The sense of abandonment is to be considered a natural reaction to the loss of an important emotional bond: it can concern a family relationship but also a friendship or a sentimental one, as happens in love stories. This feeling is congenital to the human being and has specific functions. Further, there are the three main factors that contribute to developing the fear of abandonment in romantic relationships, that is, to feel abandoned even when you are not. Below we will resume the topic in more detail, describing how to understand if we are confident and safe towards our partner or if, on the contrary, we live the relationship with anxiety. Furthermore, we will analyse the most common consequences of the fear of abandonment: specifically we will see what actions it can lead to and the related consequences.
Other factors, in addition to the choice of unreliable partners, keep the fear of abandonment alive. In fact, three dysfunctional strategies that are often adopted in relationships. These are the avoidance, overcompensation and surrender behaviours. An example of avoidance behaviour is deciding not to bond emotionally. Many people with abandonment anxiety, in fact, tend to lead a life in solitude. Other examples are: show a different attitude towards the partner, not very attached or not affectionate. These are all avoidances because they are aimed at avoiding feeling the anxiety of abandonment ("If I don't bond, I won't suffer when the story ends") but they tend to reinforce it, keeping alive the belief that relationships are something that sooner or later produces unbearable pain. Furthermore, managing the relationship with detachment tends to emotionally deprive the partner who, feeling unloved, could decide to detach himself.
An example of overcompensating behaviour is to check the movements of the partner to make sure that the person is not doing anything harmful or incorrect. Those who use overcompensation can be extremely possessive, for example by attacking anyone who could threaten the relationship. The aim is to prevent the fear of abandonment or real abandonment from arising ("If I control my partner, he will not be able to do anything wrong") but even these behaviours end up keeping alive the feeling that, sooner or later, something bad will happen and therefore it is necessary to always remain vigilant. Furthermore, even in this case it is possible that the partner really decides to end the relationship, feeling overcontrolled and not trusted. An example of surrender behaviour is the jealous "scene". Surrender behaviours are defined as all those that presuppose surrender to the feeling of abandonment: one behaves as abandoned to convince the other to stop the possible abandonment, whether it is true or presumed. The aim is, as before, to do everything possible not to feel abandoned (“If I show him how what he does makes me feel, he will stop doing it and fix it”). However, surrender behaviours also tend to produce negative long-term outcomes: 1) because in the long run it may be difficult for the partner to understand and contain them and 2) because abandonment anxiety will tend to remain stable, being actions which confirm the idea that the other is always about to abandon.