The first scenario typically has a secure (or at least secure enough) and loving foundation as it’s base……as in “I love you and even though I’m struggling internally with certain aspects of how we relate to each other, I want to stay and work through our difficulties as a team”. Unconditional love provides the necessary container for us to unpack with our partner, work through our shit, and grow together.
The second scenario involves bringing the relationship itself into question, and is incredibly damaging. When we are desperately invested in convincing someone that we are good enough or loveable enough or attractive enough for them, we are inevitably abandoning ourselves…..and the intensity which underpins our need for their approval equals the amount of self-abandonment we will have to engage in in order to continue on this way. This is where it’s up to us to get curious, and begin to explore what’s happening under the surface for us. What part of us feels so small and unworthy that we would resort to desperately fighting for someone who clearly isn’t right for us? How old is that part of us? What promise are we buying into here (i.e. what do we believe we will feel “if only they will love/choose us”)? And how can we make a different choice when these feelings of “need” or desperation arise?