Melanie Tonia Evans

Do You Need More Time Apart or Need More Time Together?

Written by   Melanie Tonia Evans Permalink 12
Written By   Melanie Tonia Evans

Many relationships have unease, and an underlying tension when one person in the relationship wants more time together and the other partner feels they need more space.

Perhaps you have been in a situation where you wanted more attentionmaybe you were feeling particularly hurt and you really needed your partners love and affection but they weren’t there to provide it. This leaves you feeling abandoned, rejected and unloved.

Or perhaps you have been in a situation where you wanted more spacewhere you felt smothered by your partner, or felt like you just couldn’t live up to your partner’s expectations of a relationship. You feel ashamed and guilty because you can’t provide the love your partner is asking for, and blame yourself for causing your partner emotional pain.

When our insecurities prevail we tend to play out one of these two dynamics known as the Love Addict or the Love Avoidant, and these two dynamics are very likely to attract each other into a love relationship.

Love Addicts tend to idolise love, they believe in ‘perfect love’, ‘totally connected love’ and wish to spend as much time as possible with a partner.

Love Avoidants believe in having space to themselves, not connecting fully to a partner, and retaining their own identity.

When you read on further in this article, you will understand why these opposites attract…

Naturally there are differing levels of Love Addicts and Love Avoidants to the mild and the extreme, but the defining criteria is that Love Addicts and Love Avoidants have fears that jeopardise and sabotage their love relationships.

The Love Addict feels ‘needy’, and when spending time away from the relationship struggles to feel whole and full. The Love Addict, if their partner takes space in the relationship, feels like the bond and the connection will be broken, that the relationship will be at risk, and creates unhealthy expectations in the relationship because of this fear.

The Love Avoidant feels ‘smothered’ in relationships and feels that the ‘neediness’ of others is a threat to their own energy reserves and well-being, and pulls away from their partner and diminishes the relationship as a result.


Why the Love Struggle?

Every human being does want love and connection, it’s a biological desire – yet what can cause people to want ‘too much’ love connection or ‘not enough’?

The Love Addict is likely to come from a family background of neglect, feeling unsupported and unloved.

The Love Avoidant is likely to have originated from a family where he or she felt enmeshed, controlled and was unable to have his or her own space and boundaries.

The Love Addicts primary fear is I’m not lovable and therefore he or she will strive to receive love, because the Love Addict is terrified of not being good enough to be loved, and being abandoned.

The Love Avoidant’s  primary fear is I’ll be damaged and therefore he or she will strive to retain their own energy, because the Love Avoidant is terrified of being enmeshed with and violated.

If we look deeper, the truth is the Love Addict and the Love Avoidant actually mirror each other.

Check this out…it’s fascinating….

The Love Addict’s deepest fear is intimacy and connection hence why their neediness drives others away and prevents them being in relationships with people they truly love.

If a Love Addict secures another Love Addict they will lose attraction, lose feelings of love and find all sorts of reasons not to remain in a relationship with this person. The relationship will feel bland, dull, lacking, and will leave them feeling ‘there must be more out there’.

This is why they fall madly in love with less available people, people that won’t really connect.

The Love Avoidant’s deepest fear is being abandoned hence why they don’t full connect in to relationships, which minimises the possibility of being truly in love, and then left and hurt.

If a Love Avoidant meets another Love Avoidant they will very quickly vacate the relationship – luke-warm people don’t interest them.

This is why they enter relationships with people who will strive to create connection and commitment in the relationship. The people that are the least likely to abandon.

Both the Love Addicts and Love Avoidant’s core issue is: I’m not worthy of being loved.

They actually have the same inner dysfunction that simply manifests itself in different ways.

This is why they can actually be a team and heal each other….but let’s look at the most likely unconscious results first.


The Damage

When Love Addicts and Love Avoidants get together, at first it may seem to be a match made in heaven. Within the honeymoon period the Love Addict gets energy and attention, and the Love Avoidant, because the Love Addict is on his or her best behaviour, feels that they can retain their independence.

But this does not last for long…

Sooner rather than later the Love Avoidant drops their intensity of attention and starts returning to their ‘outside’ life, and the Love Addict will start expressing what he or she is not getting in the relationship. This will be expressed as feelings of rejection, criticism to the Love Avoidant and statements that create feelings of violation to the Love Avoidant.

