If your partner always feels distant, your relationship confuses you, or you find yourself heartbroken without breaking up, you might be dating someone with an avoidant attachment style.
Avoidant partners can make you feel insecure or like you’re “too much.” You might even think they’re not that into you or miss being single.
But it all boils down to their attachment style and has nothing to do with you! In fact, they might think you’re the perfect match.
Committing is just difficult. And it’s totally valid if you want to leave them because of this.
Check out these signs to determine if your partner is an avoidant:
1) They’re confident and charming.
Especially when you first meet. Avoidant attachment style partners can struggle with emotional intimacy, but that doesn’t mean they can’t charm you.
In fact, it’s their avoidant traits that can help them excel in this area. Because they don’t rely on emotional closeness, they can form connections without engaging deeply.
They’re likable and social, often with many friends and partner choices.
Confidence and charm are attractive. People with avoidant tendencies typically develop these as a defense mechanism. Their confidence and charisma allow them to avoid vulnerability.
And while their charm might make it seem like they’re into everyone they meet,…
2) They’re picky when it comes to partners.
Avoidant partners can unconsciously set the bar too high. This is usually influenced by their fear of intimacy and to protect themselves from emotional pain and dependency.
My friend Sarah once dated a guy like this. Her food was never tasty enough. The house was never clean enough. And she was never smart enough.
He had near-impossible standards for her.
Want to know the worse part? He never held anyone else to these. Not his friends, not his family – just her.
If your partner has incredibly unrealistic expectations, they might have an avoidant attachment style.
No matter how hard you try, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll never please them because…
3) They’re never satisfied.
So even when you meet one of their ridiculous standards, your avoidant partner might still find fault.
You know how some people believe that when things are going good, it can just get better from there? Well, people with avoidant attachments don’t want it to get better.
Avoidant partners tend to focus on everything that isn’t working instead of what is. This can turn into a never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction.
And keep you from feeling good enough and happy.
Your avoidant attachment partner might not want you to be good enough for them. Because they fear emotional closeness, they try to convince themselves that someone can’t really love them.
This is also why…
4) They’re suspicious of everything you say and do.
Suspicion and mistrust are common among people with an avoidant attachment style. A lot of times, this stems from previous negative experiences.
Avoidant attachment develops as a result of hurt. Your partner may prioritize protecting themself and become overly cautious to do so.
This can lead to suspicion and them questioning your every move.
Because they’re already looking through a negative lens, the tiniest mistake you make can feel intentional to hurt them.
Your partner may suspect that you’re out to get them, which can be why they reach a point where…
5) They don’t rely on you.
Avoidant partners often have negative beliefs about dependency. They think asking for help is a sign of weakness. That wanting support makes you vulnerable.
They might even find it embarrassing.
People with an avoidant attachment style don’t want to depend on others or be a burden to them. They want to seem strong and would rather suffer than look inadequate.
Your partner may also worry that relying on you opens the door to potential rejection or abandonment.
Their fear of reliance is also why they rarely offer you any support.
It’s not because they don’t care or recognize your need for help. They just don’t want a partner who can’t meet their standards.
Independence is a huge deal for people with an avoidant attachment style. If your partner is an avoidant, you’ll also notice…
6) They talk about wanting freedom – a lot!
There’s nothing wrong with wanting some alone time. In fact, I think it’s crucial to do things on your own. Psychologists also talk about the benefits of this.
But if your partner is clear on not wanting a needy relationship and prefers to do most things alone, it’s possible they’re scared of commitment.
Their desire for freedom and space may be a sign that they’re uncomfortable with the emotional intimacy that comes with a steady relationship.
Want to hear a story?
One of my ex-boyfriends liked having one day to himself each weekend and would often go out with friends after work instead of hanging with me.
I didn’t hate this and thought he just wanted to avoid feeling suffocated in a relationship. Which is totally valid.
But here’s the kicker…
He didn’t ask me to be his date at his friend’s wedding. After seeing each other for 7 months, this made things clear. He wasn’t in this for the long run. So I ended things.
Needing space and wanting to maintain individuality is one thing. Making your partner feel like a pastime is another.
It’s crucial to find balance.
7) They’re distant when things are hard.
Does it ever feel like your partner never wants to sort out your issues? That they complain about stuff but refuse to talk about it?
You might even notice that they pick fights about something unrelated to avoid a subject.
- Are often reluctant to engage in difficult conversations.
- Use avoidant body language when they’re under stress.
- Are emotionally unavailable when you need their support.
When things are tough, your avoidant partner may instinctively create emotional and physical distance to protect themselves and cope with the discomfort.
All things considered, it’s important to understand that people with an avoidant attachment style can love you. They just have a deep-seated fear of rejection.
Their behavior is a self-protection mechanism rooted in their attachment style.
If you have an avoidant partner (and you want to be with them), you should foster open communication and create a space where they feel safe to express their fears.