My partner is avoidant attachment style (What does it mean)

When your partner has an avoidant attachment style it can affect a lot of things in your relationship. It might make you feel an array of emotions. Are they avoiding you because of something that you have done? Or something that’s happened to them? You might spend alot of time wondering and decoding their behaviour and actions. 

In this article we aim to understand what is an avoidant attachment style and also how to deal with it, work with it and so on. 

These are the topics that we will be covering today:

  • What is avoidant attachment style?
  • How do you navigate this relationship? 
  • What should you be careful about?

What is avoidant attachment style? 

Attachment styles are the way we bond with another human being. It is not something that we ar eborn with however it is something that we learn through a number of ways.  Our attachment style comes from our own homes and environments. How our relationship is with our parents, especially primary caregiver, the number of people in our family, how we bond with those people, the events and situations we go through, and also our own emotional capacity to deal with these things. 

Some of us are able to deal with situations without feeling rundown by them. And some of us aren’t able to do so, and that’s completely fine as well. We’re all different for a number of reasons and the way one person handles a particular situation cannot be compared to another. 

That being said our families and especially parents play a huge role when it comes to attachment styles. We often learn by observing our parents and this is true for most things. When it comes to doing certain chores or having certain behaviours this is how we learn. 

Thus, avoidant attachment style is also something that have been obtained by your partner because of their own parents. If they have had parents who haven’t been emotionally expressive, they probably have had a very limited range of emotional expression. 

While observing such behaviour it is natural for a child to think that it is acceptable to be emotionally shut off. They tend to believe that doing so maintains relationships, nobody has a chance of getting work and in that case all is well. We know that this is not so, but it can be difficult to explain this to a child. 

Your partner might grow up using this attachment style just as a defence mechanism. Their actions might say one thing, while their words would reflect another. They could be telling you how they’re actually feeling, which is that they’re really in love with you and so on, however they feel distant, they don’t share as much , they always have something they’re not saying. 

It could also be vice versa, where they’re doing everything that proves that they’re committed to you, but if you bring it up in a conversation they might get spooked. They would think about the while committing to a relationship aspect and probably get very edgy about it. 

Here are a few things you’d have to remember :

  •  Ease them into conversations 

Whenever you have the space to have a serious conversation with your partner, about your relationship or your future, try to ease them into it. It’s best not to bombard them with this conversation out of nowhere. Keep in mind that they might actually feel strongly for you, but their general attachment style is to avoid. 

  • Instigating

Here’s one thing you shouldn’t do. Pushing an avoidant partner to the edge to get s reaction out of them or to get them to express something, will not help. It’s going to drive your partner away instead of making your relationship work. Try to speak to them calmly about the way they are. Bring it to their awareness. And once you do so, do not expect them to speak about it immediately. Give them the time to process what you have just told them. 

  • Patience

It’s important to keep in mind that this is how your partner is. At Least this is how they’ve been for a majority part of their life. It isn’t going to change easily or become something you want so easily. It’s going to take a lot of time, communication and especially acceptance. There has to be a middle ground where both of you accept each other for who you’ll be.  If at any given point you do feel that you cannot accept your partner then it’s better to leave them instead of making them feel like they’re not good enough. 

Dragging on a relationship even though you can’t accept the person for who they are is toxic. We all do need to grow and change in s relationship but we also have to do so while being true to who we are. If someone is making you change everything about yourself because they can’t love the real you, then that’s not the right relationship for you. 

How do you navigate this relationship?

In order to make your way through this relationship the first thing you’d have to do is understand if this is the person you want to be with. Being with a person who has an avoidant attachment style is not easy. It definitely takes a lot of energy to build this relationship. 

So the first thing to do would be to make up your mind about the relationship. Is this really something you want? Does this relationship give you happiness? Does this person give you happiness? These are things you need to keep in mind before you decide to go further. When you try to control a person or a relationship it’s never going to work. So if you feel as though there is a possibility that you could do that in the future, then there is no point of pulling this further. 

Along with this you also need to remember that your partner is going to be difficult to work with because it’s likely that they will avoid negative and difficult situations as well. They might see a problem but just not speak of it because they don’t like to have those conversations. This is a trait of someone with an avoidant attachment style. They basically try to avoid things that could affect the balance of their life. 

The best way to proceed after knowing these things is to communicate with your partner in a calm and easy manner. Try not to begin the conversation by telling them what you think is wrong or what you think is problematic. Instead start by saying that you’d like to work on understanding them better, and making your relationship stronger. This sets a completely different tone for the rest of the conversation. 

Thus it helps in opening up the conversation to your partner as well. It doesn’t become negative in any way and they can also pitch in and share whatever they want to as well. 

What should you be careful about? 

There are two things you should be careful about : 

  •  Don’t lose yourself
  • Gaslighting 

It can be really easy to lose yourself in this relationship. You will be catering towards them, you’ll be trying to make them feel comfortable enough to open up about their emotions with you. And in such a way it can really affect your own happiness. 

Remember that you also deserve to feel happy and the relationship is a two-way street , you can take the first step but there has to be efforts from their side as well. 

Usually the partners of avoidant attachment style individuals have an anxious or insecure attachment style. Where they need reassurance and they’re constantly doubting themselves or not feeling good enough. This unfortunately fits perfectly with an avoidant attachment style. Because then the person with an avoidant attachment style never has to worry about their partner leaving. 

Gaslighting is very common when it comes to someone with an avoidant attachment style. They might try to avoid being held responsible in the relationship, they might avoid having that conversation itself and in turn gaslight. 

Gaslighting is when you portray yourself as the victim to avoid having to take responsibility. It turns into a blame game eventually. This is something you’d have to avoid because it’s a sign of a toxic relationship. 

Toxic relationships can be mended , unless both parties are ready to work towards a healthier relationship. Which means you would first have to accept that it’s toxic. Acceptance is key to everything in a relationship, it’s the first step towards rectifying and building stronger bonds. 

Conclusion

When your partner has an avoidant attachment style, remember to open up the conversation in an easy way. Let them take their time with any kind of new information and let them have their space with it. Proceed step by step and do it with empathy and kindness.

References

https://psychcentral.com/blog/love-matters/2018/07/16-signs-of-an-avoidant-or-unavailable-partner
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.mindbodygreen.com/articles/5-signs-youre-dating-an-avoidant-how-to-deal–29315

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