Loving an avoidant is challenging for the faint-hearted. One day, your partner is affectionate towards you, and then the next day, they’re keeping you at arm’s length. You can never tell if they’re truly in love with you because of this push-and-pull behavior.
So, what are the signs an avoidant loves you? Generally, they start becoming more emotionally and physically available to you, showing their affection in their own subtle ways, beginning to trust you with their secrets, allowing themselves to be at ease around you, and becoming ready to take your relationship to the next level.
In this article, I have summarized all the ways an avoidant can exhibit their love and affection for you, as well as how to cope with love avoidant partners. Read further for more!
Love avoidants are people who have an avoidant attachment style, which means that they choose to avoid the love displayed by their partners. They are extremely independent and commitment-phobic and are usually uncomfortable with intimate contact with their partners.
Their behavior may be inherent due to their environment as a child or adult, or they may have developed it due to unresolved emotional issues or past experiences. Alternatively, love avoidants may have an avoidant personality disorder overall, which can explain their avoidant behaviors.
Highly love avoidant people go to extremes by suppressing their emotions while rejecting people whom they’re platonically or romantically close to under stressful situations. They do this as a means to protect themselves from the control of other people.
Two Types of Avoidant Attachment Styles
Psychology says up to 25% of people can display avoidant behavior in some form. There are generally four types of attachment styles, two of which exhibit avoidant behavior:
- Dismissive-Avoidant (DA).Love-avoidant people with this style are characterized by a rejection of intimacy and exhibit independence to avoid depending on others. They feel like they can’t rely on others, so they only rely on themselves.
- Fearful-Avoidant (FA). Also called the disorganized attachment style, this style is exhibited by the avoidance of meaningful relationship-building and a fear of intimacy. They may seem like they have a hot and cold personality and generally don’t have a strategy to destress and feel safe.
18 Signs an Avoidant Loves You
Now that you know what characterizes a love-avoidant partner, let’s move on to the huge signs that point to the fact that an avoidant may love you or is in the process of being so!
1. They Become Affectionate With You
Their affection may be less direct and obvious than you think it would. Since they experience difficulties in expressing themselves, especially when it comes to affection and emotions, avoidants will show them to you through nonverbal means.
According to a 2020 study, here are some behaviors that they may do to display their love for you:
- Leaning forward toward you or lightly touching your hand while talking
- Nodding their heads
- Smiling at you
- Displaying animated gestures
- Hugging your waist or putting their arm on your shoulder
- Ruffling your hair or patting your head
- Reluctance on leaving your side
- For avoidant men, their voices will tend to be lower but louder. At the same time, avoidant women will sound more enthusiastic and pleasant to the ears.
Additionally, since they are quite awkward and shy when showing affection, don’t expect them to do these behaviors in public. So, if ever you try to touch them in public, don’t expect them to reciprocate, and try not to take immediate offense. In private, they would be more accommodating to you, don’t worry!
2. They Start Opening Up To You
Avoidant men and women are characteristically afraid of emotional intimacy, so when they start becoming vulnerable and sharing some of their thoughts, feelings, or experiences with you, they’re likely starting to love you if they haven’t completely yet!
If they offer you just a tiny glimpse of what’s on their mind, they’re on the road to becoming comfortable with you, and they may even get themselves attached, but if they share deeper stuff, then they’re definitely in love. They usually come across as secretive and introverted, so this is quite a big deal for them!
Do take note that love avoidant people are subtle when opening up to people they love. They’re not loud and proud, but they’re quite sincere and honest. These thoughts might even come in increments as they gradually warm up to the idea of loving you.
3. They Hold Meaningful Conversations
Another sign that an avoidant loves you is that they hold meaningful conversations with you. This is because they tend to withdraw from emotional conversations. This also stems from the fact that love avoidant people don’t like wasting their time and energy on senseless small talk.
Moreover, love-avoidant people also perform stonewalling when faced with issues, which involves actively refusing discussion, becoming emotionally unavailable, and creating distance when you’re trying to talk about said issue.
So, if they willingly address issues your relationship has or are willing to talk about difficult conversations that require a lot of emotions and feelings, they are definitely in love with you or, at the very least, are becoming emotionally attached to you.
