Fearful and Avoidant Attachment Styles: Relationship Signs and Patterns (2023)

By Olivia Guy-Evans, Posted on July 04, 2022 | Fact verified bySaul Mcleod, PhD

An attachment style describes the way people relate to others, based on the security they feel. Fearful avoidant attachment is considered the rarest type of attachment.

A fearful attachment style, also known as disorganized attachment, is characterized by a combination of behaviors that can range from avoidance to attachment. Children with this attachment style often long for close relationships, but also fear trusting others and being hurt.

oattachment stylethat develops in early childhood is believed to have a lifelong influence on your ability to communicate your emotions and needs, how you respond to conflict, and how you form expectations about your relationships.

Fearful and Avoidant Attachment Styles: Relationship Signs and Patterns (2)

Someone with this attachment style often desires close relationships, but at the same time is afraid to trust others and believes they will get hurt if they get too close.

Fearful individuals have a negative model of themselves and also a negative model of others, fearing both intimacy and autonomy.

They exhibit attachment behaviors typical of avoidant children, becoming socially withdrawn and mistrustful of others.

"In addition to rejecting the avoidant, they often face estrangement from their relationship partners, but unlike abandoned individuals, they continue to experience anxiety and neediness regarding their partner's love, trustworthiness, and trustworthiness" (Schachner, Shaver & Mikulincer, 2003, p.248).

What are the signs of fearful avoidant attachment in children?

The behavior of a fearful and avoidant child is very disorganized, which is why it is also known as disorganized attachment.

If the child and caregiver are separated for an extended period of time, when meeting, the child will act conflicting. They may initially run to the keeper, but then seem to change their minds and run away or misbehave.

A child with fearful avoidant attachment often desires comfort and closeness with his caregiver, but once close, he acts fearful and suspicious. The child may avoid eye contact, yell in an attempt to engage the caregiver, or seek attention only to be immediately silenced.

Older children may feel unsafe in their world. They find that they cannot completely trust anyone and may have a hard time opening up to others. They may not provide in-depth information about themselves, preferring to have superficial conversations such as their own personal boundaries.

They tend to show no preference for familiar people over strangers and may discuss inappropriate things with strangers.

They may not have long-term friendships with their peers, preferring to spend time with someone else when friendships reach a stage where they become more meaningful.

Some other common traits that may indicate that a child may have a fearful, avoidant attachment style include:

  • Not having a sense of security: always feeling that something is wrong.

  • Low self-regulation of emotions.

  • Difficulty trusting others.

  • Hypervigilance: always on the lookout for danger signs

  • Finding it hard to settle down

  • restless behaviors

  • No sense of personal boundaries.

  • Difficult to focus

  • Finding it hard to keep friends

  • Dissociate to cut off your emotions

  • Trying to regain control, acting bossy

Children with avoidant and fearful attachment are at risk of carrying these behaviors into adulthood if they are not supported in overcoming them. They may have a hard time feeling secure in any relationship if they don't get help with their attachment style.

What causes the avoidant and fearful attachment style?

While it's not always clear why someone might develop a fearful, avoidant attachment style, it's usually due to nurturing by the caregiver. Some of the ways that parenting styles can cause fearful avoidant attachment include the following:

abuse or trauma

Avoidant and fearful attachment is often common for those who experienced childhood abuse or trauma involving their caregiver.

In response to abuse, the child is caught between deactivation, as the caregiver cannot be a source of security, and hyperarousal, as the presence of the terrifying caregiver constantly triggers attachment needs. The girl desperately needs comfort, but she has realized that her caregiver cannot provide it.

broken trust

In the eyes of a child who is fearfully avoidantly attached, their caregivers are unreliable.

Your parents can be very inconsistent, warm and loving one moment and then cold and emotionally distant the next. This type of parenting can make it difficult for the child to predict how her parents will react at any given time, resulting in an increased sense of insecurity.

A father can also make many promises to his son that he does not keep. For example, you can promise to do something for them, be there for them in their time of need, or promise not to yell again.

When parents fail to follow through on these commitments, the child's belief that others cannot be trusted increases.

threatening language

A caregiver's toxic language, such as threats, can make a child feel insecure in their relationship.

(Video) 8 Signs of an Avoidant Attachment Style

This may include the use of threats of punishment and threats of physical violence to instill fear in the child. When a child is afraid of her caregivers, she also learns that healthy, supportive communication with them cannot be counted on.

emotionally needy caregivers

Caregivers who use their children for their own emotional needs may inadvertently be causing harm to their children.

