If you’re struggling in relationship with this attachment style, here’s a list of things that may help you better understand and love the Avoidant-Attachment in your life:
- First and foremost, Avoidant-Attachments need copious amounts of space and time alone.
Give them the space you think they need, and then give them some more. They are highly sensitive to feeling smothered in relationships, and space and time to decompress is essential to their personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of your relationship. It isn’t that they don’t enjoy spending time in your company, it’s just that they’ll always need and prefer their own. The less personally you can take this, the better.
2. Go slow when pursuing an Avoidant-Attachment.
Grand gestures of love will send them running, as will any underlying pressure and expectation. They do not respond well to these things and are a flight risk in relationships that demand more from them than they are capable or ready to give. Allow them space to move at their own pace. Your willingness to be patient and without demand in the short term will render success in the long term.
3. Avoidant-Attachments may seem somewhat aloof and stand-offish —
they will allow you to be around them, but not close to them; at least not until they feel safe enough to let you in. Even then, you may always find yourself kept at arm’s length, with trust being difficult for these attachment types. However, occasionally you will accomplish the rare feat of earning the trust of an Avoidant-Attachment in which case you may just wind up living happily ever after. Bless.
4. They are independent and self-sufficient, relying on nobody but themselves.
Nothing will change this about them. If you are someone who needs to be needed, these attachment types aren’t for you. However, if you are someone who appreciates independence in a partner, there’s a high chance you’ll find your soul mate among these I-Can-Do-It-Myself’ers.
5. Conflict isn’t their strong point.
They prefer to remain quiet, internalising their thoughts and resolving things themselves, which can be an issue when open communication is needed. The best thing you can do when conflict arises is to not demand communication on the matter, but give your Avoidant-Attachment space to gather and make sense of their thoughts and feelings. They will approach you when they feel ready. This may be difficult if you are someone who requires immediate resolution, but it’s imperative these attachment types feel safe enough to handle both yours and their own emotions before they can address any conflict.
From Is Your Partner Avoidant? Here Are 3 Ways to Support Them:
Vulnerability #3: fear of being blamed–
We all mess up sometimes in relationships. For someone with an avoidant attachment style, hearing that they hurt you can quickly put them on the defense. A simple expression of a need or preference can be heard by our avoidant partners as, “you are the problem.”
There are going to be moments where you need to address things that your partner said or did, or maybe didn’t say or do. It is important to be mindful that even though you may be able to receive this kind of feedback openly, for someone with an avoidant attachment style, it can sound a lot like you are blaming them.
One thing that I’ve found helpful in understanding this vulnerability is to remember that my partner’s defensive reaction is rooted in their attachment wound. I try to remember that they may have grown up blaming themselves for their caregivers’ absence or rejection, and this allows me to soften in moments where I, too, feel the need to hop on the defense.
- If you need to bring something up with them, try first letting them know that you appreciate what they did or said and that you understand their intention was good. You may say you know their heart was in the right place before letting them know what it is that is bothering you.
- Be conscious of your timing. Did your partner just come in the door from a long day? Are they in the zone? Try to preface the conversation by saying you care about them and the relationship and for that reason, there is something you want to bring up with them.
- I have found it helpful by starting with letting them know how I am feeling and not shying away from my own vulnerability. For example, “when you bailed on our date last night I felt hurt and was afraid that it meant you were losing interest in me.’