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Emotionally Unavailable or is there hope?

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  • #371395
    Michelle
    Participant

    I am just seeing these posts from Chickadee33 now. I am also seeing that they were flagged for inappropriate content. These replies to what I feel were vulnerable and thoughtful posts about a very difficult relationship that I have been experiencing, were judgmental, hasty, and quite insulting. Unlike Anita who spent the time to thoroughly consider what I was experiencing and what he might also be experiencing, it seems that Chickadee33 took it upon herself to place blame, and also imagine that she has the ultimate insight into what is really going on between me and this man. She quite kindly broke it down into a case of desperate woman (me) vs. user (man I am seeing). If this were 10 months ago, I might even stop to consider whether or not her view had credibility. As I wrote throughout this relationship, I have spoken of attachment issues I feel I have and how allowing the relationship to unfold unconventionally and at a natural pace, has allowed me to see what is truly unfolding and what could unfold. It has been a practice in non-attachment if anything. I am in a relationship that is said to have no future, and yet, we have been moving along into the future quicker and quicker, picking up speed. This entire time, he has been as equally pursuant of me, as I have been him. There was a short time when I tried to break things off for good, that he was not happy to see me, but I was worried about his mental health at that time for other reasons and so I did try to make more contact with him than he did me. There really has never been a man who has SHOWN me with actions how much he wants me in his life. I have been a watcher throughout our relationship as much as a participant, and I can see the struggles that he faces, as much as Anita has also helped me to understand them with her unique empathetic insight. I do not see the world in black and white, and thus at times I will be naive, but I’d rather be a bit naive, rather than cold and unfeeling and ruthless. I am not a fool for loving, I would be a fool for wanting. But I no longer wish for the loving in return, I just let what is, BE. The loving comes through in it’s own unique way. I don’t believe that a man who wished to use me and had no interest for me in his life would continue to spend all of his time with me. He comes to see more than I go to see him. I don’t believe he’d ask me to spend the holidays with him and his family, or make plans with me to go places in the new year. I have no interest in convincing anyone to be with me, nor do I think he will magically decide to be if I follow him around long enough. I am happy to just be with him. If he was using me, this would assume manipulation, which would be hard to do, since my eyes are very clearly open.

    It’s a reminder of how easy it is to judge something from the outside, that might appear like it has a black and white appearance, when really it’s coloured with all shades of the rainbow.

    I’ve been to therapy, if you’re really that interested. My therapist has said, sometimes the lesson isn’t for you, sometimes it takes someone open, patient and kind, to teach someone what love is; sometimes I am doing the teaching, even if I don’t mean or want to take on that role.

    I think that Anita and I already discussed a little bit about why I might be seeking out men who have a hard time committing, or maybe her insight led me to consider that on my own. It could be that I am attracted to men who reinforce the idea that I will be abandoned. Sometimes our psyches want to prove that they’re right. Part of it comes down to feeling worthy of love too. If I keep giving love to others, who can’t give back, then maybe i don’t have to receive it, because am I worthy to receive it? I am not beyond considering my own self destructive behaviours and unconscious thought patterns. Maybe you missed the part where I said I have a degree in psych… I am psychoanalytic to a t.

    I kind of wish it were as simple as what you reduced it to Chickadee33. I have been asking myself why it seems to bother others, in my life as well. Namely my estranged brother, etc. Some make judgments out of a protective nature, some because they are angry with themselves for having fallen victim to what they believe are the same patterns, some need to project anger… Myriad of reasons. Some people feel threatened I think, by something that does not fit in a tidy little box.