They may be emotionally needy when they express their wants and needs to their children, and sometimes expect them to carry the load or figure things out for themselves. If the caregiver is using the child to meet her own needs, he or she may be neglecting the emotional and physical needs of the child.

The child will also learn that his needs do not matter as much as those of others. The child may even take on a role of emotional caretaker for their parents, which can make parents even more dependent on their children for their needs.

fearful and avoidant caregivers

It is likely that if a child has a fearful and avoidant attachment style, their caregivers will also have this attachment style.

This does not mean that there is a genetic component to attachment styles, but rather a continuation of behavior patterns that are repeated over the generations. A caregiver's parents have likely caused her to be avoidantly attached with fear, etc.

Without dealing with the child's insecure attachment, they themselves can grow up and have children of their own, who also avoid fear.

What are fearful and avoidant parents like?

Parents of fearful and avoidant children are likely to have the same attachment style.

They may be afraid of the child, which means they don't know how to meet the child's needs and will run away or freeze in response to a child reaching out for support. They may have an exaggerated startle response and a frightened tone of voice.

A fearful and avoidant parent is also likely to be very withdrawn with their child. They may have an anxious nature and not respond to the child. Also, they may not pay attention to a baby when she cries.

A fearful avoidant parent is likely to have their own trauma that worries them. They have not outgrown their attachment style and are therefore less focused on their children and more likely to pass on their insecurities to them.

In addition to being afraid, a fearful and evasive parent can sometimes scare the child. They can be emotionally reactive, overreact to the child, be intrusive, and can even be threatening or abusive in severe cases.

What are the characteristics of fearful and avoidant attachment in adults?

John Bowlby has argued that a sense of security in childhood is critical to your attachment style as an adult. Fearful avoidant attachment cancontinue into adulthoodif left unaddressed, they can influence a person's behavior in intimate relationships.

Fearful and Avoidant Attachment Styles: Relationship Signs and Patterns (3)

Below are some of the characteristic traits of adults with a fearful and avoidant attachment style:

  • Need for control and security.

  • Difficulty trusting others.

  • A limited sense of security: always feeling that something is going to go wrong.

  • Wants a close relationship but is afraid of getting too close

  • Difficulty regulating your emotions.

  • They tend to have a negative view of themselves.

  • A negative view of others.

  • Belief that they will be disappointed and let down by others.

  • You may be too focused on your career and not the people in your lives.

  • The need to guard against rejection.

  • You may be passive or cold during interactions as a way of protecting yourself.

  • Tendencies to please people.

  • Hypervigilant: Always on the lookout for signs of danger.

  • It may be difficult for you to maintain friendships.

  • high levels of anxiety

  • Difficult to focus

  • Find it hard to calm down

What are the signs of avoidant and fearful attachment in adults?

Fearful avoidant attachment can continue into adulthood if left unaddressed. Many of the same childhood traits carry over into adulthood, such as high anxiety and difficulty trusting others.

What is fundamental in fearful and avoidant attachment is that individuals want control and security and will do things to ensure that they do not lose them.

(Video) The 4 Relationship Attachment Styles You Need to Know

emotional dysregulation

People with avoidant and fearful attachment can have a lot of difficulty regulating their emotions in their adult relationships.

They may find that they are in highly emotional relationships and that they respond poorly or inappropriately to negative emotions.

Conflicting feelings about relationships.

A fearful and avoidant person may not be sure how to feel about their relationships with friends and romantic partners.

They often long for a relationship but are afraid of getting hurt. Once it gets too intimate or emotional, they are likely to withdraw or end the relationship. In general, they tend to have feelings of general dissatisfaction in their relationships.

negative view of self

Part of fearful avoidant attachment is that the individual has a negative view of himself.

They may not be very sure of themselves, which makes them less assertive and they withdraw from social contact.

Avoid getting close to other people.

People with fearful avoidant attachment want to minimize the eventual disappointment that comes with having relationships with other people.

By avoiding being closely involved with others, this attachment style allows the person to guard against anticipated rejection.

Someone with this attachment style may prioritize other things, such as their career, instead of focusing on people, who they believe will eventually let them down.

Useless social behaviors.

Someone with this attachment style may be passive or cold during interactions as a way to protect themselves from hurt and rejection.

Otherwise, it's common for people with this attachment style to hold grudges, as they don't like to deal with confrontations or difficult conversations.

They can also be a people pleaser, which means they agree to everything other people want or agree to things they might not agree with, to make life easier.

How to deal with a fearful and avoidant attachment style?

Understand your attachment style

It may be helpful to learn about attachment theory and identify whatattachment styleyou feel you can have.

