By Chris Seiter

Updated on March 21st, 2022

This is my complete guide to helping you understand the basic signs that an avoidant loves you.

In this all new guide we’re going to be looking at the 5 major signs that an avoidant could potentially be in love with you.

  1. You have a complete understanding of their core wound
  2. You notice that the major tipping points aren’t setting them off
  3. They are allowing themselves to be emotionally intimate with you
  4. When you pull back after they pull back they come back to you
  5. Understanding the role of hidden depths

Let’s get started.

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Sign #1: You Have A Complete Understanding Of Their Core Wound

A few weeks ago I conducted this interview with our very own Coach Tyler that’s among the best we’ve ever done.

In it we talk in depth about all the attachment styles and their core wounds and I find that’s incredibly relevant especially if you want to take an in-depth look at what an avoidant “in love” looks like.

First things first though, what does someone with an avoidant attachment style actually look like?

Someone with an avoidant attachment style tends to view relationships and intimacy in a suspicious way. Usually when emotional or sometimes physical intimacy is require they tend to withdraw in the relationship.

The way I’ve always viewed the avoidant attachment style is that they are fiercely protective of their independence and whenever someone threatens that independence they view that person as a threat and slowly begin to remove them.

But there’s a basic misunderstanding that most people have when it comes to the avoidant attachment style and that’s a failure to acknowledge the core wound that made them this way.

Think of the core wound as the ultimate trigger that sets off their avoidant side.

For the avoidant the core wound is any time they the feeling like they are losing their identity or independence within a relationship.

Their is a psychological reason for why this core wound exists and that can be traced back to their childhood. Often their primary caregiver would provide basic necessities like food and shelter but not the emotional support that a child would need. As a result they’ve learned that the only way to cope with emotional intimacy is to deal with it on their own.

So, the first step towards determining if an avoidant attached person loves you is by understanding their internal framework. Let’s move on.

Sign #2: You Notice The Major Tipping Points Aren’t Setting Them Off

I can’t claim that I’ve come up with attachment theory. Nope, that would be John Bowlby , Mary Ainsworth and Mary Main but the one contributions I feel like I can make based on all the research I’ve done via Ex Boyfriend Recovery is that avoidant attachment styles specifically get set off around major tipping points in relationships.

I first noticed this within conversations and then looked at it from a very macro point of view to understand what actually caused breakups for many of our clients.

Most of our clients have a very strong belief that their exes exhibit avoidant attachment styles,

So, assuming they’re right one of the clear patterns I’ve noticed is that every avoidant has a different tipping point that can end up triggering their avoidant side. Usually a relationship tipping point revolves around some new level of intimacy.

Here are the ones I’ve noticed.

  • Getting asked out on a date
  • Becoming “official”
  • Talking about moving in together
  • Actually moving in together
  • Talking seriously about marriage
  • Looking at rings together
  • Getting engaged
  • Getting married
  • Having a child together

Notice how each one of these tipping points revolves around some new level of intimacy. What we’ve found is that when an avoidant is truly in love with you those tipping points don’t bother them as much.

They still bother them but not as much.

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It’s not going to cause a full fledged breakup.

Sign #3: They Are Allowing Themselves To Be Emotionally Intimate With You

Perhaps this is the most powerful sign on this list.

We’ve already established that the core wound of an avoidant person is this sense of losing themselves in the relationship. This loss of independence often causes them to back away and retreat inwardly.

Of course, to you it will just appear like they have their walls up.

Some real life examples of this can include them suddenly appearing like their head is someplace else. So, it stands to reason that if you find them going against their core wound by becoming vulnerable you mean a lot to them.

I’m reminded of my favorite romantic comedy movie of all time, 500 days of summer. Specifically this scene,

I couldn’t find an actual clip of the scene so I went directly to the screenplay and took the words from it because let’s be honest, that’s what we’re studying here.

