Are You In A Relationship With A Love Avoidant?

Love Avoidant

Love Avoidant

Being in a relationship with a love avoidant can be a drain on almost anyone. When a relationship starts to become too close, the Love Avoidant will pull away emotionally from their partner to avoid the feeling of being engulfed or controlled.  This is an intense fear that leads the Love Avoidant to put up walls of anger, fear, silence (keeping talk to a minimum), and artificial maturity (staying calm at all time). The partner will get the feeling the Love Avoidant is really not in the relationship because, for the most part, they are not.Three Characteristics of a Love Avoidant:1. Love Avoidants evade intensity in the relationship by creating chaos (usually addictions) outside of the relationship.2. Love Avoidants avoid being “known” in the relationship as a protection against engulfed or control by their partner.3. Love Avoidants avoid contact with their partners by using techniques to distance themselves. These characteristics are fueled by two fears: First, on a conscious level, Love Avoidant fears emotional intimacy.  This is due to childhood experiences of being drained by a caregiver’s neediness which only brought about misery for the Love Avoidant and ingrained in them a fear of emotional intimacy. Secondly, on an unconscious level, the Love Avoidant fears being left or abandoned.  This fear stems from being emotionally abandoned as a child and having very little human contact in childhood to alleviate the feelings of pain and fear.  This childhood abandonment did not teach them how to have a healthy relationship, and they did not learn relationships can be a source to relieve hurtful feelings. This fear of abandonment can drive a Love Avoidant towards their partner even though it is difficult for them to make a commitment or connection.The Love Avoidant uses many types of distraction techniques to keep busy in order to avoid emotional intimacy. These distractions can be work, listening to music, television watching, engaging in hobbies, sports, or finding any reason to be emotionally away from their partner. The Love Avoidant likes to be in control of the finances in the relationship. This helps to make them feel as if they are in control and eases their fear that someone else will dictate who they may have to be.What To Do If You Are In A Relationship With A Love Avoidant:The best course of action is to seek relationship counseling. This method will bring the best results if both parties are willing to take a look at how they are contributing to the relationship in a negative way.  If your partner is not willing to consider counseling for their method of relating, it is best to understand what you can do individually to make a change:1. Address any addictions outside of the relationship you may have (alcohol, food, shopping, working, etc)- It is difficult for an addict to be in a healthy, mature relationship.2. Disengage from pursuing your partner – putting your relationship on hold does not mean a separation or divorce, but eliminating contact that will lead to fighting. This will require healthy boundaries.3. Enter into individual counseling to address your experience in the relationship and in childhood – our adult relationships are cluttered with “junk” from childhood that has not been dealt with or processed.4. Work on any symptoms of co-dependency you are exhibiting in the relationship – this will lead to improved self-esteem, healthy boundaries, taking care of own needs and wants, and becoming moderate and centered.Resource: Mellody, P. (1992). Facing love addiction. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Suzanne Rucker

Suzanne Rucker

About the Author:  Suzanne Rucker

(Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, CSAT candidate, EMDR trained)

Suzanne would like to help her clients find happiness in life.  Are you depressed or anxious wondering how you can get through the next day? Do you feel over-worked and under-appreciated?  Do you have a difficult maintaining your weight, managing your finances, coping with your own addiction or the addiction of someone else, or maybe you are having a hard time getting along with your spouse or a difficult teenager?  There is relief….The first step, which is the most difficult, is making the call to seek help and direction for a better life.

Suzanne Specializes In:

Relationship Problems, Recovery & Strengthening, Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Management, Sexual Addiction/Love Addiction & Co-Dependency (women & men), Addictions (drugs, alcohol, shopping, etc),Trauma ,Personal/Sports/and Corporate Coaching.

Clinical Training:

CSAT : Suzanne is trained in sexual addictions from the prestigious IITAP institute and Patrick Carnes, EMDR (eye movement and desensitization and reprocessing): Suzanne offers this processing technique for relief from traumas, anxiety, depression, addictions, fears, phobias, and test anxiety.  EMDR can also enhance sports and speaking/professional performances, Prepare/Enrich: Suzanne can help you learn how to build stronger relationships through communication and conflict resolution skill building.  This program is ideal for premarital counseling, marriage preparation, marriage counseling, and marriage enrichment, Suzanne earned her MS in Counseling Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University.