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Signs Your Avoidant Partner Loves You

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6 min

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Published on:

Thu Jun 13 2024

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Written by:

The Personal Development School

It’s one of the hardest parts of a relationship with an avoidant: how do you know they love you?

Avoidant individuals often struggle with intimacy and vulnerability, which can make it difficult to express their feelings traditionally.

However, despite their reluctance to open up, avoidant partners are still capable of love.

In this blog, we'll explore the signs that indicate your avoidant partner loves you, how they act in meaningful relationships (with a focus on anxiously attached people), and how they develop their traits in the first place.

How Does Avoidant Attachment Develop?

The avoidant attachment style typically develops in childhood as a result of inconsistent caregiving or trauma.

When a child grows up emotionally neglected, rejected, or abused physically or emotionally, they develop plenty of unmet needs.

To meet them, they develop coping mechanisms that prioritize independence and self-reliance over emotional closeness.

On top of that, they associate love with being painful, others are not reliable or trustworthy, and they can only trust themselves.

This continues into adulthood, where these individuals struggle with avoidance tendencies, such as a lack of intimacy, emotional connection, or becoming uncomfortable when others get too close.

There are two types of avoidants: fearful and dismissive. While both are very different in many ways, they have overlapping traits, beliefs, and patterns that can impact their ability to form relationships or connect with others. The most common is a fear of being betrayed or feeling pain in a relationship.

However, for this blog, we'll be focusing on dismissive avoidants.

Despite that belief, avoidants can make great, loving, and connected partners and will commit to a growing and strong relationship.

Let’s take a look at avoidants in a relationship now.

avoidant partner loves you

Avoidant Attachment Style in Relationships

Being in a relationship or dating an avoidant can be confusing, thrilling, and a little unveiling.

Because they are closed-guarded and keep their emotions to themselves, they don’t usually allow their partner — or even friends or family — “in”. They put up strong boundaries to avoid getting intimate, being exposed to emotions, or becoming vulnerable. This is a big emotional barrier to them developing fulfilling and deep relationships.

At the same time, they find relationships confusing and overwhelming. Remember that avoidants crave independence and autonomy, so to have to share their time with others can be difficult. They are built to rely on themselves, so to suddenly share that with someone is a challenge.

Avoidant individuals may exhibit certain behaviors that signal their discomfort with intimacy, including:

  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Pulling away when things get too serious
  • Fear of commitment
  • Needing space or alone time
  • Difficulty in meeting their partner's feelings and needs 
  • Tendency to prioritize independence over partnership

Despite these challenges, avoidant partners can still form deep affection and connections and experience love — when the safe environment is right for them. They want a stress-free, easy-going, and successful relationship while being respected, understood, and with a partner that accepts their freedom and independence. 

They do express love, but not as openly as anxious preoccupied individuals or those with a secure attachment style. The trick is to recognize the signs.

Signs an Avoidant Loves You

Knowing if your avoidant partner loves you can help alleviate some of the uncertainty and frustration that often accompanies these romantic relationships. Here are 12 tell-tale signs that your avoidant partner loves you.

1— Consistent in their Actions

Avoidant partners often express love through actions rather than words. Once they get to know you — and want to join you for the long term — they’ll start turning up consistently in their actions.

2— Consistent in their Communication

While avoidant individuals may struggle with emotional expression, a partner who loves you will communicate regularly and openly, even if it's uncomfortable for them. They will text you back (in their own time), express their emotions, and engage in deep emotional conversations, but they will do so subtly and less openly.

3— You Communicate Needs Clearly & in the Positive

If you clearly communicate your needs and expectations of a relationship in a positive way without criticism (and do not assume the avoidant will mind-read you), you can expect them to put in the effort to meet those needs or love language.

4— They Open up in Smaller Ways

Avoidants will not openly express their emotions or beliefs like anxiously preoccupied or securely attached people. They will do this in smaller doses via actions, non-verbal cues, or communication. But if they do express their emotions and beliefs, it’s a sign they’re developing trust in you.

5— Let You Know They Need Space

Avoidants thrive on boundaries and personal space. So if they let you know that they want or need it, it’s a step in that they’re comfortable that they can get it. Some partners would be turned off by the request for personal time and space, but asking for it is a positive sign that things are growing.

signs avoidant loves you

6— Respect for Boundaries

An avoidant partner who loves you will respect your boundaries and give you the space you need while still being there for you when you need support. They want their own time for themselves but are also happy for you to express yourself in your own time. Respecting boundaries is a big thing for avoidants.

7— Physical Affection & Intimacy

While avoidant individuals may be uncomfortable with excessive physical affection, they may still express their love through subtle physical gestures like hand-holding or cuddling.

8— Being Willing to Compromise

Love requires compromise. So, if your avoidant partner is willing to compromise and find common ground, even if it means stepping out of their comfort zone or going against their independence, it’s a sign they love you.

9— Showing Interest in Your Life

An avoidant partner who loves you will take an interest in your life, asking about your day, interests, and goals, even if they struggle to share their own. At the same time, they will encourage you to pursue your passions and goals, even if it means spending time apart while celebrating your successes and achievements.

10— Introduce You to Friends or Family

As they are guarded, avoidants are hesitant to introduce partners to their family and friends. It means allowing someone else into their personal and safe space. If your partner is happy to introduce you to their friends or family, they foresee you in the future with them. It’s a big step for avoidants to take in lowering their physical and emotional boundaries. 

11— Making Plans for the Future

Avoidants are known for not committing to the long term, whether that’s a relationship or just general plans. But a partner who loves you will be willing to discuss and plan for the future together, even if it's uncomfortable for them.

12— Making You a Priority

Despite their fear of commitment, an avoidant partner who loves you will prioritize your needs and wants, making you feel valued and cherished in the relationship. They will put you on a higher pedestal and make compromises and sacrifices.

Despite their struggles with intimacy and vulnerability, avoidants are still capable of forming deep and meaningful connections — it’s just that they express them in different ways. However, it can be difficult for some people to accept these signs of love.

Watch this video to learn about the 6 things an avoidant does when they're falling in love!

Anxious & Avoidant Relationships

Whether you’re dating or navigating a relationship with an avoidant partner, if you’re an anxious preoccupied person, it can be challenging.

That’s because you’re torn between constant contact and desire versus their need for independence and freedom. This can cause anxious attached people to hyper-focus on their avoidant partner’s actions or inactions.

As an anxiously preoccupied person, there are three steps you can take to nurture this relationship :

1— Get Back into Your Body

Focus on your emotions and give yourself some time. Having time for yourself and checking in with your body can help you focus on yourself instead of zeroing in on your partner.

2— Check in with Your Values

What do you value in yourself and your relationship? While the avoidant might not necessarily be saying or expressing “I love you” in your terms, if they’re meeting your needs, it’s a sign the relationship is growing. It might just be a clash of values, so take the time to figure yours out again.

3— Nurture Other Relationships in Your Life

Anxious preoccupied people have a tendency to focus on their partners only — but there are other more fulfilling and embracing connections out there. It’s just up to you to nurture them. Take the time to create and form other relationships; they’ll bring you just as much love and care.

If you want to learn more about forming a relationship with an avoidant, sign up for our Advanced Dismissive Avoidant Attachment Style course.

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