15 Signs of Abandonment Issues


Quick attachment, quickly moving on, pleasing attitude, reluctant to fully invest in the relationship, staying in toxic relationships, criticizing partner, avoiding emotional intimacy, low self-esteem are the main signs of abandonment issues.

abandonment issues

In This Article:

What are Abandonment Issues?

Abandonment issues arise from life experiences of being alone and failing to rely on loved ones for care and support.

Emotional abandonment occurs from emotional apathy or suppression of feelings to get acceptance. Physical abandonment happens from physical neglect, sexual abuse, lack of supervision or insufficient provision.


Why do Abandonment Issues Arise?

Childhood Neglect

Most abandonment issues develop from neglect as a child. The lack of care and affection intensifies feelings of low self-esteem and loneliness.

Death of a Loved Person

Overcoming the demise of a loved one can be excruciating. You could never allow people in, thinking of their inevitable death and subsequent pain.


Rejection of romantic approaches or from a loved person can bring in abandonment issues. You’d feel unworthy of being loved and tend to over analyze why you were rejected.

Physical and/or Emotional Abuse as a Child

A physically abused child may grow up assuming corporal punishment as regular, internalizing his anger and pain. Emotional abuse forms a negative impression of the family, enhancing low self-esteem.

Sexual and/or Emotional Abuse By a Previous Partner

An abusive ex-partner would leave you incurable scars. An abusive relationship adversely affects the victim’s capability of trusting anyone. It also diminishes self-esteem.


Separation in Family

Children from divorced couples or broken families are prone to abandonment issues. They feel deprived of the affection and care of the other parent and, mostly lose trust in relationships.

15 Signs Someone Has Abandonment Issues

Quick Attachment

Abandonment issues get you attached and committed too soon to your partner. Feeling that your relationship is your world, you may fear to lose your partner without acting fast. This checks you from analyzing the genuine state of affairs.

Quickly Moving On

After a recent breakup, jump-starting a new relationship instead of giving yourself time might imply defending yourself from post-breakup agony. Though appealing for the short duration, it’s detrimental in the long run.

Pleasing Attitude

Self-sacrificing for your partner to maintain the relationship is another abandonment-issue sign. You’d think that without fulfilling your partner’s desires, he might look for the fulfillment from somebody else.

Reluctant to Fully Invest in the Relationship

You may hesitate to things signifying real commitment like discussing a future together. The partner feels that you don’t take the relationship seriously or for the long term. This may cause parting.


Staying in Toxic Relationships

In a bad relationship, you’re taken for granted, ignored or abused by your partner. Abandonment issues cause you to do anything to make your relationship work, even if it’s unhealthy. You prefer it to loneliness.

Criticizing Your Partner

You see the negatives more than the positives of your partner. After a breakup, you feel that your relationship was wrong in its foundation. This affects your other relationships too.

Avoiding Emotional Intimacy

Abandonment issues make you vulnerable to hurt. You try to prevent it by maintaining emotional distances. People can hardly break your emotional guards and you seem emotionally unavailable.

Trust Issues

Trusting your partner would equalize possibilities of getting hurt. This constant lack of trust and suspicion would end your relationship.

Low Self-Esteem

Abandonment issues make you blame yourself for partings, affecting your self-esteem. Feeling unworthy to be loved, you withdraw from relationships. Despite struggling to believe the good things from your partner about you, you deny most of them. This distances you from him.


Considering yourself unworthy of your partner, you suspect the people around him. Trust issues develop. You grow jealous of those close to him, particularly people of the opposite sex.


Sabotaging your Relationship

You tend to undermine your relationship knowingly or unknowingly. It’s a natural defence mechanism to prevent being hurt in future. You resist to reciprocate your partner’s love and push him away.

Repressing Anger

Fear of abandonment can cause gradual accumulation of suppressed anger over trivial things. You think that your partner might leave you after knowing your discontent. This turns the relationship toxic.

Recurrent Visualizations of Parting

You’re sure that your partner would ultimately leave you. Instead of trying to sort out issues, your brain starts preparing you for the parting by forming scenarios of breakups. This causes trauma.

Choosing Unavailable Partners

You’d tend to choose incompatible or emotionally unavailable partners to avoid emotional intimacy and justify your act of not investing adequately in the relationship.

Excessive Controlling

Most abandonment issues arise from earlier relationships which broke due to a lack of control. So you try controlling each aspect of your relationship to prevent its failure. This affects your partner’s self-worth.


The Implication of Abandonment Issues

Depression and Mood Swings

Emotions become uncontrollable. Attention from your partner makes you happy, else you’re in despair. Unresolved problems may cause prolonged acute depression requiring medical help.

Low Self-Worth

Disturbing issues can make you undermine yourself repeatedly. This lowers your self-worth, confidence and spirit to face new challenges.

Social Anxiety

Low self-esteem results in social anxiety. Fear of rejection makes you nervous and shy around people, hampering your social life.


Pent-up frustrations find outlets in unhealthy addictions of alcohol, drugs, etc. This relieves your stress temporarily but dooms your future.

Sleeping Disorders

Forget about sleep when your nerves are stretched to their limits. Sleeping disorders due to anxiety can lead to insomnia, deteriorating your physical health.

Borderline Personality Disease (BPD)

BPD is the final stage of unresolved abandonment issues. It’s a long-term pattern of abnormal behaviour marked by unstable self-worth, emotions and relationships.


How to Overcome Abandonment Issues?

If you’re unable to overcome abandonment issues by self-compassion, try an abandonment-issues quiz to learn about your current feelings and how to improve them.

If nothing works, allow trained counsellors and psychologists to try various therapies like eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), psychodynamic therapy, etc. to help you.


Abandonment issues may not be ever-lasting. Notice their signs and try overcoming them with self-care or seek treatment.


  • https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/abandonment
  • https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/abandonment-issues.htm