How to Communicate With Your Avoidant Partner

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Sometimes, it feels like you and your partner are on the same page, and sometimes, you’re not even in the same book.

When you first started dating, you felt like you could talk about anything and everything. You were both invested in learning more about one another. As time passed, however, instead of growing, the conversation became stagnant and almost nonexistent. At times, it even feels like your partner is avoiding you.

While you know this isn’t completely their fault, and there are a lot of factors at play, you also don’t want this to be your new normal with one another. Communication is extremely important, especially in relationships, and you want to do whatever you can to make this work.

This is how you can communicate with your avoidant partner.

Take Care of Yourself

You can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is running empty. Make sure you take care of yourself, especially if you’re dealing with an avoidant partner. When you spend time taking care of yourself, you can ensure that your body and brain are functioning to the best of their ability. This includes making sure that your emotions are regulated and well-managed, which can help when communicating with an avoidant partner.

Taking care of yourself can help to make sure that your emotions are in check and that you won’t let them take control of the conversation. Being able to not show your emotions through raising your voice, crying, or letting your anxiety take over can help to avoid triggering your partner’s avoidant behavior.

Be Mindful of Your Words

While it’s important to be mindful of your emotions, it’s also essential to think before you speak and to pay close attention to the words you’re choosing to use. Make sure that you’re explaining yourself and your wants and needs rather than describing how your partner is making you feel. When you use “you” statements, the other person will immediately feel like they have to jump into defense mode as a way to protect themself.

You can prevent this from happening by choosing to replace those “you” statements with “I” statements. “I” statements help to explain things from your point of view, which can help your partner see where you’re coming from.

Be Patient

An avoidant attachment style didn’t form overnight, and an avoidant partner won’t change their behaviors overnight, either. Change takes time. It’s important for you to be patient with your partner while they work on improving their communication with you.

Ensure you’re allowing your partner to change and grow on their own timetable. Pressuring them or getting mad at them for not changing quickly enough will not improve or make things easier. In fact, it can lead to your partner slipping back into old habits.

Take Breaks

Avoidant partners need alone time occasionally, especially during conflict. It’s important to remember this and also know that their alone time has nothing to do with you. No matter how much you’d rather just talk it out in the moment, try to support your partner’s need for alone time. If you offer up alone time or breaks for them, they’ll feel heard and validated.

Next Steps

Communication can be challenging. If you or your partner struggles with an avoidance attachment style, it can make communication a bit more challenging. No matter what type of attachment style someone has, it is possible to communicate with them.

Knowing some tips and tricks to communicate with an avoidant partner can be a great way to start the process of improving your communication together. If you’re looking for more recommendations or to talk to someone about improving your communication with an avoidant partner, reach out to us today to set up a consultation.



Jeffrey Aviles, LCSW-C

Baltimore Counseling Center