. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Mar 2015
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