How to Get an Avoidant Partner to Commit: A Guide for Teens

Making a Relationship Work with Someone Who Has Commitment Issues

Do you have a crush on someone who seems afraid of relationships? Does your boyfriend or girlfriend say they care about you, but won’t fully commit?

You’re not alone. Many teens struggle when a partner has an avoidant attachment style. This means they subconsciously avoid intimacy and have difficulty with commitment, even if they truly care for you.

Don’t lose hope! With understanding and the right techniques, you can help an avoidant partner feel secure enough to commit to you. This comprehensive guide explains avoidant attachment and provides tips to strengthen your bond.

What is Avoidant Attachment?

Avoidant attachment is one of four main attachment styles that people develop in childhood. It stems from certain parenting behaviors and early life experiences.

When parents are cold, rejecting, or inconsistent, children learn not to rely on others. They become independent and avoid intimacy to protect themselves from being abandoned or hurt.

As teens and adults, avoidants instinctively pull away when relationships get too close. Commitment makes them feel trapped. They crave love but also fear it.

Avoidants have trouble with:

  • Intimacy
  • Vulnerability
  • Dependence on others
  • Commitment

They highly value independence and control. Avoidants don’t like to need other people. They focus more on friendships than romantic attachments.

Common Avoidant Behaviors

Here are some typical avoidant behaviors:

  • Needing a lot of alone time
  • Pulling away when things get serious
  • Resisting labels like “boyfriend/girlfriend”
  • Acting distant or cold unexpectedly
  • Flirting with others to avoid intimacy
  • Being commitment-phobic
  • Feeling trapped when tied down

Avoidants believe subconsciously that partners will leave or disappoint them. So they pull away to protect themselves.

These behaviors are involuntary defense mechanisms, not conscious choices. Avoidants are not being difficult on purpose.

Should You Pursue an Avoidant Partner?

Dating an avoidant can be extremely frustrating. Their hot-and-cold actions make relationships unstable.

Before pursuing an avoidant partner, consider:

  • Are you willing to move slowly?
  • Can you give them space when needed?
  • Will you avoid pressuring for more commitment?
  • Can you be patient through ups and downs?

If not, an avoidant may not be the right match for you. Their behaviors can really test your confidence and self-esteem.

However, with the right mindset and techniques, some avoidants can overcome their fears and commit to loving partners.

Tips to Get an Avoidant to Commit

Ready to make it work with your avoidant crush or partner? Here are science-based techniques to help them trust you and build intimacy:

1. Understand Their Triggers

Learn your partner’s avoidant patterns. Notice when they start to pull away or act distant.

Often an increase in intimacy triggers their defenses. Big relationship milestones like meeting family or saying “I love you” can also spark avoidance.

Knowing their triggers helps you give them space before they pull away. Don’t take it personally when they need to retreat.

2. Move Slowly

Avoidants get overwhelmed when relationships progress too quickly. Keep things casual at first to make them feel safe.

Don’t rush into constant contact, pet names, meeting friends and family, or planning the future. Let things unfold step-by-step.

3. Be Patient and Understanding

Progress with an avoidant takes time and patience. Remember, their reactions are subconscious survival mechanisms.

Don’t give ultimatums or force them to commit before they’re ready. Provide reassurance when they need it.

4. Focus on Friendship

Avoidants often bond through friendships first. Build a solid friendship before focusing on romance.

Do fun friend dates like hiking, concerts, or playing sports. Talk about common interests and light topics.

As your friendship grows, gradually increase touching, flirting, and sharing. But let them initiate romantic steps.

5. Let Them Initiate Contact

Let your avoidant partner reach out to you at least 80% of the time.

This gives them control of the pace. Text them first occasionally so they don’t feel smothered. But don’t double text.

6. Limit Overtexting

Keep texts focused on making plans. Avoid constant casual texting, which can overwhelm avoidants.

Turn off read receipts and don’t expect instant replies. Give them space to respond when ready.

7. Be Patient with Distance

Understand if your partner needs a few days of limited contact. Don’t take it personally or overtext them.

Let them reconnect when they’re ready. This gives them breathing room to process feelings and miss you.

8. Encourage Independence

Avoidants value freedom and autonomy. Encourage them to maintain their own interests and friendships.

Give them space to do their own thing sometimes. Don’t demand all their free time.

9. Communicate Openly

Talk honestly about your needs, but avoid pressuring them. Reassure your partner you respect their boundaries.

Listen without judgment if they share feelings. Don’t minimized their emotions.