The Love Avoidant will feel attacked, and will retreat in order to protect themselves, even further away from the connection in the relationship.

This of course makes the Love Addict react even more. The more he or she pushes for connection the less he or she will receive.

The problem is Love Addicts express their needs to receive love, affection, sex and attention inappropriately and Love Avoidants feel guilty about expressing their needs about requiring space and time out of the relationship to energise themselves.

Deep down the Love Addict knows he or she is ‘needy’, feels ashamed about this and feels wrong about speaking up about his or her needs. So, invariably what occurs is the Love Addict bottles, and then blows about their needs in accusatory ways, or becomes passive aggressive regarding their expectations.

Deep down the Love Avoidant knows he or she doesn’t grant as much love as he or she could, feels ashamed about this and feels wrong about disconnected from the partner in order to do his or her own thing. Therefore the Love Avoidant does not set boundaries, is worried about upsetting the Love Addict, does not express his or her need for space away from the relationship, or just takes it without checking in, and then states that he or she feels criticised, smothered and violated.


The Need To Meet In The Middle

Both the Love Addict and the Love Avoidant need to understand and work towards a healthier model of relationship.

The Love Addict may have an idealised version of love filled with constant declarations of love, incredible passion, extreme togetherness and the high of being in love 24 /7. This ideal is clearly not realistic, as it is impossible to depend on another person being a constant source of romance, reciprocating gushing text messages, sex, attention and constant ‘I love you’ affirmations every day.

The truth is the Love Addict needs to come to terms with loving themselves enough that they can be solid and whole enough to endure times and days when their partner is not supplying them with ‘I love you’ reminders, and be happy to co-exist in harmony knowing their partner loves them without having to be supplied constant proof.

The Love Addict needs to honour the value of gaining passion and self-fulfilling goals outside of the relationship, in order to not be a constant source of pressure on their partner.

After all, every Love Addict who has partnered with an even more demanding Love Addict knows how taxing that is.

The Love Avoidant may have a minimalised view of what a relationship requires in order for it to be fulfilling. The Love Avoidant may believe co-habitating, minimal sex and just ‘getting along’ is enough. This clearly is not a realistic view of a love relationship and is more like a business arrangement. It is impossible to expect another partner will endure such a relationship without adequate contribution.

The truth is the Love Avoidant needs to trust themselves and a love partner enough to express and grant love. They need to work on expressions of connection, giving affection and granting supplies of love to their partner.

The Love Avoidant needs to honour the value of granting passion and energy to the relationship, in order to create a bond of love and connection. As every Love Avoidant knows when they get with an even more disconnected Love Avoidant how unfulfilling it is to be with someone who doesn’t.


The Solution

Be very aware most relationships that last past the initial chemical rush, will be comprised of a Love Addict and a Love Avoidant combination somewhere on the scale – regardless of how independent or connected you think this person is within the first few days, weeks or months.

So it’s important to be honest – very honest, so that you can set up a dynamic where both people own what they need to work on, and meet healthily in the middle.

If you really get this right, you will also be able to understand and support each other.

Better still you will both be able to teach and heal each other.

If you don’t– the cracks may burst open, and the relationship can become irreparable and explode – totally.


The Steps


STEP 1 – Confront yourself

Establish whether you are the Love Addict or the Love Avoidant

STEP 2 – Understand and embrace what a healthy relationship REALLY is.

It’s important to get very clear on what a healthy relationship is. Healthy relationships are inter-dependent they are not co-dependent or solely independent.

Healthy relationships are expressed in this beautiful proverb from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Interdependent relationships have the ability to shift from dependence to independence.

Therefore time spent together and time spent apart is the healthiest combination.

STEP 3 – Establish the boundaries that honour time spent apart.

The Love Addict needs to gain an interest, mission or pursuit that energies their soul. Something that they can call their own.

The Love Avoidant probably already has this.

Then when the Love Avoidant is getting energy outside of the relationship, the Love Addict can also do so.

Then both partners can share their interests and be happy that the other person is experiencing personal fulfilment. We bring our best, happiest and most generous selves to our relationship when we are doing the things that nurture and inspire us individually.

This reduces the risk of feeling unfulfilled personally and putting pressure on your partner to fix that for you.

STEP 4 – Establish the boundaries that honour time spent together.

The Love Avoidant needs to commit to date nights, intimate dinners and romantic time with his or her partner.

