Being in a relationship with an avoidant partner can cause feelings of frustration, loneliness, and confusion. Every attempt to grow closer to them may feel like an insurmountable obstacle or a giant wall of ice. Despite the challenges, it is possible to develop a strong bond with a partner who has an avoidant attachment style. By using effective strategies and staying motivated, you can help your partner open up to you and build a deeper connection.
1. Be Honest With Them About Your Needs
If you don't communicate your desires calmly and clearly to your partner, they won't have the chance to fulfill them. Your partner may assume that what works for them works for you, unless you express specific ways that you want to be cared for. It's important to discuss your love languages and to work together to create a more enriching and safe relationship. Remember to also inquire about what makes your partner feel secure and valued.
2. Wait For Them To Come To You
When your avoidant partner retreats, it's important to give them space. Pursuing them relentlessly can cause them to feel threatened and push them away permanently. Although it may be painful to step back and allow them to be alone, it's a temporary measure. Resist the urge to send multiple texts or make repeated phone calls. Allow them the time to reflect on their emotions and come back to you when they're ready.
3. Approach From A Place Of Understanding
Your partner's avoidance is not about you, so try not to take it personally. They may distance themselves or hide their true feelings as a self-defense mechanism, which likely stems from their past experiences with parents, caregivers, or past relationships. Their behavior is a way for them to cope and protect themselves, so it's important to be understanding and patient with them.
4. Talk About What You Want Instead Of Complaining
When communicating with your avoidant partner, it's important to keep the conversation positive. Instead of criticizing or blaming them for their behavior, focus on expressing your desires and what you enjoy doing together. This approach can make your partner more open to listening and less likely to feel defensive. By sharing your needs and desires, your partner will see that you care about the relationship and may be more willing to adjust their behavior.
5. Let Yourself Be Vulnerable
Wearing your heart on your sleeve can make you feel vulnerable, but it's not a weakness. Vulnerability is a strength that can lead to deeper intimacy in a relationship. Don't worry about being hurt or taken advantage of by your partner; if they do, it's on them, not you. Your vulnerability can inspire your partner to let their guard down and allow you to connect on a deeper level. So embrace your vulnerability as a way to foster a more profound and meaningful relationship.
6. Be Mindful Of How You Express Yourself
The way you communicate can be just as important as the message you convey. Avoidant partners may become overwhelmed by strong or negative emotions, and their response may be to withdraw or disengage entirely. To avoid this, avoid using a forceful or condescending tone when speaking with them, and don't inundate them with all of your emotions at once. Rather, focus on expressing what's most essential and allow them to address that before moving on to other topics.
7. Show That You're Reliable And Dependable
Avoidant partners often have a preconceived notion that they will inevitably be let down by those around them. It's important not to confirm this belief. Show your partner that you are there for them, even when they withdraw. Assure them that you are committed to the relationship and will be available whenever they are ready to talk. Keeping your promises will help build trust and make your partner more willing to share their thoughts and feelings with you.
8. Ask Them How They Feel
To avoid your partner keeping their emotions to themselves, don't wait for their behavior to change before discussing their feelings. Instead, make it a regular practice to initiate these conversations, especially as individuals with an avoidant attachment style may struggle to communicate their emotions without prompting. A simple phone call during the day to ask how they're doing and about their work, family, and other matters that concern them may be all it takes to prompt them to open up.
9. Use Positive Reinforcement To Influence Their Actions
Acknowledge your avoidant partner's efforts, no matter how small they may seem. When they do something that makes you happy, express your appreciation and let them know how much it means to you. Even if it wasn't easy for them, acknowledge the effort they put in to become a better, more secure partner. Share what you value in the relationship and give compliments frequently to make it feel natural to them.
10. Find Common Ground
Discussing your hobbies can be an easy way to start conversations with your partner, but it's important to also share deeper interests. Finding shared interests can help your partner see you as someone they can confide in, and can make them more comfortable sharing their thoughts with you. By gradually delving into deeper topics, your partner may eventually feel secure enough to open up about their innermost feelings.