    I truly believe now more than ever, that I can’t lose what isn’t really mine, so while I feel a strong connection to this man, I don’t need to hold onto that. It just exists there as it does, and will dissolve if it has served its purpose. Will you cause me to question and waver on what I have had the distinct pleasure to witness over a year and a half? Something unexpected and beautiful blossoming out of a relationship that was said to have an expiration date long ago? Life is swift and changing and it changes you. You change people and they change you. Wouldn’t we all be so lucky just to labelled users and those who are used.. I feel as though I’ve had those kind of relationships in the past, and they were always short lived with no depth. No love, no care, nothing binding. My current relationship feels like a sheep dressed in a wolf’s clothing. People have told me it’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing.. .and over time they’ve slowly changed their minds. I think the hardest part about judgement from others is that you start to lose sight of what you see as true, you start to question your own sanity. It’s hard believe your own intuition sometimes, especially when you know the faith in it could hurt you. Your mind wants to protect itself from any kind of damage. It takes a lot of faith to go against your own mind.

    I’m getting a little abstract now. But thank you Chickadee33 for passing judgement and reinforcing just how much the steady rushing river can block out all of that mindless chatter.

    #371405
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    I hope that you are okay with me responding to your recent post, which was very interesting to read. I don’t know if the other member will reply to you, but I doubt it because she has posted three times on that one day only, and hasn’t posted since. I agree with your analysis of her two replies: “These replies .. were judgmental, hasty, and quite insulting… place blame.. see(s) the world in black and white.… that might appear like it has a black and white appearance, when really it’s coloured with all shades of the rainbow… I kind of wish it were as simple as what you reduced it to… fit in a tidy little box… just to labelled users and those who are used“.

    Before reading your recent post, I re-read today much of our previous communication on this thread and noticed something I did not notice before. Combining that understanding with your recent post, I want to share with you my thoughts:

    Imagine your boyfriend’s mother being similar to the member replying to you, maybe not as overtly callous and rude, but similar in black and white thinking, and in being judgmental (you did describe his mother as cold). What does it do to a boy?

    You answered this question in your recent post: “I think the hardest part about judgement from others is that you start to lose sight of what you see as true, you start to question your own sanity. It’s hard believe your own intuition.. Your mind wants to protect itself from any kind of damage”- this is what happened to him, as I understand it.

    Because of his mother’s coldness and judgement, he too lost touch with his intuition (but he is gradually connecting to it): “He keeps saying that (he) loves me, in a way, but I am not his one and only. He says it so robotically that I don’t know how to believe it”- he said it robotically- robots do not have intuition.

    His brain protected him from damage by focusing and adhering to a black-and-white/ all-or-nothing, overly simplified and distorted view of people and life. In his mind, a person has to be Perfect/ Ideal (same thing: perfect=ideal), perfect all the way, no exceptions, never less than perfect.

    He repeated to you in the past that you are not his Ideal woman because he noticed that you were not Perfect and figured that therefore, you are not his Ideal. You didn’t finish all the food on your plate, so in his mind, a light bulb came on: Imperfect! Not ideal! You listened to music he thought was lacking- a light bulb: Imperfect! Not ideal! You didn’t get a reference he made- same thing, etc.

    “His OCD seems to surround cleanliness, order and symmetry… When we go on day trips he packs the trunk with a very specific order and he will not tolerate food in his car. Mostly his life is orderly”- things and people have to be Perfect, in his black-and-white/ all-or-nothing thinking.

    “When he first came over to my house he stayed over and remarked that my kettle had disgusting limescale buildup… He found many other disgusting things wrong with my housekeeping skills”= Imperfect. For some men who care a about cleanliness, such observations may be mildly distressing, but for him, with his all-or-nothing thinking, these observations are too distressing, a deal breaker, because nothing less than perfect is acceptable.

    His all-or-nothing distorted thinking extends to himself: “He started to walk away to go back inside and said sarcastically ‘yeah, if you’d want t see me… I asked what he meant by that. He said ‘well you want to move on, if I can’t do things the way you want, then you don’t want any of this at all“- he said basically, that if he can’t do everything perfectly, then you will not want any of him.

    “we slowly ended up back in our relationship.. He got upset over something small but ended up getting frustrated and questioned my desire to spend time with him” (November)- here it is again: he got frustrated, figured that getting frustrated is evidence of his Imperfection and concluded that you will reject all of him because he is Imperfect.

