What To Do When An Avoidant Pushes You Away

What To Do When An Avoidant Pushes You Away?

Connecting with someone requires a willingness to be vulnerable and share emotions irrespective of the type of relationship.

However, this dynamic can become unbalanced when one person leans towards intimacy while the other pulls away. 

This is often the case in relationships with someone with an avoidant attachment style.

Understanding why someone avoids closeness and navigating withdrawal is crucial for fostering a healthy connection. 

This article explores the reasons behind avoidant behavior and offers ten practical tips on what to do when an avoidant pushes you away.

10 What To Do When An Avoidant Pushes You Away

What To Do When An Avoidant Pushes You Away

Does your partner suddenly become distant or emotionally unavailable? This might be a sign of an avoidant attachment style. 

Here are the 10 practical tips for navigating these push-and-pull dynamics and fostering a healthier connection while pursuing your relationship.

Read Also: He Ignores Me But Doesn’t Block Me

1. Recognize The Signs

What To Do When An Avoidant Pushes You Away

People with avoidant attachment styles often struggle with emotional intimacy. They may become emotionally distant, minimize problems, or deflect attempts at deeper connection. 

Notice behaviors like withdrawing from conversations, canceling plans at the last minute, or becoming overly critical. These actions, while frustrating, are often a way for avoidants to manage their discomfort with closeness. 

They may fear being engulfed or controlled, leading them to create emotional distance to protect themselves.

It’s important to distinguish between healthy alone time and avoidant withdrawal. Partners who need occasional solitude to recharge can still be emotionally available. 

However, avoidants often withdraw for extended periods, making it challenging to build a sense of connection.

2. Give Them Space

Difference Between Needing Space And Breaking Up

Avoidants need time and space to process their emotions. Chasing them or pressuring them for answers can trigger further withdrawal. 

When they pull away, resist the urge to bombard them with texts or calls. Respect their need for solitude and let them initiate contact. 

This doesn’t mean condoning their behavior but acknowledging their emotional processing style.

While giving them space is essential, it doesn’t mean putting your life on hold. It’s healthy to continue living your life, pursuing your interests, and connecting with others. 

This demonstrates that you have a fulfilling life outside the relationship and avoid placing all your emotional needs on them.

Read Also: Difference Between Needing Space And Breaking Up

3. Communicate Calmly

Difference Between Needing Space And Breaking Up

Pick a calm moment to initiate a conversation if a situation needs to be addressed. Avoid confronting them when they’re already withdrawn or upset, as this will likely escalate the situation. 

Express your feelings without blame, using “I” statements like “I feel hurt when plans get canceled at the last minute” or “I miss feeling connected to you.”

Focus on open communication and a desire for understanding. Phrase your questions in a way that invites dialogue rather than demands answers. 

For example, instead of “Why are you always pulling away?” try “Can we talk about what’s making you feel distant lately?” 

Remember, the goal is to create a safe space for honest conversation, not to force them to open up before they’re ready.

4. Maintain Your Own Life

Difference Between Needing Space And Breaking Up

Don’t put your life on hold waiting for their response or next move. This can lead to codependency and resentment. 

Pursue your interests, connect with other friends and family members, and maintain a strong sense of self-worth outside the relationship. 

Having a fulfilling life outside the dynamic shows them you’re a secure and independent individual, which can be attractive to avoidants who crave independence.

Engaging in activities you enjoy also helps you maintain emotional stability and provides a healthy outlet for your energy. 

It prevents you from being overly invested in your emotional state and allows you to focus on your well-being.

Read Also: How To Motivate A Teenager Who Doesn’t Care?

5. Focus On Security

Avoidants crave independence but also desire a secure base in their relationships. Show them you’re reliable and trustworthy by keeping promises, following through on commitments, and being supportive. 

This builds trust and demonstrates your commitment to the relationship. However, providing security doesn’t mean becoming a doormat or neglecting your needs. 

Set healthy boundaries and communicate your expectations. Consistency and reliability are vital in building trust with an avoidant partner.

6. Celebrate Small Victories

Difference Between Needing Space And Breaking Up

Progress in an avoidant relationship is often gradual, unlike the intense connection that might develop quickly with someone who readily expresses emotions. 

Acknowledge and celebrate small moments of connection, even a simple conversation or a shared activity. 

