25 Proven Ways To Communicate With An Avoidant Partner

Dating with this attachment style can seem difficult till you learn how to say what needs to be said.

By Harini NatarajanHarini Natarajan, Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner  • 

Relationships work on mutual understanding and communication. But if you are in a relationship with someone who is not open to communication or not sharing anything, they are known as an avoidant partner. So, how to communicate with an avoidant partner? The behavior of an avoidant partner is confusing, and you may feel lonely and frustrated. People with this kind of behavior fear getting attached to their partners and sharing secrets, feelings, or needs. They will not feel secure and think you will hurt their emotions if they share anything. Be it due to past experiences or unhealed trauma, these people are not comfortable with being in a relationship. Therefore, it is not easy to maintain a relationship with such a partner. However, it is possible to develop a strong bond with your partner with the right tips. In this article, we have discussed proven strategies to communicate with an avoidant partner effectively. Scroll down for more information.

25 Proven Strategies To Communicate With An Avoidant Partner

1. Do Not Chase An Avoidant Partner

Do not chase an avoidant partner

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Attachment styles in adults reflect their childhood conditioning and dynamics with their primary caregivers. It can be due to the deprived care and tenderness they needed as children. Adopting a deflective attachment style protected them from disappointment or getting their feelings hurt. However, this can be a tricky thing to deal with while dating someone with avoidant traits.

If you have the knack of pursuing people who require a lot of space, you will likely chase them away even faster or turn and retaliate. Instead, allow them the space when an avoidant partner withdraws into their reserved mode. It may hurt to let them go momentarily, but running after them will prolong the chase before they come back to you.

2. Don’t Take Their Distance Personally

Avoidant partners distance themselves as a self-soothing mechanism. They have a deep-seated fear of losing themselves. Remember that your partner’s behavior is not personal and a reflection of their inner conflict. If an avoidant partner is too critical of you, it’s not your obligation to absorb any of it. Also, remember that your partner can be self-critical too.

3. Ask For What You Need

When we don’t get what we want in a relationship, it is better to ask rather than nag about it openly. The chances are that your avoidant partner may not have thought of things from your perspective. Rather than being passive-aggressive and making them guess what you need, let them know.

Most partners become responsive when someone they care about speaks of their needs. The cues mentioned below may help you express your needs without sounding demanding.

  • “It would make me feel really good if you did this.”
  • “I would really like you to…”
  • “I feel loved and cherished when you….”
  • “Can we spend more quality time together? I need some extra reassurance today.”

4. Reinforce Positive Behavior

Let them know your approval and appreciation when they do things you like. Talk about the things you value the most in your relationship and things that are working well. This can help you create balance in an avoidant partner’s tendency to hyper-fixate only on the negative. Since they are constantly looking for reasons to run, hide, or shut down, positive affirmations and reassurance can help break that pattern and make them feel secure.

5. Extend Your Understanding

How to communicate with an avoidant partner and extend your understanding

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One quality that is often short in supply is active listening. Be open to understanding your partner’s feelings and problems when they choose to express themselves. Rather than trying to fix the problem, hear them out. Be there for them or provide compassionate advice.

6. Being Dependable

Avoidant partners expect the other party to drop and be disappointed. That makes it more crucial for you to do as you say and not make promises you cannot honor.

7. Respect The Differences

Understand that your partner may be a step behind, slower than your ideal pace. Communication avoidance does not necessarily imply your partner is not interested in being with you.

8. Cultivate Your Interests

Nobody can complete all your needs. The key to drawing your avoidant partner out of their shell is to be independent and have your own life that you enjoy. Watching you being self-reliant will make them want to share your enriched life.

9. Recognize That You Both May Have Unrealistic Fantasies

Your avoidant partner may have a dream just like yours, which can be unrealistic. Look at each other as humans where it is okay to have unique flaws rather than being swept up in a fairytale.

10. Express Intense Emotions With Care

How to communicate with an avoidant partner and express intense emotions

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You need to express your feelings and wants clearly while learning how to communicate your needs to your partner. Emotions expressed intensely often overwhelm avoidant people who cannot hear the message because they freeze or shut down. You are more likely to be heard if you communicate your feelings honestly and openly but in a moderate tone.

11. Give Them Space

You may want to open the emotional floodgates when you feel your partner is inching closer. Instead, live in the moment and enjoy your partner’s efforts to get close without scaring them off.

12. Avoid Rigid Roles

Defining roles in a relationship can shake your partner’s sense of security in the initial stages. So, instead of focusing on the gender role aspects, try to be more flexible with the roles as per your dynamics.

13. Work On Your Abandonment Issues

An avoidant partner can infuriatingly trigger your abandonment issues, which can be very unhealthy in the long run. It can lead to anxiety, panic, or depression. Therefore, work through these issues in self-healing ways or seeking professional therapy.

14. Don’t Try To Change Or Rescue Your Partner

Trying to change your partner’s basic attachment style is being ‘Bob the Builder’ and will only lead to more fruitless disappointment. If you need to parent your partner, you are ignoring your needs, which is not a healthy trait in a relationship.

15. Be Honest About Your Needs

We often settle for less because we love someone, but love alone is not enough to sustain a healthy relationship. If your core needs and desires are left unmet, love can turn into resentment. So, be honest with yourself about this, and if you think that your partner cannot meet these needs, it is wise to think about going your own way.