The Love Addict will relish this.

During these times the Love Avoidant needs to ignore other distractions and be fully present for his or her partner.

Then both partners can connect, feel into and be present for each other in an intimate, loving sense.

STEP 5 – Confront your anxieties.

If you are the Love Addict you will be nervous about granting space, and you will feel like your partner will disconnect, leave you, lose interest in you or pull away even further.

This is not true if you are in a loving relationship that can grow. What is more likely to occur is that by granting your partner space and not being threatened or envious of his or her interests, he or she will naturally want to share and connect with you more.

If you are the Love Avoidant you will be naturally nervous about connecting, even more so if you have felt criticised, smothered or had your personal passions criticised. By granting specialised attention to your partner you will find that he or she will support you more, and allow you to be yourself, which will grant you even more confidence to love and connect.

It’s important to grant your partner feedback about these experiences, and to both be honest about your opposing roles that when blended together can work beautifully.

You can understand and support each other, which can only be done with self-honesty first, otherwise the anxieties will be projected on to the other partner, and rather than asking for help and support – and the cry for help could become a damaging attack.

The healthy model is accepting and honouring each other’s love needs, which in essence is healthy interdependency.

Both of you can create loving independence and dependence and share both experiences joyously. Together you have much to teach, share and enjoy with each other by expanding out of your previous comfort zones.

The Love Addict will enjoy the relief of becoming more self-fulfilled and independent, as well as enjoy receiving love, affection and attention.

The Love Avoidant will enjoy the warmth, safety and connection of becoming more dependent, as well as enjoying being able to retain his or her own energy and interests.

The Love Addict will then believe he or she is lovable and will accept real love.

The Love Avoidant will then believe he or she can love fully without being abandoned.

Now that is a match made in heaven.

STEP 6 – If this doesn’t work

Seek therapy singularly or together with someone who really understands the dynamics of what is taking place. If extreme issues are occurring, you may be in relationship with a personality disordered person who is not capable of taking responsibility for their own wounds or dynamics, and therefore can’t engage in the relationship as a team player.

If you are with a partner who has the capacity to pathologically lie, and / or act maliciously with intent to harm without conscience, then this is not the person to commit to working on a relationship with.


I felt really good about this article when I was writing it. I hope it provides you with some help toward manifesting and growing a fulfilling love relationship.

After healing from narcissistic abuse, I realised I had developed fears of connecting and was afraid that if I did become enmeshed in a relationship that went bad I may not be able to get myself out again. This can compromise relationships if you are not able to fully commit, love, give and contribute.

Are you a Love Addict or a Love Avoidant? Or have you been both? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Melanie Tonia Evans is an international narcissistic abuse recovery expert. She is an author, radio host, and founder of Quanta Freedom Healing and The Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program. Melanie's healing and teaching methods have liberated thousands of people from the effects of narcissistic abuse world-wide.

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44 Thoughts on Do You Need More Time Apart or Need More Time Together?
    June 1, 2012

    Dear Melanie,
    I have been reading your posts with great interest. This last one above, on Are you a love addict, or avoidant, really rings true for me. I have just finished a relationship with a man who I care for so deeply, but who I believe is a love avoidant, and I know I have fallen deeply into the role of the love addict throughout our short 6 week sojourn. We would spend very deep and meaningful hours together communicating and talking and being physical, but toward the last 3 weeks, I felt he would just disappear emotionally. He often did not actively listen to me, he would often be interested only in what he had to say. When we were apart, he would always say he would call at such and such a time, but it never happened. In the end, the only way I could get to see him was by texting or calling HIM, on the day, and making arrangements for him to come over to see me and have dinner…. In the end it all became too much and I was feeling rediculously needy with him….hungry just for a call or a text or some indication that he may even be thinking about me. I finished it last night, and even though on one level I am relieved, I am so sad deep down, as we had such a beautiful connection and he is a very special soul. Many of his childhood issues came up to the surface about him not being loved by his father as a child, and he cried openly with me several times in the first weeks of our dating. I am a very compassionate person, but know I have a tendency to rescue…and so was mindful not to go there, but what does one do ….. I find that I want to help and have compassion and understanding, but it’s always at my own expense….in this case I am left feeling empty, abandoned and unloved myself… It’s amazing to write this out here and now, as it is so raw and has JUST happened. In fact, he left his glasses here last night, and has just driven by and collected them from our letterbox, not looking in to say goodbye. I hope this has been a little helpful to someone. Thankyou, blessings.

