Whether your partner is ignoring your needs or gaslighting your feelings altogether, you are not alone when it comes to dealing with these types of relationship challenges.
An avoidant partner struggles with having a deep emotional attachment to a partner therefore creates distance every time the relationship needs to grow to the next level or cultivate deeper intimacy. This can become an ongoing pattern making you feel confused, frustrated, resentful, or even emotionally abandoned.
The reason avoidant partners’ pull back is because they feel threatened. They are fearful to face another failed relationship or fear facing the pain they experienced as a child when one of their parents emotionally rejected them.
Avoidant partners resort to hiding their feelings in romantic relationships, yet they are full of emotions that keep them stuck and feeling unsatisfied. They have a bad habit of getting in their own way. Also, they tend to focus on perfectionism with a partner versus progress which makes it challenging to take steps in a positive direction.
While avoidant partners can have their challenges, it’s not to say they can’t seek pleasure with a partner who is supportive, non-judgmental and creates a safe space for alignment. It’s not about changing the person you fell in love with, but inspiring them to come closer through transparency and trust.
Here are 11 Ways To Increase Intimacy and Communication With Avoidant Partner:
1. Avoid Demanding Change
Demanding your avoidant partner to change is the biggest no-no. They will completely rebel, as they feel threatened when you don't accept them for who they are. By telling your partner their behaviors are hurtful and downright selfish, it will only fuel them to push you further away from a resolution. Your avoidant partner will feel they are already failing so why try when there’s a lack of positivity and unconditional love.
2. Ask For What You Need Rather Than Complaining
Asking shows you respect them as an equal partner versus demanding and making them feel inadequate within the relationship. When you ask for what you need, you will want to use the three C’s of communication: Calm, Concise, and Constructive. By using a constructive style of communication you are more likely to help your partner understand your needs and wants without making it feel like another complaint. Complaining only reiterates they are doing something wrong which emotionally shuts down the conversation.
3. Use Positive Reinforcement
In order for a partner to want to make changes for the better, you will need to create a positive environment that allows room for change. If you are nagging and sharing all your frustrations, they will most likely tune you out. An avoidant person typically feels emotionally overwhelmed since they tend to stay on the surface, therefore any emotional rants cause them to feel emotionally flooded like a boiling pot of water.
4. Show Empathy and Understanding
By showing empathy and understanding, it creates more harmony and balance in your relationship. It gives your avoidant partner the space to breathe and share some of their vulnerabilities, making them feel more comfortable to open up. Sometimes actively listening to your partner will help them solve some of the relationship issues by feeling valued and respected by you.
5. Respect Your Differences
Both partners in the relationship may operate at different speeds when it comes to growth. While you may have the ability to take the relationship to the next level, your partner may struggle with change or the type of responsibility that comes with a deeper commitment. Learning to find mutual ground on where each of you stands in the relationship can promote growth and increase emotional intimacy through a heart-centered conversation.
6. Honor Your Own Life Passions
When involved with an avoidant partner the best thing you can do is honor what fuels your heart and soul. Maintaining your own personal passions and hobbies outside of the relationship is healthy and creates more room for your partner to pursue you. If you are constantly in their face, then they can’t make the decision to come forward on their own. This also keeps your mental and emotional health in check while being patient with your partner.
7. Stop Chasing Them
Chasing an avoidant partner will have them running for the hills. They actually get turned off when a partner tries to pursue them as it can make them feel like you are making decisions for them. The more space you give them, the more they are inclined to come towards you. While this may be challenging, being mysterious can do wonders for intrigue and attraction.
8. Be Mindful Of How You Express Your Emotions
When communicating with an avoidant partner, it's important to express your deepest feelings through your values and standards using “I” statements. If you use emotion or “you” statements, they will feel attacked and ignore you like the plague. Adjusting your approach to meeting your emotional needs can make a world of a difference with an avoidant partner.
9. Accept Your Partner’s Strengths and Challenges
Trying to change your partner shows you don’t love them for who they are. While you may not agree with their behaviors and actions, you still need to find a way to accept their strengths and challenges. If you are constantly pointing the finger about what they are doing wrong this alone can keep the relationship stagnant as it becomes another broken melody in their head. Compliment them on their strengths and encourage them to work on their challenges. No partner is perfect.
10. Set Healthy Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries shows you value yourself and believe in your worth. If you accept disrespectful behavior, this invites room for more issues down the road. Boundaries are your lifeline to bridging the gap between your differences and working better together for the greater whole of the relationship.
11. Strive Towards Growth and Alignment
Finding ways to create better alignment allows each of you to make compromises for the relationship. While it may feel like you are giving some things up, your partner will need to be willing to do the same so you both can receive something in return for the relationship to grow. If you and your partner are unable to do this on your own, consider couples coaching as a resource to help each other overcome obstacles and honor the love you share as a team.