When you care deeply about someone, you don’t want to upset them.
But you still want to be loved.
If you feel like your partner is pulling away even when you just express a basic desire for connection, sometimes the problem isn’t you: it’s them.
I’ve been in this situation multiple times and nearly beat myself to death emotionally blaming myself until I finally realized that I needed to look at the issue more clearly.
Avoidant partners will shake you to your core if you don’t take off the blinders and be honest about what’s going on.
Here’s how to tell if the problem is actually your avoidant partner, not you.
1) You reach out and they pull away
Codependency will sink any relationship and those it doesn’t sink become toxic swamps.
But wanting love and affection from your partner is not codependency:
It’s a healthy and mature emotional desire.
That’s why reaching out to give love and affection and being met with indifference or rejection by your partner is not OK.
2) You want to talk and they never do
I can’t stand shows like the Bachelor and Bachelorette because the characters are constantly summarizing and restating what happened.
With almost no interaction the people are saying things like “I always felt this special connection to you, but I felt like when you didn’t invite me to the dinner it was kind of cutting me off.”
Holy sh*t! I want to scream that we, the audience, have only seen about 30 seconds of interaction between these Ken Doll and Barbie folks, why would them talking about their emotions matter to us?
Relationships shouldn’t be constant talking, even serious and real relationships!
But if you reach out to talk and are met with silence, it’s not OK!
That problem is your partner, not you.
3) You try to talk about the relationship and are told to stop overthinking it
When you do talk, let’s assume it’s for a valid and reasonable motive.
You want to talk about where the relationship is at or what you’re feeling.
But they’re in some cone of silence.
Or they gaslight you about how you’re overthinking it.
You’re not. They’re just being an avoidant a**hole.
4) You give generously but they hold back
If you’re a generous person and a thoughtful partner then you know how much it hurts to give of yourself and be met with…nothing.
Avoidant partners get uncomfortable around displays of affection and emotion.
Gifts, sincerity, consideration, being generous with your time, and many other small details that you go to great lengths to pay attention to?
They don’t seem to care. And they certainly don’t reciprocate.
5) You open your heart but they shut down
Love seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world.
You form a connection and love somebody and hopefully, they love you back!
Sadly, love and relationships are all too often one-sided, disappointing or all around toxic.
The best insights I’ve found into how to discover the love you deserve come from the Brazilian shaman Rudá Iandê.
Rudá offers free masterclass on the search for love and intimacy and explains how to avoid many of the traps that ensnare us in our love life.
If you’re just about ready to give up and keep ending up with avoidant partners, you’re going to want to hear what Rudá has to say…
6) You’re honest about how you feel and they hide their feelings
Don’t you hate when you’re honest about how you feel and then you’re met with nothing in return?
Avoidant people don’t like talking about emotions or feeling strong emotions.
If you tell them you’re feeling strongly towards them, the general reaction is to recoil.
That’s not your fault! It’s them. Seriously.
7) You express love and they say you’re being pushy
If you are in a serious relationship and you say you love your partner or express that love, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
If you demand reciprocity or pressure your partner to “prove” they love you too, that’s a bit much, true.
But just showing or expressing love is entirely healthy.
If your partner says this is being too pushy or too intense, they’re definitely avoidant and they’re going to drive you crazy.
8) You talk about the future and are told to stop pressuring
The future generally isn’t a topic that should come up early in a relationship.
But every relationship is different and when this does come up then it’s OK to see where it leads.
Even if where it leads is: “Well, let’s see.”
But when you just raise the prospect of even the near future and are told to “stop pressuring,” trust me:
You have an avoidant partner on your hands and it’s not you who’s the problem.
9) You want to discuss a disagreement or tension and are met with the silent treatment
When tension or disagreements come up in your relationship, you likely want to talk it over.
Especially once the tension has died down.
But an avoidant partner likes to pretend fights never happened or give you the cold shoulder on them.
This brings me to the next point…
10) You try to apologize after a fight but they have repressed the entire subject
If you’re at all to blame for a fight that did occur you may try to say sorry.
You probably should!
But an avoidant partner doesn’t care.
In fact, they usually try to act like a fight didn’t even happen or the whole “uncomfortable” incident never even happened.
Talk about awkward…
11) You want to spend more time together but are told that wanting this is clingy
If you find that your relationship is a bit lacking in one-on-one time then the solution seems simple:
You ask your partner if more time together is possible.
But if you’re with an avoidant person then this isn’t so simple.
Because such a request will be labeled as clingy.
How is it clingy to want to be around somebody you love? Avoidants are seriously toxic people.
12) You try to give your partner space but doing so just leads to being ghosted
When you do give an avoidant partner space, it seems like the right thing to do.
But an avoidant tends to take it for granted.
They treat you like an afterthought.
You enter their mind on a Friday night and suddenly get a text as if you’re some random guy or girl they just scrolled across in their contact list.
You can excuse yourself for thinking you were in love with them…
Because if they’re in love with you, their avoidance is at such a level that the chances of it working out are very, very low.
13) You wonder what you did wrong and tie yourself in knots while your partner could care less
Avoidant people tend to have a “trigger point” which kicks in when you truly pull away from them.
They find it hard to be attracted if somebody else is and only start to “chase” once you withdraw.
But generally speaking, if you’re a healthy individual with a secure attachment style, your avoidant partner won’t really be in the relationship in the way you are.
All that pain you’re going through? They don’t really care.
They’re living in their own emotionally detached universe with a completely different kind of self-fixated pain.
14) You try to be less emotionally demanding and end up feeling even more unloved and abandoned
When you think the problem is you, obviously you want to avoid or correct the problem.
Avoidant partners are master gaslighters and sadly they often aren’t even aware of it.
They will make you feel that you’re being too emotionally demanding.
But when you try to “cool your jets” nothing happens.
You’re simply standing alone in a cold, empty place.
Barking up the wrong tree?
At a certain point, an overly avoidant partner is going to have to deal with their issues outside of a relationship.
Wanting companionship and love in a relationship doesn’t make you wrong or needy.
No matter how in love you are with this person, you may have to consider breaking up if they just aren’t able to reciprocate.