Runners and chasers
In the twin flame realm
If you've been doing any research on twin flames, you might very well have come across the term "runner/chaser". I'd be very surprised, in fact, if you hadn't. So why exactly is this such a common topic when you learn about twin flames? Why does this seem like such a terrifying or insurmountable dynamic? Some even suggest that a whole phase of the twin flame journey is dedicated to running and chasing.
Please note: this is entirely my view and take on the topic of runners and chasers in the twin flame journey. It might well go against other things you've heard or read, and I encourage you to ask questions and verify for yourself so that you might come to your own knowing of the truth.
What exactly is the "runner/chaser" dynamic?
The common idea when it comes to the twin flame journey or dynamic, is that typically one twin flame in the union will fall into the category of "runner", and the other of "chaser". The "runner" is usually known for running (whether physically or emotionally) from the connection acknowledged by the "chaser", while the "chaser" is willing to go to any means to be (re)united with their "runner". It is also commonly shared that, if in separation, once the "chaser" stops chasing, the "runner" will stop running, and essentially return.
Some argue that the divine masculine (DM) is more likely to be the "runner", and the divine feminine (DF) the "chaser", but this is not necessarily true. The idea that the "chaser" is more awakened in the sense that they hold the knowing of twin flames or of the connection is also not accurate in my view. Your twin flame will have their own knowing of the connection, and their own journey of coming into that knowing.
Is there any merit to the idea of "runner/chaser"?
I do think we can learn something from the "runner/chaser" dynamic, but I would suggest not attaching too firmly to the labels or calling yourself either the "runner" or "chaser". I have continued to use these terms in the context of this post for ease of use, but the point is not to be too overly identified with these terms.
That said, you might very well be experiencing patterns of running, or those of chasing as part of your twin flame journey. Sometimes you might even experience patterns of running during one part of your journey, and later on experience patterns of chasing. These patterns are something that can be healed and overcome, and are not a defining characteristic of you, your union, or your journey. As in, who you are, who you truly are, is not a "runner" or "chaser".
Why does the "runner" run exactly?
There might be more than one answer to this, of course, but my take on it is that, in essence, the "runner" runs from fear. The depth and intimacy in your twin flame union can be overwhelming, as we realise that in the sacred flames of love, all that is untrue is consumed, and there is nowhere for us to hide. We might not want to be seen in such an intimate, vulnerable way. It is definitely not comfortable, but the truth of it is, when we are loved and seen in such a way, it is so profound that we can truly be all that we are.
The person designed to love us and to be with us in such a way, meet us in such a way, is our counterpart. And if the "runner" has experienced a great deal of hurt or pain in the area of love, they will have to confront and face this fear in order to overcome it, which is what is so uncomfortable. But to live life without risk, is to risk not living at all. The running truly is temporary, because all the "runner" is running from is themselves, and from all that they truly desire. The truth is: wherever you go, you always take you with you.
Why does the "chaser" chase exactly?
In what might seem like irony, but is really the way the twin flame dynamic works, the "chaser" also chases out of fear. They might fear losing the connection, or fear that if they do not fight for it and chase after the "runner", it would be over. How frustrating it can be to feel such a powerful connection, desire your counterpart so strongly, only for them to run. Why would you sit and wait for their return? How could you not chase to try and make them see and understand?
The answer is not in chasing, but in having faith. It is my conviction that twin flames are meant to be united, but that there is also Divine Intervention at play, meaning, that while you are an active participant on your path and journey, your union is also not something that you make happen. It is an impossible task to chase after your twin flame. You cannot control your twin flame or make them return, but there is something you can do, and that is to pursue the twin flame path sincerely. Pursuing the love in your heart that you feel for your twin flame is not chasing. Desiring your twin flame, and longing to be with them in my view is natural, and honouring that desire is also what aligns you with your twin flame union.
How to overcome the "runner/chaser" dynamic
Whether you feel you are the "runner" or the "chaser", the surest solution is having the courage to be fully honest with yourself about how you feel, and being willing to face these aspects of yourself that you encounter in your awareness and meeting them with acceptance and love. Being honest with yourself does not mean feeding the narrative of the story you are telling yourself, however. It means taking responsibility appropriately. Telling yourself the truth about yourself and about the situation builds trust, rather than growing resentment and fostering fear.
Most likely, if you are reading this, you might consider yourself the "chaser". As mentioned earlier, the commonly shared idea to overcome this pattern in your twin flame union is for the "chaser" to stop chasing. What is meant by that is usually for the "chaser" to shift the focus to themselves, to their own healing and not chasing after the attentions of the "runner". It means the "chaser" learns to give themselves the love that they need and not seeking for that love outside of themselves. It is very often the case that the "chaser" is faced with healing patterns of co-dependency, and if left unhealed, the "chaser" can easily fall into patterns of obsession.
I do believe there is merit in making yourself and your healing a priority, and learning to channel your energy and focus toward yourself first. However, that does not mean that choosing to focus on yourself in order to get your twin to come back will work either, because that is just subversive chasing. Pretending not to chase does not work! Giving up the chase also does not mean that you numb out to or avoid feeling the desire for your twin flame, because that desire is natural.
I have also learned from my own union, that what supports the "runner" in being able to stop running, to face whatever they feel they need to run from, is the unconditional love and patience from the "chaser". That means, if you feel you are more aligned with healing chasing energy in your union, allowing your twin flame to come to their own knowing of the truth, patiently supporting them and giving them the space to confront their fear, without forcing or controlling them, will ultimately allow them to do so. As shared before, the "runner" is only really running from themselves. You don't make them stop running, and you don't make them return. It is the love in their heart that guides them home.
It is also important to face any feelings of bitterness or resentment you may feel toward your twin flame if you consider yourself the "chaser". Holding onto this hurt and betrayal acts as resistance to your counterpart and prevents you moving forward toward your union. That does not mean enabling or indulging being mistreated, either. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and to heal from the experience. Healing brings inner peace and opens your heart to forgiveness and understanding. It empowers you and humbles you. You can still choose to practice placing healthy boundaries for yourself and in your twin flame union, and I would argue that having these boundaries is a fundamental part of overcoming the "chaser" pattern.
What you experience on the other side of healing the "runner/chaser" pattern is peace in your twin flame union and faith in love itself. You will learn to understand yourself and your twin flame, which supports you experiencing a deep foundation of trust and intimacy in your union.
I think it is important also to note that someone who is not open to your romantic interest or intentions does not automatically fall into the category of a "runner", and it does not mean they are necessarily your twin flame. Your twin flame bond is not a trauma bond; it is a bond forged in love. Anyone might see the potential of the "runner/chaser" dynamic to be used to validate or enable an unhealthy relationship, and while it may certainly be used for that, it can also be used to heal and to grow. Awareness is empowering as it allows you to take action aligned in love.
The "runner/chaser" patterns can be overcome and healed completely. It is important to be compassionate and patient with yourself in your healing journey, to practice that actively as you come into the awareness of what you have to heal in your union.
If you would like support in learning how you can heal this dynamic in your union, you may consider working with me.