If You Date Someone With Abandonment Issues, Read This

It can be so frustrating dealing with someone who’s dealt with serious issues after a damaging relationship or even a mental illness. The same conversation happening over and over again, the constant fear, or dealing with being pushed away or being pulled too closely. It’s hard to determine what the other person needs to do.

After someone has been damaged time and time again, especially in the same way they automatically assume that the next will be just like the others. It’s up to the new interest to prove to them that they aren’t. They may not express it but they need to see a great amount of effort in order to believe you’re not the same. It doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be difficult, even something as simple as surprising them with a good morning message when you know they had a bad day the night before can help.

If they deal with abandonment issues or anxiety they assume and greatly fear that their new love will leave. It’s a battle they can’t always control and an odd sense of insecurity within a relationship can drench them like a wave crashing on the shore. They don’t intentionally want it to happen, it just naturally does. This doesn’t mean that they are insecure about themselves, just their relationships with other people. And they are genuinely sorry for being like this.

They know it’s hard and they don’t want to burden you with their “crazy” thoughts and “problems.” They fear it’ll push them away so they don’t mention it unless it’s become really debilitating to deal with. They rather push you away (in a sense) than have you leave on your own (or at least that’s what they think).

Things can get intense at the most random times and it might get overwhelming to deal with. Listening to what they have to say can hurt and become very disheartening. Please don’t take any of it personally, that’s the way they’ve been taught to think based on previous experiences or the way their mind works.

Reassurance is one of the greatest things you can give them. They will be over sensitive to certain things, they will make up scenarios in their head that could cause an argument because you don’t see what they’re talking about, and you might be blindsided with what they’re thinking because they’ve never spoken about it before. Just give constant reassurance and do your best to make yourself heard and believed.

They might doubt what you’re saying and bring up pointless things about the past that may be relevant to whatever it is they’re afraid of. They may interpret things differently from you because they’re coming from a place of fear.

Conversations may seem repetitive, and they’re not trying to make it that way. They are seeking the reassurance they desperately need but are too afraid to ask for. They feel like the more you discuss it the further it’ll push you away and cause you to give up or force you to leave. If they mention it, know it’s serious.

Most importantly, know that you are not the problem! They are well aware that they are the one with the issues and they know that it can cause a rift in their relationships. Keep being your amazing you and don’t give up when it gets tough. Those who fear loss are the most selfless lovers and will do anything and everything for you. When they love they love with their whole hearts.

All in all, just give your biggest support even when it gets extremely frustrating or feels like you’re in an endless cycle. Be empathetic, try to be understanding, be reassuring, be patient and do your best to make them feel wanted and appreciated. People that can calm others down and bring a sense of security are much stronger than any dose of medication that can be prescribed.

Featured image via Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


  1. Hi! My name is Marisa. I was just in a relationship with a guy that has abandonment issues. I wasn’t even aware of what that meant and how severe it was. We had been dating for 5 1/2 months and it got really serious. I deeply cared about him and everything was going just fine until the last 3 wks. It all went to shit. I didn’t know what hit me and I was so unprepared. He totally sabotaged our relationship and pushed my away. I felt like used toilet paper. He made mountains out of mole hill. It was like walking on egg shells. He claimed I tried breaking up with him 3 times. That is what he perceived. I was just trying to get space. He wanted me to move in, just after 2 months of dating. I thought that was way too fast and a red flag. I told him I would think about it after 6 months of dating. I think he took that as rejection and it just added to his abandonment issues. Eventually, this added to the demise of our relationship. He didn’t care about my feelings one bit. It was all about him. What I want to tell you is you have to let people in to love you. People come and go out of your life. We all go through it. In order to heal, you need to realize your importance in this world, your attributes, self-worth, purpose, and focus on bringing up your self esteem. Try not to over analyze situations like my ex did. Try to communicate your concerns before it boils over. But, make sure you do the same. You are not disposable!!