Consider how you behave in your relationships with others, as well as consider what your relationship with your caregiver was like as a child. Understanding your attachment style can help you learn how to begin to overcome an insecure attachment.

self awareness

Try to notice when your fearful, avoidant style kicks in. If you are noticing a small change in your partner and your automatic thought is that he is being disloyal or rejecting you, be aware.

Consider why you feel this way and what might be a healthier thought. For example, if you notice that your partner has changed in body language, instead of thinking that they are hiding something, consider that they might be tired or having a bad day.

Being aware of your automatic thoughts and trying to challenge them when they arise can help you respond to situations in a healthy way.

Work on communication skills.

Practice communicating in a way that clearly expresses your needs in a healthy, non-confrontational way.

Express your feelings instead of a place of blame or criticism. You can do this using 'I' statements, such as saying, 'I was frustrated when you X'. This way, your partner is less likely to feel attacked and there are fewer misunderstandings about how you feel.

Try to get used to expressing your needs clearly and directly, being kind. For example, you could say "I need to feel supported when I do X" or "I need some alone time to do X." Communicating what you need, rather than indirectly alienating your partner from her, can clarify what you expect of her.

set healthy boundaries

Many people with a fearful and avoidant attachment style may see their boundaries broken as children and have a distorted view of what healthy boundaries are.

Spend some time considering what you are comfortable with and what your limits are. You may need help from a trusted friend or therapist if this is something you are having trouble with. Then communicate your limits to your partner and stick to them.

Consider therapy

If you find that you need additional support to manage your attachment style or want to learn to be more secure, consider trying therapy.

Through therapeutic methods, you can learn to recognize your attachment patterns, examine your feelings about yourself, and learn to approach relationships with others in a healthy way.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (TCC) is a therapy that aims to help identify and challenge unhelpful thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This can be helpful for someone who has feelings of insecurity and unhealthy behaviors that stem from an avoidant and fearful attachment.

Another type of therapy is interpersonal therapy, which helps people learn how to improve their interpersonal relationships and social interactions. Therefore, this may be suitable for someone who wants to change their attachment style and become moresafe in your relationships.

Additionally, psychodynamic psychotherapy can help fearfully and avoidantly attached individuals investigate how their childhood attachment style is affecting their adult relationships.

What is it like to be in a relationship with someone who is fearful and avoidant?

Fearful individuals hold a negative model of themselves and also a negative model of others, fearing both intimacy and autonomy. They exhibit attachment behaviors typical of avoidant children, becoming socially withdrawn and mistrustful of others.

They struggle with commitment

Someone with a fearful and avoidant attachment style may find it very difficult to commit to someone. They tend to seek connection and closeness while trying to avoid a serious relationship.

His avoidant traits tend to surface when the relationship becomes more serious. This tends to trigger them and bring up past hurts. Often when the relationship is compromised, that is when you notice a change in an elusive and fearful partner.

They may not be able to fully trust that their partner will always be there for them, either due to a lack of self-esteem, a lack of trust in others, or a combination of both.

They are afraid of intimacy.

Because of their ingrained mistrust of others, someone who is fearfully avoidantly attached may have a hard time committing to someone.

They tend to have a desire for connection while also pushing someone away when things get more serious. Getting too close to a fearful avoider can trigger his past injuries and this is where significant changes in his behavior can be noticed.

They prefer to be casual.

Since they are afraid to trust and approach someone, a person with fearful avoidant attachment is happiest staying casual with romantic partners.

They may stay in the dating stage of the relationship for an extended period of time as it becomes more comfortable for them. They may stay in unlabeled or casual relationships not because they want to, but because they are afraid to get close.

Often, someone with this attachment style prefers to have casual sex with other people to satisfy their need for attention without having to commit. Favez and Tissot (2019) found that fearful avoidance predicts more sexual partners, as well as greater sexual adherence for both men and women.

They remain emotionally distant.

Someone with an avoidant and fearful attachment may prefer to keep their partner at arm's length so things don't get too emotionally intense.

They may be reluctant to share too much of themselves or talk about deep topics as a way to protect themselves. If things get too deep, or if they are asked to share personal things, they can quickly shut down.

They have a distorted view of what a relationship should be.

Since it is common for those with an avoidant and fearful attachment to have grown up in a very turbulent and chaotic home, they may believe that this is how romantic relationships are supposed to be.

If they are in a relationship with someone who is secure and calm, they may be suspicious. They may believe that something is wrong and challenge their partner or create a problem to make the relationship feel more unstable and familiar.

(Video) Attachment Theory: Fearful Avoidant

they are generally unhappy

In a study that examined the impact of attachment styles on romantic relationships, avoidance styles were associated with less frequent positive emotions and more frequent negative emotions in relationships (Simpson, 1990).

they sabotage themselves

Someone with fearful avoidant attachment can sabotage a good romantic relationship because they are afraid and insecure.

