Loving someone with avoidant attachment can be extremely difficult.
Avoidants often doubt their own feelings and intentions, because of this they tend to bombard their partners with mixed messages.
They can go from showering you with attention to being unresponsive and distant in a matter of days or even hours.
These kinds of mood swings will not be just limited to the early stages of dating.
Avoidants remain the same in a long term relationship.
They can fluctuate so much, they’ll go from telling you how much they love and appreciate you on one day, to pulling away and needing space on the next!
What’s even worse, avoidants have a tendency to continue testing their partner’s limits by pulling away and letting their doubts and fears sabotage things. So much so, they might even break up for what feels like no good reason.
Loving someone with avoidant attachment is like navigating a maze.
You have to learn to read all their hidden messages and not fall into their traps.
But before going into how to do this, let’s first talk about whether it’s something that is even worth the effort.
Can a Relationship With an Avoidant Ever Work?
When you’re loving someone with avoidant attachment, there might be times when you’ll be wondering:
Why am I even doing this to myself?!
Why am I choosing to be with someone who keeps on pulling away over and over again?
Will this ever change?
I’m here to tell you, that yes it can absolutely change!
A relationship with an avoidant can work.
It is possible to win over your partner’s trust and support them in overcoming their attachment issues, so much so, they’ll become openly grateful, appreciative and committed.
I’ve seen this kind of transformation happen many times.
My then boyfriend, now husband, used to have a lot of traits of avoidant attachment. He had a fear of commitments, needed a lot of space, wasn’t sure he saw a future for us together, and all that changed!
We went from feeling disconnected and breaking up every couple of months, to being happy and stable together.
Furthermore, I’ve observed many more avoidant attachment relationship successes among a lot of my coaching clients.
Men who were distant and hesitant to really let their girlfriends into their lives, suddenly changed and didn’t want to go anywhere without them.
The same way, women who kept on pulling away and were unwilling to commit, could suddenly make up their mind and start making a lot more effort.
Getting an avoidant to go through this kind of transformation takes effort though.
And for you to be willing to put in all that work, you have to first know if they really care about you or not.
How Do You Tell if an Avoidant Loves You?
Being able to tell if an avoidant truly loves you is not always easy.
They might tell you that they don’t think they love you as much as you love them.
Or that they’re not sure what their true feelings are.
At the same time, they’ll keep on saying or doing things that completely contradict what they just said…
Don’t let your partner fool you.
A person with avoidant attachment can fall in love. But they won’t be able to express it clearly and openly.
That’s why you’re better off reading between the lines and looking at their actions, rather than listening to what they are saying.
Here you’ll find a list of signs that an avoidant loves you:
1. They Tell You They Love You or Express Their Appreciation
One of the most confusing things a lot of avoidants do is say that they love you, or express how much they value something about you, and then backtrack on it the next day!
This happens because people with avoidant attachment get riddled with doubt.
They might have a brief moment of clarity and getting in touch with their own feelings, but it’s often followed by a flood of panic and fears.
So if your partner expressed their love or appreciation for you and then took it all back, know that they did actually mean it.
This confusing behavior is extremely common!
It’s a definite sign that you’re dealing with an avoidant and that they are falling for you.
2. They Are Considerate or Caring
People with avoidant attachment tend to have an easier time showing you that they love you with actions rather than with words or commitments.
This is why they can act in most considerate of ways:
They’ll make sure you’re feeling good and comfortable. They’ll listen to you about your problems, try to help you out, get you the things you need etc.
But again, they are very likely to play it all down, saying that all their efforts meant nothing and that they would do it for anyone.
When they say this, don’t listen to them.
Someone being considerate and caring towards you is a definite sign of them loving you, no matter what they claim.
When loving someone with avoidant attachment, you need to ignore their words and listen to their actions instead!
3. They’re Affectionate and Seek Physical Closeness
Physical touch is a big way of how a person can express their feelings for somebody else.
For some avoidants it’s easier to connect on a deeper level through physical intimacy.
They might be too doubtful of their own feelings to be able to state them in a conversation. But somehow, expressing them through affection or even sex might be much less of a barrier to them.