      Ashley ness
      February 12, 2017

      Thank you for taking the time to write this response to this amazingly insightful article. It opened my eyes to another relationship I had, besides the one I’m in and the article hit home about for me.

    Julie K
    June 1, 2012

    Thanks Mel, and Eva,……so much makes sense now that I read that. As you know Mel, I have done a lot of work, and am in a relationship which like Eva has a very special connection, but when we get too close and get on really well, he pulls away and I just learnt that I just have to let him. Reading this email/post has made me realise that meeting this man is actually healing me and him as well ..yes it’s tough to think that hes not with me, but I know he needs his space so I have been looking at myself and asking myself the questions of why do I feel like this…and have taken appropriate steps to love myself by taking up painting and exercising when I don’t hear from him (building up a life that doesn’t always need him). I faced the abandonment fear by saying goodbye to him, but he came back 3 weeks later. I know that when he says he loves me that he does, even if it’s not how I see love… and even if it all falls apart, I know that I was loved and it was passionate and we had a definite connection but we were just too different…….blah blah blah….anyway, very happy to read this post for its timely intervention that there is the ‘other side’ to think about, and for it to be put into words that I understand is so appreciated.. It lets me know that all is OK, and all is as it should be ….thanks Mel x

      November 6, 2014

      Hi Julie K – I’m curious.. did it work out? Are you happy?

    June 1, 2012

    Some of the reading I have done on love addicts/avoidants…indicated that it can get even more complicated when the people in the relationship keep switching roles…that one person can exhibit both tendencies ..”push me pull me”….back and forth…. is this true or does it just appear that way because of the syndrome?

    June 1, 2012

    It would seem by pure observation that the woman is usually the needy “love addict” whilst the man usually takes the role of “love avoidant” in these scenarios.

    June 1, 2012

    I read your article with great interest. I know that I am the love addict in my relationship and my partner is the avoidant. He works 7 days a week, long hours as he is self employed and our quality time together is limited. I can accept this as I can always find things to do and enjoy on my own but I have to do that constantly. He also is still seeing an ex on a regular basis, taking her shopping, running her around and talking to her on a daily basis. It is this that makes me feel needy and insecure. As a result I have tried to end the relationship several times as I feel as if my feelings are being ignored but he just will not let go of me, and the conversation usually ends with him telling me where I am going wrong. He just seems to think that we’re OK, when I feel depressed most of the time due to the situation which he says he is not ready to let go of yet – will he ever?, I have my doubts. Is this me being unreasonable and insecure?

    June 1, 2012

    II’ve just read this blog and found it really helpful. I know I was a Love Avoidant in my first marriage, and ashamed of it, pretty balanced in the 20 odd years of my 2nd, but after being widowed found myself drawn into a Love Addict marriage role which is just ending after 7 years. The last experience has been both a spur to healing but also so unbelievably painful. It has doubly confirmed my need for an honest partner and one who will take the space we all need for things other than admiration seeking through relationships with other women. It brings out the worst in me to be with a “ladies’ man” (which I stupidly didn’t suss to start with) and I hated becoming jealous, dependent and anxious. And yet increasingly addicted to loving him as well. Strangely I was wary of getting involved with both 1st and 3rd husbands, but gradually got seduced because of emotional susceptibility to what they offered, vulnerability (partly for different reasons on both occasions)and lack of instruction or belief until very recently in the validity of self protection where appropriate. In many ways I’m quite strong but rescuing is a big Achilles heel, as was a certain amount of vanity and over-optimism in my ability to succeed if I just tried hard enough. I think all that has been knocked out of me this time!

    Of course I wish the sort of information and discussion that you are providing here Melanie had been around when I was in my teens and 20’s. But better late than never. Intimate relationship may not be the business of outsiders but its nature should certainly not be kept isolated and vulnerable in Bluebeard’s locked room either.

    Loving thoughts to anyone else struggling to recover from all these emotional demons!