This positive reinforcement encourages them to continue engaging and fosters a sense of progress in the relationship.

For example, acknowledge their effort and express your appreciation if they manage to have a difficult conversation without withdrawing. 

Celebrating these small wins shows them the value of emotional connection and motivates them to continue building intimacy.

7. Be Patient

Difference Between Needing Space And Breaking Up

Building trust and emotional intimacy with an avoidant partner takes time and consistent effort. 

Avoid ultimatums or expecting immediate change. Focus on nurturing the connection long-term and fostering a safe space for emotional vulnerability.

Avoidants often have deeply ingrained patterns of behavior that take time and effort to modify. Be patient with yourself and your partner as you navigate this process. 

Remember, the goal is to create a secure and supportive environment where both partners feel comfortable expressing their emotions.

Read Also: 5 Stepping Stones In A Relationship

8. Practice Self-Care

Difference Between Needing Space And Breaking Up

Dealing with the emotional push-and-pull of an avoidant relationship can be emotionally draining. 

Prioritize your well-being by engaging in activities you enjoy, confiding in trusted friends or a therapist, and setting healthy boundaries.

Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential for maintaining your emotional resilience. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether reading, spending time in nature, or pursuing hobbies. 

A solid support system allows you to vent frustrations and receive emotional validation

Additionally, a therapist can provide valuable guidance and tools for coping with the challenges of an avoidant relationship.

9. Set Boundaries

Difference Between Needing Space And Breaking Up

Respect their need for space, but also set boundaries for your own well-being. Don’t tolerate disrespectful behavior or emotional neglect. 

Communicate your expectations clearly and consistently. For instance, if they frequently cancel plans at the last minute, discuss a system for communication and the consequences of repeated cancellations.

Setting boundaries doesn’t mean being controlling or demanding. 

It’s about establishing healthy parameters for the relationship. It shows them you have self-respect and won’t tolerate being treated poorly.

However, boundaries need to be enforced. If you communicate your expectations and they consistently disregard them, you need to decide whether the relationship dynamic is ultimately healthy for you.

10. Know Your Limits

Difference Between Needing Space And Breaking Up

Recognize if the relationship dynamic is causing you significant distress. While communication and support may help, some avoidant partners might be unwilling or unable to change. 

Be prepared to walk away if your needs are consistently unmet.

It’s essential to prioritize your own emotional well-being. If the relationship is causing you more pain than happiness, consider ending it. 

This can be a difficult decision, but you deserve to be in a relationship that fosters mutual growth and emotional security.

Read Also: The 10 Signs Your Separated Husband Wants You Back

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can avoidant people change?

Yes, with self-awareness and effort, individuals with avoidant attachment styles can develop healthier communication and intimacy skills. Therapy can be a valuable tool in this process, providing them with a safe space to explore their fears and develop coping mechanisms for emotional vulnerability.

Should I chase an avoidant?

No. Chasing an avoidant partner will likely backfire. Feelings of being smothered or controlled often trigger their withdrawal. Pursuing them intensifies these feelings and reinforces their need for distance. Give them space and focus on your well-being. If they truly value the connection, they will reach out when ready.

What if they never come back?

Not everyone returns from emotional withdrawal. Letting go can be difficult, but it’s essential to prioritize your happiness. If the relationship dynamic is causing you significant distress, it might be time to move on. Some people are capable of offering the level of emotional intimacy you deserve.

Is therapy helpful?

Therapy can benefit both partners in a relationship with an avoidant individual. It can help the avoidant partner understand their attachment style, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and improve communication skills. It can also provide the non-avoidant partner with tools to navigate the relationship dynamic.


That was all about what to do when an avoidant pushes you away. Relationships with avoidant individuals require patience, understanding, and clear boundaries. 

While building a fulfilling connection by nurturing trust and prioritizing your needs is possible, it’s equally important to acknowledge your limits and prioritize your emotional well-being. 

Remember, a healthy relationship fosters mutual growth and emotional security for both partners.

Ethan W
Ethan W.
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Ethan W. is a relationship expert and author committed to helping individuals and couples cultivate healthy and fulfilling relationships. He shares practical insights and proven techniques for navigating the complexities of love and intimacy in the Relationships section.

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