Narrator : As he listened, Tom began to realize that these stories weren’t routinely told. These were stories one had to earn. He could feel the wall coming down. He wondered if anyone else had made it this far. Which is why the next six words changed everything.

Summer : I’ve never told anybody that before.

Tom : I guess I’m not just anybody.

This scene represents a moment where an avoidant, Summer, begins to let her walls down and it’s a perfect representation of what an avoidant who begins to fall for you would do. They’d start telling you stories and things they’ve never told anyone before.

I call this virgin ground and it’s a very good sign.

Sign #4: When You Pull Back After They Pull Back They Come Back

What a tongue twister am I right?

There’s a piece of advice that we’re fond of dishing out here on Ex Boyfriend Recovery when it comes to handling avoidants.

When they pull back, you pull back.

The reasoning behind this is simple. Usually the worst thing you can do when an avoidant puts their walls up is to call a siege and try to tear the walls down. Unfortunately this is how most people, usually anxious, handle the situation.

And I understand why. Most people are problem solvers and they don’t like how uncomfortable it can be to have someone you love just completely shut you out like you’re meaningless.

But what they are really indicating to you is that they need space so give it to them. How they react to you giving them space will be very telling on their mindset. Our experience has consistently shown this to be an effective way of providing them the empathy they seek.

Chris Voss, one of the lead FBI hostage negotiators and author of Never Split The Difference talks a lot about this concept called tactical empathy.

Tactical Empathy: Chris Voss defines tactical empathy as the deliberate influencing of your negotiating counterpart’s emotions¬†for the ultimate purpose of building trust-based influence and securing deals. The ways you employ your voice, labels, mirrors, and dynamic silence all contribute to tactical empathy.

Essentially it’s all about understanding your counterparts life and repeating it back to them. This concept of “when they pull back, you pull back” is you essentially implementing tactical empathy.

By recognizing that they need space and giving it to them you actually help slowly tear down the walls they have up.

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Sign #5: Understanding The Role Of Hidden Depths

In 2018 I filmed this video on a webinar,

In it I talk about the 11 factors of love. Essentially the 11 things that we look at when we are dating someone to create the feeling of love.

  1. Similarities
  2. Familiarities
  3. Desirable Characteristics
  4. Reciprocation
  5. Social Influence
  6. Fulfilling Needs
  7. Environment
  8. Specific Cues or Particular Features
  9. Readiness
  10. Alone Time
  11. Stability Vs. Mystery

I’d like to focus on the 11th factor today because I feel it often gets overlooked especially when it comes to avoidants. Here’s the way the stability vs. mystery idea works,

On one side of the spectrum you have a person who provides a lot of security and stability. On the other side of the spectrum you have someone who provides a lot of mystery and adventure.

Yet if you veer too much in one direction your partner becomes kind of bored with you.

Now, the statement I’m about to make may not be true for all avoidants and it’s just my own personal opinion based on my experiences but I find that a lot of avoidants lose interest when they feel like they’ve learned everything about you as a human being.

When there’s no more layers.

No more mystery available that’s often when they throw the relationship away.

I think we can actually find some insight here by studying the phantom ex syndrome.

We know that avoidants are highly susceptible to holding this impossible relationship ideal in their head. It makes sense too, what’s more attractive to an avoidant than the person they can’t have. The person who has unbound hidden depths.

Technically this sign isn’t so much about “understanding love” it’s more about “keeping love.”

About spending your time finding things that you care about just as much as the avoidant you’ve fallen for to acquire more “mystery cred.”

To quote shrek,

For your information there’s a lot more to ogres than people think. Ogres are like onions in that they have layers.

What keeps an avoidant in love with you is them constantly peeling back more layers and hidden depths to your soul so that there’s a little more mystery into what makes you, you.

Again, it’s just a personal theory but one that I’ve notices plays out successfully for a lot of people who adopt it and perhaps the best part is that it’s a win/win. Making an avoidant fall in love with you is a matter of loving yourself so relentlessly that you continue to evolve as a human being.

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