Why the DISMISSIVE AVOIDANT attract but can't keep partners

I first want to start this video off today with an apology. I want to apologize to all of my subscribers who come to this channel to learn about attachment styles. The truth is in 2023, I got hung up in giving blanketed advice that you can hear from any of these other coaches. I've advised people to go no contact indefinitely, which is not only reckless when it comes to avoidant, it's just flat out lazy advice. Anyone can tell you to go no contact indefinitely because they want to protect themselves just in case something later on down the line comes back upon them, but every relationship is different. Some relationships require a lot more mindful and strategic advice when it comes to reconciling and repairing relationships with someone with attachment wounds. I guess my reason for giving that advice is because I wanted to protect the hearts of my clients. I wanted to push them towards healing as quickly as possible, but what made this channel so different in the past, is the accurate and clinically proven advice on how to make things work with someone who has insecure attachments. So in today's video, I want to get back to the roots. We're going to talk about why avoidants are great at attracting people, but can't keep them in long-term relationships. 

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In today's video, we're going to talk about why avoidants are so good at attracting people, but have a hard time staying in those relationships. I broke this down into six reasons. The first three are going to be the ‘getting to know each other stages’ and the second half is going to be like Dr. Mark Knapp talks about the ‘coming apart stages’ where the relationship starts to fall apart, and the reasons why that happens. 

The first three reasons why avoidants are great at attracting people and getting them to commit to a relationship in the first place is because of these three reasons: 

The first one is, they appear self-reliant and independent. When people are so used to someone clinging right away, trying to get them into a relationship right away, the dismissive avoidant can be very alluring when it comes to that because it's minimum pressure. It's not them being desperate and trying to get them to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable. So they're very good at appearing self-reliant and independent. What that looks like usually is they won't be trying to pursue you a lot. They may be okay with having conversation with you on a regular basis, but it doesn't feel forced, it doesn't feel like this person is very desperate or like this person is someone who doesn't have a lot of options. I talk about that in one of my other videos where I talk about how avoidant men look very calm. They look very secure, they look like someone who knows exactly what it is they want. They may shoot off a flare like “hey I like you, I'm into you, but I don't need you”, and that seems very safe for a woman, like “that feels like this is something that I'm okay with pursuing, because I can move at my own pace, and I won't feel too pressured”. We're going to talk about when it starts to become a problem though, later on in the video. 

Number two is they don't look codependent and they don't look needy, like let's say the anxious attaching person, no offense, I’m someone who used to be an anxious attacher myself. It doesn't feel uncomfortable, it doesn't feel forced, it doesn't feel like this person is only with me and only needing to be with me because they can't find someone else. That's a red flag for a lot of people and avoidants are very good at giving off this aloofness. Almost like, I like you, but you know, if things don't work out, they don't work out. That's great in the beginning of the relationship when you're in the dating and the ‘getting to know each other’ stages. That will shift later on when you get into the relationship stage, the actual commitment stage.

The third reason why they get you hooked in the beginning is because they show just enough relationship interest to get you committed. They show just enough of future talk, and I know this is talking like narcissism but it's not about narcissism, it's that they purely want to have a relationship. They're usually out of a relationship for a while, and this is just a general rule right, they usually want a relationship after a while because they've been out of one. It's almost like that need, that appetite for a relationship builds up and they get hungry, and they're like ‘alright I think I really want a partner’. So they're good at making you feel like this person is authentic, this person really wants a relationship. It's just when they get scared about their commitment and the actual backing up of what they said that they want. This is why sometimes I say avoidants bite off more than they can chew. 

It gets very scary and real for them and that's when you start to move over in that power struggle stage. The avoidant will stay in this ‘dating and getting to know each other’ stage forever, to kingdom come. This is what they're comfortable with, this is what feels safe to them, but when you move into that power struggle stage this is when they start to lose people, and that relationship starts to fall apart. After a while, when you're in this relationship and you've made that commitment, they're going to have to start showing up differently. They're going to have to start showing up like someone who has a boyfriend or a girlfriend and once again that's a very scary avenue for them because they may have not seen this as a child. They may have not seen healthy relationships or they may have been in this dynamic before and the person that they were with may not have done things in a healthy manner, which means they had to start showing up entirely differently than they were when they were having fun and just hanging out. So now the stakes have risen, like things have to be so much more intense, so much more dramatic, so much more serious. For them that's a very scary thing because they don't know if they can show up in that way. They don't know if they can actually live up to the standards or the expectations of what they've seen in other relationships. They’ve observed a lot of different other relationships and they put their relationship standards on a pedestal as to what it should actually look like. 

The second reason why it starts to fall apart during that power struggle stage is because they start to frustrate the people they're with because of their lack of healthy communication skills. When they're in that ‘dating and getting to know you phase’, they can disappear and don't have to worry about placating you or talking to you about certain issues that may arise. They may say ‘you know what, I'm just going to fall back’. This is what they say, ‘I'm going to fall back and just let this thing work itself out’, but when you're in a relationship in that power struggle stage, it takes for you to actually be present, you to sit, and have these uncomfortable conversations, and to take this relationship to the next, I call it, the level up; have these emotional oil changes that needs to happen in those relationships to keep it running like a well- owned machine. This isn't something that they're used to, this is a new dynamic for them. I don't like making excuses for them, because as adults, it depends on the age of the avoidant, as adults we should be able to have these conversations and be adultlike. This is why sometimes I say that they kind of look like they're immature. They look like someone who's in their adolescence, who are having a hard time formulating their feelings and understanding. That's just the trauma, that's what they're not used to. So in a way, it's going to be a little bit of coaching and a little bit of mentoring. You may even have to be their therapist at times in those relationships, which I don't know if a lot of people are down for. I see this all the time on my channel, I see people in the comment section that are very angry. Respectfully you got into this situation knowing that this person had some type of block that wasn't allowing them to show up in a way that you would want for them to show up. As an anxious attacher, you're very okay with communicating your needs being vocal about what you're feeling inside but for them it's hard.

A third reason that they back away is because they deactivate. Everyone knows if you've been watching my channel for long enough, if you've known about attachment styles, if you’ve known about a dismissive avoidant, you know that they have something that occurs which is called deactivation. Deactivation is when they go into their mental cave. They go into the shell just like a turtle to protect themselves when things become too emotionally overwhelming, when things become a little too intense for them. You may have just gone off on a holiday together and they go into their cave. Even if you may have said something that was very valid, like you may have had some needs that you discussed that you wanted to be met, and they froze. You could have had some type of life altering event happen in your life and you came and they weren't able to support you the way that they felt like they should. Like I said before, they always have this unrealistic expectation on how they should be showing up, so they pull back. That is usually the dagger in the heart. That's when anxious attachers start to protest. That's when fearful avoidants become a little more volatile if you want to say, well not all of them, but for the most part fearful avoidants become volatile and get upset. That’s usually a trauma response for the FA too. 

So those are my three that will happen in the ‘dating and getting to know each other stage’ and the three that will occur in the ‘power struggle stage’. So if you found this video of any value, please like, comment, and share. You can reach out to me on my Instagram at [iamcoachcourt]. Follow me on YouTube which is [coachcourt] and Tik Tok is [i.am.coachcourt]. Thank you guys and always remember, when you go be love, you'll never have to find it.