casual couple leaning against a white wall

I like to keep an eye on the Google search terms that lead readers to my blog. One of the questions that many of you ask is “how to get close to a dismissive/avoidant attachment style?” or “how do I get a dismissive/avoidant attachment style to fall in love?” I have never tackled this question head on but there is no time like the present!

Some of you may feel like getting close to an avoidant person is like taking your chances at playing the slots: you sit there and give the person/relationship time and attention and get rewarded at random intervals. It becomes addictive because you invest your time and just when you think you aren’t getting anywhere, you get a small victory.

I can assure you that it doesn’t take a magic potion and a full moon to get close to an avoidant individual. If you take the time to understand both theirs and your own needs around closeness and intimacy, you will have a much better chance at getting the outcome you desire. No special tricks, no superstitious, just plain old knowledge and understanding.

Whether you are just getting to know them, or have been in a relationship with an avoidant attachment style for a while, there are a few key things to consider and keep in mind:

1.    Your need for closeness and intimacy is likely very different from theirs.

Each attachment style is comfortable with a different level/amount of intimacy. For example, a securely attached person is very comfortable with intimacy, but also values autonomy. The anxious attachment style has an intense need for closeness and intimacy and is less comfortable with feeling distance in a relationship. The avoidant attachment style is the least comfortable with high levels of intimacy and strongly values independence. This isn’t to say that they don’t want intimacy or don’t need it, but they have a way of suppressing this need that causes them to be more independent. An attempt to get intense closeness from an avoidant attachment style may cause them to feel uncomfortable and employ deactivating strategies in order to restore some distance or balance. Let’s put it this way, if each style had a tank that they fill up with intimacy each day, avoidants would have a very small tank, secure individuals would have a moderate to average tank, and anxiously attached individuals would have a large tank. Anxiously attached individuals’ tanks are bigger and harder to fill…especially if you are looking to an avoidant to fill it. Understanding these discrepancies can help you come to compromises in your relationships. A good one would be to both strive for a healthy and average size tank.

2.    They are likely slower to trust and open up in a relationship.

The anxious attachment style is known for falling head over heels quickly. The secure attachment style may be a bit more hesitant and keep healthy boundaries but is still open to love and getting to know people. The avoidant attachment style is much more hesitant. They might stick their toe in, circle around the pool, hum and haw about the temperature being just right and eventually, but still very slowly, begin to work their way into the water. They tend to be hesitant about opening up in relationships. This doesn’t mean that they are awkward to be around or that conversation doesn’t flow, it means that the focus of the conversation may often seem one-sided. They may listen, ask questions and take an interest in you, but you might suddenly realize a few weeks in that they have revealed very little about themselves. Don’t take this sluggish approach to dating personally—in fact, it is often a good idea for both parties to take it slow. You just need to be aware of the pace you are moving in and have a discussion about coming to a compromise: you can slow it down a bit and they can make an effort to share more. I am a big believer in slow and steady wins the race! Enjoy the time getting to know each other and savor this stage while it lasts.

3.    They have an innate need for independence.

Regardless of how intensely or quickly an avoidant person may fall in love or enter into a relationship—they will always have an innate need for independence. Anxiously attached individuals have an intense and innate need for closeness and intimacy while the avoidant attachment style has a divergent need for independence. Yes, if you are wondering, the two are starkly opposites of each other. It is important to realize that this need for independence is central to who they are and is not meant as a personal slight to their partner or the person they are dating. A secure approach to relationships, (which is what we aim for) has a balance of both independence (or autonomy) and intimacy/ closeness. Studying secure attachment, we can learn that a balance of both is key in relationships. Therefore, if we are looking to get close to an avoidant attachment style, we must accept from the beginning that independence is valuable and important to them. How this need is communicated and carried out should be discussed before any troubles arise. It could look like allowing them time to have independent hobbies and activities away from their partner, or in heated moments, being able to take a breather during an argument – as long as it is communicated, done in a respectful way and is revisited to come to some kind of reconciliation.

Next time you want to test your luck, buy a lottery ticket! Don’t play the slots with your love life; always putting in time just to get an intermittent reward. You can crack the code of what is going on in your relationship; it doesn’t need to be left to time and chance!

If you found this helpful and would like to learn more on how to understand and decode relationships, you can subscribe to the blog (top right corner). If you are excited about what you learned, please share and forward this post to your friends. Thank you so much for reading, and I would love to hear any stories you have about getting close to an avoidant/dismissing person.

Wishing you love,