With the attachment theory, there are three basic types of relationship attachment styles: secure, anxious and avoidant. Every one of these affects a relationship between two people.
Depending on our past experiences, mostly past relationships and childhood experiences, we have all created one of these attachment styles for ourselves.
An avoidant attachment style is when a person wants to be close to someone but at the same time, they aren’t comfortable with being in a relationship and sharing certain things with the other person.
They have negative opinions about themselves and about other people.
They think that one day, you’ll use their feelings and their secrets to hurt them; that’s why many people want to know how to communicate with an avoidant partner.
In a healthy relationship, both partners should accept the other for who they really are, celebrate their differences and deal with their issues in healthy ways.
Tips on how to communicate with an avoidant partner
Establishing a healthy relationship and communication with an avoidant partner isn’t so difficult; you just have to calm your nervous system and be more patient.
Here is how to communicate with an avoidant partner in the most efficient and proven ways.
Let them come to you first
Don’t chase after them. If you have had a fight or disagreement, don’t constantly call or text them. Your partner will probably need time to gather their thoughts before they’re ready to talk to you.
Let them come to you first. After some time, they’ll cool off and it’ll be easier for both of you to talk and solve your issues peacefully.
A person with an avoidant attachment style is afraid of physical intimacy. If they have decided to take that step with you, you have to be careful with them after that.
If they seem distant or request some alone time afterward, don’t immediately start thinking about how something went wrong. They don’t want to break up, they just need time to process what happened.
You have to be aware that you need to go slowly with an avoidant person. Don’t compare them to your previous partners, nor your relationship with your past ones.
Recognize their boundaries
A person with an avoidant attachment style knows how important their boundaries and limits are to them and they try to respect other people’s boundaries.
They won’t be direct about the things they don’t like but as time goes by, you’ll be able to figure it out by yourself.
Then you have to find the right way to deal with it and respond to it. Having boundaries is good for every healthy relationship so you’ll also have to set some of your own.
Show that you’re reliable
Even in times when they request some time alone or some space, you have to respect it but you also have to show them that you’re there for them.
Tell them that you’ll be there if they decide to talk to you. Tell them that no matter what happens, you believe in your strong bond and that you’ll fight it together.
If you promised them something, you have to keep your word. If they told you something in confidence and they have sworn you to secrecy, you must not repeat it to anyone else.
They must know that they can trust you. If you have had a fearful-avoidant open up to you, trust me, you’ve already achieved great success. Becoming emotionally close to someone is their biggest fear.
Don’t avoid disagreements
You have different opinions and perspectives over some things and it’s perfectly normal that you’ll come into conflict.
However, don’t avoid it. It’ll be good for you. Your partner might unintentionally open up to you in those moments and that’ll be a great way for you to understand how they feel and think about you.
If you both run away from conflict, your partner will continue to bottle up their emotions and it’s only a matter of time before those emotions boil over, which would significantly change your relationship for sure.
Talk about your common interests
Find some common ground, some common interests, and talk about them. This is especially important for those who just started their relationship.
Maybe you can find some things that you both like, a common hobby or some TV shows that you both like, something you’ll both enjoy doing or talking about.
You’ll learn so much about each other from performing some activities together.
Afterward, talk about your new experience and how it made you feel. I’m sure it will improve your communication and create a deeper bond between you two.
Ask your partner often how they feel
It’s very important to know how your partner feels, which is why you should talk about your emotions more often.
Don’t start that conversation only once you see some changes in your partner’s behavior, as it might be too late then.
This is especially important because we know how difficult it is for a person with an avoidant attachment style to open up to us and talk about their emotions by themselves.
Your partner is shy when it comes to talking about their feelings and they’re also afraid that you might use their feelings to control them, which is why they think that the best thing is to keep it to themselves.
Send them a text in the middle of the day asking how they are or how their day is going.
It’s not just important for them to talk about their feelings for you; you have to talk about their issues at work, their problems with family and all the other things that bother them.
Additionally, you can’t only talk about their physical health, you must also ask them about their spiritual and mental health because when it comes to avoidant people, mental health is equally important.
Talk about your fears
We all have some fears but most people don’t like to talk about them because they don’t think others will understand.
If your partner feels free to open up to you about their fears, no matter how strange or funny they are, you have to show understanding.
Tell them that they are normal and that they’re probably not the only person with those fears. After all, if they bother them so much, there is always a way to work on them and overcome them.
Talk about your own flaws and imperfections
Show them that you aren’t ashamed to talk about your flaws and imperfections. Show them that you have embraced them and that you accept them as part of you.
Maybe it’ll help them to open up and talk about their flaws and maybe they’ll follow your example and also embrace their imperfections.
Talk broadly about the future
If you think that you should have ‘the talk’, you shouldn’t ask them directly how they feel about taking the next step or about your future together.
Talk about the future in general and ask them about their plans for the future. Ask them where they would want to live, when they want to get married and how many kids they want to have.
From their answers, you’ll be able to understand whether your relationship has a future or not. If they mention you in their plans for the future, then they’re sure they want to spend their life with you.
