Do I Have Abandonment Issues? Signs, Causes & How to Overcome

girl with short brown hair sitting on a chair staring out of the window
Everyone has experienced and will experience loss in their lives - it's something we can't avoid. However, the way we process loss differs from person to person.

Even as someone who’s been in dating writing for years now and is in a healthy relationship of my own, this is something I still struggle with. 

Odds are, if you’re reading this, you also struggle with it as well.

Everyone has experienced and will experience loss in their lives – it’s something we can’t avoid. However, the way we process loss differs from person to person. 

It also depends on how old we were when we first experienced loss. While you may be questioning why you have abandonment issues if your parents are happily married, you’ll need to look beyond that.

Abandonment issues can develop from any loss that overwhelms us emotionally.

My first loss was of my bestfriend, my grandfather. He died when I was 10-years-old and was someone I spent every day with. This was a huge loss in my life, one I didn’t really realize until in my twenties. 

From that loss, it scarred it – which is completely fine; it’s going to happen. However, what’s important is we understand how those scars affect our lives and relationships (yeah, who knew dating writing was so layered).

However, it’s important to know that not everyone who experiences loss will have abandonment issues – the two are not mutually exclusive. Plus, people have varying degrees of emotional distress from abandonment issues. In other words, we’re all different. 

I struggle with abandonment issues and fear my partner or parents will disappear from life. While it’s not something I’m over, my self-awareness and ability to communicate those fears help me. 

Now, you probably want to know what the signs are of abandonment issues, well, let’s take a look.

Types of Abandonment Issues

Abandonment issues shows themselves in three types of insecure attachment. They are:

Avoidant Attachment Style

People with avoidant attachment style prevent anyone from getting too close to them. They feel unable to trust or open up to others, which makes them look distant and withdrawn.

Anxious Attachment Style

People with anxious attachment style cope with their abandonment issues by developing close and dependent relationships with others. 

They may feel anxious to do things on their own with their partner and reactive emotionally. There’s a fear their partner will leave them, which triggers their reaction.

Disorganized Attachment Style

People with disorganized attachment style struggle to maintain close relationships. They feel anxious about entering a relationship and try to avoid getting too close. 

12 Signs of Abandonment Issues

You’re clingy

While in dating writing, we talk about this being a red flag; it’s more than that. This is a sign of abandonment issues in a person. Does it mean you’re a bad person? No. It simply means there are some things you need to explore within yourself. If you have abandonment issues, you tend to be clingy and attach to people way too soon.

You’re codependent in all your relationships

Since you fear being abandoned, you will do whatever it takes to not let your partner go. However, since you’re willing to do whatever it takes, you end up being a doormat.

You need to be in control or be controlled by your partner

You try to control every situation in your relationship, while trying to avoid a negative outcome. While doing that, you allow your partner to control the relationship in fear of them leaving you.

You fear of being cheated on

You are constantly worried your partner is going to cheat on you. 

You show extreme jealousy

Your fear of abandonment has you suspicious of everything your partner does and who they encounter. You want to know every step they take and who they speak to.

You don’t trust your partner

You come up with wild situations in your head because you don’t trust your partner. You assume they’ll do the worst to you.

You have social anxiety

You can’t be yourself because you’re constantly worried about what your partner thinks about you and if they want to end the relationship.

You settle for unsatisfying relationships

Rather than being single, you opt for unsatisfying relationship, even know you know they’re not good for you.

You self-sabotage

Most things on this list are examples of your self-sabotage. You fear abandonment, and while trying to do anything you can to hold your relationship together, it falls apart.

You try to please everyone

You want people to accept you, but you’re not doing it the right way. You remove your boundaries to make sure your partner gets whatever they want to be happy.

You don’t emotionally invest

You struggle with being vulnerable and don’t express how you truly feel. Instead, you wait to see what your partner will say and side with them to avoid any conflict or disagreement.

You don’t feel worthy of love

At the end of everything, the root cause of your behavior is the deep feeling of unworthiness. You don’t feel you’re worthy of love.


girl with short brown hair sitting on a chair staring out of the window

How to Overcome Your Abandonment Issues

Treating abandonment issues aren’t impossible, but it will take work. 

The first step is understanding where your abandonment comes from and what triggers you to feel that way. 

Secondly, you need to talk to your partner, friend, or family member. Feel comfortable expressing your fears to them. It will be hard at first, but with time, it will become easier to be vulnerable. 

Lastly, speak to a therapist. Abandonment issues need to be explored by someone who understands them and can provide you with the right tools to treat them. While reading articles on the internet can help, your therapist will know what’s right for you. 

When it comes to dating writing, I’ve written a lot. But if you really want to change, you’ll need to stop reading and take action.


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