The Lesson I Didn't Need to Learn.
Have you ever dated someone with an avoidant attachment style? I thought I had, until I actually did and let me tell you - 0/0 would not recommend. When I think of someone emotionally unavailable, I think of men like Wolfie, Thor and Buzz. You know, the ones who accept all the benefits of having a girlfriend without actually being a boyfriend. The "I really like spending time with you, but I'm just not in the right mindset to be in a relationship" guys. I was familiar with that, I knew that, and therefore thought I could avoid that moving forward. Until I met HIM.
He was different and you should know, because I wrote about it. He was unlike any man I had ever met even in the way he broke my heart. He was very clear about his feelings for me and upfront about his intentions. Still, I was weary. There were so many green flags, they started to become red. I didn't know if it was my intuition or trauma talking, so when my friends told me to just lean in and enjoy it because I deserve it, I did.
I can't even remember the last time I was that happy. Wherever Cloud 9 is, I was two clouds above it. I literally played Snoh Aalegra's "Whoah" and "Want You Around" on repeat all day. Seriously, I took walks and wrote in my journal with those songs as the background pausing occasionally to just wistfully sigh like the Queen of the Simps. It all seemed too good to be true, and that's because it was.
After about two months of short lived bliss, I began to notice little changes here and there. It wasn't even the logistics of it that bothered me - it was just a feeling. I couldn't even listen to my simp songs the same way. Still, I found logical ways to justify the relationship and even did a check-in after three months to make sure we were still on the same page. We weren't, but we were at least reading the same book and I was OK with that. I decided to listen to Debarge and let time reveal in the next three months and boy did they.
I could write a whole ass book on this relationship - on how I didn't go looking for it, on how I did things differently, or on how he wasn't the same as all the rest (because people tend to think, "Well, maybe you're doing something wrong to keep getting broken hearted", but trust me when I say that it was him not me. Even though my heart is currently too broken to accept that at the moment). Instead, I'll leave you with the biggest thing I didn't need to learn: what it's like being in a relationship with someone that has an avoidant attachment style. If I knew now what I knew then, I would've been able to smell this knight in shining tinfoil (Creed cologne and all) a mile and a month away, and if I can prevent anyone else from being bamboozled it will be my cross to die on.
The thing is, avoidants want love too and convince themselves that they can be or are in a healthy relationship. They will be communicative until it comes time to talk about something they don't want to talk about. They will love bomb you until they feel they've had enough. Their ego will guilt you into thinking you're giving up too soon, and treat you best when you pull away. Despite knowing you are not needy and better will find you, you will still feel bad and miss them and want to be there for them. But let me tell you this - you will spend that relationship in constant battle, pushing and pulling, walking on eggshells, being the only one to compromise, and feeling lonely AF. Just because someone doesn't beat you, cheat on you, or raise their voice - it does't mean they are a good partner.
I truly believe my avoidant is oblivious to his disorder. Whether it's because he lacks self-awareness or the emotional IQ I don't know, but it also doesn't matter. What matters is we are not compatible at this time and his trauma isn't for me to make him acknowledge what more understand and work on. Regardless of all the caution signs I just painted for you the avoidant may still sound compelling. Like I said, I can't remember the last time I was happy. But unless your partner is willing to 1) acknowledge that they have an issue and 2) consistently work on it, the best advice I can give you on avoidants is to simply avoid them at all costs.