    In your recent post: “he has been as equally pursuant of me.. There has never been a man who has SHOWN me with actions how much he wants me in his life… spend(s) all of his time with me. He comes to see me more than I go to see him.. ask(ed) me to spend he holidays with him.. make plans with me to go places in the new year… My current relationship feels like a sheep dressed in a wolf’s clothing”-

    – I agree with you, he is a sheep (intuitively and in actions: he loves you, you are The One for him) in wolf clothing (the wolf is a black-and-white, Perfect and threatening Fictional character, taking after his mother, I suspect).

    anita

    #371525
    Michelle
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thank you again for your insightful thoughts. You always seem to shed light to the dark areas.

    I have been thinking a lot about why he rejects the commitment, and I do agree that it seems to be a lack of self esteem on his part and the belief that perhaps if he lets me in that I will abandon/reject him. I do wonder about his past and if he was ever cheated on. He still has not disclosed anything about prior relationships, but has opened up in other ways slightly.

    I still don’t think he is actively dating, yet he may still be on the apps. I wouldn’t know. I am however, not. If there comes a day where he tells me he has formed a relationship with someone else, I have told myself that that will be my sign that there is another love for me.

    It’s strange. The way he has weaved himself into my life. The way he cares about insignificant things. The last time he came over he made a list of things he needs to bring me for my home, just to make my life easier. A mailbox because mine broke, some water filters, and he wants to fix a lamp I have in the living room, but don’t intend to keep. I know this is typical male behaviour, but he just seems to keep trying. He also told me that I have gotten better looking since we’ve met. My friend told me that it’s a strange thing for him to say, and she took it to mean that he’s falling for me. I thought it was a weird compliment.

    I will be going to his family’s house for Christmas Eve, which isn’t that strange because he still pretends that we’re together in front of them. But I invited him to my mom’s for Christmas Day, which was an invitation I thought he would reject. He actually told me he’d like to come. It’s rather odd, as he has not seen my mom since last Christmas and not since we broke up last January. He’s sort of walking into a ring of fire, even though my mom is not confrontational. It’s strange that with no intention to want to be with me, that he wants to spend part of the holidays with my family, after everything. And I made it clear that he could just stay home with his family and I would understand.

    I also recently had a bit of a pregnancy scare, and he reacted rather well. He just said it would be my decision and he would support me. Now when my period is a bit late, he says “oh do we have one on the way”… He said the only thing that scares him about it, is that he doesn’t know how to talk to babies.

    But I dare not ask questions. I still feel extremely connected to him and even more so after all of this time. The more I look back on our story, the more fated it seems. I remember how I felt before I even met him. I just saw his picture and I thought “that’s my one”. Everything else that came after was just so natural. I’ve never had a first date where I felt like I was high after. Where I felt so calm and incredibly excited at the same time. And his words on that day matched mine. We both felt it, we both talked about the future and things we would do, people we wanted each other to meet. My friends still ask if I can deal with being with him, but giving up a life of being together, living together, possibly having a family. I don’t feel like I’m giving anything up if it’s really meant to be. And it’s hard not to enjoy every moment we spend together, even without any clear direction. I just feel like I had no say in when I met him, how I would feel about him. I feel like the wind has carried us this far, it’s bound to carry us the rest of the way.

    If there comes a time where I no longer feel for him what I do, or I feel that he wants to let go, I will let us do so. Because there is nothing to hold on to except fear of losing. Something that is truly yours cannot be lost. If you need to hold on to it, you’re grasping and it will be manipulated into something that isn’t true. I just feel like when I met him he was there all along, so it’s hard to picture a time where I won’t carry him in my heart.

