If you want to get an avoidant to commit, you need to show them that you can be counted on. This means that you need to show up when you say you will and do what you say you're going to do. The bottom line is that you shouldn't make any promises that you can't keep and you should keep the promises you do make.
Usually, this kind of defense mechanism comes from a childhood trauma of abandonment and it means that relationships are unpredictable and temporary. An avoidant partner won't be able to commit in the long run because they simply can't maintain relationships for that long.
Avoidants believe that no one else gets them, and they need time to themselves to organize their thoughts and feelings. It hurts, but chasing after them when they want to be alone will push them even farther away since they'll feel like their independence is threatened.
Unpredictable situations or feeling out-of-control. Having to be dependent on others. Feeling like the relationship is taking up too much of their time. Being criticized by their loved ones. Feeling like they're going to be judged for being emotional.
Give them space when they pull away. Avoidants need lots of space to feel comfortable in a relationship. Since they're afraid of commitment, spending too much time with them will make them feel smothered. When they start to grow distant, respect their need for time apart, even though it might be hard.
Avoidant individuals are known for hiding behind a wall of intimacy, which is why they act stoic and devoid of emotion. They think that if you take a peek into their lives, you'll crush them in the end. If an avoidant loves you, he'll let a layer or two drops so that you can get a glimpse of his true self.
They're afraid of commitment, whether it be to a relationship, a weekend away, or any activity which could lead to a more intense feeling of bonding or closeness. They're suspicious of others, finding it difficult to build trusting feelings or a relationship.
See, good news! It is possible for avoidants to chase the people that they're romantically interested in. But, it isn't easy. Love is unavoidable, even for an individual with an avoidant (whether an anxious-avoidant or a dismissive-avoidant) style.
Avoidant people often long for relationships when they are alone although they use “deactivating strategies” to cope. “Deactivating strategies” are those mental processes by which the Avoidant person convinces themselves that being alone is just as good or better than being in relationship.
We have found that on average a fearful avoidant will not initiate a reconnection with you. However, there is a window of time where they do consider it and if you time it right you can get them to come back if that's what you want.
"People who are emotional avoidant tend to cut things off and move on quickly," explains Dr. Walsh. "They take no time to process and prefer not to keep in touch." These people appear to bounce back from breakups quickly and move on with little regard for what once was.
That's perfectly fine, although you've got quite a bit of work cut out for you if your partner truly is an avoidant. That's the bad news. The good news is, most of the emotional work you should be doing in a relationship with an avoidant is the kind of processing a healthy person would do for any partner.
Not all avoidants are going to cheat, experts say.
These partners can seek closeness from others if they are otherwise lacking that feeling in a relationship with a distant or emotionally unavailable avoidant partner. "The anxious person begins to catastrophize and assumes the relationship will end," she says.
Most of the time, fear of commitment stems from the avoidant attachment style. A person with an avoidant attachment style tends to avoid intimacy, pulls away when people get close, is uncomfortable when others come close to them or with sharing emotions and deep thoughts.
Because of this, fearful-avoidant people have a mixed reaction to breakups: Initially, they do attempt to not feel their feelings and instead numb them in other ways, pretending they're absolutely fine.
Avoidants may keep pushing people away but be shocked when they finally leave. As a child their caregiver may have been neglectful or overbearing and given rise to a feeling of emotional abandonment, but they were still physically present.
Avoidants have the tendency to get lost in their head and overthink things. So opt for quality time while doing activities—such as a hike or run, or even trying out a new sport together (bocce ball, anyone?).
Avoidants tend to not want to give anything or anybody their time or their energy. If it doesn't serve them any purpose, they won't do it. So if they are with you and they are giving you their time, that is a really good indication that they care about you and they are putting you as a priority.
An avoidant partner needs to trust that you're there for them without being overly clingy. They also tend to watch behaviors intently to believe that. So, doing things together to create positive feelings will build trust over time. Examples include reading, walking, and going to shows together, amongst others.
At this point, you may be wondering: will an avoidant miss you? The thing is, when you're patient enough to give them a lot of time and space, they will initially get back to their everyday life. They will neither miss you nor demand time or attention from you.
The fearful avoidant will typically go through a period of euphoria after a breakup due to their newfound freedom from the confines of the relationship. However, that doesn't mean they won't eventually regret the breakup.