Yes, men can sleep with a woman without developing feelings (and vice versa…) but these kinds of exchanges are rarely accompanied by true intimacy, snuggles and cuddles…
So if your partner with avoidant attachment is affectionate towards you or seeks physical closeness and intimacy, consider it a sign that they long to feel close to you because they do actually love you.
4. You Feel Like What You Share Is Special
This is something I’ve known from my own experience, but also heard from countless coaching clients. To you, the relationship might feel extremely special.
Deep down, you know the bond that you share is very strong and meaningful. That having this level of connection is actually extremely rare.
But your partner with avoidant attachment just keeps on playing it down and denying feeling the same way you do. Which inevitably leads you to wonder: am I just imagining it all?
You’re not just imagining it. You can trust your own judgment.
Avoidants tend to be in denial of their true attachments, they might be even fighting their feelings for you.
But, if deep down you know that what you guys share is special, then you must have a good reason for believing it.
For you to feel this way, your avoidant partner must have been giving you lots of covert messages proving to you that they do love you, indirectly.
5. They Keep On Coming Back After Pulling Away
One of the signature traits of an avoidant is that they love space and keep on pulling away.
(Some emotionally unavailable partners might need so much time apart, it can make you question if they ever even miss you.)
But if your partner reliably keeps on coming back after pulling away, it’s a sign that they are attached and care about you.
An avoidant who loves you will always find their way back to you!
6. They Keep On Trying to Impress You
Avoidants like to play coy. They’re generally not the type of people who make big romantic gestures. But they have other, more covert ways of ensuring that you become and remain crazy about them…
They do it by endlessly trying to impress you.
Everybody has their own ways of going about this:
Some people try to impress their partners with their extensive knowledge base.
Others like to show off their exquisite taste or culinary skills.
Some avoidants will try to impress you by being handy and doing things for you.
While others might try to flex with their expensive gadgets, clothes, tickets that are otherwise hard to get etc.
If your partner with avoidant attachments makes continuous efforts to impress you, it’s a definite sign that they want to keep you interested because they’re in love with you.
7. They’re Keeping You Chasing Them
Last but not least, one of the most common signs of an avoidant loving you is when they make sure that you always keep on chasing them.
They do it by giving you just enough encouragement for you to believe that they do really care about you.
But not quite enough for you to be able to just relax and feel like you’ve got full control over them and the relationship.
They want to keep you on your toes. As long as you’re chasing them, they don’t need to worry about losing you. It’s their way of making sure that you will stick around.
When an avoidant is making you chase them a lot, know that it’s a sign that they are attached and love you.
How Do You Love Someone With Avoidant Attachment?
Loving someone with avoidant attachment is definitely a big challenge. They’ll keep on testing you by pulling away.
On one hand, they’ll be checking what your intentions are and if you’re trying to trap and control them.
And on the other hand, they’ll also need to see that you won’t give up and walk away from them without putting up a fight.
The most difficult part of this whole problem is that they won’t be able to give you that sense of security and stability you might be so desperately needing from them.
At least not directly…
They’ll only leave hints and hope that you can read between the lines and get their message.
So you really have to trust your own gut here. You have to be the emotional compass for both of you.
Avoidants are generally too sacred and doubtful to give you many guarantees.
Pushing them to do so will only backfire. They’ll either pull away or only make you doubt everything more.
So take their words with a grain of salt and look at their actions. That’s where you can find the reassurance and stability you crave and need.
The second big component that can turn your relationship with an avoidant into a success is setting boundaries.
You need to stand up to them and tell them that they can’t endlessly keep on pulling away and testing you.
This way, you can make sure you don’t burn out and let them make you give up.
If you’re struggling because of dating someone with avoidant attachment, we can help you out with that in a 1-1 coaching call.
Here, we will carefully listen to your story and figure out if you’re just imagining things or if your partner truly cares about you.
We’ll also give you tips on how to set boundaries to get them to stop sabotaging your relationship and pushing you away.
And if you’re looking to get your partner to chase you more, be sure to check out my husband’s post:
11 Best Ways to Get an Avoidant to Chase You
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!
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