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How To Love an Avoidant


When you are dating an avoidant partner, it’s natural to feel anxious about the future of your relationship. Whether your partner’s behavior involves shutting down during discussions, avoiding certain topics, and/or struggling with commitment, you may find yourself constantly worrying about your partner pulling away – even when things are going well. 


Before you can learn how to love an avoidant, it is important to understand where this behavior stems from. In the simplest terms, someone with an avoidant attachment style did not experience enough love, affection, and support from their caregivers as a child. As a result, they learned to rely on themselves, and they often shy away from closeness and dependence on others. 


Having a happy, healthy relationship with an avoidant partner is not impossible. But if you do not understand their attachment style and work to bridge this gap, it can be challenging. If you have an avoidant partner, these tips can help you remain calm and learn how to grow closer to your partner. 


Remaining Calm

The non-avoidant partner needs to understand their avoidant partner’s patterns. If you can learn which situations cause them to pull away and create distance, you can anticipate these scenarios in advance. Furthermore, you can establish strategies for dealing with moments like this. 


When you learn which circumstances prompt your partner to put their guard up, you won’t be thrown off. Instead, you can take a deep breath and approach the situation with compassion and a level-headed outlook. 


Becoming Self-Aware

Your avoidant partner will also need to put in some work to make sure your relationship is on solid ground. For instance, they will need to become aware of their patterns. When your partner knows which situations will cause them to feel insecure and guarded, you can work together to navigate the issue. Building a relationship free of anxiety will take a serious effort from both partners. 


Encouraging Open Communication

Both parties will need to master the art of open communication to understand your partner’s perspective and make them aware of your feelings. When you feel the distance growing between you and your partner, it’s time to have a conversation. 


And when your partner’s actions make you feel anxious, it’s your turn to open up. Knowing exactly how your partner is feeling can help you stay calm during uncertain times. A sense of confusion generally exacerbates anxiety, and clarity from your partner can soothe your worries.


Boosting Self-Esteem

It’s also crucial to focus on improving your self-esteem. If you view your self-worth as inherently connected to your partner’s actions, every conflict and misunderstanding can shake your sense of self. You and your partner cannot build a solid foundation for your relationship unless you both have a strong sense of self-worth. Spend your time on activities you truly find fulfilling and work to address negative thought patterns. 


When you trust yourself, maintain your independence, and learn to differentiate yourself from your partner rather than becoming codependent, it will be easier to weather the storm of anxiety. Focusing on yourself while balancing your concern for your partner can help you understand that your partner’s avoidant attachment style is not a reflection of you. 


Practicing Mindfulness

Finally, practicing mindfulness is always helpful! Simply making an effort to stay present can immensely improve your perspective when you might otherwise give into anxiety. You may want to learn calming breathing techniques or start a meditation. Perhaps this is something that you and your partner can work on together! 


When you find strategies that help you reduce your anxiety levels in general, you’ll have an easier time staying calm in your relationship with an avoidant partner. 



Are you in a relationship with an avoidant partner? Does your relationship often leave you feeling anxious? Are you looking for communication tools to reach your avoidant partner? Therapy can help! Reach out to Sequoia Counseling Center today to discuss your options for scheduling your session.


 

Maigen Pham, LPC

Maigen has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and couples – in addition to providing behavioral therapy to children with autism. Her approach to counseling is holistic, eclectic, and collaborative in order to help individualize sessions for each person. Additionally, as a Certified Sex Therapist-Candidate, Maigen provides therapy for individuals experiencing problems with sexual intimacy.




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