16. Set Healthy Boundaries

How to communicate with an avoidant partner and set healthy boundaries

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Healthy boundaries are the key to a healthy relationship. Set examples of how you expect to be respected, what is acceptable, and what you won’t tolerate. Love does mean that you should accept dysfunctional patterns.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you are dealing with an avoidant partner, try not to intrude into their space, and give them time to learn how to express themselves.

17. Understand Your Partner’s Limitations

Knowing how to communicate with an avoidant partner may need you to give yourself some personal time and distance. They may never change. Nobody is perfect, and some quirks, if not toxic to your mental and emotional health, are fine living with.

18. Aim At Growth

Every relationship is unique as the human fingerprint, so there are no hard and fast milestones for growth. If you are an anxious person, the journey of healing with an avoidant partner might need the aid of a relationship counselor or a couple’s therapy group. If you love each other, seeking help from professionals to make it last is a good step forward.

19. Understand Your Attachment Style

Although avoidant partners may look cold and unfeeling, they can be equally anxious. If you want to understand the communication secrets for a secure relationship, understanding your attachment style will help a lot.

20. Stay Consistent and Provide A Safe Environment

How to communicate with an avoidant partner while staying consistent and providing a safe environment

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Your avoidant partner as a child was discouraged or didn’t have their emotions validated by a parent. These children may have felt they were disappointed by their primary caregivers, and hence, the feeling of emotional safety is fundamental to them. Try to be your partner’s safe haven. This doesn’t mean that you try to parent them – it means being there for them when they need you most.

21. Learn To Take Up Your Own Identity

It is tempting to get so involved in a relationship that you lose your sense of self. However, this can be detrimental and self-sabotaging. Instead, retain your identity by building yourself, achieving things for yourself, and taking up equal space to secure your self-esteem as an individual.

22. Do Not Give Ultimatums

Avoidant partner’s distancing tactics often have deep-seated roots. Some may have grown up being overwhelmed by parental pressure, while others may have been conditioned that they couldn’t say ‘no’ to their parents or authority figures. Giving an ultimatum instead of communicating with empathy will make you appear rude because avoidant attachments shut down instantly at the first sign of their emotional safety net shaking.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Try to avoid pushing your partner into doing any activities that they are uncomfortable with. Instead, suggest activities that you both can enjoy.

23. Don’t Beat Around The Bush

Talking in riddles can lead to anxiety or frustration. An avoidant partner will react by deflecting such conversations if they feel uncomfortable. The key is to speak to them regarding important matters or emotional subjects without beating around the bush.

24. Quit Emotional Games

Being vulnerable is scary, especially when you feel like you are dating someone who acts detached. During such situations, your defense mechanism may kick in and push you to act the same way. Unfortunately, this may ruin your peace of mind more than helping you communicate better with your avoidant partner since both of you are walking on eggshells.

Show up maturely in the face of such situations and say things for what they are. You don’t have to pretend not to be affected by their facade and mirror them. Sometimes, what’s needed is a dose of honesty where your earnestness can trigger theirs.

25. Know When To Call It Quits

Know when to end a relationship with an avoidant partner

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It is admirable for someone to actively communicate their needs and desire for depth in a relationship. However, if your partner takes no note of it, refuses to work on themself, or can’t provide you the level of security you need, maybe it’s time to call it quits.

It is understandable to be torn when a person is inherently good but has an avoidant attachment, but you are dating them as a whole and not their potential. If their avoidance and detachment hurts and they can’t work on it, maybe they have not reached a stage where they desire true healing. Therefore, it is better to take a break for the sake of your emotional and mental health.

Avoidant partners are individuals who may not feel comfortable sharing intimate details about themselves with their partners, which can lead to anger and frustration in a relationship. If you want to know how to communicate with an avoidant partner, you can follow simple and effective strategies. It is important to openly tell them what you want from the relationship and understand their limitations. However, if your partner fails to work on themselves and cannot provide you with a secure relationship, it may be time to take a break from them and work on yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do avoidant partners need?

They need trust (the feeling of you being there for them). So try to spend some quality time together as this period helps them build some positive vibes.

How do you tell if an avoidant loves you?

If they make a true effort to connect with you, offer some romantic gestures, or give you some personal space, all these signs will tell you that your avoidant partner loves you.

How do you make an avoidant partner miss you?

If you want to make an avoidant partner miss you, stop all communication until they contact you, hang out with your friends, and focus on your self-care.

How do I get avoidants to commit?

Communicate your needs, stop complaining, understand the triggers, be patient and give them some space. These tips may help get avoidants to commit.

What triggers avoidant attachment?

A parent or caregiver being constantly unavailable emotionally to serve the needs of a child can trigger avoidant attachment.

How do you make an avoidant feel safe?

Listen to them, pay attention to their needs, try to accept them for who they are, and if they need some space, give them. These actions help make an avoidant feel safe.

Why do avoidants push you away?

Avoidants push you away and also deny their need for connection. Also, in order to make sense of independence, they maintain distance.

Key Takeaways

  • Allow your partner the space to help them heal and resolve their inner conflict.
  • Appreciate your partner when they do things you like.
  • Ask them what you need instead of making them guess.
  • Be your partner’s haven by providing them emotional safety.
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