Decoding Love – Signs That A Fearful Avoidant Loves You

Ever intrigued by the mystery of a partner who loves you but shies away from getting too close? You may be dealing with a fearful avoidant.

Fearful avoidants (FA) are people who crave love but have a deep fear of rejection, cannot easily trust others, and worry about being abandoned.

Relationships with them can be complex since they are simultaneously drawn to and fearful of intimacy.

They can love passionately, show vulnerability, and engage deeply. However, as soon as you try to get intimate, they back off as if they don’t want to bond deeper with you.

Their deep-seated fear of rejection and intimacy needs your patience, understanding, and attentiveness.

But first, you have to spot the subtle emotional signs of love in your fearful avoidant’s behavior.

5 Signs That A Fearful Avoidant Loves You

The “fear and avoidance” of closeness often comes from their childhoods where they were not given enough love and attention. As a result, they have a hard time trusting others and letting them in.

However, fearful avoidants are capable of love, and there are signs that indicate they are falling for you.


Here are some signs that a fearful avoidant is in love:

1. The fearful-avoidant allows themselves to become more vulnerable with you.

Fearful avoidants can struggle with emotional intimacy, so they may slowly open up about their feelings, express their deeper thoughts, and be more emotionally available.

They start to open up to you about their past, even the difficult and shameful parts.

When they are truly falling in love, they allow themselves to be more vulnerable. This is a telling sign that they are building trust in you and in the relationship.

One negative fallout of exposing their vulnerability is that they may become more clingy and dependent on you. They may need a lot of reassurance and support.

“Fearful-avoidant people often have a history of being hurt or abandoned in relationships. This leads them to grow a deep fear of being hurt again. So, they often become hypervigilant to signs of rejection or abandonment, which can lead to anxiety and avoidance.”

2. They start to share their deepest secrets with you

When a love avoidant feels a strong connection with someone, they’ll begin to share secrets and personal information.

They share their thoughts and feelings with you. They communicate freely and share honest details about their lives that they normally keep to themselves.

They may share more personal information with you. They may open up to you about their past, their hopes, and their fears.

This forms a deeper bond with their partner and shows they trust them enough to reveal intimate details about their lives.

3. They express love through nonverbal public displays of affection (PDA).

While they might not be as outwardly affectionate as others, fearful avoidants will show their love through subtle nonverbal cues.

They are affectionate and attentive. This can include body language like maintaining eye contact, being physically closer, and gentle touches. They may touch you more often in public.

They may still feel uncomfortable with overt public displays of affection, so these small gestures are significant indications of their love.

4. The fearful-avoidant is investing more time in being with you.

A person with a fearful avoidant attachment style may begin to prioritize spending time with their partner when they have fallen in love.

Avoidant attachment is a style of relating to others characterized by a fear of intimacy and a need for distance. Avoidants often have a difficult time trusting others and letting them in, and they may push away partners who get too close.

When an FA is feeling deep love for you, they may want to spend more time with you. And when with you, they are more present in conversations.

They set aside time to do activities together and cancel other plans to be with you.

This shows their dedication to nurturing the relationship to a deeper level.

5. They make a conscious effort to meet your needs.

Finally, a fearful avoidant in love will show genuine concern for their partner’s well-being and make an effort to meet their needs.

Avoidants can be in love, but they may express their love in a way that is different from other attachment styles. They may be more likely to withdraw from their partners when they feel threatened, and they may have difficulty communicating their feelings.

So, when they are getting bothered by your troubles, trying to solve your problems, and prioritizing your peace pushing back their hesitations, they are in love with you.

They make you feel safe and secure. They are there for you when you need them.

They may notice small changes in your mood and offer support, show interest in your life, and actively engage in conversations to understand what makes you happy.

Although they might still struggle with emotional intimacy, putting your needs first is a sign that they are committed to and willing to work on the relationship.

Navigating a Relationship with a Fearful Avoidant Partner

Relationships with fearful avoidants are complex and slow to develop a level of security and maturity.

They need time and space to feel safe, and they may not be able to express their love in the same way that you do.

1. Establish healthy boundaries with the fearful-avoidant partner.

Establishing clear boundaries plays a vital role in fostering a healthy and stable relationship with a fearful avoidant partner.

Fearful avoidants may often show signs of withdrawal and avoidance by becoming more critical and judgmental.

They may find fault with your mannerisms and behaviors. They may become more anxious and stressed around you.

Setting boundaries with people with this attachment style can help alleviate their insecurities, allowing them to engage in a more comfortable and secure attachment.

Both should work together to define and respect each other’s limits, ensuring a mutually beneficial dynamic.

2. Show patience and understanding towards your fearful-avoidant partner.

A strong foundation of patience and understanding is a non-negotiable when dealing with a fearful avoidant partner.

Trust issues and reluctance to commit are common avoidant traits; therefore, it’s important to approach the relationship with empathy and consistency.

Remembering that their behavior stems from their attachment style allows for greater compassion and support from friends, family, and romantic partners.

3. Encourage open communication with your fearful-avoidant partner.

They may pull away from you and avoid spending time with you when they feel you’re neglecting them..

Positive and open communication is crucial in a relationship with a fearful avoidant partner.

Encouraging them to express their feelings and fears can help them build trust and gradually reduce avoidant behavior.

Active listening and using validating language will create an emotionally safe environment for open conversations, fostering a stronger connection between partners.

Regularly discussing emotions and working through challenges can lead to increased emotional intimacy and a stronger bond.

4. Foster emotional closeness to strengthen your bond with the fearful-avoidant partner.

For a fearful avoidant partner, fostering emotional closeness is both a desire and a challenge.