    • Hey Marisa, I’m currently going through something similar to this, and I want your opinion about it.
      We had been close friends for 5 months. We hung out, did most of our activities together, etc. He dumped his girlfriend a couple of weeks after we met because the relationship was really toxic, and I saw how abusive she can be towards him. They had been together for 2 years. She sent him threats and pressured him to get back to her, but he refused. He later told me that they didn’t have that much in common and he just doesn’t hold any certain standards when choosing who to be with. He could just settle for anything or that’s what he thought. She wasn’t the first to end things in a horrible way, all of his past relationships were just disappointments.
      He asked me several times about why he feels so lonely even when he’s with his close friends ,and said that he’s certain his existance wouldn’t matter to any of them. I didn’t give it much thought, as it didn’t seem serious at the time. He confessed his love to me later on the fifth month. I thought he was rushing things at first, but I just gave in because I had feelings for him too. It was all good til one month later I mentioned giving our relationship a status, he suddenly freaked out and decided he’s not ready and wants to be just friends. It was fine for me until he started he’s cycle of contradictions. He, two days later, asked why did I change my lock screen photo (He took that photo on our first official date); I don’t know why he expected me to keep it. He even checked several times to see if I had put it back.
      He wasn’t helping me get over him at all. He just kept flirting, saying ‘I love you’, and acting the same towards me like nothing happened. I warned him about that and asked him to abide by his own decision like I’m trying to do, but he just kept doing that anyway. He started to get really moody, need a lot of reassurance from me that I won’t leave him, and ask me if I hate him out of the blue, and sometimes he says: “I know that you hate me.” He stopped hanging out with his friends because he thinks his absence won’t make any difference. He told me that his friends never contact him unless they need something, and I’m the only who actually wants to talk. I adviced him to find himself some new good friends, but he said that he had accepted them despite their selfish behavior. He stopped working out or doing any activity that he used to enjoy. He thinks a lot about this certain topic in an unhealthy manner. He becomes really needy and tells me that he loves me, but suddenly pushes me away and provokes me by telling me that he never had feelings for me and that he doesn’t need me at all, but then gets back to say the total opposite. He never states clearly what are his feelings towards me, he just changes the topic whenever I confront him. After whining he tries to act tough and show he has friends a couple of hours later. What should I do?

      • I would say he has some more intense, deep rooted issues that he’s using you to fill the void of or is trying to use you to get something he hasn’t gotten with anything else. I would suggest moving on because he seems to only care or need you when it’s convenient to him, and you deserved to be loved and wanted 24/7. It’ll be hard but he’s too reliant on you and knows he has you where he wants you whenever he needs you. It’s time to move on and I hate to say it because I know it’ll hurt you to do. A man who doesn’t want to make an official commitment and can’t stay consistent isn’t a man you should be with. Hope this helps!

  2. im recently seperated from my beautiful lover Jessie. i knew she had abandonment issues because she had told me her family abandonded her at the age of 14 and i didnr realize while on a recent business trip that being planned for 2 days it would turn into 5 and when i returned she was gone. she actually told me after looking for her for almost 2 days that she was affraid of me. and i have no idea why she would feel this way. ive never been abusive or emotiinally abusive
    towards her and i am completely confused about how this haa happened to my almost perfect relationship. she has written me and told me so many times how much i meant to her and to be honest we had already been talking about marriage and sharing our lives together. im so confused.

  3. My beautiful fiancee has abandonment problems. Severe is an understaement. It kills me to see the agonising she goes through and the self-doubt amd anxiety. I’d do anything to help her and while there’s no miracle cure, this article has been a massive help. From the bottom of my heart – thank you so much!!!! <3

    • I’m so sorry to hear that such a beautiful person inside and out is suffering from abandonment issues! No one should ever experience it. I’m so glad to hear that this article has helped you <3 Wishing you both all the happiness in the world!

  4. This article made a lot of sense. I am not dating someone with abandonment issues, I am the one with abandonment issues. Always needed that reassurance because the fear of being hurt or left because that’s what I’ve alwyas been used to in past relationships and friendships. It’s very difficult to deal with. Sometimes I don’t even notice it until it’s too late and I’ve already upset my partner with my insane thoughts. I always fear that what I do isn’t good enough and make the smallest things into the biggest issues. I overthink a lot and freak out when I don’t get reassured. There’s absolutely no reason to feel like my partner will hurt me the way I’ve been hurt in my past but because I was just in really bad relationships I pretty much expect him to do the same. We have the same arguments over and over. About not wanting to get hurt and feeling not good enough. I push and push him because all in all…when I feel that insecurity I just need that reassurance that he still loves me. It’s a battle I am constantly fighting inside my head. And when I act out on it, it’s too late and I’ve already said or reacted in a unfair way. I don’t even realize until I get off the phone or we part ways. I get so upset when we argue about this because I try explaining it to him but he jeut doesn’t understand that it’s just the way I’m wired.
    I am aware of my issues…and opening up about them to my partner will hopefully help. Because we are an extremely happy and great couple. And I don’t ever want my fear of being hurt and left to put any more weight or take a toll on our relationship anymore.