    June 2, 2012

    Dear Melanie,
    Thanks so much for this article. All your posts resonate with me, and this one was really eye-opening. It made me a bit sad though. I’m a man and in terms of my past relationship, I could relate to the “love avoidant” that you describe. Even though I’ve done work with you and #6 definitely applies to my past circumstance (extreme issues, partner was unwilling to take responsibility for her behavior/actions, or look at her part in the dynamic, etc.), I still (almost a year later) often feel deep guilt and regret over ending the relationship. Partly, because I felt empathy and compassion for her (she fits your “love addict” description; even saying to me, “I am needy,” and “You need to keep me happy,” for example). Is it normal to feel guilt and regret after leaving (so long after) an unhealthy relationship? I feel like I’m caught in a purgatory of sorts, and despite my efforts to heal, having a challenging time feeling joy and excitement about life and the future again.

    Thank you so much for all you do.

    June 2, 2012

    Awesome article! love how you compared and contrasted the different dynamics in this relationship type. It is good to see the positive qualities in this type of interactions rather than just the negative. I met a man 3 years ago. He wined and dined me, lavished me with expensive gifts, and had an engagement ring on my hand 2 months after we met. We married 9 mos later. At first, I kept him at an arms length, not falling so madly in love with him. He even said once “It’s obvious I love you more than you love me.” So, at the beginning he was the love addict and I was the love avoidant. Then the tables turned.Soon after marriage he started showing me less attention, then less, then started working out of town only home on the weekends, then every other weekend due to traveling to different job sites, then every 3rd weekend. I complained, we fought, fought more, I clung to him and begged him not to leave, and now 20 months into our marriage we have filed for divorce.I have joined a recovery class at church, am currently in a forgiveness class. So,yes, healing will come from this, but I would have rather been healed differently. I have a huge fear of abandonment as does he. We were both left by our parents as children. However, this has been the most painful experience of my life and I pray that I will learn whatever it is I need to learn out of this so that I never suffer like this again. Thank you for your words of wisdom Melanie.

    June 2, 2012

    I think that I have been both, but am probably more of an avoidant….very interesting…’s hard to love fully when you have been severely hurt by someone that you thought loved you…but I suppose it does take time to heal…Thanks Mel!

  • Melanie Tonia Evans
    June 18, 2012

    Hi Tony,

    thank you for your post.

    I am so glad that this post really ‘hit home’ for you, as this infomration did for me!

    Truly Tony it is so importnat that you do clean up these emotions which are holding you in limbo – my greatest suggestion to you is to come forward for some more healing work on this with me – or access this radio show and focus on releasing it

    Let me know how you go, or send me an email for a session!

    Mel xo

    Sandra Spiteri
    August 14, 2012

    Firstly Thank you for such good information , the way you explained it , it was so good , I have been waiting for someone to write some advice on how to make this work once you are a Love Avoidant and your partner being a love Addiction and swapping roles , I thought the relationship does not work because we think something was wrong ans we do not love eachother anymore ecause we just dont get on anymore or something and than give up on the relationship , my question is do we need therapy for this childhood dysfunction or can we actually heal ourselves and each other can we really try and make it work has anyone done the work to try and save their relationship and it worked , .sometimes the partner does not believe in all this he just rather find someone new they thing that we are just crazy or something , I am glad that at least now I have te knowledge to understand it and try to work on myself first than hope he can understand and than we can try to work it out , thank you again

    February 7, 2013

    Wow! Thank you for real hope and tools. And a feeling there is honestly hope and healing available

    April 25, 2013

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Really eases my anxieties about a lot of things.
    Is it possible to show characteristic traits of both types? I know I was a Love Avoidant in my first relationship and now showing signs of a Love Addict in my second. Does this have to do with the fact that my first boyfriend was an Addict and the one I am dating now an Avoidant?

    May 6, 2013

    I loved to see this, it gives me hope that yes a relationship is possible with my new crush or even more if its not at least I won’t be feeling bad that why things did not happen the way it should have as expected.

    I feel I am an a love addict mostly and loose my heart almost immediately after seeing a attractive person whome I can trust 1% by default 🙂 just then after she’s left I feel a sense of loosing something too important and then starts my fears and excitement mixed.

    I start to focus on the reason why we met and try to forget the meeting then when I see this person again I feel shocked saying how can this be possible how I meet this person again, yes I wish she was there so I could see her again yet I did not wish her to be there in the same state of mind she left me in I see her still calmly being herself and I love that and feel like hey it’s too early to even fall for this person, god knows I may end up hurting her or worst i may end up hurting myself again as I have just gone trough a bad breakup which I don’t know much about, my learning from that breakup are not even clear to me.

