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the Distancer is so distant and non-responsive that the Pursuer chases even more, with both running in circles, spiraling downwards fast. Weil states that in her private practice (she's a therapist) she has a 98% success rate with her break up to make up technique, using the bevvy of skills and suggestions in the book (there are tons - way more than I can do justice here). The break up then allows for both parties to get some space, refocus, ground themselves into a healthier dynamic, and focus on whatever issues they have individually in order to come together again and determine if the relationship can weather the storm. Success meaning, that people don't break up permanently, but rather, temporarily. Relationships are among of the most complex aspects of our lives, particularly long-term relationships such as marriage.
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Bonnie Weil called, "Make Up, Don't Break Up," and its got me thinking about relationships and break ups in a whole new way. But her idea is that all romantic relationships have a Pursuer and a Distancer (although some relationships have two of each, most have one of each).
Until the past week I've thought of a break up as an end, a defined break. Weil's premise - which I haven't finished reading yet so please correct me if one of you have read the book and consider my interpretation misguided - is that a break up can serve a couple better if considered a pause, or at the very least temporary, in order to better a relationship that isn't flowing like it could. The Pursuer is the person who wants a commitment, is scared of being abandoned, has no issue being impulsive or taking risks in a relationship, loves talking about the relationship and/or dislikes being alone.
The Distancer would rather leave everything up in the air, wants space but has issues communicating that need, is a workaholic, and/or stands still in relationships out of fear of being rejected.
A break up is necessary then when those two roles become so unbalanced that they affect the interaction negatively, i.e. Or, do you think that breaking up to make up could salvage a good relationship that's in serious trouble?
Should you stay, openly committing to that relationship for life? Maybe what you have is good enough and you’d be a fool to abandon it in search of a new relationship you may never find.
Or should you leave and look for something better, something that could become even better? Or maybe you’re seriously holding yourself back from finding a truly fulfilling relationship that would serve you well the rest of your life. Fortunately, there’s an excellent book that provides an intelligent process for overcoming relationship ambivalence.
It’s called Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay by Mira Kirshenbaum.
I read this book many years ago, and it completely changed how I think about long-term relationships.
First, the book points out the wrong way to make this decision. Weighing the pros and cons seems logical, but it doesn’t provide you with the right kind of information you need to make this decision.