Your patterns of unavailability don’t just appear in romantic relationships—they make their way into your friendships, too. When you meet a new friend you have a lot in common with, you’re so excited about finding someone who “gets” you that you become insta-BFFs. Everything goes smoothly in the honeymoon phase when you can be cheerful and fun, but as soon as conflict arises, things start to get rocky. The thought of expressing that you disagree with your new BFF, showing that you’re upset by something they did or said, standing up for yourself, or setting a boundary that’s needed strikes such fear in your heart that you’d rather do anything else than what is required to stay in relationship to this person and maintain a friendship. So instead, you opt to cut and run, dropping the friend cold. When they ask you to get together, you tell them that you’re just “really busy right now” or “going through a lot,” and stop returning voicemails, emails, and texts.
Since you’re friendly and outgoing, you know you’ll make a new BFF soon and it’s just easier this way. But it’s at the expense of cultivating long-lasting friendships that deepen over time, in which you can learn how to express yourself when you’re upset or disappointed—just like you’ll have to do in a romantic relationship.