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How to Approach Intimacy If You Have a Dismissive Avoidant Attachment Style


Reading time:

4 min


Published on:

Fri Oct 27 2023


Last updated:

Mon Feb 12 2024


Written by:

The Personal Development School

Individuals with a dismissive avoidant attachment style tend to struggle with closeness, emotional intimacy, and vulnerability. They tend to crave independence, meaning that acts of intimacy like kissing can be particularly difficult for them.

Whether you have a dismissive avoidant attachment style or your partner does, there are ways to become more intimate or support someone with this goal.

Signs That Your Partner Has a Dismissive Avoidant Attachment Style

If you’re wondering if your partner has a dismissive avoidant attachment style, here are some of the top signs to look out for:

They don’t like depending on you or being depended on. While some independence is healthy, people with a dismissive avoidant attachment style tend to want their freedom and are triggered when they feel like their partner needs too much from them.

They have a hard time prioritizing their romantic relationships. Because those with a dismissive avoidant attachment style struggle with any kind of dependence, they often have a hard time putting their romantic relationships first.


They have a hard time with intimacy. Intimacy, whether physical or emotional, is very difficult for those with a dismissive avoidant attachment style. Talking about feelings, kissing, and saying “I love you” might be hard for those with a dismissive avoidant attachment style.

They worry about being controlled. Due to past trauma, those with a dismissive avoidant attachment style don’t want to feel controlled by their partner, and can be triggered by small acts that they interpret as their partner trying to control them.

How to Support Someone With a Dismissive Avoidant Style When It Comes to Kissing and Intimacy

Whether you have a dismissive avoidant attachment style or want to support someone who is dismissive avoidant, here are intimacy tips to try.

1) Ask them when kissing and intimacy feels safe to them.

Someone with a dismissive avoidant attachment style is unlikely to enjoy PDA. They probably won’t want to kiss, hug, or even hold your hand in public. If this lack of intimacy is getting you down, you can get them more comfortable with intimacy by working on being more intimate when the two of you are alone: Kissing at home, holding hands while you’re watching TV, the list goes on.

2) Dismissive avoidants show their love by spending time with you—so acknowledge that!

One way individuals with a dismissive avoidant attachment style show they love you is by spending time with you. To make sure they feel appreciated and pave the way for greater emotional intimacy, thank them for all the quality time they spend with you. This will help them feel safer and closer to you.


3) Don’t expect them to start hugging and kissing you in public right away.

It’s important to be patient with people with a dismissive avoidant attachment style because intimacy is difficult for them. If they’re working on showing more intimacy in public, don’t expect it to happen overnight—it will take some time. Instead, tread lightly and do your best to notice small moments of intimacy as they become more frequent.

4) Try not to pressure them to have sex.

Individuals with a dismissive avoidant attachment style feel very triggered when their partner starts to point out that you aren’t having sex enough or pressuring them to have sex. This makes them feel like they have to push their partner away to maintain their feeling of freedom and relieve that pressure. This can also trigger feelings of shame for them.

If you’re in a relationship with someone with a dismissive avoidant attachment style, you can make sure to share that sex is important to you. But try not to put too much pressure on them around sex as they work to reprogram their core wounds and become more securely attached.

5) Give your partner opportunities for alone time.

Alone time helps dismissive avoidants feel safe and like they’re not being too heavily depended on and don’t have to depend on someone else. At the same time, their healing journey will ultimately lead them to a place where they feel more comfortable feeling some sense of dependence on their partner. When trying to encourage intimacy, offering them some alone time can give them breathing room and help them to not feel as pressured.

6) Work with your partner on reprogramming core wounds.

With integrated attachment theory, one of the main goals is to reprogram core wounds that were formed in childhood. Ultimately, getting your partner to put in the work to become more securely attached will lead to more natural intimacy between the two of you.

Help Change Your Partner's Dismissive Avoidant Attachment Style

Remember that your partner can always change their dismissive avoidant attachment style. There is a misconception that an attachment style will be yours forever and you're stuck with it. That's not the case at all.

They (and you) have the ability to change it to become a securely attached individual. You just might need some scientific-backed tools to help you do it.

If they're interested in learning about it: consider reprogramming their core wounds with The Personal Development School’s Advanced Dismissive Avoidant Attachment Style Course, which can help you become more securely attached in just 90 days.

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