Avoidant Attachment

When you’re in a new relationship are you already looking for an exit strategy? 

If so, you may have an avoidant attachment style.

People with an avoidant attachment style typically struggle in relationships because they have a difficult time feeling emotionally satisfied. This is due to their discomfort with intimacy and their preference for being independent. They haven’t learned to depend on their romantic relationships for intimacy; they equate intimacy with a loss of independence.

An avoidant attachment style is developed when someone only gets some of their needs met while the rest are neglected. As an adult you don’t worry about a relationship ending and you tell yourself that you don’t have needs and suppress your feelings of distress.

People with an avoidant style will use distancing strategies in a relationship by focusing on their partner’s minor flaws or reminiscing about their single days or a previous idealized relationship.

Here are some clues that you might have an avoidant attachment style:

  • Values independence 
  • Emotionally distant
  • Difficulty discussing feelings and intimacy
  • Maintain strict boundaries 

The good news is you can move from one style to another, meaning it is possible to move from an avoidant attachment style to a secure attachment style. 

Here are some tips:

  • Be less self-reliant
  • Allow your partner to do some things that you would normally do yourself. Over time you can realize that it’s okay to rely on other people.
  • Remind yourself that everyone has imperfections so, don’t always focus on the imperfections of your partner.
  • Accept and even instigate physical touch. Intimacy can help you feel safe and secure.

Keep a look out for the rest of our attachment style blog series and if you or your relationship need support, don’t hesitate to reach out!


  1. JasonL on August 15, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    After years of suffering with sexual dysfunctions when I am in intimate relationships with a woman. and having seen at least a half a dozen sex therapists with no answers my wife and I resigned ourselves to a sexless marriage back in the late 1990’s. I am however still curious as to why I suffer so much sexually. I did see a Psychiatrist a few years ago who said he thought my troubles were the result of intimacy anxiety caused by an attachment disorder. Do you think this is the root cause?

    • Marcie on August 31, 2020 at 9:51 am

      Attachment is a complex issue. It’s possible that this is the cause, but hard to say without adequate understanding of the background of your concerns. If you’d like to consult with a member of our team, select “Meet the Team” to book a free 30 minute consult with one of our clinicians.

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