4 Tips for Communicating With an Avoidant Partner

As fun as it may seem, life is rarely like the movies. While we all experience magical “movie moments” throughout our real life, relationships are much more complicated than the silver screen leads us to believe. Our partners may not be able to read our minds or anticipate our every whim, and sometimes, they may have a difficult time communicating altogether. 

If this situation sounds like you, don’t worry. Communicating with your avoidant partner may seem like an impossible task, but there are plenty of ways you can begin to open them up to yourself. For a handful of helpful hints on communication skills to utilize with your avoidant partner, keep reading.  

What is an “avoidant partner”? 

As the name may lead you to believe, an avoidant partner is someone who avoids things. They are a person who deeply values their alone time and independence. While this may not seem to be an issue at first, communicating with this type of individual may be tricky. Here are some tips:

One: Practice being patient.

When dealing with an avoidant partner, trying to communicate can be a serious challenge. If you are interested in having a difficult conversation and they are not in the mood, they may completely shut down. 

Rather than getting angry and really pushing them to avoid you, try to practice your patience as much as you can. Your partner is someone who may really test your limits when it comes to giving them the time they need to process emotions but think of it as a growth opportunity for yourself. 

couple sitting on bench who are upset with one anotherTwo: Be clear with your needs.

Another way you can communicate more easily with your avoidant partner is by making your own wants, needs, and expectations incredibly clear. By doing this, it leaves the ball in your partner’s court, so to speak. Once they understand exactly what you expect of them, they will not have to keep having the same conversation over and over again. 

Additionally, this provides the benefit of setting an example of partnership in your relationship. They will see that communicating is a two-way street and they can ask for things as well! 

Three: Ask them questions.

Some people may simply not feel the need or understand the desire to communicate their own needs. Prompting them with questions is a great way to get them to open up. For example, if your partner tends to shut down after a difficult conversation, ask them how said conversation made them feel. This provides the opportunity to communicate on a deeper level and allows them to share something they may not have unprompted. 

Four: Discover their communication style.

Communicating becomes much easier once you understand the style in which you communicate. Work smarter, not harder! Once you know their communication style, you can begin to accommodate it in your relationship. There are plenty of communication-style quizzes online for you both to discover. Try it out and think of it as an opportunity to better yourselves together.

Honorable mention: Try not to take it personally.

Something to keep in mind throughout this process is that your partner’s communication style is not your fault. You did nothing wrong in this situation! So the next time they ask for space from you, remember, it is not personal. While you may not express yourself and recharge the same way your partner does, these traits are what makes them uniquely themself.

If you utilize these skills and still find communication to be difficult, try looking into couples counseling. I offer plenty of strategies for my couple clients to use in their day-to-day life. Reach out to schedule an appointment today for marriage counseling.