In our culture, it is romantic relationships that are usually the most intimate. For this reason, some people who have the Emotional Deprivation lifetrap avoid romantic relationships altogether, or only get into them for a short time. This is typical of the Escape coping style. However, if you are willing to become involved in romantic relationships and do not simply remain alone, it is probably in these relationships that your lifetrap is most visible.
The next table lists some of the danger signals to avoid in the early stages of dating. They are signals that you are about to repeat the pattern again and become involved with someone who is emotionally depriving.
Danger Signals in the Early Stages of Dating
1. He/She doesn’t listen to me.
2. He/She does all the talking.
3. He/She is not comfortable touching or kissing me.
4. He/She is only sporadically available.
5. He/She is cold and aloof.
6. You are much more interested in getting close than he/she is.
7. The person is not there for you when you feel vulnerable.
8. The less available he/she is, the more obsessed you become.
9. He/She does not understand your feelings.
10. You are giving much more than you are getting.
When several of these signals are occurring at once, run–particularly if the chemistry is very strong. Your lifetrap has been triggered full force. We know it will be hard for you to take this advice. All your yearning will be directed toward staying in the relationship.
Even if you choose an appropriate partner who is emotionally giving, there are still pitfalls to avoid as your relationship progresses.
Emotional Deprivation Lifetraps in a Relationship
1. You don’t tell your partner what you need, then feel disappointed when your needs are not met.
2. You don’t tell your partner how you feel, and then feel disappointed when you are not understood.
3. You don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable, so that your partner can protect or guide you.
4. You feel deprived, but you don’t say anything. You harbor resentment.
5. You become angry and demanding.
6. You constantly accuse your partner of not caring enough about you.
7. You become distant and unreachable.
You might reinforce your deprivation by sabotaging the relationship. You might become hypersensitive to signs of neglect. You might expect your lover to read your mind and almost magically to fill your needs. Although, some people who have the lifetrap Counterattack by becoming demanding in relationships, most do not ask for what they want. It probably does not occur to you to spell out your needs. Most likely you do not ask for what you want, and then become very hurt, withdrawn, or angry when your emotional needs are not met.