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What Happens When You Stop Chasing an Avoidant: 4 Surprising Things

In the realm of relationships, attachment styles play a significant role in how individuals connect and relate to one another. An avoidant attachment style refers to a pattern of behavior where individuals tend to avoid or distance themselves from emotional intimacy and closeness. 

Understanding the dynamics of an avoidant attachment style is crucial in navigating relationships and knowing what happens when you choose to stop chasing an avoidant.

What is an avoidant attachment style?

An avoidant attachment style is a defense mechanism that develops in response to early childhood experiences. Individuals with this attachment style often struggle with forming and maintaining secure emotional bonds. 

They may have learned to suppress their emotions and prioritize self-reliance as a way to protect themselves from perceived rejection or vulnerability. This style can make it challenging to establish deep connections with others.

What are the signs of an avoidant attachment style?

Recognizing the signs of an avoidant attachment style can help shed light on the dynamics of a relationship. Some common signs include:

  1. Emotional distance: Avoidants tend to keep emotional distance, even in close relationships. They may struggle to express their feelings openly or fear being overwhelmed by emotions.
  2. Fear of intimacy: They may have a deep-seated fear of getting too close to others, often perceiving intimacy as a threat to their independence.
  3. Difficulty with vulnerability: Avoidants find it challenging to be vulnerable and may struggle with sharing personal thoughts or feelings.
  4. Preference for self-reliance: They value self-sufficiency and may resist depending on others for support or reassurance.
  5. Mixed signals: Avoidants may send mixed signals, oscillating between moments of closeness and withdrawal, which can confuse their partners.

Why do avoidants avoid intimacy?

Avoidants avoid intimacy due to various underlying reasons. These include:

  1. Fear of rejection: Previous experiences of rejection or abandonment can make avoidants fearful of being hurt again. Consequently, they create emotional distance as a protective measure.
  2. Independence and self-sufficiency: Avoidants often prioritize their independence and fear that intimacy will compromise their autonomy.
  3. Avoidance of vulnerability: They may associate vulnerability with weakness and view emotional closeness as a potential threat to their emotional well-being.
  4. Childhood experiences: Early relationships with caregivers may have lacked emotional responsiveness or consistency, leading to the development of avoidant attachment patterns.

What happens when you stop chasing an avoidant?

  1. They will feel relieved: When you stop chasing an avoidant, they may experience a sense of relief as the pressure to engage in emotional closeness diminishes. They no longer feel the need to withdraw or distance themselves to protect their emotional boundaries.
  2. They will start to miss you: Absence often makes the heart grow fonder. By giving an avoidant space, they may begin to miss the connection you once shared. This absence can help them recognize the value of emotional intimacy and the significance of the relationship.
  3. They will be more open to intimacy: With the absence of pursuit, avoidants may feel more comfortable exploring emotional intimacy. They can gradually lower their defenses and become more open to sharing their thoughts and feelings.
  4. They will be more likely to commit to a relationship: When an avoidant realizes that their partner has stopped chasing them, they may experience a shift in their perspective. They may recognize the importance of the relationship and the potential for growth and fulfillment it holds. This increased willingness to commit can lead to a deeper level of emotional investment and a stronger bond between both individuals.

How to stop chasing an avoidant:

  1. Give them space: Recognize that avoidants need their personal space and independence. Allow them the freedom to retreat and process their emotions without feeling pressured or overwhelmed by constant pursuit.
  2. Don’t be clingy or needy: Avoid engaging in clingy or needy behavior, as it can push an avoidant further away. Instead, foster a sense of self-assuredness and respect their need for autonomy.
  3. Focus on yourself: Shift your focus inward and invest time and energy in self-growth and self-care. Cultivate your own interests, hobbies, and social connections, which can help create a healthier balance in the relationship.
  4. Be confident: Confidence is key when dealing with an avoidant partner. Maintain your self-confidence and believe in your own worth, independent of their actions or responses. This can help create a secure foundation for both individuals.

What to do if an avoidant comes back to you:

  1. Don’t fall back into old patterns: It’s essential to recognize that change takes time and consistency. If an avoidant comes back into your life, be mindful of falling back into old patterns of chasing or enabling their avoidance. Maintain the boundaries you have established.
  2. Set boundaries: Clearly communicate your needs and expectations within the relationship. Establish healthy boundaries that promote mutual respect and emotional safety.
  3. Communicate your needs: Open and honest communication is crucial in any relationship, especially when dealing with an avoidant partner. Clearly express your needs for emotional closeness and reassurance, allowing them to understand what you require for a fulfilling connection.
  4. Be patient: Healing attachment patterns takes time and patience. Understand that an avoidant may still struggle with intimacy, even if they have come back into your life. Give them the time and space they need to work through their fears and gradually build trust.


It’s important to approach relationships with avoidant individuals with empathy and understanding. Remember, they are not inherently bad people but individuals who have learned to protect themselves in a particular way. 

By recognizing the signs of an avoidant attachment style and understanding what happens when you stop chasing an avoidant, you can navigate these relationships more effectively. 

By giving them space, focusing on yourself, and setting boundaries, you can create an environment that promotes growth and emotional connection. 

Remember, seeking support from therapists, books, or support groups can also be beneficial when dealing with the challenges of an avoidant attachment style. With patience and understanding, it is possible to have a successful and fulfilling relationship with an avoidant partner.

Editor Staff

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