10. Validate Their Feelings

Let your partner know all feelings are OK. If they’re scared of commitment or intimacy, don’t criticize.

Say things like “Your feelings make total sense” or “You’re normal for feeling unsure sometimes.”

11. Be Reliable and Consistent

Show you’re dependable by following through on promises and being consistent.

Avoidants get spooked by flaky, unpredictable partners. Prove you can be trusted.

12. Avoid Mind Games

Don’t play mind games that can trigger avoidant defenses. For example:

  • Ignoring them on purpose
  • Flirting with others to provoke jealousy
  • Giving mixed signals
  • Acting hot and cold

These behaviors will reinforce their trust issues.

13. Give Them Alone Time

Don’t smother your partner. Let them recharge through regular alone time.

Respect their need for solo hobbies, guys/girls nights, and space to think.

14. Master Non-Anxious Presence

Stay calm and regulated when your partner pulls away. Don’t take it personally or get emotional.

Your stable presence will provide security. Avoidants often return quickly when partners don’t react anxiously.

15. Keep Things Mysterious

Avoid oversharing or spilling all your feelings. Maintain a little mystery to keep them intrigued.

Let them ask questions and open up at their own pace. Don’t get ahead of their comfort zone.

16. Highlight Positives

Avoidants fixate on negatives. Counter this by frequently highlighting your relationship’s positives.

Express appreciation for things your partner does. Compliment them often.

17. Prioritize Quality Time

Plan regular quality time together, even if it’s just watching movies or talking.

Quality moments build emotional intimacy, the deepest type of bond.

18. Avoid Pressure

Don’t directly pressure your partner for commitment milestones like becoming “official,” meeting families, or going to prom.

This can trigger their fear of entrapment. Let things happen naturally based on your emotional bond.

19. Master Their Love Language

Learn your partner’s love language and use it often: touch, gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, or quality time.

This makes your partner feel loved, creating attachment security.

20. Seek Secure Role Models

Spend time with securely attached friends or relatives who value commitment. Their mindsets can rub off.

Seeing secure relationships in action helps avoidants normalize intimacy.

21. Consider Therapy

A therapist helps avoidants uncover roots of their attachment issues and overcome subconscious fears.

Ask your school counselor for provider recommendations. Many offer sliding payment scales.

22. Be Patient After Slip-Ups

Expect occasional backslides, like your partner pulling away again. Stay calm and give them space to reset.

Progress isn’t linear. Relapses are normal. Keep responding patiently and lovingly.

23. Check In Non-Threateningly

Occasionally check in on the relationship in a relaxed, non-threatening way.

Say something like “How are you feeling about us lately?” Share your own feelings, then listen.

Signs Your Avoidant Partner Is Ready to Commit

How do you know if your efforts are working? Watch for these subtle signs of readiness:

  • Less frequent distancing
  • More initiative in contacting you
  • Confiding fears or insecurities
  • Meeting important people in their life
  • Talking about the future together
  • Discussing taking things to the “next level”
  • Allowing themselves to rely on you sometimes
  • Feeling excitement rather than fear about commitment
  • Reduced interest in flings, crushes or dating apps

Should You Commit to an Avoidant?

Even if your avoidant partner starts committing to you, consider:

  • Are you okay if they need perpetual space at times?
  • Can you handle intimacy coming in waves rather than steady growth?
  • Are you willing to work through continued cycles of distancing?
  • Do you have strong self-esteem to not take pulling away personally?

Dating an avoidant long-term requires emotional strength. Make sure you’re ready before fully committing yourself.

When to Walk Away

As frustrating as avoidants can be, some truly want to overcome their fears and commit deeply.

However, if an avoidant shows little progress despite your efforts, or refuses to address their issues, you may need to walk away.

Also end things if the relationship damages your self-esteem or mental health. Put your own needs first.

In Conclusion

Avoidants crave love like anyone else. But their childhoods trained them to instinctively fear and resist intimacy.

With knowledge, patience and the right techniques, you can help an avoidant partner relax those defenses and build commitment. Just prepare for ups and downs.

While challenging, dating an avoidant can be extremely rewarding when it works out. You get to receive love from someone who finds it exceptionally hard to give.

Remember: Move slowly, offer reassurance, respect their space needs, and let things progress naturally. Meeting your partner where they are is key.

Commitment takes bravery for avoidants. You may need to be brave as well. But the effort can produce an amazing relationship full of passion, laughter and growth.

Good luck! You’ve got this.

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