People with avoidant personalities in relationships may have also experienced neglect or abuse in childhood, which can make them fearful of getting close to others. But it also might be because they haven’t learned how to trust other people yet — perhaps because they don’t remember feeling safe as children. People with avoidant personality disorder or avoidant attachment style may come across as cold or withholding, when—in fact—they’re trying to protect themselves.

The 4 Types of Attachment Styles

You owe it to yourself to never tolerate disrespect or bad treatment. Whether you will have a healthy, happy love life is up to you. Especially, they should not constantly challenge your boundaries.

If your attachment needs are not satisfied, ask for what you want rather than complaining about what you don’t want.

However, someone with an anxious attachment style in relationships may struggle to understand an avoidant partner’s actions and push for closeness. The ability to openly and honestly discuss our thoughts and feelings is key to successful and fulfilling relationships. However, avoidant attachers have a deep-rooted fear of expressing their emotions as they might believe that they will be criticized or rejected for doing so. To help combat this fear, the avoidant partners should attempt to open up about their feelings in a way that feels safe and within their control. They should also pay attention to their body as they do so – what physical sensations and accompanying thoughts happen when they express themselves?

Therapy is an excellent way of helping an avoidant attacher understand and process their triggers within a relationship. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that you are a unique individual with your own important desires and wants when you’re dating someone with an avoidant attachment. Therefore, to avoid losing your sense of identity, you should also focus on independent self-care activities. This short video to understand better what an avoidant partner may experience in relationships. While dating someone who’s an avoidant isn’t easy, it is possible. They may be able to change their attachment style over time with your support.

Because the avoidant person has learned to ignore and deny his own negative emotions, it will also be very difficult for him to recognize emotional cues in others or have much in the way of empathy. This person will, for all intents and purposes, be emotionally color blind. But, like many color blind people, this person is likely to be unaware that she is not accurately perceiving or adequately attending to others’ emotions. By extension, if you confront the avoidant person with revelations that he is emotionally unavailable and distant, you are likely to be met with denial and strong resistance (because he really doesn’t see it). Obviously, this pattern will wreak havoc in close friendships, romantic relationships, and even leader/follower relationships at work. One of the greatest struggles avoidants have is a difficulty recognizing their own emotions, let alone talking about them.

Maybe they just haven’t given a long-term relationship much thought. If you’re looking for commitment, these responses often indicate that the person you’re seeing may not be able to offer what you want and need. If they can’t see a future, they might end the relationship and move on. But some people don’t give the future any thought at all — and they don’t want to. It’s not always easy to recognize when a pattern of short-lived relationships represents bad dating luck or when it indicates something more significant.

The closer you start to feel to them or the more you desire a deeper commitment, the more they may pull back, expressing a wish to see other people or becoming less communicative. There’s nothing an avoidant desires more than space, which means that he’ll do everything in his power to set up his relationship in a way that gives him that much-needed distance. That often involves enforcing some kind of boundaries in the relationship to stop his partner from the very outset. An avoidant, however, will find it difficult to talk about his feelings, period. One of the great things about being in a relationship is that you have someone in your life to lean on, no matter what. Sure, you should maintain your independence and keep your relationships with friends and family who can also help you if the need arises.

How avoidants can improve relationships

Losing interest in activities is a symptom of depression, so don’t be surprised if your partner would rather stay home than go out. The first step is to encourage your partner to get out of their comfort zone and follow through on your plans, says Kissen. But if they insist on skipping, you can only control your own actions—not theirs.

Since they become accustomed to this, they don’t develop the skill to express what they need. Their feelings will come out in the form of complaints, stony silence or negativity. They simply can’t express positive feelings and can only show their feelings in a negative way. They learn to not show a need to be close to anyone because it doesn’t produce any benefits to them.

Past experiences or upbringing can trigger avoidant attachment in people. The act of infidelity is not about seeking love, attention, or nurturance from another person. Often the avoidant feels more connection with their partner than the affair partner. Avoidants use infidelity simply to create space between themselves and their partner. The avoidant then goes back to being the person the anxious partner first fell in love with. Unable to resist falling back into the relationship, after all, this is exactly what they wanted, the anxious partner gives the relationship another try.

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t only help create a safe, reliable environment for you to express your authentic self and explore inward, but it can also inspire positive internal changes over time. Waiting for a person to commit can be a real risk, especially if the person you’re pursuing is a lost cause. Your relationship, and the life the two of you have been working hard to build together, is at least in part a result of your loved one’s determination to not let their AVPD destroy their dreams. Your partner is capable of accomplishing a lot, especially if their efforts are supported and encouraged by those who care about them most. If you’re in a relationship with someone who has AVPD, you likely appreciate their tenderness and generosity.

Those who fear intimacy ultimately fear the consequences of a relationship that turns sour. It’s important to accept the fact that there are no guarantees in life or in human relationships. Despite that, social relationships are a basic driving goal of human existence. While the focus is primarily on childhood, the experiences of relationships during adolescence and adulthood can continue to influence a person’s openness to intimacy. Other people, however, may be comfortable in superficial social situations, numbering their acquaintances and social media “friends” in the hundreds, but have no deeply personal relationships at all.