Many of us know a dismissive avoidant as someone who values their independence. Rarely initiates contact. Doesn’t want to get too close. Ends a relationship to avoid getting too attached to someone. But what is it like to be a dismissive avoidant? What are some of the signs that you are a classic dismissive avoidant?
If you have any doubts that you are a dismissive avoidant, these 40 signs of a dismissive avoidant will put those doubts to rest.
1. Connection and closeness make you uncomfortable and/or scare you.
2. Clingy and needy behaviours make you angry and have a low opinion of someone.
3. You don’t see anything ‘wrong’ with not responding to texts or calls for several days, taking ‘space’ or leaving on a trip without informing your partner.
4. When you are upset, you don’t want to talk about what’s making you upset.
5. You miss your partner when they’re not around and are genuinely happy when you see them again. But the happiness of seeing them again lasts a short time, and you wish they were gone again.
6. Most of your relationships have been short-term or long distance.
7. You are happiest when you are away for work or doing things that don’t involve your partner.
8. You don’t trust easily. Your experience has been that trusting or relying on others always leads to disappointment.
9. Everyone you’ve had a romantic relationships has complained that you’re emotionally closed off; and don’t talk about how you feel.
10. You value your autonomy and independence over your relationships.
11. You believe most people are too dependent on others.
12. You think choosing to be alone than be in a relationship is no big deal. More people should be doing it.
13. You really, really don’t like drama or partners that create constant emotional stress.
14. You don’t believe relationships should be hard. If it’s hard, it’s not meant to be.
15. After you have an amazing time, date or holidays with your partner, you feel internally pressured to distance yourself.
16. It’s enough to be in the same room or house with your partner. You don’t feel that you should to talk to them or do things with them.
17. Arguments make you feel overwhelmed and want out of the relationship.
18. You value your privacy so much. As a result, you come across as needlessly secretive.
19. You attract anxiously attached type. You’re intensely attracted to them until they start asking for more of your time, space and/or emotions.
20. You are comfortable having sex with someone but not include them in other aspects of your life.
21. You avoid labeling the relationship because the other person will start having expectations.
22. You’ve had at least one (or more) on-and-off relationship that you keep going back to; just because your ex keeps pursuing you. But you are not really committed to making it work.
23. You have been in at least one (or more) relationships for more than 3 years. But you just couldn’t take that next step to commitment.
24. You have had at least one relationship with someone you treated like a romantic partner. But there was no physical intimacy.
25. There is always “something” you don’t like (even annoys you) about someone or the relationship.
26. You’ve been deeply hurt in the past by someone you deeply cared about (and most likely still care about). But despite the hurt, they are still the person you use to measure all others.
27. When a relationship ends, you don’t reach out first.
28. You hate the idea of chasing someone or being chased.
29. After the break-up you feel more relieved than hurt or disappointed.
30. You see no need to do ‘no contact’ or cut off contact with your ex. You just don’t make any attempt to initiate contact.
31. You prefer to keep your partner and your other relationships (friends and family) separate and make a big deal about when your partner can meet your friends and family.
32. You use sex to regulate closeness and withhold it if and when you think it’ll make them want more closeness.
33. Many of your break-ups ‘just happen’. You didn’t plan on breaking up. One thing led to another and just like that you end it.
34. When a relationships ends, you think about all the time and space you now have to do what you want.
35. Sometimes you just want everyone to leave you alone (no contact, no communication, no connection) and you don’t know why.
36. When you feel guilt for breaking up and hurting your ex, you dismiss it. For instance, “It’s what’s best for both of us”.
37. You don’t mind staying friends with your ex, but you also don’t want to feel obligated to maintain the friendship.
38. You have ghosted someone more than once.
39. You don’t see anything wrong with fading out of the picture of a relationship you don’t want to be in.
40. You are genuinely happy when your ex reaches out. But you keep them at a distance because you don’t want them to have expectations.
Hopefully these 40 signs you’re a dismissive avoidant will inspire you to want to change.
That said, not all dismissive avoidants are the same; and not everything that goes wrong in a relationship is because someone is a dismissive avoidant.
Anxious preoccupied and fearful avoidants are in no better or worse than dismissive avoidants as all these three are insecure attachment styles. Except for the secure attachment style, all of these other styles present unique challenges that make having a relationship hard.