    Then when this girl ask me to do something I just follow exactly what she ask me to do, I am happy to have her arround me and see her without being caught yet I fear getting too close to her as if everything goes well I will be in another relationship without having the me time I always wanted apart from also loving.

    I refrain from hugging this girl in darkness as I may just loose mature self and end up kissing her or worse showing everything trough my eyes that I love her and I am attracted to her and don’t have the urge to even know her any which is bad as we both need to speak in harmony before we even agree to accept each other in every ways knowing the issues I have and knowing the issues she has and what are both our life goals and so many things to talk before saying hey let’s set on a journey to love each other like here is no tommrow.

    I feel I am a love addict in control of my situation and appear as a love avoidant.

    On the other side I see her as a love addict too she is superb to my eyes and I wish to give her own space to live and I wish to have mine too.

    Yet we have gotten into some game I believe she thinks I started or may be she is playing is playing some kind of game.

    I try to sit next to her and she gets of the chair to go and sit with other group of people and this leaves me sad for a minute yet I start talking to the other girl sitting arround me and just having a general conversation not flirting or anything, then she gets closer to the set if guys sitting close to me and I wonder why now yet I try to focus on the chat I am having with the guys close to me and ten I see her sitting with her phone with the other group of people, I guess she looked disappointed in me that I didn’t pick the cue and started a chat with her.

    To me her cue was not really received well as I like to focus on oe thing at time and I really have fun when I do this I mean I like it focusing on one thing at a time.

    So after some time she leaves the place and before she’s leaving I feel like we spoke trough our eyes, I did see her eyes are wet a little like. 1 % and she had a smile hiding something and my reaction was nearly te same I was disappointed that she is leaving and I have this wide eyes look on my face wondering whats happening, thinking why can’t we just talk in a peaceful manner, I guess she’s making me move out of my comfort zone is she ? I doubt as in why would she do that there is no joy in making things tuff for us to just talk. She can kill me while I propose her for marriage, why stop communication ? Or even have a tuff way to begin to talk.

    So next I call her for not a personal reason upon getting her number from a friend then I hear first there is a pain in her voice asking me what te he’ll do I want then while ending the talk I hear a sweet bye, that’s like a mixed feeling to me.

    Then after a few days I meet her and she sits close to me and I get nervous biz of her beautiful presence right next to my self and I feel the deep need for intimacy just looking at her and I put pressure to hide my feelings of any kind while I speak I front of a group and which to end my talking and rush for one air outside just when my talks over, I see she’s ready to talk with me….. Is it because she smiled on noticeable nervousness ??? If yes then I am doomed which I know I am or may be not who knows.

    She recalls my phone call and we talk and I am lost in her looks and make an excuse to rush out for air by saying hey there is a lot if noise in the background and I can’t hear you so she just fades away from her mood to talk with me I wonder why as I slowly make my way out to the open space for one fresh air, I noticed tat each step I took forward from her I wished she walked with me to talk with me yet she didn’t in fact I could see her talking with someone else so I just make my way out and then nothing much we see each other outside just talking to other people and by the time I finish feeling normal after talking to other people she leaves fom there.

    Can someone please tell me what is she doing ?

    Also I have not got a reply on a text I sent her to say yes we broke the ice can we take our talk further ? It’s been like more than 7 days ? What am I suppose to think ?

    However inspite of my wait for her reply I continued living my life and enjoyed a few discovery of my good qualities.

    I seek help from what I have shared to know what is she doing or am I playing her without my knowledge ?

    I don’t know if she is a love addict or a love avoidant and won’t judge it until she speaks out to me from her own acceptance which one is she yet i am open to know your opinions.

    Thank you.

    michael jenkins
    July 6, 2013

    I seriously think you have just saved my relationship – I have trawled the internet for days looking for comfort and advice. I finally found yours and boy has it helped – Its a real life changer for me. I am the love addict and my partner (female) the avoidant. Everything you stated is exactly how it has happened and we are now at the 7 month stage – and witnessing a few teething problems. Where did you learn this? from experience ? It is utterley brilliant – I plan to take the advice tomorrow morning ! thanks so much.