They tend to focus too much on the things that could go wrong in the relationship, even if there is nothing to worry about. They may blame or accuse their partner of things, threaten to leave the relationship, or test their partner to see if he becomes jealous. All of these strategies can cause the couple to consider ending the relationship.

They can be easily activated

Someone who fearfully avoids may be hyper-aware of small changes in their partner, which can be a big trigger for them.

Some of these triggers may include a change in voice, micro expressions, a change in body language, and lying. A fearful avoidant partner may gather information about all these small changes and will realize that their partner is withholding information, not being loyal, or doing something to break trust.

Once they have this idea in mind, they may exploit or push their partner away in a way they believe protects themselves, even if their partner did nothing wrong.

Signs that a fearful avoider loves you

A fearful avoidant may show that he loves you by:

  • Making an effort to connect with you

  • Expressing that they want to be intimate

  • They feel more comfortable showing their vulnerable side.

  • They will express that they want to feel more secure or that they make a conscious effort to feel more secure.

  • They talk about the future with you

  • They discuss what they are not sure about and acknowledge that they need to work on it.

How to support your fearful and avoidant partner?

If you have a partner who has a fearful and avoidant attachment style, there are a few things you can do to support them:

Learn about your attachment style

Learning about attachment theory and learning about your partner's attachment style through research can be a good starting point for better understanding your partner.

Understanding your partner's needs, struggles, and triggers can help you ensure that you're communicating with them in an understanding way.

reassure them

If your partner is fearfully avoidantly attached, they are probably afraid of getting too close to you as they believe you will eventually leave them.

Assuring your partner that you love them and that you chose to be with them for a reason can help them feel more secure.

Although it can be tempting to get angry or argue when he expresses distrust of you, try to approach the situation with comfort and support.

Build their trust in the relationship by doing things for them that show you trust them and that you can be a safe figure for them in their lives.

Promote healthy communication.

Unhealthy communication, such as criticizing, blaming, or complaining, can reinforce to your partner that you will eventually hurt them. Communicating through guilt often leads to the other person becoming defensive and choosing not to listen to their needs.

Instead, communicate your needs to your partner concisely so there is little confusion. Your partner should know that you deserve respect and that you have your own limits.

Explain to them that you will support them to the best of your ability, but also that there are things you will not tolerate. It's important to take care of your own mental health, so if your partner is acting toxic, you should calmly and directly bring it up.

Try to work on a way to become more open in your communication if this is something you are having trouble with. If you're someone who doesn't share much, this can lead an elusive and fearful partner to make negative assumptions about what you're keeping to yourself.

Practicing opening up a bit more can help clear up some of your partner's uncertainties.

I'm listening

Listening can be extremely important to a partner who has a fearful and avoidant attachment style, as they may have grown up in a home where their voice was not heard.

Be open to listening to your partner's feelings and problems, no matter how they are expressed. Don't try to solve the problems they bring up unless they ask for specific advice. Instead, listen to understand and be a person they can turn to when they need to unload.

be trustworthy

Fearful and avoidant partners have a deep fear and expectation of being let down by others.

You can help break this unhelpful train of thought for your partner by becoming a trusted figure in their life. If you make promises and commitments, make sure you keep them. If they break up, it will feed into the fearful avoider's insecurities and may cause him to walk away from you.

The more dependent you are, the more your partner will trust you and see you as a source of security and protection.

work together to grow

It may be that the two of you need to compromise for the relationship to work. You may need to work together to resolve issues you are having to make the relationship more secure. This can be especially the case if you identify with one of the insecure attachment styles.

If you need additional support, consider individual or couples therapy, where a qualified therapist can help you grow together as a couple.

How do you respond to a fearful avoidant walking away?

If you see your fearful and avoidant partner moving away from you, there are a few ways you can respond:

don't chase them

if you chase someone who clearly indicates they need space, they will likely move further away or even become hostile.

Instead, reassure your partner that you will be there when they are ready to communicate with you.

don't take it personally

While it's tempting to get angry and frustrated when someone walks away, try not to take it personally. Often the person pulling away seeks distance as a form of self-protection, and it's not always about you.

It is important to remember that if they criticize you, they are usually criticizing themselves more and will need support to deal with this.

Be aware of how you express strong emotions.

No one likes to be yelled at, and intensely expressed emotional expressions often overwhelm the avoiders. This is likely to cause him to withdraw further from you as it is triggering his attachment style.

