You’re perfect for each other.
You know it, but sadly they can’t seem to see it right now.
As frustrating as it is, you realize it’s a part of their avoidant nature.
The closer you hope to get, the further they seem to pull away.
Breaking the cycle can feel like an impossible task, but don’t lose heart.
Here’s how to get an avoidant to chase you, without all the struggle…
1) Get to grips with avoidant tendencies
First things first.
Understanding the psychology behind avoidant behavior is going to seriously help you.
We all have different styles when it comes to handling relationships. And so it’s common for us to fall for someone who approaches love, romance, and dating differently.
If you want an avoidant to do the chasing, you’ve gotta get to grips with how they tick.
According to self-help author and blogger Mark Manson:
“Avoidant attachment types are extremely independent, self-directed, and often uncomfortable with intimacy. They’re commitment-phobes and experts at rationalizing their way out of any intimate situation. They regularly complain about feeling “crowded” or “suffocated” when people try to get close to them. They are often paranoid that others want to control them or box them in.”
This often means that perfectly reasonable behavior can feel restrictive to an avoidant. And when it does, rather than deal with their own uncomfortable emotions, they prefer to cut and run.
Please recognize that it’s not necessarily something that you have done or said wrong. It’s their own hangups.
But at the same time, you can use this knowledge of them so you can avoid triggering them or inadvertently “scaring them off”.
Throughout the rest of this article, we need to bear in mind what avoidants value:
- Feeling like it’s “causal” rather than anything that feels too serious
In contrast, they’re more likely to be freaked out by:
2) Resist the temptation to chase
I know you probably don’t need me to tell you this, but I’m going to say it anyway:
Don’t do the chasing.
Sounds pretty obvious right?
I mean you’re reading an article about the very opposite thing — getting them to chase you.
But I’ve also been in your position enough times to know firsthand that it is easier said than done.
Yep, me too. I have a habit of falling for the avoidant types as well.
So I know those same frustrations you are facing right now. I’ve also learned from plenty of my own mistakes.
And I don’t want you to fall into the same trap.
Because in the beginning, your willpower can feel strong. You’re determined.
But when desire builds and that willpower falters, it’s tempting to do away with all your plans of getting them to chase you.
You convince yourself that maybe a 3 am drunken confession text to lay it all out on the table isn’t the worst idea.
Can you tell I’m speaking from experience here?
But it really is the worst idea to chase an avoidant.
It gives them all the power and is most likely going to give them “the ick”.
As we’ll come to see, they want something the less available it feels. So that’s exactly the hand you have to play!
3) Step back enough to pique interest
Trust me, I don’t believe in playing games. Largely because they always have a tendency to backfire.
But here’s the thing:
Dating does involve a bit of a dance.
We even see animals do it in the natural world.
It’s almost part of the mating ritual. This courtship is what builds attraction, desire, and intrigue.
The reality is that the more available anything seems, the less we want it.
You can blame a psychological phenomenon called the scarcity effect for this one.
We humans simply place a higher value on what we believe to be more rare.
By now, you can probably see where I’m going here.
Make yourself seem a scarce resource.
Do this by being a little less available. I’m talking about things like:
- Don’t always be free when they want to make plans.
- Don’t message back at the speed of light as soon as you hear the ping of a text on your phone.
- If they won’t commit, consider keeping your options open. The mere thought of a little competition often heightens desire.
Whether we like it or not, a little bit of playing hard to get often makes us more desirable.
4) Make yourself a bit of a mystery
Being an open book is in many ways an incredibly admirable trait. It takes vulnerability and honesty — both of which are huge strengths.
But sadly, it’s not always something that an avoidant type can appreciate the value of.
An air of mystery on the other hand will be intoxicating. If they can’t quite figure you out, they will be all the more drawn to you.
Ok, but how do you do that?
Here are some practical ways:
- Always be the first one to end the conversation
Whether it’s on the phone, through messages, or in person, try to be the one who exits the convo first.
That way you leave them wanting more.
You obviously don’t want to be rude or seem uninterested. But it’s not going to hurt if you politely make your excuses.
Because you’re SUCH a busy and in-demand person, right?
- Don’t overshare
Of course, you want them to get to know you better and build trust.
But you need to remember they’re more sensitive to intimacy than most. So make sure you take baby steps.
Don’t dish all the dirt about yourself, show some restraint about how much you reveal. TMI is only going to make them feel uncomfortable.
- Keep your social media posting to a minimum
It’s very tempting when we want to catch someone’s eye to try to get their attention through social media.
Hey, I think we’ve all been there! After all, it’s sort of made for silently screaming “look at me”.
But sadly, uploading a million and one hot selfies of yourself to your stories is more likely to come across as thirsty than sexy.
