Monday, April 23, 2012

The art of avoiding avoidant men

My ears are itchy, my throat is hurting all the way down under my collar bone. Why me?!? I wanted so badly to be healthy! and here I am coughing my lungs out and physically hurting! You are all welcome to feel bad for me now... cus this seriously hurts! also, my voice seems to be gone... I sound like a frog.

On a totally different note, where are all the handsome secure men?
I don't read much, except for school material, but I do however listen to audio books and strongly recommend Audible. Anyways, so I listened to this lovely book called Attached: The new science of adult attachment and how it can help you find- and keep- love. I am a big fan of relationships, communication styles and people. So this book immediately caught my attention. Especially since as a social work student I have learned a lot about attachment styles in children and was interested in knowing how attachment works in grown ups... and lets not kid ourselves here, I am single and I wouldn't mind not being single anymore.

It didn't take long for me to realize this book makes more sense than so many other books on relationships, how to find someone, what to look for and what to avoid. It taught me a lot about myself too, not all of it stuff I liked. I had sort of hoped to find out that I am perfect and guys suck. But this is not the case.

Turns out I am anxious, needy and on the verge of being a psycho killer.
Just kidding... at least about being a psycho killer.
I am anxious, which means i:

Anxious people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back.  

The book talks about how Anxious and Avoidant (equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.) people tend to fall for each other. But it usually turns into a vicious cycle. The anxious person will keep trying to gain more closeness, while the avoidant person will try to gain more independence. Usually what happens is the anxious person will settle for less closeness than they need in order to hold on to some sort of closeness in the hopes of one day being truly happy with their partner, at the same time they will blame themselves for their partners pulling away and start to associate communicating their needs with loss of closeness.

What this book helped me realize is that through years of falling for avoidants I have blamed myself for things not working out and wondered what I have been doing wrong... while really there is nothing I could have done different, except be better at expressing my needs and getting out when those needs were not being met, as opposed to settling for an unfulfilling relationship.
This knowledge has helped me immensely! I have an easier time letting go of past relationships, and ones that seem to be starting up until I find out I am dealing with an avoidant person.
Don't get me wrong, avoidant people are not the devil! they are just people with different needs than mine, and I totally respect that. At the same time I refuse to date that! because it brings out the absolute worst in me. I am neither happy, nor do I like myself when I date avoidant men.
I am working on being a secure person (people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving) not only because I think that being an anxious person sucks, but also because studies show that secure people are happier in relationships than people who have other kinds of attachment styles.

So, here's to love and secure attachment!


Autumn said...

I have an avoidant personality. I never noticed it until about six months into my marriage because my previous relationships were so unhealthy that I never noticed I wasn't attaching properly.

Unifer said...

That is really interesting Autumn! I would recommend that book to anyone! I just feel its important both to understand yourself and your partner and their needs... It's helped me a lot!! Feel way more balanced after all this reading :)