What Avoidant People Actually Want In Their Relationships

People with an avoidant attachment style can be unintentionally misleading.

couple sitting on couch looking tense Zmaster / Shutterstock

Are you dating an avoidant type? You know, the hyper-independent type that is uncomfortable with any form of emotional intimacy? If you are, then you're probably having issues with meeting them where they are at.

The truth is, you don't know how to meet their needs without setting them off. You don't know if you should give them space or talk it out with your partner — and this makes you uneasy.

Luckily, coach Ryan Holley has a life-saving tip that might be able to help you. In a recent TikTok video, Holley discusses the one thing your avoidant partner needs if you want your relationship to succeed.


What Avoidant People Actually Want In Their Relationships

So, what does your avoidant partner need from your relationship?

Holley explains, "Well like anybody else avoidants do actually want to be loved and cherished." However, their hyper-independent nature can make this difficult.

Avoidant people need both their independence and autonomy to feel safe. But where do these needs stem from? Well, this fear stems from a fear of abandonment.


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Why Avoidant People Fear Abandonment

Avoidant people feel like the closer they get to others the more likely it is for them to be abandoned, which terrifies them.

Holley continues, "It stems usually from childhood where a caretaker or a parent wasn't really emotionally there for the avoidant."


And as the avoidant grows older they learn to associate emotional intimacy with emotional abandonment.

Holley says, "And when an avoidant is feeling overwhelmed or pressured they'll feel like they'll not be able to keep up with the demands of their partner."

They'll feel like because of this, their partner will become disappointed in them, leading to abandonment.

This is why an avoidant will distance themselves from their partner. The avoidant will unconsciously believe that they can't be abandoned if they abandon their partner first.

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So What Do Avoidants Need To Thrive In Their Relationship?

@kenreid.co If you want to make your avoidant partner feel safe it is very important to learn how to create space for them. But it is also important to note that not every avoidant partner is the same and you may not be anle to have a healthy relationship with them. #avoidantattachment #anxiousattachment #counselorsoftiktok #fearfulavoidantattachment #secureattachment ♬ original sound - Ken | Counsellor

"So, the number one thing that an avoidant needs from a partner is somebody who respects their need for space," says Holley.


They need someone who can balance both spending time and giving space.

Holley continues, "And the way that an avoidant feels valued and appreciated is a bit different than other attachment styles too."

Being mushy and gushy with an avoidant will make them both uncomfortable and overwhelmed. Which is why you need to show your affection more subtly.

Holley advises, "Let's say an avoidant does something for you or there's something that they routinely do for you. You can say along the lines of like, "Hey I really appreciate it when you do 'X' or when you do 'Y,' that means a lot to me."

Also, keep in mind that your partner is more sensitive to angry tones than other attachment styles. This is why when you raise your voice their avoidant tendencies might become triggered.


So, to avoid this, try keeping your tone neutral when talking to your partner.

However, it's important to understand that not all avoidant people are on the same level. Your partner might have low avoidance or high avoidance.

"And severe avoidance it can be a very toxic relationship dynamic," explains Holley. It can feel like walking on eggshells and it may cause your mental health to all but plummet.


"And only you can decide if you are willing to tolerate these things," says Holley. But, if you're serious about this relationship, you need to switch up how you approach your partner. Don't overwhelm them with affection and always give them space to help your partner reset.

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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.