      November 6, 2014

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for posting. Now I’m curious based on your enthusiastic response, did your relationship work out? I am engaged and we are struggling with on and off fighting. I don’t know if we just aren’t compatible as a result of this..

    August 8, 2013

    Bang on Girl! I am the Avoidant for sure and my Partner the Addict. We are going on three years and I need to know is its normal to have these cycles hit out of nowhere after three years? Could there have been very subtle needy buttons pushing me then all of the sudden snap!? I have been dealing with this my entire life. I am now 40 and tired and I need a break on relationships and any kind of therapy. I feel bad we are in this, I know she would want to become healed together but I amy be over the edge, I dont feel like dealing with someone else issues let alone my own right now. Honestly I need a major break and major space and then maybe reconvene.

    November 18, 2013

    Dear Melanie,

    Could you possibly please reply, Im very stuck and not in a good space.
    Your article was brilliant, and it is totally my partner and i. Over the time of our relationship i think i have def become more the addict and him the avoidant. HOwever, he also seems to fit perfectly with having NPD.
    Could you please let me know how I can know whether he is nacisstic and not worth continuing with the relationship, or whether it is the avoidant/addict issue.

    THank you so much

    January 12, 2014

    Dear Melanie,
    First of all, thanks for the article. I’m a love addict, and i’ve been trying to find out an article how to solve this love addiction problem without breaking up. I’m a love addict, and I believe that my boyfriend is a love avoidant. We’ve been together for 9 years (yep, that’s a very long time). And I realize that there’s some gap between us. I used to be very addicted to him when I was younger, but I’m getting better at controlling myself.

    My problem was (and it still is), he has this perfect criteria of a woman (based on the “fantasy” that he had before) that he wants me to be. I’ve been changing a lot from time to time, and sometimes I feel like I don’t even have any identity at all, because everything I do is for him. To be honest, I didn’t mind at all…well it was tough at the first time because it was pretty irrational back then, but his demands are getting more rational these days(like asks me to learn to cook, or more focus and less clumsy) so I really don’t mind it now, it’s positive for me afterall.

    But it seems that it took me ages to change, and he’s getting impatient. I keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again, and he asked me several time for a break up, which I don’t want. And I always told him that I would change, I’ll get better at this, etc. And as I said to you before, I really don’t mind because what he asked is rational and self improving. He even told me to focus more on myself. But as a love addict, it is difficult for me to change the goal, from : I do it for you, to : I do it for myself. We live in a different city now, so actually I have lots of space for myself, but things are getting worse because my insecurity is getting bigger. And when we chat/video call, I feel like I’m too overwhelmed by his attention so I forgot every details that I need to change and start doing mistakes again. And he mad at me again, and it starts all over again. We never fight that much again in the last 2 years, and its coming back. It’s much easier for me when we’re still living under the same roof.

    Is there any suggestion for me? I really want to heal my addiction without breaking up with him.

    Thank you…

    April 21, 2014

    This article is concise and optimistic. It talks about working out the relationship. Other articles about love addiction are written negatively.

    I believe that relationships could still be reconciled and healed. Unlike other blogs I’ve found, they advise you to slam the door shut and let go if you are an addict.

    Of course if your partner was emotionally or physically abusive that’s the best thing to do – apply permanent no contact and move on.

    April 22, 2014

    Thank you Rudy, I agree, most sites lean towards the negative and not how to heal and grow. Learning together sounds much better than repeating the cycle by leaving a long term relationship.

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    July 2, 2014

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    October 8, 2014

    Awesome article am working on finding out what exactly am I thanks alot this will help find myself

    December 29, 2014

    This article is by far the best article I’ve read on love addict & love avoidant. Its helps you understand how the two can work together. I know that I’m a love addict the man I’ve been with two years is a love avoidant but if I tried to explain the situation to him he would not understand and he wouldn’t believe it. He has a father that treats him like he don’t like him, never wanted him so I don’t know if that could be the main cause of his problems of the fact that when he was young the women he was with was love avoidant but because I’m a love addict I think his way of being is sad he is so scared of love and relationships. I’m often hurt because I give so much to this relationship to make it work and he turn around and act he love me but only so much. I do want that 24 hr love and attention but he don’t know how to give it to me so as the article state I have to become realistic and understand that it rarely exist that way. I’m learning to step back and let have space and not be hurt when those are his wants. My fear of him leaving me for someone else is this top of the list but that’s my own insecurity, I’ve had several relationships in the past and I’ve never been with a man like this it almost feel like its effecting my self esteem.

