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I think my girlfriend has an avoidant attachment


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Old 28th February 2019, 10:30 PM   #1
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I think my girlfriend has an avoidant attachment

I have been doing a lot of research to try and make sense of my girlfriend's behavior.

I'm no psychologist, but from my reading it would seem like all the signs point to her having an avoidant attachment.

Her mother had severe post-natal depression and she's told me that she never had a healthy, functional relationship with either or her parents, but especially her mother who could barely function for the first few months after she was born.

It's been a frustrating few months for me, as our relationship grew legs quickly before falling off a cliff. My gf pulled away, withdrew affection, stopped inviting me around as often and found ways to generally slow down the relationship.

Has anyone experienced dating someone with avoidant attachment issues? If so, what are your experiences, how did you cope and did the relationship last?
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Old 28th February 2019, 10:37 PM   #2
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If you want to make it work with an avoidant then give them space when they need it and don't pressure them.


That's the only way I'm ever gonna stick around.
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Old 28th February 2019, 10:42 PM   #3
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My experiences [multiple] with avoidant attachment partners has been - the relationship starts hot, you get love bombed and feel better and more loved than you ever have in your life - then they start doing whatever they figure out will give them the most distance. Triangulation with another person [usually the "perfect" ex], or becoming busy, creating arguments so you'll leave for a while and give them space...so many fun things.

If you have a secure attachment style, apparently you can take the push/pull. If you have an anxious attachment, best to get out now, because it will destroy you in the end. They won't change.
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Old 28th February 2019, 11:05 PM   #4
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My experience and observations were/are that relationships with a truly avoidant style person are going to be frustrating and, on some level, unfulfilling unless you yourself are an avoidant type. People who are more anxious are going to take every pullback super personally and people who are more secure will probably find a relationship with an avoidant too lacking to really dig in for too long.
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Old 28th February 2019, 11:06 PM   #5
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Iím pretty sure Iím fearful-avoidant. Itís different than being purely avoidant. We are initially very warm and anxious and want the relationship to work. Until the other person is all in... then we usually withdraw. Itís a rollercoaster

I hear avoidants have more difficulty reaching a point they feel thereís something wrong with them and wanting to work on it.

There are a few good groups on FB where you could get good answers (theyíre specialists) - search for ďinsecure attachmentĒ.

The good thing is itís not a life sentence. If one is willing to do the work they can fix it, specially if their partner has secure attachment.
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Old 28th February 2019, 11:07 PM   #6
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I'm going to add that in your situation, where your girlfriend has a child that you will be expected to eventually be a parental figure to and all that comes with that, you will probably feel you aren't getting enough in return for your efforts if she really is an avoidant style person.
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Old 28th February 2019, 11:33 PM   #7
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Avoid them
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Old 28th February 2019, 11:49 PM   #8
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Your girlfriend doesnít have avoidant detachment...sheís just a single Mom who is very busy and you want more than she can offer.
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Old 1st March 2019, 12:44 AM   #9
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OP, it's really best to avoid diagnosing a partner.

Diagnosing a partner (coming up with some condition that explains their behavior) can all too often just lead to one result: You make excuses, justify, explain ... why you're being treated poorly.

It's not your job to understand what kind of underlying condition she has. Your job is to set your standards ... and call her out if she fails to meet them ... and get out of the relationship if her behavior isn't working for you.
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Old 1st March 2019, 2:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isolatedgothic View Post
My experiences [multiple] with avoidant attachment partners has been - the relationship starts hot, you get love bombed and feel better and more loved than you ever have in your life - then they start doing whatever they figure out will give them the most distance. Triangulation with another person [usually the "perfect" ex], or becoming busy, creating arguments so you'll leave for a while and give them space...so many fun things.

If you have a secure attachment style, apparently you can take the push/pull. If you have an anxious attachment, best to get out now, because it will destroy you in the end. They won't change.
I don't know about the triangulation part, but everything else is exactly as you've described. Started hot AF, noe she looks for reasons to disengage.
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Old 1st March 2019, 2:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by edgygirl View Post
Iím pretty sure Iím fearful-avoidant. Itís different than being purely avoidant. We are initially very warm and anxious and want the relationship to work. Until the other person is all in... then we usually withdraw. Itís a rollercoaster

I hear avoidants have more difficulty reaching a point they feel thereís something wrong with them and wanting to work on it.

There are a few good groups on FB where you could get good answers (theyíre specialists) - search for ďinsecure attachmentĒ.

The good thing is itís not a life sentence. If one is willing to do the work they can fix it, specially if their partner has secure attachment.
That's fascinating. But also downright disturbing. It's as though, once I was all in she pulled back. I felt like it was a bait and switch, but knew it wasn't because she hadn't got me in a position where she could exploit anything from me.

I just cannot understand how you can want a relationship to work and then, when it seemingly is, you sabotage it. It's such a self-fulfilling prophecy to fear the worst, then act upon it once it's going well to ensure it ends up how you'd feared it would end up.

I don't mean to have a personal attack at you, either. Far from it. It's just difficult to compute. If something is as good as I'd hoped it to be or even better, I do everything I can to keep it that way. I am consistent in my actions and behaviors. Dating must be a nightmare for you as well as those whom you date.
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Old 1st March 2019, 3:00 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Blanco View Post
I'm going to add that in your situation, where your girlfriend has a child that you will be expected to eventually be a parental figure to and all that comes with that, you will probably feel you aren't getting enough in return for your efforts if she really is an avoidant style person.
I am already well down that path
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Old 1st March 2019, 3:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Wallysbears View Post
Your girlfriend doesnít have avoidant detachment...sheís just a single Mom who is very busy and you want more than she can offer.
And you would know for certain... how? You're just projecting without knowing any of the facts.
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Old 1st March 2019, 3:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lotsgoingon View Post
OP, it's really best to avoid diagnosing a partner.

Diagnosing a partner (coming up with some condition that explains their behavior) can all too often just lead to one result: You make excuses, justify, explain ... why you're being treated poorly.

It's not your job to understand what kind of underlying condition she has. Your job is to set your standards ... and call her out if she fails to meet them ... and get out of the relationship if her behavior isn't working for you.
I understand what you're saying but I disagree to some degree. I always like to gain knowledge and experience from my interactions with anything in life. Knowledge is power and understanding where things went wrong (regardless of who's at fault) helps make better decisions in the future.
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Old 1st March 2019, 3:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotsgoingon View Post
Diagnosing a partner...can all too often just lead to one result: You make excuses, justify, explain ... why you're being treated poorly. It's not your job to understand what kind of underlying condition she has. Your job is to set your standards ... and call her out if she fails to meet them ... and get out of the relationship if her behavior isn't working for you.
Yes, unless he loves her enough to want to try to work through it. Keep in mind that through understanding, comes patience, and information useful for a dialog.

For example, an anxious-preoccupied person might want to spend 100% of available free time with their partner. For anyone with a different attachment style, this would be considered unreasonable. Knowing about this (or even just deducing it), could lead to a useful dialog which could result in a compromise.

I don't think a relationship can survive if both partners are unable to dialog and compromise. "My way or the highway" is relationship poison.

The second half of this video does a decent job of showing how people with different attachment styles could misinterpret each other, and suggests how to work around their differences:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s9ACDMcpjA
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