The Confusion Of The Love Paralyzer

What does it feel like to be a Love Paralyzer? If you are a Love Paralyzer, you may not understand why it feels so difficult to find love. And if you’ve ever knowingly or unknowingly dated a Love Paralyzer, you may feel incredibly confused by the swift pulling away that they can do in a developing relationship. 

If you’ve ever had this experience of dating someone who completely pulls away after growing intimacy, you may have been dating a Love Paralyzer.

The Love Paralyzer can sometimes be confused with a Love Resister, as their pulling away after intimacy can look similar. The difference is in the Love Paralyzer’s history. 

The Love Paralyzer has what is called a disorganized attachment style. As a child, the Love Paralyzer may have been raised in an environment with neglect, conflict, or even trauma. There may have been one or more parents or caregivers who were under significant stress or feeling fearful, such as a couple who was constantly fighting, a highly overworked single parent, a parent who is either being abused or has a history of unresolved trauma, or a parent with a mental illness.  

What happens is that the child’s needs are essentially met by a parent or caregiver who is physically and/or emotionally in a state of stress or fear. As infants, our nervous systems are highly attuned to that of our caregivers, and if we feel the stress or fear in our parent, the brain makes a connection between love and fear. The child wants to be soothed, and is met with soothing that feels tense and fearful. Love is connected with fear in that moment. 

As adults, Love Paralyzers tend to struggle with relationships…A LOT. 

They may avoid dating for long periods of time. They may create a lot of stories about why dating isn’t for them. They may try to date, and then they freeze the moment things have a whisper of growing connection and intimacy. 

Their minds may say YES, but their nervous systems say NO to love.

The Love Paralyzer will then find ways to sabotage a relationship by ending it over even the smallest moment of conflict or discomfort.  Love Paralyzers will often vacillate between the characteristics of the Love Connector and the Love Resister, and is often swayed by the opposing Love Style of their partner. 

If the Love Paralyzer is dating the anxious Love Connector, once the relationship moves forward and the Love Connector displays more desire for reassurance or connection, the Love Paralyzer will often move into avoidance. They will display Love Resister traits such as fearing the closeness, sabotaging the relationship over superficial issues, or not being able to work through common relationship hurdles. Simple communication can feel like conflict or drama.  

If the Love Paralyzer is dating a Love Resister, the Paralyzer’s anxious traits will arise, and they will look more like an anxious Love Connector, asking for reassurance and connection. They will feel worry, and may experience preoccupied thinking about their partner. They may feel needy and concerned about their partner pulling away. 

If you are a Love Paralyzer, the first key is to increase awareness of your Love Style and how it influences your relationships- with partners, friends, coworkers….any intimate relationship. Having answers to why you freeze with intimacy can be both validating and healing. 

Remember that love does not equal fear. 

Your brain may have received this message at a young age, and it may continue to express this to you in your current relationship experiences. However, its important to know that you can feel love without simultaneously feeling fear. Our brains can heal and make new connections. You are entitled to feel love without fear. 

To truly heal your attachment style, therapy or coaching focused on attachment and trauma are ideal.  Depending on how this attachment style was created and reinforced, a trained therapist can help you determine the best way to help you heal. To learn more about how to work with me on this Love Style, you can schedule a free call here.