    #371526
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle;

    I will read and reply to you when I am back to the computer in about 11 hours from now.

    anita

    #371559
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    I spent a few hours this morning re-reading through your posts since January 27 this year. As a result of my evolving understanding of your story, I have new thoughts that I would like you to consider as possibilities. Some of what I will express may feel unpleasant, but please keep an open mind and have patience with me as I proceed.  I will start with a World War 2 documented story that left a great impression on me long ago, an extreme story that I will connect your story soon enough:

    Josef Mengele was an SS officer and physician, infamous for the inhumane medical experiments he conducted on WW2 prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp, and for selecting many thousands of Jewish and Gypsy prisoners (who were considered very inferior to the Aryan race) to their deaths in the gas chambers. The story is that there was a handsome, talented gypsy prisoner boy, that Mengele liked very much. He gave the boy treats, dressed him in a nice suit, treated him kindly, had the boy follow him while going about his daily rounds, showing the boy affection and preference. It was surprising then, to those who witnessed it, that at the end of one routine day, he  calmly led the boy to the gas chamber, and then continued, undisturbed, with the rest  of his afternoon or evening.

    If I was there, watching Mengele’s affection for the boy, I would have expected him to make an exception for the boy, to not send him to the gas chamber.. to maybe take him home and raise him as his son. But in reality, Mengele liked the boy in the strict, rigid, uncompromising context of a racially inferior boy who needed to be killed. In Mengele’s mind, he always knew that he will be sending the boy to his death, and it was not a big deal for him.

    I am now connecting this extreme story of compartmentalization to your story: the man in your life whom we’ve been discussing, he is not a murderer or a war criminal of course, nothing like Mengele- but I think that it is possible that his liking and even loving you is limited to the strict, rigid  and uncompromising context of a short term/ temporary relationship. It is within this limit that he allows himself to be attentive, affectionate and loving, knowing all along that the relationship will certainly end.

    January 27: “He said he felt that we were having a good relationship but if he was going to be honest he doesn’t see it long term.. He says he doesn’t likely see himself with anyone long-term.. He said he did love me in a way, but it’s not a one and only kind of love”.

    You wrote on that day: “None of it makes sense based on his actions and the way he pursued things with me”- but it does make sense if you consider the way he pursued things with you being limited to the context of a short-term relationship.

    “He acted like a boyfriend.. He was extremely loving and affection and generous with time and everything else”- all in the context of a short-term relationship. In other words: for as long as he knows, and for as long as he knows that you know, that this is a short-term relationship- he is able to act like a boyfriend and be extremely loving, etc.

    August 10-12: “He said he loves me, but … he cannot commit to me that way. He thinks there is someone more compatible out there for him. He asked if I would continue to see him knowing it would end“- he wants to see you for as long as you know that the relationship will end.

    November 9: “There is not a capital C for commitment, but it’s been so different to just see a relationship unfold naturally without any need to put it in a tidy little box with a red bow”- you were referring to a long-term/ marriage tidy little box, but I think that he has placed the relationship in a different kind of a tidy little box, that of a short term/ temporary relationship.

    “Lately he has been especially romantic, taking me on dates, taking time off of work for me”- one would think that it means that this is leading to a long-term relationship, but what if him being especially romantic etc., is possible for him because it is clear in his mind that this is a short-term relationship.

    December 19: “I am in a relationship that is said to have no future, and yet, we have  been moving along into the future quicker and quicker, picking up speed… continue to spend all of his time with me”- what if that speed is leading, in his mind, to the expected and accepted ending of a short-term relationship, what he is spending all his time with you because he knows the relationship is time-limited.

    December 22: “He also told me that I have  gotten better looking since we’ve met. My friend told me that it’s a strange thing for him to say, and she took it to mean that he’s falling for me”- I too want him to break that tidy little box of a short-term relationship and make it long term/ a marriage, a  happily ever after. But.. we often interpret others’ behaviors according to what we wish those behaviors meant.

    What do you think/ feel?

    anita

    #371573
    Michelle
    Participant

    I don’t know what to think Anita, as I go back and forth between feeling like he only sees it short-term, to also being confused by some of the things he says and some of the actions he makes. Also these new revelations seems to discredit what you have said in the past, no? IDo you still believe that he has trouble opening up with people because of his parents, or do you think it is just me he has trouble doing this with.