(Video) How to Spot the 7 Traits of Avoidant Personality Disorder

Try to stay calm and express your needs and emotions honestly and openly, but in a healthy and kind way.

Allow them their independent lifestyle.

We have to realize that no one partner can meet all of our needs. His partner may feel that she is being too clingy if she wants to go all out with him and this could cause him to withdraw even further.

It's important to have your own interests and spend time apart, making sure you get back together afterwards. Being self-sufficient shows your partner that you are not overly dependent on them, something they might fear.

How do you communicate with a fearful and avoidant person?

While it can be tempting to argue with someone who is fearfully and avoidantly attached when they are trying to sabotage your relationship, this is not a productive way to communicate.

When you notice them blaming or accusing you when there's nothing to worry about, it usually means their attachment style is shooting up and they're afraid things will get more intimate.

Approach conversations with them with openness and understanding. Gently reassure them and encourage them to communicate clearly. Ask them what needs are not being met and how you can help them get there.

How common is the avoidant and fearful attachment style?

The fearful and avoidant attachment style is rarer than the other attachment styles, typically occurring in about 7% of the population.

It usually develops within the first 18 months of life and is most common in those who were abused or traumatized as children. Most often, this attachment style develops in the highest risk groups.

Can a fearful and avoidant person fall in love?

While a fearful and avoidant person is more likely to break off romantic connections due to their own fears and insecurities, they are capable of falling in love and developing a more secure attachment.

This is usually more possible when they are in a relationship with someone who is firmly attached and understands the struggle the fearful and avoidant person has.

checking the facts

Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact-checkers. Fact checkers review articles for accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reliable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the end of each article. The content is verified after it has been edited and before it is published.

About the Author

Olivia Guy-Evans earned her BA in Educational Psychology from Edge Hill University in 2015. She then received her MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Bristol in 2019. Olivia has been working as a support worker for adults with learning difficulties in Bristol for the last four years.

Cite this article (APA style)

Guy-Evans, O. (2022, July 4, 2022).Fearful avoidant attachment: how it develops and how to deal with it🇧🇷 Simply Psychology. www.simplypsychology.org/fearful-avoidant-attachment.html


Ainsworth, MDS, Blehar, MC, Waters, E. y Wall, S. (1978).Attachment Patterns: A Psychological Study of the Uncomfortable Situation. Lawrence Erlbum.

Baldwin, MW and Fehr, B. (1995). On the instability of attachment style assessments. Personal Relations, 2, 247-261.

Bartholomew, K. and Horowitz, L.M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: a test of a four-category model.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61(2), 226–244.

Bowlby, J. (1969).Attachment and Loss: Volume I. Attachment. Londres: Hogarth Press.

Brennan, KA, Clark, CL, & Shaver, PR (1998). Self-reported measurement of adult attachment: an integrative view. In J. A. Simpson and W. S. Rholes (Eds.),Attachment theory and intimate relationships(pp. 46–76). Guilford Press.

Brennan, K.A., and Shaver, P.R. (nineteen ninety five). Dimensions of adult attachment, regulation of affection and functioning of the love relationship.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21(3), 267–283.

Bylsma , W.H. , Cozzarelli , C. and Sumer , N. (1997). Relationship between adult attachment styles and global self-esteem.Basic and applied social psychology,19(1), 1-16.

Conrad, R., Forstner, A.J., Chung, ML, Mücke, M., Geiser, F., Schumacher, J., & Carnehl, F. (2021). Importance of anger suppression and preoccupied attachment in social anxiety disorder: a cross-sectional study.BMC psychiatry,21(1), 1-9.

Caron A, Lafontaine M, Bureau J, Levesque C, and Johnson SM. (2012). Close Relationship Comparisons: An Assessment of Relationship Quality and Attachment Patterns to Parents, Friends, and Romantic Partners in Young Adults.Canadian Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 44(4), 245-256.

Cassidy , J. and Berlin , L.J. . (1994). The insecure/ambivalent attachment pattern: theory and research.Child development,Sixty-five(4), 971-991.

Favez, N. and Tissot, H. (2019). Fearful-avoidant attachment: a specific impact on sexuality?. Journal of Sexual and Marital Therapy, 45(6), 510-523.

Finzi, R., Cohen, O., Sapir, Y. & Weizman, A. (2000). Attachment styles in maltreated children: a comparative study.Child Psychiatry and Human Development,31(2), 113-128.

Fraley, R.C. and Roisman, G.I. (2019). The development of adult attachment styles: four lessons.Current opinion in psychology.,25, 26-30.

Hashworth, T., Reis, S., and Grenyer, B.F. (2021). Personal agency in borderline personality disorder: the impact of adult attachment style.Frontiers of psychology, 12,2224.

