6 thoughts on “16 Signs of an Avoidant or Unavailable Partner

  • July 6, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Guilty of this from what I now was childhood emotional neglect (CEN) by well-meaning parents. I read the book Running on Empty by Dr. Jonice Webb and recognized myself and my childhood. For me, relationship avoidance is a result of that and my husband is a casualty of it. CEN is at the root of many adult mood disorders and relationship problems. Correcting it is another problem. After living this way for so long, it becomes hard-wired and makes change very difficult. I struggle daily with this.

    • July 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Dove,
      Thank you for sharing your situation with the community. You seem to have self-awareness and a commitment to get healthier, and those are both huge strengths and advantages. Jonice Webb’s work is helpful and freeing as well.
      Best wishes,

  • July 7, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    One topic that rarely gets discussed in articles about attachment styles is how the same dynamics of insecure attachment can play out in non-romantic relationships such as between family members or friends.

    With the exception of items 1, 2, and 9, I experienced all of the issues mentioned with my older sister. We were together too much because we lived out in the country with only a couple other children within walking distance to play with. Mom and dad were also wrapped up in their own problems and delegate parts of parenting me to my sister.

    Reading the Heller and Levine book “Attached”, was a light-bulb moment for me. I never knew this was a pattern of behavior or that there was a name for it. I just wish there was more talk about how these dynamics can exist in any close relationship. People with an avoidant style who have power over another can cause a lot of harm. My sister’s attachment style and the power she had over me due to being older and left in charge have had lifelong negative effects on me. I so wish I had had a name for what was going on and could have known that nothing I did caused her to criticize and reject me. Thanks for reading this.

    • July 8, 2018 at 12:05 am

      Hi Jane,
      Very good points. Avoidant and anxious attachment styles can be present in non-romantic relationships as well. Thank you for your comment.

  • November 29, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you for your article, Dr Neuharth. My partner is a dismissive avoidant. I’m left feeling quite down and defeated, as I am being left out in the cold at all times.
    I hold on to hope however, that my partner will eventually trust me and feel secure.
    Can a dismissive avoidant actually fall in love? I want to believe he could love me through his demeaning ways. What are those signs?

    • December 1, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      Dear Janet,

      People with an avoidant or dismissive style can fall in love. However, they may express their love in ways that fall short of what their partners want and need.

      You wrote that your partner has demeaning ways. Love doesn’t demean people, so you may want to consider whether you want to accept demeaning behavior.

      Thank you for sharing your question and concerns.



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