They may expect their partner to ‘grow up’ if they express their needs or emotions, thus pushing the other person away. This is their subconscious drive to protect themselves from re-experiencing the pain of the relationship with their primary caregiver. The problem is that by doing this, they ARE recreating the original pain they experienced.
Remember, this is a response to an environment. They were not attuned to as a child, and they were left to fend for themselves. They learnt that they couldn’t trust relationships, that love couldn’t be trusted.
Learning to trust in relationships is a lot like a flower opening. With consistent watering, sunlight and protection, avoidants can learn to open up and trust themselves and others, one baby step at a time. Be gentle with yourselves if this is you, and be gentle with your partner if you see this in them.
I’ll follow up with some tips to increase intimacy with your avoidant partner.