Hazan, C. & Shaver, P. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(3), 511–524.

Principal, M., Kaplan, N. & Cassidy, J. (1985). Safety in childhood, childhood and adulthood: a step to the level of representation. In I. Bretherton & E. Waters (Eds.), Growth points of attachment theory and research.Child Development Research Society Monographs, 50(1-2), 66-104.

Main, M. and Solomon, J. (1986). Discovery of an insecure-disorganized/disoriented attachment pattern. In T.B. Brazelton and M.W. Yogman (Eds.),affective development in childhood🇬🇧 Editor Álex.

Simpson, J.A. (1990). Influence of attachment styles in love relationships.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(5), 971.

Waters, E., Merrick, S., Treboux, D., Crowell, J. & Albersheim, L. (2000). Attachment security in infancy and early adulthood: a twenty-year longitudinal study.Child Development, 71(3), 684-689.

CasaAboutPrivacy PolicyContact Us

(Video) 5 Signs of an Anxious-Avoidant Relationship


How do fearful avoidants act in a relationship? ›

People with fearful avoidant attachment want to form strong interpersonal bonds but also want to protect themselves from rejection. This leads them to seek out relationships but avoid true commitment or to leave as soon as a relationship gets too intimate.

What kind of partner does a fearful avoidant need? ›

"Over time, they can re-pattern their attachment and heal those wounds if they can find a partner who is willing to put in the work and help them," says Jordan. Ultimately, the key to building a long-lasting, healthy relationship with a fearful avoidant person is honesty, patience, and trust.

What are fearful avoidants attracted to? ›

People who develop a fearful avoidant attachment style often desire closeness. They seek intimacy from partners. However, they may be unable to achieve the deep connection they long for. That's because their attachment experiences have taught them to be fearful of intimacy.

Can fearful avoidants have healthy relationships? ›

While a fearful avoidant person may be more prone to breaking romantic connections because of their own fears and insecurities, they are able to fall in love and develop a more secure attachment.

How do you tell if a fearful-avoidant likes you? ›

12 Signs to check if an avoidant loves you
  1. They are ready to become vulnerable.
  2. They love your nonverbal PDAs.
  3. They display nonverbal communication.
  4. They encourage you to get personal space.
  5. They make an effort to connect with you.
  6. They listen to you.
  7. They make the first move in a relationship.
  8. They want to get intimate.
19 Apr 2022

Are fearful Avoidants more likely to cheat? ›

Avoidants may be more likely to cheat due to their own fears. According to Weiss, avoidants feel that being dependent is synonymous with being weak. To control this, they keep partners at a distance and lower the possibility of being hurt by the actions of their significant others.

Does no contact work on a fearful avoidant? ›

A fearful avoidant during no contact acts slightly differently from other attachment styles. Going no contact with them can become extremely distracting and often requires a lot of discipline. The fearful-avoidant does not express remorse or sadness over heartbreak in the initial weeks of the breakup.

What attachment style is most likely to cheat? ›

According to psychologists, people with avoidant attachment styles are individuals uncomfortable with intimacy and are therefore more likely to multiply sexual encounters and cheat.

Will a fearful avoidant ever commit? ›

They have an "avoidant" attachment style.

Usually, this kind of defense mechanism comes from a childhood trauma of abandonment and it means that relationships are unpredictable and temporary. An avoidant partner won't be able to commit in the long run because they simply can't maintain relationships for that long.

Do fearful Avoidants love bomb? ›

On the other hand, someone with a more avoidant attachment style may love bomb to feel in control over the level of intimacy. But once the partner reciprocates, they may feel overwhelmed by the closeness.

Do fearful Avoidants get jealous? ›

Some studies showed that differences in attachment styles seem to influence both the frequency and the patterns of jealousy expression: individuals with the preoccupied or fearful-avoidant attachment styles more often become jealous and consider rivals as more threatening than those with the secure attachment style [9, ...

Do fearful Avoidants want love? ›

Those with fearful-avoidant attachments want love from others. They may even crave that affection. But, at the same time, they are reluctant to have close or intimate relationships. This is a unique combination of anxiously craving affection and avoiding it at any cost.

How do you love someone with fearful avoidant attachment? ›

How to Deal with a Fearful-Avoidant Partner
  1. Reassure Them. Everything the Fearful-Avoidant partner does when it comes to intimacy is out of a fear of being left and rejected. ...
  2. Appreciate Them. ...
  3. Be a Safe Space. ...
  4. Be Patient. ...
  5. Communicate. ...
  6. Be Open to Learning.
30 May 2022

Do fearful Avoidants need reassurance? ›

A person with a fearful avoidant attachment style may crave closeness and reassurance from their partner, fearing that they will abandon them. In another instance, they may begin to feel trapped or afraid of how close they are with their partner and attempt to distance themselves.