    I’m confused as to why he would want to come to my family’s house and get involved with them again if he only sees it as short term. It would be much easier for him to say he’d rather just stay with his family on Christmas day. I’ve also know men who have seen me as a short term casual affair, and they don’t tend to care the way he does, or want to spend much time. If anything they’re indifferent, and at worst uninterested and it shows.  I know you’re saying that maybe he is able to do that because he knows it will end, but I feel the opposite is true, that he would feel guilty and thus he would slowly pull away more and more. I feel like he is unsure and that the only thing that would make him more sure is time and the dissolution of his ideals.

    Therefore he would need to seek out other women to reinforce that I am truly not or truly am what he is looking for. I feel it is more a case of what you said before. Him feeling imperfect and being afraid to disappoint me and be rejected by me in the end. Thus no one can be perfect enough to suit his ideal. I feel he’s played defense more than offense? He has told me that he has ended relationships a lot sooner and for simpler reasons than the ones that he tried to pin on me.

    I also don’t think he would’ve been so distraught at the idea of losing me over the summer. He was severely depressed for the weeks that we weren’t talking or seeing each other much. I feel like men who have not really wanted to be with me and have been fine to move on and seem to feel relief when it’s over.

    Like I said in my heart of hearts, I’m not quite sure it’s as black and white as he only sees it short term. It’s different to have a carpe diem attitude about things when you are dying with one week left to live, or you’re on vacation and have a lot to spend, but I don’t know if his character is reckless enough to be so unforgiving with my heart and his level of investment. Though perhaps it’s true and what is most confusing is that he truly does care about me and does love me, but it doesn’t translate to a livelong love. Perhaps that’s just the hardest ideal of all to let go of, because it’s forced down our throats. That if we don’t end up in holy matrimony with the people we date, that we have failed, and should feel ultimate rejection. But perhaps that just isn’t meant for me. Perhaps love can and does exist outside of that box, but he’s also wary to express it in fear of disappointing me by not being able to give me a life long love. I just don’t know anymore if that’s meant for everyone and if it’s meant for me.

     

     

    #371576
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    I read just a bit of your recent post and I want to read and reply later, but for now- I don’t think that my current understanding contradicts my past understanding, like I wrote, my understanding is evolving (as I read more of what you share, then re-read what you shared before, integrating new information into the old).

    When I suggested that he is loving toward you because he expects the relationship to be short-term, I didn’t mean that he is faking his love for you/ that his love for you is insincere or not deep. I still believe that he loves you very much. What I think is that…. he is too scared to love a woman, so placing his love  in the “short term/ temporary” box/ context, lessens his fear significantly, and therefore he is able to feel and to express his love for you.

    Am I making sense to you? Please let me know and I will be back to your thread Thurs morning, in about 16 hours from now.

    anita

    #371580
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    I still didn’t read all of your recent post, but I wanted to tell you this: you and I have something in common- we both like to analyze, a lot. I may have confused you with my analyses, and you may not be open for more of those colors of the rainbow, as you put it (vs. black and white thinking).. thing is, bottom line,  it does come down to a black and white consideration: is this man good for you, or bad for you?

    I say, regardless of how loving he feels for you, in this or that context, regardless of his struggles- you need a man who will love you in all contexts, a man whose love for you will be a good thing for you, something that builds you up, not a kind of … love that drains you and breaks you. This man we are discussing, is not good for you. This is my  black-and-white conclusion. Let me know if you want to communicate with me further. If not- I wish you well.

    anita

    #371608
    Michelle
    Participant

    I don’t take issue with your more current analysis Anita. I just wonder if there is any hope as I feel like a lot of progress has been made, and I don’t know how to move away from this man, nor do I feel a need to at the current time. He is so woven in the fabric of my psyche, that it’s just too hard to unravel him. But at the same time I don’t feel stuck or weak because of him. I feel like if I really needed to move away from him I could. I just feel like we have a story to play out still.

    I’m not sure that his love drains and breaks me, but it has definitely expanded my view of the world. Isn’t that what love does, change the way you see yourself and others? I don’t take issue with your conclusion and I feel that there are others in my life who feel the same.

