So before you label or dismiss someone as love-avoidant or “unlovable”, ask yourself:
- Am I easy to love or difficult to love?
- Do I need more (validation, attention, closeness, intimacy etc.) than any one human being can give?
- Do I know how to ask for what I need or do I complain, nag, criticize, act needy and clingy, try to control the relationship and your partner, punish, end the relationship (or threaten to), cut off all contact when I should be trying to connect more, call others selfish, commitment phobe, narcissistic, “love-avoidant” because I didn’t get my needs met?
Sometimes… it’s not them, it’s really you.
This goes both ways. Dismissive-avoidants (see: 30 OMG Signs You’re A Classic Dismissive-Avoidant), before you label or dismiss someone as “needy”, complaining, nagging, critical, controlling, punishing, crazy etc., ask yourself:
- Do I know what the person I love needs to feel loved, wanted, validated, valued, cared for etc.?
- Do I know how to meet those needs in away that they feel loved, wanted, validated, valued, cared for etc.?
- Am I even trying to know their needs or meet them?
- Do I always put myself, my needs and what I want above my relationship and the person I love?
- Do I engage is distancing behaviours because my partner is needy and clingy or is my partner needy and clingy because I distance and push them away?
Like I said, sometimes it’s not them, it’s really you.
If you love your dismissive-avoidant or love your anxiously-attached partner with all their attachment style shortcomings, don’t let what others say about someone they don’t even know, met or love make you give up on someone you love and loves you back. If however, the relationship is abusive, disrespectful or damaging to your sense of self, security and well-being, that’s a whole different story. You need to walk away.
But if it’s things like:
- I want to ‘talk” and they don’t want to/they walk away
- When I tell them how I feel, they don’t want to hear/think that I am exaggerating the situation or my feelings
- I want us to spend more together but they keep postponing or cancelling plans
- I want to cuddle after sex and they want to sleep or I want more sex and they don’t
- I want us to go to couples therapy but they don’t think couples therapy is necessary/works
You know what I am talking about. Some of these things can be worked on.
Working to get yourself to be more securely attached helps everyone (even the strangers you meet). Self-work takes time, in the meantime an anxiously-preoccupied and dismissive-avoidants attachment dynamic can work if both people recognize how they contribute to the problems in the relationship and find ways to work with the other’s attachment style.
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Maya Angelou