Do fearful Avoidants get lonely? ›

People with avoidant attachment styles are more likely to feel alone in their experience of the world, according to new research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. The study also provides evidence that feeling existentially isolated is a distinct phenomenon from loneliness.

How does a fearful avoidant fall in love? ›

Anxious-Avoidant Attachment

You don't show your emotions easily. You don't come to people too readily. But it doesn't mean inside you don't yearn for a happy relationship. You will fall in love when it's been proven to you that your partner is someone who's accepting, forgiving and non-judgmental.

How can you tell if someone is avoidant attached to you? ›

Signs of avoidant attachment style in adults
  1. keep distance from others.
  2. push others away when they get close or show a desire for closeness.
  3. lack of emotional closeness in relationships.
  4. fears of intimacy.
  5. difficulty trusting others and opening up.
  6. unlikely to seek help in stressful situations.
5 days ago

How do you get a fearful avoidant to chase you? ›

10 ways to make an avoidant individual chase you
  1. Don't chase the avoidant. The very first thing you have to do when it comes to learning about how to get an avoidant to chase you is to stop chasing that avoidant person. ...
  2. Stay mysterious. ...
  3. The waiting game works. ...
  4. Give them space. ...
  5. Patience is crucial. ...
  6. Don't rush them.
2 Feb 2022

Are fearful Avoidants manipulative? ›

Those who suffer with Avoidant Personality Disorder frequently use manipulation to get their needs met. Perfectionism; nothing is good enough, the standard is set unrealistically high for themselves and often for others.

What hurts a fearful-avoidant? ›

A fearful-avoidant will assume the pieces of the puzzle they arent provided and create their own story. Lying, stealing, cheating, and obvious large-scale issues are big triggers.

Do fearful Avoidants lash out? ›

Fearful avoidants need transparency, deep connection and patience from their partners to feel safe and happy. They can sometimes lash out if they don't feel safe. They need to be reinforced for opening up and for creating greater intimacy.

Why do avoidants ignore text messages? ›

Unlike anxiously attached people, dismissive avoidants tend to be okay with others not texting them back immediately. They project their independence needs on others and conclude something like: “They must be busy.”

Do fearful avoidants want you to chase them? ›

Fearful avoidants both want and fear intimacy. So they seek closeness. But once they do, their fear of intimacy and attachment kicks in and they suddenly feel the need to escape, and this is when they need you to chase them.

What happens when a fearful avoidant deactivates? ›

Fearful avoidants often “deactivate” their attachment systems as a result of repeated rejections by others9. When they are in distress, they deactivate their attachment behavior. Consequently, the more upset their romantic partner is, the less likely a fearful-avoidant adult is to offer comfort and support10.

What is the hardest attachment style? ›

Most attachment specialists believe that the disorganized attachment style is the most difficult of the three insecure attachment styles to treat because it incorporates both the anxious and the avoidant styles.

Which attachment style is hardest to change? ›

"Disorganized attachment style is said to be the most difficult of the three insecure attachment styles to treat or change," Feuerman says. But it's important to know that your attachment style can shift over time — you can develop a secure attachment style by changing the way you act and think.

What attachment style craves intimacy? ›

People with an anxious attachment style are constantly seeking more intimacy and reassurances in their relationships, often coming off as "needy" partners, whereas people with an avoidant attachment style tend to do the opposite and push others away out of a fear of intimacy.

Do fearful avoidants get married? ›

While some may avoid close relationships entirely, some intimacy avoidants do occasionally have friendships, love affairs, and even marry. Frequently these marriages seem to start well. An intense emotional or sexual attraction leads to a felt (but superficial) bond.

Do fearful avoidants regret breaking up? ›

In spite of the fact that avoidants may regret breaking up, they may regard their ex-partner negatively, and convince themselves that the breakup was their ex's fault. Thus, they may talk themselves into thinking that the breakup was the best decision they ever made.

Are fearful Avoidants abusive? ›

Here is what I want you to know: people with the avoidant attachment adaptation are not inherently abusive. This stereotype is not only extremely harmful for the people who are working hard to heal themselves, but it's dismissive of their early experiences and their deep longing to connect with others.

Why do fearful Avoidants disappear? ›

Avoidant-attachment style personalities aren't emotionally mature enough to tell their partner the truth about how they feel, so they disappear when they become threatened with feeling vulnerable or close to someone.

