Those with an avoidant attachment style will often forgo intimacy for autonomy and self-sufficiency; however, avoidants have a heightened sense of awareness regarding their avoidant tendencies, knowing these propensities can hinder a relationship. While many psychologists claim those with avoidant attachment styles are the most damaging in relationships of the four types, I disagree. In fact, I believe dating the right type of avoidant can actually lead to a forever relationship.
1. They don’t rush into things.
Avoidants are the ones who trust the least out of the types, but they will be cognizant of this. They will know that to truly trust someone will require them to be vulnerable. Avoidants will take their time getting to know you, gauging whether you are worthy of their trust. Some do this by starting the relationship with a friendship first. This is good — people often rush into relationships only to realize they weren’t compatible in the first place, and by racing towards a label or with an end goal in mind, they often miss out on obvious red flags. Avoidants contend with themselves wanting to be close to someone and pushing them away simultaneously, but they won’t let physical or false intimacy dilute their judgment; thus, avoidants will take things slow.
2. They don’t allow strangers into their lives easily.
At the beginning of a relationship with someone whose attachment style is avoidant, you will be piqued by their enigmatic nature. When asked about themselves, avoidants will reply with one-sentence answers and make the focus of the conversation about you, hence avoiding talking about themselves. Avoidants are so adept at diverting the attention off them with their charming demeanor that it might be hard to see at first how guarded they can be. It is important to note this form of gracefully maneuvering attention away themselves isn’t always done with conniving intent.
Because avoidants take their time letting people in, the relationships they do form are deeper and more meaningful.
3. You get healthy independence from being with an avoidant.
Avoidants prioritize the need for autonomy, and will ensure that level of independence even when they are in a relationship. Their partner must respect where their avoidant is at and meet them there as they grow in their relationship together. In other words, it will take time for your avoidant to learn to rely on you, and you must be patient with them.
As you’re getting to know your avoidant, you will experience a refreshing dose of independence from being with them. Avoidants will need time away from others to recharge and do their own thing. They won’t be clingy or demanding. They won’t feel the need to know where you are at every second. They’re also not the type to change up their schedule for another person, and will appreciate when dates are planned and when their partner follows through. Avoidants don’t put their partners on a pedestal; instead, they encourage them to maintain separate lives from one another and not be codependent. Avoidants will appreciate the relationship they have with their significant other as it is, and won’t center their entire life around a single person.
4. They’re honest with you while still keeping your feelings in mind.
Avoidants have an extreme aversion for confrontation and expressing emotions, but just because they are reluctant to open up doesn’t mean they aren’t forthright about their feelings. It might take your avoidant a few hours, or even a couple of days to finally divulge what’s on their mind, and conflicts can be frustrating, as they can take a while to resolve. Chances are, they’ll need you to gingerly coax the words out of them, but they won’t play games and will always tell you the truth because avoidants are honest people. Honesty is important to avoidants because it helps reduce conflict, and avoidants hate conflict.
5. They are highly empathetic.
Avoidants understand what it’s like to be hurt by someone, and will do all they can to make sure their partner doesn’t experience what they themselves went through. Most avoidants become avoidants either from neglect or trauma from their childhood. They have experienced pain and loss, and as a result are more empathetic than others. Avoidants are best paired with people who are accommodating and compassionate, and whose attachment style is secure.
6. They know their weaknesses and will handle constructive criticism well.
An avoidant who’s interested in a committed relationship will do all they can to be present and mindful of their avoidant tendencies. It’s essential their partner understand how distant they can be, and not take it personally. This is simply how your avoidant is wired. If your avoidant repeatedly distances him or herself from you, you should give them specific examples of what they do that makes you feel they are distancing themselves. They will appreciate your straightforwardness and take criticism well, as long as they know it will help them be better partners to you. Avoidants are definitely not the best at communicating, but encourage them and be gentle with them, because they will do what they can to to make it work.
7. They value emotional closeness more than physical intimacy.
Avoidants have a buried need for emotional connection. They are more interested in getting to know how you think about the cubism movement more than how your lips feel on their skin, which is why many avoidants prefer being friends first before dating. Emotional intimacy is built by spending quality time together just as friends would, and avoidants are happiest on dates where they can laugh one minute and and have serious conversations the next.
8. They are extremely loyal to those they love.
Avoidants are extremely loyal to those they love because it is hard for them to love. They typically have a few confidants (whom they completely trust) over a wide circle of acquaintances, and they know how valuable it is to meet someone who accepts their flaws and calls them out when they need it. Avoidants typically have extremely close friendships up to the point where they will do anything to protect them. Once a significant other gains the trust of an avoidant, know they will do the same for them.
9. Once they love you, they will never let you go.
Every attachment style is capable of loving deeply, but once you earn the trust of an avoidant, they will give you all they have. They will surprise you with how much they are constantly improving to be a better version of themselves. They will reveal their nurturing nature towards others and show you that part of them, the side they are afraid makes them look weak. They will no longer hide their imperfections from you, and will gladly spend all their time with you (in reasonably healthy amounts) instead of burying themselves in their careers or hobbies. They will even start speaking up when they have something they need to address, knowing full well the substantiveness of communicating. They will freely initiate affection towards you because they want to give, and not giving when they yearn to will be too frustrating for them to handle. Once they love, avoidants will no longer hold back from themselves. They will let you see who they are underneath all the walls they have built over the years and they won’t let you go, because once they love, they realize you could be their forever.