Providing a nurturing, safe, and supportive environment can help them overcome their fears and develop a secure attachment.

Showing genuine care and consistently expressing love helps reassure them of the commitment and stability of the relationship.

Including them in social activities with friends and family can further solidify emotional closeness, ultimately strengthening the overall partnership.

Addressing Trust and Intimacy Issues

1. Create a safe and comforting environment for your fearful-avoidant partner.

For people with a fearful-avoidant attachment style, you need to create a safe and easy environment in which they can express their feelings and emotions.

Doing so helps alleviate their anxiety and fear of intimacy, enabling them to feel more at comfort.

Of course, you have to do these things: establish open and honest communication, encourage sharing of thoughts and feelings, and actively listen to their concerns.

More importantly, you have to assure them that they can trust you and that their secrets are safe with you.

This study found that those with an avoidant attachment to a partner had lower levels of subjective well-being in both men and women.

  • Avoidant attachment is associated with lower levels of subjective well-being in both men and women.
  • The relationship between avoidant attachment and subjective well-being is stronger for older husbands than for older wives.
  • This may be because marital relationships play different roles in different life stages for the two genders.
  • In later adulthood, men may become more dependent on their marital relationships to maintain their subjective well-being, whereas women may be able to be more independent.

The authors offer a few possible explanations for this:

  1. First, men may be more likely to rely on their wives for emotional support in later adulthood.
  2. Second, men may be more likely to lose their jobs or have other life changes in later adulthood, which could make them more reliant on their marriages for stability.
  3. Third, women may be more likely to have strong social networks outside of their marriages, which could provide them with more emotional support.

2. Build trust gradually with your fearful-avoidant partner.

Trust is a crucial aspect of any relationship, but it can be especially challenging for those with a fearful-avoidant attachment style.

They often have trust issues, so it is essential to show reliability and consistency in your actions.

Show support and understanding when they share their feelings of fear or insecurity.

By consistently being there for them and responding sensitively to their needs, you can help build their trust in you and in the relationship.

3. Increase physical closeness cautiously with your fearful attachment partner.

Physical intimacy can be a source of discomfort for people with a fear of intimacy.

To help them feel more comfortable, start with smaller gestures, such as holding hands or giving a gentle hug.

Gradually progress to more intimate forms of affection as they become more at ease. Always prioritize consent and communicate openly about boundaries and preferences.

This study found that fearful-avoidant attachment style is a risk factor for negative sexual outcomes, including:

  • Reduced sexual desire: People with fearful-avoidant attachment styles were more likely to report low levels of sexual desire.
  • Sexual dissatisfaction: The fearful-avoidants were more likely to report being dissatisfied with their sex lives.
  • Difficulties with sexual communication: They were more likely to have difficulty communicating their sexual needs and desires to their partners.
  • Increased risk of sexual problems: They were more likely to experience sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and climactic difficulties.

Recognizing and Handling Other Fearful Avoidant Behaviors

Fearful-avoidant attachment is a type of insecure attachment style.

People with fearful-avoidant attachment styles have a simultaneous desire for and fear of intimacy. This can lead to a push-pull dynamic in relationships, where they may crave closeness but then pull away when they feel too close.

1. Acknowledge the importance of independence and autonomy for your fearful-avoidant partner.

People with a fearful-avoidant attachment style often value their independence and autonomy.

They may spend a significant amount of time alone and may seem to be more focused on their own needs than a partnership.

This can stem from their fear of becoming too reliant on someone else and experiencing rejection or abandonment.

You must recognize and respect their need for independence, as attempts to push them into a closer relationship may cause them to become more distant.

2. Understand your fearful-avoidant partner’s fear of rejection and abandonment.

People with a fearful-avoidant attachment style often have trust issues and may struggle with forming close relationships.

They have difficulty falling in love due to a fear of rejection and abandonment.

As the relationship evolves, they may exhibit behaviors that represent their fear, such as jealousy, possessiveness, or demands for reassurance.

To support someone with a fearful-avoidant style, offer reassurance and understanding without overwhelming them with excessive demands for closeness or commitment.

3. Learn to cope with the emotional distance your fearful-avoidant partner may sometimes create.

When dealing with a person with a fearful-avoidant attachment style, it’s typical to encounter emotional distance

They might have coping mechanisms to protect themselves from being hurt, such as withdrawing from their partner, denying their feelings, or becoming dismissive-avoidant.

As someone in a relationship with a fearful-avoidant individual, it’s crucial to exhibit patience and empathy while maintaining your own boundaries.

Understanding and respecting each other’s emotional needs can help both of you navigate the complexities of a relationship with someone who exhibits a fearful-avoidant style.

This may involve being open and honest about your feelings, giving space when necessary, and reassuring each other that you are there to support, not abandon, each other.

Building mutual trust and a secure attachment through consistent efforts and communication over time is the key to creating a successful partnership.

Final Words

Fearful avoidant attachment styles often develop early, stemming from trauma or negative experiences in their childhood, such as inconsistent or abusive caregiving. These experiences can lead to a deep-rooted fear and distrust in relationships, which can carry forward into adulthood.

The main characteristics of FA people are:

  1. Trust issues and hypervigilance.
  2. Inconsistent and unpredictable behavior.
  3. Fear of intimacy and deep emotional connections.
  4. An imbalance between the need for dependence and independence.

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Author Bio: Researched and reviewed by Dr. Sandip Roy — a medical doctor and psychology writer, with a unique focus on mental well-being, positive psychology, narcissism, and Stoicism. His empathic expertise has helped many mental abuse survivors find happiness again. Co-author of ‘Critique of Positive Psychology and Positive Interventions’.

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