Runner Chaser Dynamics in Relationships

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Runner chaser relationships – why does it happen?

There are so many dynamics to relationships, and one that can cause a lot of problems and challenges is the ‘run and chase’ relationship, when one partner runs away and the other chases. This unbalance in the relationship can play out with both partners when the one running stops and begins to chase and vice a versa.

The one running usually does this when their emotions become overwhelming, and they don’t know how to handle and express their emotions to their partner. It can also  happen when the runner has other issues such as fear of commitment and/ or fear of being abandoned, so instead of staying to build on commitment, feeling safe, loved and secure they bolt. The partner who is left behind can go through many emotions and fears such as feeling abandoned, unwanted, and unloved, which can bring up thoughts such as, ‘Why don’t they like me, what have I done wrong?’ Usually the runner will just disappear without any pre-warning signs that they are about to run, which can cause the one left behind feeling confused and needing answers, and in some instances closure, which won’t happen until the runner steps back into their life.

The runner will only step back into your life when you relax and give them space to work through their thoughts and feelings, which can be difficult when you need answers. This can cause the one left behind to begin to chase the runner by constantly trying to contact them, this can in fact make the runner run even more, and the chaser chase even more.

When the runner returns this can cause further imbalance within the relationship, such as lack of trust, and make the chaser become clingy and over demanding of love and affection, which can again make the runner retreat, and even run again. Also, the one who was doing the chasing may revert to a runner, and the runner then becomes the chaser.

These dynamics can stem from a lot of ‘mirror healing’, especially about self-worth, self-love, respect, boundaries, commitment phobias and other fears around relationships. Each partner can play out these teachings and healing lessons to one another, which can be healed through patience, acceptance, tolerance, trust and love. Not always easy to do, and can take time to acknowledge the lessons so you can make changes within self and the relationship to bring harmony, contentment, and trust.

Deep down the runner wants to feel secure, loved, appreciated and nurtured, but because of their over whelming feelings when they start to feel open and have deep love feelings this makes them feel vulnerable and raw, and their fears and insecurities ignite such as being used, hurt, betrayed or abandoned. The chaser just wants to give their partner love, but the runner blocks this unconditional giving by running away, the chaser then begins to shut down to protect their feelings from getting hurt again if they return, and the runner/chaser dynamic and unbalance continues.

The runner chaser scenario can stop when both partners are able to communicate their emotions and feelings to one another in a safe open space. Total trust must also be earned and given from both partners, in this way, and over time, both partners can be healed when they also take responsibility for their own inner issues, and begin to heal and change.

These types of relationships can bring great transformation for both parties, and within the relationship. With understanding, acceptance, patience and love the relationship can grow into a lasting relationship.

My experience with a runner/chaser relationship

I would like to share with you my experience with this kind of relationship that I have been in for the past 7 years. It has brought a lot of pain, challenges, changes to myself, my partner and within the dynamics of the relationship. It has not been easy with years of the run/chase scenario, but over the years we have both come to understand each other by being more open and communicative with feelings and emotions, and learnt how to be more patience, tolerant, accepting, and even how to compromise in some circumstances.

The huge issues I noticed were on self-love, self-worth, boundaries and trust that we mirrored to one another consciously and unconsciously to highlight these issues for healing. At times it has been very challenging and caused times of being apart, which I saw as a space for both of us to absorb what had been going on, and to do the inner healing and changes that needed to be done before we reunited.

There has always been this strong pull between us that no matter what happened we always gravitated back to one another, and I have always known deep within that the dynamics would balance, and harmony would be found when self-love was healed within both of us.

It has been a constant wave of mirror after mirror being reflected to one another to bring huge shifts and changes within ourselves and the relationship.

Closing note

It is not an easy relationship and if you find yourself in one, or are in one now, ask yourself, ‘Is it worth carrying on, is it worth going through the constant challenges, is it right for me even though it is difficult, am I strong enough to go through all the deep inner healing that comes from this kind of relationship?’ and most importantly ask yourself, ‘Do I really love this person, do they love me, and is our relationship worth fighting for?

Feel within how you feel about this person, and be honest with yourself. You will just ‘know’ if it is a worthy relationship, and worth pursuing or not. If you decide to keep going with this challenging and transformation relationship journey be very patient with yourself and your partner. It can lead to a happy committed relationship when you are both ready to go on the inner self-healing journey, and the healing transformation journey together.

Love and blessings,

Wendy x

Please feel free to share your experiences, and ask questions by clicking on comment x


3 thoughts on “Runner Chaser Dynamics in Relationships”

    1. Hi Linda, perhaps there is a block to self love which may cause you to attract those that are not right for you who will be reflecting the blocks to you, once you embrace self love by loving all of you as you then your love will radiate from you to attract those that are right x


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