Does Your Anxious Avoidant Attachment Stand a Chance?
When you want more intimacy and your partner seems to avoid it, it can be devastating to your experience of love.
So what does it really take to overcome the “anxious avoidant attachment trap,” and build a healthy, secure relationship that fulfills you?
In this post, you’ll learn what your attachment style really means, why it’s not actually a bad thing with a little MarsVenus insight, and how to use it to amplify the passion in your relationship(s)!
I keep picking guys with an avoidant attachment style.
I, myself, have an anxious attachment style.
My last three relationships have been like this, and I'm starting to give up hope that I can have a fulfilling, loving relationship in my life.
Where are all the good men? Help!
What Are Anxious Avoidant Attachment Styles, Anyway?
In case you haven’t heard about attachment styles, there are a few types. And since it’s become a popular lens to understand adult relationship patterns, and our readers have begun to ask me about them, I wanted to address it.
In this post, we’re talking about the most common: anxious attachment and avoidant attachment.
Here’s the definition of the anxious avoidant attachment style, according to sociologist Lucio Buffalmano:
“The anxious avoidant relationship, AKA “anxious avoidant trap,” is one of the most common forms of dysfunctional relationships. It binds together an anxious and an avoidant, the two most common attachment styles. The anxious avoidant attachment makes for a terrible relationship, because at the core, the two have opposing approaches to intimacy.
“The anxious moves towards intimacy, and the avoidant moves away from intimacy to regain his space. The anxious needs intimacy and the avoidant needs to keep independence."
But what if those opposing forces of intimacy could actually be a good thing? What if, with a little more insight, it could actually be the best thing for a relationship?
What if this “trap” is actually completely misunderstood, and we’re looking at it all the wrong way?
Let’s explore further...
The Hormonal Implications of Attachment
It is a common phenomenon for men to pull away and women to wonder... “What happened?”
Then, she becomes anxious, often because she's misinterpreting his pulling away.
When she experiences him pulling away, her brain goes:
- "Oh, my gosh, I can't get the love I need," or
- "What's wrong with me?" or
- "Does he love me anymore?"
This is because naturally, women want to experience intimacy. They want to get closer.
And naturally, men want to experience intimacy too. But...here comes the difference!
After intimacy, he needs to pull away for independence. This isn't because of his wounded childhood or anything like this. This is a masculine need to produce romantic hormones.
That romantic hormone is: testosterone.
Men need to make 10 to 20 times more testosterone than women, and detachment, separation is what generates testosterone.
So what you may be labeling as “avoidant attachment” may just be a healthy, hormonal response. Let me explain...
What Intimacy Does for Men Is Different Than Women
Getting close through intimacy, over time, lowers testosterone.
Tests have shown that...
- When men are single, their testosterone is higher.
- When men make a commitment in a relationship, their testosterone goes down.
- When men get married, their testosterone goes down even further.
- When men have children, their testosterone goes down even further.
Now, this is all based on averages; this is not all men.
But the reason is that when men feel more love, more connection, more openness, the female hormones in him start to go up, which is a good thing because what we all want is a balance of masculine and feminine hormones.
However, the spike in female hormones also lowers his testosterone.
So when he's really close to her, and he's experiencing intimacy, his female hormones go up; his male hormones go down.
At this point, there's an instinct inside of him to pull away.
He doesn't consciously think, "Oh, I'm balancing my hormones." He just knows there's a tendency to withdraw, to pull away, to detach from her. And she may label it as the avoidance of intimacy, and call it an avoidant attachment style.
But actually, he's not avoiding intimacy.
He goes in for intimacy, and then he comes out, and he goes in, and he comes out. It's a natural pattern. It's biology. It's men and women.
This is the fundamental difference between men and women that I often talk about, and it's the foundation of creating a lifetime of passion and love in your relationship.
Using Anxious Avoidant Attachment to Grow In Love
Creating passion for a lifetime requires these two different styles of intimacy as the foundation.
Unfortunately, we often make it wrong or we don't understand it.
When that happens, she ends up feeling anxious when he pulls away because nobody's explained to her: This is natural. This is normal. This is healthy.
It doesn't mean he doesn't love you.
And he will come back to intimacy after he’s pulled away.
What is the oldest adage in the world?
Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
That's particularly true of men because they need to pull away and come back.
Now that we know this, we don’t need to label a man who tends to pull away and come back as the “avoidant attachment style” or attach any more meaning to it than the hormones at play.
It's natural for him.
And, I hope you find this freeing because it also means: We don’t have to label you as “anxious.”
Your experience of feeling anxious when he pulls away is because you’re a woman who likes intimacy and really loves it, like a delicious meal.
You're drinking it up! You were born to love! It feels amazing!
And actually, with these new insights, these two styles of intimacy are very complementary.
When he pulls away, it's a chance for him...
- To rebuild his passionate hormones
- To come back to you with desire and motivation
- To be his best self for you and the relationship so love can grow instead of fade or burn out
And for you, when he pulls away, that's an opportunity for you to do whatever else you want or love to do.
There are so many ways for you to experience intimacy and love and happiness and joy.
So go back to those places, activities, and relationships to get the intimacy you need.
Then, when you’re not...
- Taking his pulling away personally
- Labeling it as a relationship weakness or something that should be avoided
AND, you’re also taking care to fulfill your needs outside of your relationship, you’re no longer a “needy,” “anxious,” character anymore.
Instead, you feel self-assured, cared for, happy, fulfilled, and trusting: that’s you.
Then, when he comes back to you, you're already experiencing fulfillment from all the other sources of support you have in your life. You're already happy, and you're allowing him to make you happier.
Then you have the foundation of a really healthy relationship where you're not depending on your partner to make you happy.
You were born to love and be loved. You’re not anxious, you just need a few new insights into men and women, and a few new tools to succeed.
That's how we go from good to great and create a lifetime of love.
If you want to learn more about how you can create your own fulfillment, use your hormones for good, and turn that relationship anxiety into feel-good self-assurance, our program How to Get More Me-Time is for you. In it, you’ll learn the You-We-Me Time™ System which has already helped hundreds of women take action to ease their nerves, grow in happiness and love, and experience the men in their life motivated to make them even happier. You can learn more and enroll anytime right here.
Grow in love,
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