4. They Introduce You to Their Friends and Family
If they let you in their inner circle and personal space by introducing you to their closest friends and family members, it’s another sign an avoidant loves you. However, take note that this may happen later on in the relationship when they’re slowly but surely feeling secure in their feelings toward you.
Love-avoidant people value their boundaries since they use the distance to separate themselves from romantic interests when they feel overwhelmed by their emotions. So, when they start recognizing how important you are in their lives, they will want their loved ones to know all about you.
Additionally, this can also mean that they have settled down with you and are seriously considering you as an integral part of their lives. Expect an intimate dinner with their family, an invitation to a friend’s wedding, or even just a casual meeting with any of the people they love (platonic or familial).
5. They Initiate Quality Time
If your avoidant partner exerts more effort into spending time with you, they may be in the process of falling in love with you, or they may even love you already! Love-avoidant people are prone to isolation to avoid social interactions, even with the ones they love.
However, when these people fall in love, quality time becomes their love language because it requires the least verbal communication. If they want to be around you as much as physically possible and go to lengths such as canceling their plans or finding excuses to see you, they’re 100% in love with you.
They also will include you in their plans more often than usual, stay in touch with you throughout the day by texting or calling, and might even mention going on trips together. Although an avoidant in love does all these actions, remember that they would still need some space to themselves every now and then.
6. They Try to Get to Know You Better
As I have established earlier, they avoid emotional closeness by distancing themselves, so when they try to get to know you better on a deeper level, it’s another sign an avoidant loves you. They may do it in the following ways:
- Bonding through the things you like or things you have in common
- Asking genuine questions every now and then
- Actively listening to you (making eye contact, nodding or making noises to affirm that they’re listening, leaning toward you while you’re talking, etc.)
- Staying present during conversations, even if topics are uncomfortable for them
- Opening up in return after you share your experiences, thoughts, and feelings
7. They Accept Your Differences
People associated with avoidant attachment styles are prone to perfectionism, which makes them feel superior to other people and are incredibly self-critical. This also affects the way they see other people, wanting them to have as little imperfections as possible.
But when a love-avoidant loves you, they will acknowledge that you both have your differences, and they will openly embrace your flaws. While this may seem like the bare minimum, it’s a big deal for these types of people because it shows the trust they have for you and the comfort they feel whenever they’re with you.
However, this sign may not manifest itself immediately. It will take them some time to get used to the idea, and it depends on the things you disagree on. If it’s something as small as having different tastes in music and fashion, it won’t take them too long, unlike if there are differences in beliefs and political views.
8. They Consider Moving the Relationship Forward
An avoidant in love will be ready to take your relationship forward, even going so far as to consider marriage. However, it can also be as simple as referring to you as their partner or moving into the same apartment together. Whatever it is, just know that they’re incredibly serious about you.
This is a big deal because they see any form of commitment as a trap—something that they can lose control over their freedom. But now that they want to take things to the next level, just know that it took a lot in them to do so and that they are head over heels for you.
You can expect them to do this when they try to initiate open and honest conversations about where they see the both of you in the future. A love avoidant will still establish their boundaries, but now they are willing to set clear relationship goals.
9. They Share Their Secrets With You
Another sign an avoidant loves you is that they start confiding in you some secrets, even those that are close to their heart. They are naturally skeptical of other people and may even feel offended if they are asked something personal. They also find sharing quite difficult since they don’t want to feel vulnerable.
But once you win their heart, you will also earn their trust. They will let you in on their secrets, and slowly but surely, they will feel more comfortable with you since they know that you will not judge them. As such, when an avoidant tells you something they deem as private, this is a big deal!
10. They’re Ready for Intimacy
As I have kept mentioning in this article, love avoidant people are uncomfortable with both physical and emotional intimacy. It takes some time for them to warm up to the idea that intimacy isn’t as bad as they thought it was, and showing affection towards the people they love can be quite freeing.
This can be as simple as holding hands or wrapping an arm around you to wanting to have sex. They might be really awkward when doing it, and they would prefer it to be done in private initially, so try to be as encouraging as you can. Eventually, they will get better at initiating intimacy and even do it in public.
Alternatively, you can also try to initiate displays of affection yourself and see if they’re okay with it. If they withdraw, they might not be ready to commit to you just yet. But if they don’t, they’re definitely in love with you!