However, it may take a while for them to decide to take the next step.
With people who have an avoidant attachment style, it’s all about patience.
First, you have to learn their habits, then you have to recognize their limits and boundaries and you have to find some common interests that you can do together.
You must prove yourself to them because they must be sure that you truly love them so they can open up to you.
It takes time to build a connection with a fearful-avoidant. If you have strong feelings for them and want to make your relationship work, you’ll have to be patient and take it one step at a time.
How to connect with an avoidant partner
An avoidant person is not necessarily a narcissist. Some people use the avoidant style only as their protection from getting hurt by the person they love.
It’s possible to connect with an avoidant person and it’s actually pretty simple to do; you just have to be full of understanding and patience.
You also have to learn some more about the avoidant attachment style. These are some of the best ways to connect with your avoidant partner.
Don’t invade their personal space
The first thing you have to do is come to terms with the fact that your partner is a distancer. Then, if you really love them, you’ll have to accept it and try to find the best way to deal with it.
If you don’t think that you can accept it and feel the need that you have to change them somehow, then my advice for you is to admit it to them and end things with them while it’s still not too late.
People with an avoidant attachment pattern consider themselves independent even when they’re in a relationship. If they ask you for some space, don’t hesitate to give it them.
Let’s be honest, we all need some personal space in a relationship and only because we have different interests. It’ll also help to keep the peace between you two in your relationship.
Give them the time they need
If we have different interests and need some personal space when we’re in a romantic relationship, then we also need some alone time.
By respecting their need to be alone for some time, you’re showing them that you understand and accept them for who they are.
It’s difficult for a fearful-avoidant to maintain a relationship. They want to be close to someone but at the same time, they worry that they might get hurt so they try to protect themselves.
Being in a relationship is hard for them, no matter how much they want it, and they try to hide this. They have mixed emotions and sometimes it gets so overwhelming.
That’s why they need some time for themselves. They want to think about their relationship and their partner and they want to organize their thoughts and emotions.
Don’t pressure them
Don’t pressure them into something they don’t want to do. Don’t try to make them do anything because you won’t get the answer you hoped for.
Pressuring them will only make things worse. Avoidantly attached partners like to feel independent and that’s why they don’t like to be told what to do.
Show understanding of their attachment style
We all have different attachment styles and the only thing you can do is accept your partner’s attachment style.
You chose them, you fell in love with them by yourself and now you have to accept them for who they are. They accepted you, so why should you try to change them?
You have to show interest and respect for their own needs. I know that sometimes you aren’t okay with their avoidant behavior but you have to find a way to accept it and find the best way to deal with it in healthy ways.
Prove that you’re trustworthy
Never but really NEVER tell someone else something they told you in confidence; that is something that a dismissive-avoidant doesn’t forgive.
Show them that they can rely on you whenever they need you. Show them that they can count on you because you’ll always be there for them.
Have respect for their needs and wants. If they request some alone time or some space for themselves, don’t make a scene and let them have it; it’s just how they need to unwind.
The more you prove that you respect their attachment needs, the closer you’ll get to them and they’ll be able to trust you and open up to you.
Listen more than you talk
It’s okay to open up to your partner and tell them how you feel and it’s okay to talk about your own needs, thoughts and feelings.
However, if you truly want to connect with an avoidant partner, you have to listen more to them and talk less.
You have to show them that you are really trying to understand their avoidant behavior and that’s why you listen to them so carefully.
Get them to open up to you. Show them that they can trust you with everything. Try to talk to them about their past relationships or their childhood.
If you find out why they created that attachment style or who their attachment figure was, it’ll be easier for you to find a way to cope with their attachment style.
Go to couples counseling if needed
If you can’t deal with your problems by yourselves, then I suggest couples therapy as it’s the only way you’ll be able to handle your partner’s avoidant attachment style.
The professionals at couples counseling will tell you how to get your relationship back on track and how to connect and communicate more effectively and they’ll also explain everything about attachment theory.
It’s truly worth a shot. Besides, if it doesn’t help you, it can’t make things worse for you.
A secure attachment style is much easier to deal with than an avoidant one. These people are comfortable with being very close to someone and being in an intimate relationship with someone.
However, avoidants mostly attract people with anxious attachment styles.
They suit them best because anxious people lack self-confidence and they think they aren’t good enough; that’s why they would do whatever it takes just to keep being in the relationship.
Avoidant people play a little hard to get and that’s why they more often end up with anxious partners. They chase them, which pleases their ego.
Avoidant people didn’t choose to be like that by themselves, which is why we need to show our compassion and understanding.
The fact is that all couples have to go through some difficult times and your relationship with a fearful-avoidant will definitely hit some rough patches but the thing is that when you truly love someone, you can’t just run away when things become ugly; you have to stay, fight for your relationship and nurture it more than ever.
We hope these tips on how to communicate with an avoidant partner have helped you.
It’s hard to maintain a relationship with an avoidant person but trust me, it’s all worth it. When an avoidant falls in love, it’s truly for the rest of their life.