A well-placed picture of you having fun may well do the trick and help your cause. But use discretion. It’s very easy to go overboard.
5) Try to stay as confident as possible
You might be unsurprised to hear:
Let’s face it, it’s one of the things we find so damn attractive about them.
But they also simultaneously score lower than other types when it comes to caregiving.
The reality is that they tend not to rely on others so much, and they don’t want others to rely on them either.
This is why matching their confidence will help.
It’s essential that they don’t view you in any way as needy or clingy. Rather than see it as endearing, it feels burdensome and stifling to an avoidant.
But how can you come across as confident at a time you might not be feeling full of it?
Here’s the thing about confidence. We can fake it till we make it. Because confidence is often something you do, as much as how you feel.
So behind the scenes do things to build your inner confidence.
The good thing is that this will be a skill that benefits you in so many ways and so is a worthy investment of your time and effort anyway.
Meanwhile, whenever you are around them, try to ooze as much confidence as you can.
One good way to help you do that is to prove your independence.
6) Show you are independent
Whether you are dealing with an avoidant or not, a healthy amount of independence is attractive to all of us in a partner.
And we already know that needy most certainly ‘ain’t an avoidant’s type.
In fact, they probably get palpitations at the thought of feeling trapped —which is why they make a run for it before they get to the point.
You have to show them that’s not what you will do.
Do this by highlighting that you’ve already got a full and vibrant life without them. You aren’t looking for them to “complete you”.
You have friends, interests, goals, and priorities that do not involve them.
Of course, you can hardly wave this fact in their face. Telling them you are independent isn’t the same as showing them.
So in a counter-intuitive way, getting on with having an awesome life is still one of the best ways to get their attention.
I think of it like this:
When a parent can’t get their kid to eat their food, rather than stubbornly try to force them, they pretend to eat it themselves.
They make all those “hmm, this is soooo yummy” noises and comments.
And low and behold, the child that showed zero interest a moment ago is suddenly hungry again.
Make it perfectly clear just how yummy your life is, and they may well want to take a bit after all!
7) Pay them subtle compliments and get a little flirty
Of course, you still need to show your interest without being overt.
That’s the game with avoidants.
It’s knowing where to draw the line so that you give them just enough to wonder if you are interested. But not too much that they feel safe in the knowledge of it.
Light compliments can be a good way to do this.
What do I mean by light?
Don’t send them a message saying how drop-dead gorgeous they look in that latest snap they posted.
Think low-key, like: “You actually look kind of cute in that shirt today” or “You really make me laugh”.
That way, to an avoidant, it’s enough to flatter, but not frighten.
Similarly, a bit of playful flirting is a great way to create that all-important sexual tension.
But again, keep it jovial, teasing, and fun, rather than hot and heavy.
Be sure to match the energy they are giving out. Let them feel in control of the pace at which you progress.
8) Ready to pull out the big guns? Then know when to enlist help
Here’s the thing I totally understand:
Not all avoidants are alike. Neither is every situation. At the end of the day, your romantic scenario is unique to you.
And when we are on the receiving end of relationship and romantic sticking points, breezing through them doesn’t always feel so easy.
I have been where you are enough times to know that it can be so confusing.
If you feel like you’ve hit a wall but aren’t ready to give up, it can be very helpful to get some personalized outside expert advice.
Personally, my go-to relationship experts have always been Relationship Hero.
Because although I like to think of myself as a constant fountain of wisdom (FYI: I say that at least half tongue in cheek)…
The truth is it is much harder to stay objective and figure out what’s for the best when you feel clouded with emotions (and desire!).
If you’re looking for tangible advice as well as someone to listen to and dissect everything that’s going on — I suggest you also check out Relationship Hero.
Even better, you can connect with an expert online within minutes. So they’re always there when you need them most.
9) Be sure to put your own well-being first
Here’s the good news:
You can totally make an avoidant type come around.
It’s as though they learn from and rise to the level of the secure person in the relationship.
But here’s an important warning too:
Because research has also shown the reverse can end up happening.
Aka, the person with the secure attachment can get dragged down. And this leaves them feeling far more insecure as a consequence.
It’s always a good idea to ask yourself:
- Are they worth my energy and time?
- How invested do I truly want to be?
- What are my boundaries? And how will I uphold them to protect myself?
We all need to know our limits.
Particularly if it starts to feel draining, disheartening, or downright depressing. Because I promise you this:
If it does, they’re not worth it.
I wish I’d had someone on hand to remind me on the occasions when I’ve spiraled trying to get an avoidant to chase me…
So I will tell you now:
You are a flippin’ catch. If they can’t see it, someone else will.
By all means, see if you can get an avoidant to do the chasing. But please, never forget what you deserve.
Some avoidants can and will change, but others will not.
There is nothing selfish about putting yourself first rather than letting them drag you down.