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The Runner: The Lover That Doesn't Want To Be Loved.



The runner is on the loose; either aware or unaware of the trail of heartbreak that leaves behind. Unaware of the their own heartbreak, or what reasons they have to keep running as soon as the feeling of safety in a relationship takes hold of them. For the one left behind, understanding this feeling might be difficult, if not impossible. Since I started writing about the runner, I've received hundreds of emails requesting more information on what could be done to stop first, and then, to transform this pattern of behaviour, as it's cause of pain and suffering, not only to those who are abandoned, but also to the runner. This article is written with this intention, as well as the kind of work that's involved. 

The runner is a person ruled by contradictions. In a way we all are. Perhaps the contradiction that tortures them most is the longing for love and to be loved, while being unable to fully surrender to love at the same time, or the inability to keep a relationship. It's human condition to complicate life in order to explore the labyrinth of the collective unconscious and its effects on an individual quest, -me against the world- trying to find answers, to learn what's truth, what's not, to one day realise that everything is so simple, that the answer was already there, and we knew it all along. In between we follow the dictate of the noise of the world, which eventually ends echoing within, ruling the mind.

Unless there's a clear vision of the world, it's normal to do what we're told that works, even if we have to go through a turmoil of emotions and experiences that go against what we believe and truly want, which do more harm than good. Before someone knows the way, it's usual to try what doesn't work. "Before we know who we are, we have to see who we're not."

The moment that triggers the urge to run is overwhelming, an energetic space, both too familiar and too mysterious due to the difficulty to interpret it. This space expands inwards and outwards taking over someone's whole being with an emotion that extends to the infinite. Vertigo inevitably follows. It's not surprising that the runner goes and do what they do best; disappearing wit an explanation that only they believe.

Understanding this feeling is more important than whatever reasons or excuses the runner may have to leave. The reasons, as well as the explanations are contradictory and futile. If emotions are hard to put into words, the encounter with the infinite within proves to be more so. In a world that feeds on the weakness of people by the make-belief that we're limited beings, it's not surprising that the response of the runner is either fear or panic. 

In the past, the runner has either suffered, witnessed, and most likely experienced both, the hard way the effects of failed relationships, in which abuse was prevalent. It's also likely that the runner has experienced abuse and rejection from birth. The kind of abuse could have been verbal, physically violent or even sexual. In other cases it could have been subtle, such as controlling parents or a controlling environment, surrounded by types of forceful behaviour that limit the individual, affecting their relationship with intimacy. The people who were supposed to love and protect them not only didn't, but used their position of power and authority to take advantage. For the runner, love is not a safe space, or at least it doesn't feel like it.

Paradoxically, the runner eagerly seeks love and won't be shy at taking the opportunity to explore love with someone else. It's not so much that they don't want to be loved, they don't know how to allow it, although in time they get so used to not being loved and/or to reject love that it becomes the norm. Meeting someone and creating a relationship is the easy part. They're likely to be creative, charming their way to someone's heart, having the ability to make the beginning of the relationship truly magical. 

The first obstacle appears when in creating the relationship they try to fix the relationship pattern that they witnessed failing or the moment in which they reach the phase in which they've already accomplished creating a relationship that matches their ideal. At this point, the runner drops the creative energy and effort becoming stagnant. Creating beyond this point is a real challenge.The purpose is to create the ideal scenario that in their minds is perfect with the belief that once all the parameters have been set, the relationship settles in the flow of love and abundance. There's no vision beyond this point. because this is an experience never lived and which has to be created. Unfortunately, we do tend to create what we already know. It's essential to understand this.

The feeling that urges the runner to leave is the inability to live in safe and loving spaces, the lack of trust in love, not so much in their partners. It's the sensation that they've hit an energetic wall, so deep, wide and tall, that even thinking about how to get to the other side is exhausting and demoralising. This emotion is not to be taken lightly, however difficult it might be to imagine it. It takes the runner to a different dimension. They're now fully into the unknown. 

No one enters the unknown feeling equipped to cruise through it. The unknown is a place where we stumble before we flow, hence, it's tempting to return to the comfort zone. In the case of the runner, the alarms sets off because they move from love to vertigo within a matter of minutes, even seconds. The abruptness of the change in emotions can be and usually is overwhelming. It's also an intense encounter with the feeling of being all alone once again. Panic follows. From here on, there are two options, to stay and go through the storm of emotions that follow or to leave and return to the same old habits. The first step takes courage and patience, the latter is a walk back to the comfort zone, however uncomfortable this might feel and no matter how spectacular or poetic they may make it sound. We can convince ourselves of anything in order to avoid the leap of faith the holds the key to universal love.

The answers to the dilemmas we're tormented by are in the stories we tell ourselves. The problem in finding them is that most people speak what they want to hear. 