11. They Make the First Move
Another big sign an avoidant loves you is that they make the first move in the relationship using their own subtle ways, such as giving you “the look” of someone in love. This is a great deal because they usually prefer the other person initiating things in the relationship.
These moves aren’t necessarily big gestures; they can be as simple as sending you text messages, asking you out on dates, or initiating physical intimacy. They do this because they’re comfortable with you and know that making the first move doesn’t make them lose control over anything.
Again, you have to give them time when it comes to this. They’re naturally (and oftentimes intensely) afraid of rejection, which is why they avoid situations where they have to initiate anything. So, knowing that they want to make the first move is a strong indication of their feelings for you.
12. They Tell You About Their Day or What’s Bothering Them
This may seem mundane (and the bare minimum, too), but it is actually a very important testament to their love. Avoidants usually just keep things in and hold everyone at arm’s length. They endure problems that bother them and rarely share about what happened during their day.
Usually, they are naturally non-confrontational. If they feel anxious, stressed, or afraid, they will still look calm and centered. They act this way because they don’t want to be perceived as weak if they show the slightest bit of discomfort in their facial or body gestures.
This is why if they start sharing with you about their problems or simple things such as how their day went, you can definitely take it as a sign an avoidant loves you. Even subtle actions such as expressing their dislike or dissent can be a big deal!
13. They Break Their Rules For You
People with an avoidant attachment style internalize and enforce lots of rigid rules and conditions, not just in themselves but also in relationships with others. They don’t like losing control, so instead, they try to exert as much of it as possible by imposing these rules.
For example, they may not be flexible or adaptable. They will express if their freedom, job, or family are of higher priority than their relationship with him. They may also be against a lot of things, such as marriage or even the simple act of moving in together, which might crush your expectations.
As such, if they break all these rules for you just to be with you, know that it took everything in them to do so and that they did this because of the love they have for you. They’re more than willing to meet your needs without feeling like they’re doing it at the expense of theirs.
14. They’ll Come to the Rescue
As I have mentioned, most avoidants are not affectionate, which is why one of their love languages, other than quality time, is acts of service. This is especially true for male avoidant partners as they will go above and beyond with their efforts just to make you feel cherished.
These acts of service could be as simple as helping with chores, cooking your meals, organizing your workspace, and offering to run errands for you. They can also be something that they’re initially not comfortable doing, such as planning trips just for the both of you or giving you hugs when you’re feeling down.
Whatever it is, just know that these actions are their ways of showing that they’re more than willing to invest a lot of time and effort into making your life easier, better, and even more enjoyable for you because they love you.
15. They Invite You to Their Place
The home of an avoidant is a sacred space for them. It’s where they feel safest against the world, which is why it comes as no surprise that they don’t want to share this space with anyone else that easily, as they are afraid that their homes will expose a lot of things about them.
If your love-avoidant partner invites you to their humble abodes, it’s an indication that they’re willing to give you a peek at how they live their life daily and are allowing you to know them on a deeper, more personal, more intimate level than ever before.
Eventually, they’ll feel comfortable enough to leave you alone in their place or let you come over and stay often. Bonus points if they’re willing to address your needs and want you to feel at home in their apartment. This is a big indication of their trust and love.
16. They Become More Emotionally Available
Being more emotionally available means allowing oneself to be closer to people without fearing what they might think or that they might possibly hurt one’s feelings. Additionally, it also means being able to reciprocate the love one’s partner has for them, to make them feel validated.
Here are signs that a love-avoidant person is becoming more emotionally available:
- They’re not afraid to become vulnerable with you, sharing their thoughts, feelings, and emotions they once repressed
- They’re not afraid to show their emotions that they once thought would be a sign of weakness that others could use to exploit
- They’re not afraid to ask for help or support, especially when they need it the most.
If you notice your partner doing all these things, it’s a clear sign that they love you. They’re no longer trying to keep you at arm’s length but would even make an effort to pull you closer as a sign of their love and affection.
17. They Encourage Your Independence
Independence, self-sufficiency, and personal space are important for love-avoidant people because they think that the only person they can truly rely on at the end of the day is themselves. However, this is an entirely different viewpoint if they see their partner becoming independent.
