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Loving Without Fear of Withdrawal or Fear of Engulfment

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Loving Without Fear of Withdrawal or Fear of Engulfment

My fear of abandonment will no sabotage my relationships again!

I’m always learning something new about myself. Sometimes, it’s a new personality trait. Other times it’s a deeper understanding of who I am and what drives me emotionally. The toughest part, however, is changing how I feel in certain situations. Though I no longer react like I used to (impulsively and at times recklessly), I still feel confused. Though I know why I sometimes feel forgotten or abandoned (daddy issues and daddy issues), I can’t turn off my brain.

You can imagine how tough this is on relationships. At one point or another, all my relationships have been affected due to my fear of withdrawal. I just learned this new term while speaking with Vicky Barrios from She explained that most of us fear two things when it comes to connecting: a fear of engulfment or a fear of withdrawal.

A fear of engulfment is fear suffocation. If a person calls often, wants to see you often, wants to share intimate moments and get closer — you freak out. You want to keep people at a safe distance. You fear getting too close. You fear loosing yourself and your independence.

A fear of withdrawal is quite the opposite. You fear people pulling back. If a person calls less, wants to see you less, shares less intimate moments and communicates less — you freak out. You fear people leaving. You sense a shift and feel they no longer care. You fear abandonment.

I struggle with my fear of withdrawal daily. Friends, family, love interests, significant others – they often have to prove that they are genuine. I have a wall up. I guard my heart. I take note when I am no longer a priority. I observe when the calls are shorter and when dates and outings are cancelled. I know the date of the last time he or she called or made plans. I try to shake it off. I really do. But eventually, I withdraw. I pull back and become proud. I stop myself from sending a text or communicating naturally because I feel unloved. I feel myself worrying and questioning the entire relationship and asking, “Did I do something wrong?”

This is my burden. When I give, I give completely, When I love, I love hard. Whether you are a friend, a family member or a significant other, I am loyal to a fault and become your number one cheerleader. And I want to fill that role forever. Like I said, I know myself well. I learn daily about my motivations and my feelings. I just hope that one day I can transform these feelings. That I can love without a fear of withdrawal. That I won’t pull back.

What is your greatest fear in a relationship?

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Photo Credit: She Knows

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Sujeiry is a natural storyteller, dynamic radio show host and the proud CEO of She's been at this digital media and content creation game for 15 plus years and pours her heart and soul onto - the only site for Latinas on all things love. After realizing there was a void in the love/relationship Latina media market, she took matters into her own hands and became the go-to sex and relationship expert on Latinx platforms. The former sex and relationship expert on works diligently and passionately to encourage women of color to be their authentic selves as they navigate all things love.


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