    I’m about the spend the next few days with this man and his family and mine. I will report back with thoughts. I just keep feeling like something is about to bestow me/us. My friend asked me the other day if I think he is a soulmate. Absolutely, I just don’t know what happens now that we’ve met.

    #371617
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    I am relieved to read that you are okay with my latest analysis. I felt that I may have over-analyzed and caused you upset…  just before Christmas. I want you to be okay in the context of your relationship with this man, and otherwise.

    “Do you still believe that he has trouble opening up with people because of his parents, or do you think it is just me he has trouble doing this with”- the first part. I can’t imagine a person more inviting to open up than you- being thoughtful, accommodating, empathetic, patient and trustworthy.

    “I’ve also know men who have seen me as a short term casual affair, and they don’t tend to care the way he does, or want to spend much time”- he doesn’t fit the “short term casual affair” box. But he clearly and repeatedly suggested that he does not see or want the relationship to be long term/ marriage, so I figure that he finds safety in placing a time-limit on the relationship.

    On one hand he wants the relationship with you, on the other hand- he is afraid of it. His solution: keep the relationship but limit it, limit it in time and title (girlfriend-boyfriend, marriage).

    “I feel it is more a case of what you said before. Him feeling imperfect and being afraid to disappoint me and be rejected by me”- I agree, the Perfect/ Ideal-OCD theme is clear to me. And having suffered from OCD myself for many years, I know very well that fear fuels the disorder.

    “I feel he’s played defense more than offense?”- yes, defense, because he is very afraid to be stuck in a relationship with no way out, so he figuratively keeps pointing to the door, telling you: there’s the door and I will get out when I need to.

    “He was severely depressed for the weeks that we weren’t talking”- he is emotionally attached to you, and if he is partly reasonable, he has to see the high quality girlfriend that you are and appreciate what he can lose.

    I remember that you shared that he said that marriage is a fantasy, he used the word fantasy- well, in his mind, marriage (and otherwise, a relationship that is not limited in time) is a very unpleasant fantasy that he doesn’t want to get stuck in.

    “I feel like a lot of progress has been made, and I don’t know how to move away from this man, nor do I feel a need to at the current time. He is so woven in the fabric of my psyche, that it’s just too hard to unravel him.. I just feel like we have a story to play out still”-

    – I imagine a possible story with him being that the two of you live together but differently from the way his parents lived together. The two of you come up with Relationship Rules, so that he feels safe knowing what to expect in different scenarios (limiting the unknowns), and that within the home you share, he will have his own room where he can have his private, alone-time when he needs it.

    If you express to him that his fear of getting stuck in a time-unlimited relationship is not a Problem that you expect him to solve by himself, but a problem that the two of you can solve together by creating relationship rules and accommodations (such as his own room), it may make him feel much better, less scared.

    I wish you a Merry Christmas and whenever you feel like posting, I will be glad to read from you and reply.

    anita

    #371618
    Michelle
    Participant

    You know what’s funny Anita, the last three times that I’ve gone to see if you’ve replied, I have come to the page 6-7 seconds after you’ve posted. Weird synching happening.

    Anyways, thanks so much for the time and energy you’ve put into this whole journey with me and this man. I wish you a Merry Christmas if you celebrate or else a Happy Holidays.

    Part of me can envision a future like the one you suggested, definitely something unconventional, possibly even sleeping in separate rooms. Sometimes I feel that his compliments and efforts are bigger than I even know. Like he’s trying to say more with them. My friend who was engaged to my brother mentions that my brother was very similar to Carl in the beginning of their relationship. Refused to acknowledge the relationship and downright rejected it many times. He’s of a similar personality (OCD), but different upbringing. He eventually proposed to her and then cheated on her with someone online who lives out of the country. He’s currently trying to get her back. This was over a span of 7 years. It could go on for some time.

    Thank you for your analysis of my openness. You’re very kind.

    I didn’t get him anything really emotional this year like I did last, and no card as he doesn’t seem to appreciate them. I did have an idea for a good gift that would touch him a little more, but I will save it for later. He says my gift didn’t arrive in time, but he described it as shiny haha. I asked if it was a spoon.

