Pamela and Adam: A Pursuer/Avoider Story

Pamela and Adam: A Pursuer/Avoider Story

At its heart, the pursuer-avoider dynamic is a dance of desire and dread. Both partners yearn for that elusive thing called 'a good relationship', filled with love, respect, and mutual support. Yet, their approaches to getting there are wildly different. Couples that know the steps of the pursuer avoider dance


Pamela and Adam


The sun was setting, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink, as Adam and Pamela walked side by side down the street. They had been together for six years, and things were going better lately. About 2 and half years after they met, they went through a rough period. Together, they worked really, really hard and learned some new skills. Now, they share a deep connection and enjoy spending time together. However, like any couple, they have their share of disagreements. One such argument happened last night. 


Adam had been reluctant to go with Pamela to visit her parents. He finds them difficult and has a  feeling of uneasy apprehension. He loves Pamela and wants her to be happy, but something about the situation made him feel uneasy. Despite Pamela's attempts to reassure him, Adam couldn't shake off his anxiety.


The argument had escalated, Pamela felt hurt by Adam's apparent lack of interest in spending time with her family. Adam felt suffocated, unable to express his true feelings because of his fear of further upsetting Pamela. The night ended with Pamela going off alone to visit her mom and dad. This left a tense silence hanging in their house.


As they walked now, Adam could still feel the remnants of that tension. He knew he had handled things poorly by shutting down instead of sharing his apprehension. Pamela, however, seemed determined to work things out. She initiated the conversation, asking if now was a good time to talk.


Adam hesitated, unsure of how to articulate his feelings. He was afraid of saying the wrong thing, of further damaging their relationship. But Pamela was patient, giving him time to collect his thoughts. When he finally spoke, it was a halting confession of his uncertainty and desire to avoid confrontation.


Pamela listened, really listened, without interruption. She validated that it’s difficult when your partner is upset and then empathized with his feelings. Pamela acknowledged how hard it must be for him. In turn, Adam opened up about how her reaction during the argument had made him feel trapped and suffocated.


There was a pause, a moment of understanding passing between them. Adam realized that Pamela wasn't just his partner– she was HIS partner, someone he needed to be honest with, even when it was difficult. And Pamela, for her part, vowed not to give up on him, to be there for him through thick and thin.


With that weight lifted, a sense of optimism bloomed within the relationship. They knew they still had work to do, that there would be more arguments and disagreements in the future. But knowing that as long as they had each other, they could face anything. Together.

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