It's important to remove the romantic tag from the runner, however charming or enchanting they may be. Runners in their comfort zone can be predatory, slowly weaving a web in which to trap lovers they do not usually want to be in a long term relationship with, seduce them with their stories and that evasive air of mystery and mysticism so easy to recognise in them, and which, to others might look like freedom. 

The runner is also propense to theatrics and drama and have worked out subtle ways to make it sound as if it's somehow their partners fault that they're leaving even when they utter the famous "it's not you, it's me! sentence. It sounds more like, "damn you for not rescuing me from this space after opening my heart to you."

At some point the runner will numb their feelings. While this reaction is a natural defense mechanism they've created, the coldness that follows tends to be heartbreaking and devastating to others, as well as to themselves. To their partners because they feel used and abandoned, to the runner, because living in an ice house is not where they want to be. It doesn't feel like home, and it's not home. 

The coldness of the heart is not a place where anyone can stay too long without serious consequences. Soon they come out seeking the warmth of love and the touch of others. From lover to lover, the runner loses touch with their conscience and their heart, often validating their way of living by creating a self-mythological figure that believes that they're teachers demostrating others how to love. "Learn the lesson I came to teach you now and live with it", they'd say. Unaware of their own coldness, they move on to the next lover without kindness, nor compassion for the person left behind. If they remove you from their lives, it's because they neither want to deal with the emotions you raise in them, nor they believe they're capable of. It's easier to keep looking outside for answers, and in their minds, a new lover will come with all the answers. Little do they know that a new lover will only come with the same bag of emotions and undealt with issues, making the runner feel great for a while, but even worse afterwards. 

It's also possible that the runner meets controlling lovers that try to tell them what to do, sensing their desire to leave from the beginning. The runner will tell that they are leaving or that they never stay long, a deliberate act that gives them the upper hand and puts you in the position of the chaser. Being involved in this unhealthy dynamic, the runner would get the worse of their lovers, in which case, they'd leave at once. However, it's necessary to know that the runner surrounds themselves with a set of emotional traps imposible to avoid. If one doesn't provoke you, they're throw another one at your feet in front of your very eyes without any remorse or shame, then blame you for your reaction. It's provocation. Nothing else. But as it's directed at the heart, not reacting to them it's a natural reaction almost impossible to avoid. It hurts. 

Despite the above description, the runner doesn't have to be a bad person and most likely is not. They're like everyone else; people learning to love their way back home.

On the other side of the story, the chaser develops controlling mechanisms, which do not serve the purpose either, as these instruments of control are developed with fear. This approach doesn't work either, as the chaser enters a phase in which panic takes control of them, and in which both, love and creativity suffer setbacks. If there's neither love, nor creativity, relationships die. Fear is paralysing and it affects both lovers. 

It's not easy to find a standard answer that serves all, as every runner reacts to different triggers and according to their personal experience, as well as to their partners. In theory, the solution is simple: stop, stay and enjoy the unknown, being in love with life, love itself and  with someone else, but not reacting to the emotion is almost impossible. All the energy that's wasted in running and destroying love could well be used to create a relationship in which love, harmony and abundance is limitless, but for this to happen, the runner has to make a conscious effort to remain and explore possibilities that can only be found in the unknown.

The common mistake in all runners is to react to their inability to process their own emotions and run. Emotions are linked and even blamed on the other person, creating the illusion that without their lovers they'd be safe. Running is a futile exercise, as it's only running towards the same time and again, only that represented by a different face, a different voice, a different environment. It feels safe for a while, but it's more of the same illusion. 

It's necessary to look at someone's personal history in order to find where the triggers initiate, as well as finding resources that allow different responses that permit to create new paths. The runner is not reacting to their lover, but to the reminiscence of a feeling experienced during their earlier years. 

The urge to run in the runner goes so deep that even when I work with clients dealing with this issue they tend to disappear for long periods, despite the fact that ours is a professional/client relationship with well defined boundaries, as well as a safe space to explore within themselves what's too emotionally intense in a romantic relationship. 

Gestalt techniques and psychodrama offer a wonderful array of possibilities for the exploration of this character, the fears that create the urge to run, as well as showing the strengths, confidence and above all, to show the runner, that love is safe, and that being with someone they truly want to be with can be more rewarding than fearful. 

It's time that the world learns that love is the safest place to be. 

They say that curiosity killed the  cat. I say that lack of curiosity is killing the human being. Lack of curiosity for love, for the adventure, for learning what we are, and expressing the limitlessness of who we really are. 




The book 'Reuniting with the Twin Flame' is now available on Amazon. Dealing with dynamics and a detailed exploration of the twin flame relationship, the content is exclusive to the book and cannot be found on this blog. 

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