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What Is Romantic Abandonment?

What Is Romantic Abandonment?
What Is Romantic Abandonment?

What Is Romantic Abandonment?

Many people have experienced some version of being jilted or “dumped.” It’s unpleasant and can take a while to recover from. Quite often, it comes as a surprise. In the case of romantic abandonment, it’s more of a slow, building process. It’s rarely about lacking feelings of love or being involved with someone else. Rather, romantic abandonment can be about external stressors or unresolved issues from the past — or a mix of both.


If your partner is currently under a lot of pressure, they may start drifting emotionally. Even more so, if their needs weren’t met during childhood, they may not know how to stay engaged with you. This is how romantic abandonment happens.

Common Signs of Romantic Abandonment

If your partner is unable to maintain a romantic connection with you, it will typically manifest in behaviors like this:

  • Little or no physical intimacy 

  • They don’t share their feelings and thoughts with you

  • You don’t feel connected as companions 

  • Lack of empathy and emotional support

  • Most of all, communication is reduced to small talk

Obviously, this is a very negative experience for anyone in a relationship like this. At the same time, the person struggling with abandonment issues is suffering, too. This reality can cause them to struggle with:

  • Anxiety

  • Poor communication 

  • Inability to sustain relationships

  • Self-harm 

The root cause is usually related to some type of fear of abandonment.

Behaviors That May Indicate a Fear of Abandonment

  • Lack of Identity: This means a person is insecure in their self-image. They may mirror others and be prone to use imitation as a method of getting someone to like them. 

  • Distant: A fear of abandonment often causes a person to push people away. After all, they surmise, I can get rejected if I don’t deeply connect with others. 

  • Connecting Quickly and Leaving Quickly: Things move fast once an interest has been sparked — giving the impression of long-term plans. This is related to having an unstable self-identity. Just as quickly, the person fearing abandonment nips the relationship in the bud. Typically, this is to take back control and avoid getting dumped. 

How Do You Cope With Romantic Abandonment?

It begins with a willingness to accept that a problem is present — or at least brewing. It’s never easy to admit a major relationship exists. But you must recognize that needs are not being met, respect is lacking, and distance is growing. Once that giant realization is made, you can move to the following steps can happen:

Commit to Healthy Communication 

You want frequent, face-to-face, honest discussions. Create space to express your needs with kindness and compassion. Don’t use the busy excuse — pledge to start a routine of open talks and active listening. Commit together to seek out the help you need to resolve the present concerns and all the underlying causes.

Speaking of Underlying Causes

Do your homework on romantic abandonment and all related issues. Talk about the stressors in your life at the moment. Explore your past experiences — all the way back to childhood. Learn about triggers and do your best to identify what factors bring the fear of abandonment to the surface.

Stay Strong in Your Identity

Your partner must confront their fear of abandonment. You are very much involved in this process. But, at the same time, you are not a victim nor someone looking to win a battle. You have your own identity. Nurture and honor it.

Look Into Couples Therapy

In the presence of an experienced guide, all of the above can feel more doable. If romantic abandonment has emerged in your relationship, we invite you to seek the help you deserve. Reach out to Through Therapy Collective today.



Through Therapy Collective

Our team of culturally competent therapists is here to offer a warm and safe space to help you navigate life’s hardships with a sense of encouragement and empathy. Find out more >

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