They interpret their partner’s independence as pulling away from them and, subsequently, their relationship. They think that you might not want to be in a relationship with them anymore, which puts them in a frenzy.
However, if they encourage your independence, this is a great sign that they trust you enough not to give up on them that easily. Moreover, it’s also an indication of their commitment to your relationship. Love-avoidant people rarely allow their partner’s personal space unless they genuinely love them.
18. They Consider Getting Professional Guidance
This is perhaps the biggest sign an avoidant loves you because it takes a lot of courage and bravery to acknowledge that the attachment style a love avoidant person has is hurting other people and affecting the way they build meaningful relationships.
They want to become better people for the ones they love by going through therapy with a licensed professional. Usually, therapy for love avoidants involves employing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a form of talking therapy that helps correct their avoidant behaviors and heal their relational trauma.
Know that this may be a long process, especially for partners who are deeply avoidant to the core. The best you can do is provide them with positive reinforcement and emotional support on their road to healing and change.
How to Cope With an Avoidant Partner?
Dealing with an avoidant partner is challenging, but as long as you employ the right approaches and become more aware and knowledgeable of the attachment style that they have, you can safely navigate yourself through it.
Here are some tips that could help you:
- Be patient. This is perhaps the most important tip when coping with avoidant partners. Change isn’t something that can happen overnight, so you need to give them a lot of time to learn how to overcome their fear of commitments and how to properly express themselves.
- Don’t push it. It will take a while for your avoidant partner to tolerate closeness, so try to savor it without pushing for more. This lets your partner become more comfortable with you, thus being more physically and emotionally intimate with you.
- Avoid cricizing. People with an avoidant attachment style are extremely sensitive to criticism since they are natural-born perfectionists. Try not to complain too much when communication isn’t constant or when your physical needs aren’t being met. Remember: patience is key!
- Respect their boundaries.Love-avoidant people require time for themselves every day. If possible, initiate this yourself by telling them to do their own thing while you do yours so that they will feel validated for wanting some alone time.
- Communicate effectively. When expressing your needs and frustrations in the relationship, try doing so gently and without employing an accusatory or demanding tone. Use I-statements instead, such as “I felt hurt when I…” instead of “You hurt me when you…”
- Know your limits.You don’t have to endure all this if you can’t. Maintaining a relationship with a love-avoidant may be challenging for people who don’t have the patience for it, so know when it gets too much for you and walk away.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do Avoidants act when they fall in love?
It depends on the person. Generally, their feelings are so strong that they often act on them strongly (but slowly!). However, they will readily flee at any indication that their needs (such as attention and affection) are met by their partners.
They will exhibit a kind of push-and-pull behavior with people they love—they become ridden with anxiety if their partners retreat for too long but will distance themselves if their partners come close to them.
2. How do you win an Avoidant’s heart?
Giving them time to learn how to properly express their feelings and affection, creating a safe space for them to be able to communicate their needs, respecting differences you have, especially with regards to love languages, and avoiding controlling their behaviors can help you win their heart.
The key is to establish healthy boundaries with a love avoidant. Give them some alone time, and try your best not to interrupt their space when they need it the most. This helps them come to terms with their feelings for you and act on them in ways they’re comfortable expressing.
3. What do you do when an avoidant pushes you away?
Understand that it isn’t about you, but it’s their nature and inherent behavior. You can try gently addressing the issue so it can be resolved timely and respect their boundaries and personal space when they establish them. Patience is an important attitude to have when dealing with love-avoidant people.
It isn’t always clear if a person with an avoidant attachment style loves you because they tend to pull back if they feel like they’re becoming closer to you emotionally and physically. However, once they realize that they’re in love, it becomes clear as day.
I hope I helped you determine whether or not your love-avoidant partner is ready to move their relationship with you forward! Remember: the key to having a healthy relationship with them is to be patient and understanding.
Josephine Fuller is a contributing writer for dailytimesblog.com.
She is a Licensed Relationship Therapist, and She has been researching love and relationships for over 20 years. She specializes in relationship therapy, intimacy building, and existential exploration. She’s also an astrologer who uses the stars to explore and explain her unique perspective on life. With a special blend of wit, wisdom, and insight, Josephine brings the heavens down to Earth in her writing about astrology.