    #371619
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    You are welcome and thank you for being so generous with your appreciation, and for wishing me a Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays (Christmas is fine with me)!

    “Weird synching happening”- you believe in fate, in some supernatural powers out there that direct individual human interactions according to a plan, do you?

    Interesting story: your brother refusing to acknowledge/ rejecting his relationship with your friend, then proposing to her, then cheating on her online with a woman who lives out of the country, and next- trying to get your friend back. I am guessing that your brother rejected the relationship with your friend because he was afraid to be stuck in it, then proposed, felt stuck, and to got un-stuck by opening that figurative door I mentioned earlier, a door into different, new space: an online relationship with another woman.

    Fear has to be dealt with, so to prevent such waste of time, drama and pain.

    He sent you a shiny gift and you asked if it was a spoon… when will you find out???

    anita

    #371621
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Michelle:

    It just so happens that while replying to another member I came across a website that can be useful to you: marriage. com/ advice/ mental health/ avoidant-attachment.

    Your boyfriend clearly fits the Avoidant attachment style (“Emotionally Unavailable”, in your title).  Here is some of what it says under “Is there a solution or treatment?”: “Loving someone with avoidant attachment can be a challenge and requires a lot of patience and understanding .. be tolerant and gentle and avoid criticism”.

    You may find relationship advice elsewhere as well, in regard to having a partner with the Avoidant attachment style.

    Another website, flow psychology. com, states the following: “There are two avoidant attachment styles. These are fearful-avoidant and dismissive-avoidant. It is said that people with either of these styles regard  intimacy as dangerous and that other people are unreliable… The person with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style has a mentality that he or she is not in need of other people and can survive being alone or does not need to depend on another… People who are considered to be dismissive-avoidant are seen as loners and people who are impersonal and more objective…more interested in their own comfort to the point of not being sensitive to the feelings of other people…

    “People with the dismissive-avoidant attachment style tend to refuse to get into detailed discussions and often avoid instances where he or she needs to answer questions.. (they) often think and say that they are not yet ready for a commitment when their relationships are doing well..”

    * The attachment styles theory is excellent, but any one individual does not fit one attachment style 100%, at all times. When dividing billions of people into a few groups, such as four attachment styles, there will be a lot of variety within each group. Still, seems to me that there is a close fit between your boyfriend and the dismissive-avoidant attachment style.

    anita

    #371636
    anita
    Participant

    * Adding to the previous post what fits your boyfriend so well, from  flow psychology. com (which for some reason includes grammatical errors, which I corrected in parentheses):  “Dismissive-avoidant people find faults (with) their partners even.. little things like the way the  other dresses up, eats and even talks. They find it hard to say the words ‘I love you’ or are uncomfortable saying these words”.

    anita

    #371667
    Michelle
    Participant

    I read a lot about dismissive types a few months into dating him. He does fit the stereotype of one a d the behaviour patterns. I had quite a few interesting discussions with his sister this Christmas, but we couldn’t really get alone to have a really good talk, but she told me that she’d really like to understand how ge sees his childhood, because she said it was a good one for her, but she feels like he doesn’t feel that way. I told her I agree and I’d also like to find out .ore about why. She also doesn’t understand how he views their parents’ marriage as being so poor. It’s perception right?

    Did I ever tell you about the dream he has where we were out on the streets near his childhood home and he was searching for me relentlessly and couldn’t find me in the dream, but I had been with him and he was so worried. This was shortly before I tried to break things off with him. He also made a snide remark about what analysis he thought I would come to, because it was so obvious.  I mean clearly he thinks he will lose something good. It’s so nice being with his family and seeing him with his nephews and even if we don’t make it I would love to be friends with his sister. Funny how that happens. My brothers ex fiance is one of my best friends even though he told me afterwards never to speak to her. He didn’t have a relationship with me to warrant him asking that of me.

    Anyways thanks for the extra insights. Merry Christmas.

     

     

     

     

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