Why do fearful Avoidants push away? ›

Fear of intimacy

Pushing people away is one way of avoiding intimacy. In fact, this avoidance can act as a defense mechanism for people afraid of getting hurt in relationships. This could be because a past relationship ended badly, perhaps with rejection or even bereavement.

Is fearful-avoidant the worst attachment style? ›

Disorganized or Fearful-Avoidant Attachment. The worst (and least common) type of attachment occurs when the parent is abusive or neglectful of the child. In this scenario, the child still looks to their parent for basic needs, but they also fear the person who has harmed them.

Do fearful Avoidants reach out after breakup? ›

The truth is, we've found that most exes who are avoidant will usually not reach out to an ex on their own accord because it usually triggers two things within them; A feeling of trauma and vulnerability that they aren't comfortable with.

Do fearful Avoidants lack empathy? ›

As with the dismissive, the fearful-avoidant will have difficulty understanding the emotional lives of others, and empathy, while present, is not very strong—thus there will be poor communication of feelings with his partner.

Who are Avoidants attracted to? ›

Love Avoidants recognize and are attracted to the Love Addict's strong fear of being left because Love Avoidants know that all they have to do to trigger their partner's fear is threaten to leave.

Do fearful avoidants care about you? ›

A person with fearful-avoidant attachment tends to have lower self-esteem, but still craves attachment. The issue is that they do not feel they are worthy of a healthy attachment and respond negatively to any rejection. While the dismissive-avoidant might seem like they do not care, they really do, deep down.

How do Avoidants apologize? ›

According to Schumann and Orehek, avoidant individuals were less likely to offer a comprehensive apology. Instead, they were defensive, prone to justify their behavior, blame the other person and make excuses.

Do Avoidants have lots of friends? ›

For this reason, and the fact that they find emotional closeness difficult, avoidant adults may be more likely to have a lot of friends rather than a few close ones. Avoidant attachers are often the life and soul of the party due to their elevated confidence and high self-esteem.

Can a relationship with a fearful-avoidant work? ›

Anxious and avoidant relationships can thrive if each party is willing to accommodate the other's emotional needs. For example, Avoidants may need to be patient with their partners, maintain openness, and not avoid important conversations that can lead to emotional intimacy.

How do fearful Avoidants handle breakups? ›

A fearful-avoidant will initiate the breakup when things are going great and then later welcome back you into their life. They have these pull-push dynamics that make you confused and disoriented. These dynamics are a product of the fact that a fearful-avoidant touches two spectrums of attachments.

How do you communicate with a fearful avoidant partner? ›

How to Increase Intimacy and Communication with an Avoidant Partner: 21 Ways
  1. Be patient. ...
  2. Create an atmosphere of safety. ...
  3. Respect cultural differences. ...
  4. Try to understand how they view 'needs' ...
  5. Avoid controlling their behaviors. ...
  6. If possible, offer alone time. ...
  7. Try not to interrupt their space.

Why do fearful avoidants end relationships? ›

Avoidant Attachment and Breakup. Someone with an avoidant attachment style in relationships likely grew up with caregivers that they perceived to be rejecting of their need for intimacy and affection. In response to this sense of repeated rejection, the child ultimately shuts down their attachment system.

How long should no contact be with a fearful avoidant? ›

In closing, I just want to say going no contact works with pretty much every attachment style, but it's different for the fearful avoidant. You have to give it that time of three to four weeks in order for them to start to feel those emotions for you again and actually get back into their activated state.

What hurts a fearful avoidant? ›

A fearful-avoidant will assume the pieces of the puzzle they arent provided and create their own story. Lying, stealing, cheating, and obvious large-scale issues are big triggers.


1. Why Avoidant and Anxious Partners Find It Hard to Split Up
(The School of Life)
2. 8 Signs of an Anxious Attachment Style
3. Intimacy, Sex & the Fearful Avoidant Attachment Style | Thais Gibson - Personal Development School
(The Personal Development School)
4. Fearful Avoidant Attachment: Common Patterns and Behaviors
(Janette Zeto)
5. 4 Ways Childhood Impacts Your Love Style | MedCircle MasterClass
6. 10 Signs You May Have A Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style
(Heidi Priebe)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Neely Ledner

Last Updated: 24/09/2023

Views: 5863

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Neely Ledner

Birthday: 1998-06-09

Address: 443 Barrows Terrace, New Jodyberg, CO 57462-5329

Phone: +2433516856029

Job: Central Legal Facilitator

Hobby: Backpacking, Jogging, Magic, Driving, Macrame, Embroidery, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Neely Ledner, I am a bright, determined, beautiful, adventurous, adventurous, spotless, calm person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.