    • Thank you for sharing your story and for proving that we all are unaware in the moment. Recognizing these are key factors in making relationships work and being able to communicate this is important. I hope you and your boyfriend continue to grow as a strong couple and that you, yourself, find inner peace and bliss!

  5. I have just lost my partner as a result of my abandonment issues and feel completely lost without him. I have only just recognised the cause of how I am and I have started to seek help via therapy – which he originally said he wanted to stand by me through and has since said I need to go it alone and he is not happy and so needs to be on his own. We have a holiday planned and had talked about having a baby via IVF – but now I feel like I am just too much for him to deal with an he has bailed on me!
    We got together by having an affair and he since left his wife, it has been a very turbulent 4 years but I have always stood by him and waited for the happy ever after – but I think the circumstance of how we got together hasnt helped my issues and now I want to be better and for him to be by my side whilst I do but he has said categorically that he is done.
    I just dont know how to be ok….and feel that I cant work on myself whist so consumed by how much I love him and want him!

    • Hi Vicky, I know you may feel like you are in an endless cycle of wanting to do better and wanting him to love you, I want you to know that it does get better. I commend you for your strength and bravery to start therapy, as it is very daunting to someone who is trying to overcome such personal struggles. It may not seem like it now, but one way or another you will find yourself again with or without him. Sometimes just because the other person says they’re done doesn’t mean they’ll be done forever. He could always come back once he’s seen the progress that has been done. And if not, at least you will have gained the tools to move on as a strong and independent woman who can make it on her own and will eventually find someone who will love them better. You deserve to be loved by someone who will stand by you and support you through anything and will love you endlessly regardless of the highs and lows.

  6. Hi.
    What does a person do that has been in a fantastic relationship for a year and suddenly he wants to just be friends while he works on his abandonment issues. I’m too in love to just be friends.

    • Hi there, I would recommend seeking a councilor of some sort and attending sessions together and separately to help work through that balance. This shows you are willing to help support them and are looking for education for yourself. That way it’s the best of both worlds and you can truly both do the work that’s needed.

  7. Been with my partner for about 4 years. Things were great in the beginning but it was all a front. She has some deep routed abandonment issues that have only become worse and worse. I feel very alone in this relationship at times. It’s strange to be with someone but feel lonely. At the moment I feel like a carer, just being company and bringing meals. She told me to leave her many times and to be happy with someone else. I’ve thought about leaving many times but I really love her still. I can only hope things get better between us. I miss the girl I fell in love with.

    • Hi there,
      Thank you so much for sharing your vulnerability, stories like these happen all the time and it’s extremely common. What you are feeling is totally valid and I can empathize with what you are going through. Have you ever thought of seeking a counselor to help guide you in the right direction of a happy, healthy balance? I would strongly recommend trying one out for a bit, they work wonders if all parties are willing, and there are plenty of affordable ones doing virtual meetings at the moment! I hope this helps!

  8. Hi, I just wanted to address that normally the “wildest” testimonies are the ones told by the partner without the issues. This is not a bad thing by itself, but it is important to know that there’s probably more to those stories than only abandonment issues, such as depression, BPD, PMD, etc.

    What I’m trying to say is that you could have abandonment issues and never do something as crazy, impulsive or scary as some of those stories may suggest. If you work on you issues, talk about them and learn to live with them everything will be okay, or “normal” as some may say.

    Same for the partner, talk about your feelings, don’t be afraid to open up and don’t be embarrassed or scared to be honest; because we don’t judge, and we deeply care.

  9. Hi

    Oh my this sounds just like what ive just been through with my ex partner, he has massive abandonmen issues which has caused us to break up.

    I was frightened to say anything for fear of upsetting him as it didn’t take much. I was with him for just over 3 months and he seemed to want to rush the whole thing along and mentioned moving in. Any disputes he blamed me and they only happened when i went out with friends.

    I was late getting home one night and oh did he let me know as he classed that as me rejecting him though he doesn’t live local to me.

    He ended it as he couldn’t cope with me wanting space and not wanting to give him all my time. I was heartbroken at first but found out he’s gone back to an ex within 2 weeks of us finishing, so now i’m relieved and will get on with my life.


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