    Bill D
    May 2, 2015

    Thank you for this article. After many years and many failed relationships, and many types of therapies, i can finally identify that i am a love avoidant and the reason why. This article is also very encouraging that two opposites can coexist. I have recently asked my GF after a breakup for a few weeks, to work on myself and get better for her or anyone i may be with in the future. She was upset at first, but agreed to the time apart as what we were doing wasnt healthy. I hope to find more information to recover and hope that she may with this time understand herself more as she is truly a wonderful woman…..

    May 23, 2015

    Hi there. I just want to say THANK YOU!!! For writing this. I’ve been searching for months wracking my brain to figure out what was going on with my husband and our marriage. He’s a love avoidant & im a love addict. Married just over a year & it’s been getting worse. I know what I need to now. Even though I learned about this a while ago, your are the 1st one to explain it so clear & easy to understand as well as providing hope in change & not saying the only solution is to end the relationship. My husband is a good man & father & I’ve seen first hand how truly loving he can be. Things were amazing before. So thank you for the 1st & only glimmer of hope. I don’t want to give up. I think we both can heal once & for all & have a healthy fulfillin relationship 🙂

    Mike Phua
    June 26, 2015

    Hi Melanie,
    I’m a love avoidant through and through my whole life, never had romance. this “sickness” is really painful and tiring, I called it the want and dont want syndrome.

    Kristy Sharp
    September 14, 2016

    Is there hope for my avoidant boyfriend and I? After 7 mos. Of a perfect relationship, where he initiated all romantic, sweet texts and phone calls and planned our once a week date nights, did stuff for me and truly was caring, and was affectionate and charming, but never really opened up, I felt like we had come to a place where I could be more vulnerable with him, so I said “I need to see you more. I don’t want to be just a one night a week ego boost type relationship forever. Not every day, but twice a week would be nice. That maybe we want different things. There’s no one else. I love you, but I need to feel your masculine presence more.” He got extremely anxious and withdrawn after this. I did not feel like I was being needy or clingy, but now that I know what love avoidance is, I would not have had that conversation. He hasn’t called in 2 weeks. We met up a couple days after that phone call and he said he was busy with work and had other stuff going on and I need to be with my two kids (which I am) and he couldn’t give me time I need. I said “I feel so disconnected from you and I don’t like feeling like this. Maybe we should take a break cause I don’t want to pressure you or our relationship, that was not my intention, I have so much respect for you and that I just felt like I should be able to tell my boyfriend of 7 mos. how I feel, it didn’t mean my needs were more important.” He looked so uncomfortable and distant, I didn’t even recognize him, so I got scared and said (which I now regret, now that I’ve read about this) “if I am going to be in an exclusive r/s, I need to spend time with that person or I need to keep my options open.” I don’t know if that did it. He hugged me and said we’d talk more (he was on his way to work), I knew we wouldn’t and am sad.
    I realize these conversations are too overwhelming for him. He hasn’t told his grown kids we broke up or unfriended me on fb or told my best friend anything( she dates his roommate). Is there any way we can start over, if he doesn’t call? I don’t want to pressure him, but I truly love him and now totally get why he’s like this. I feel like I can accept this about him. I always admired him and respected him, told him all the time how much I appreciated everything. He was my Gentleman and my Superman. We were team S (superman), he totally deserved these titles by the way he treated me! Won’t he miss all this? It would be easier if we had had some bad memories but it is all good memories, except for me just feeling like I didn’t see him that much.
    Can a love avoidant please give me some advice????

      November 9, 2016

      Hi Kristy,
      I am going through the same…exactly. Would you like to talk about that by email maybe?

        November 28, 2016

        Hello Andy, Id like to talk if you would like to. I am the addict, shes the avoidant, we just broke up. It makes no sense to me. Id like to communicate with someone who may understand. Thanks, Al

        Kristy Sharp
        August 27, 2017

        Hey Andy,
        Just got back on this site. How did things work out for you? See my update on my reply to Jenn below.

    November 28, 2016

    Can anyone here possibly provide an ear to for some 2 way communication on this please? (pref by email?)
    I am an addict, shes the avoidant. We ‘broke up’ (from what i dont know) Id like to talk to someone who may be in the same boat.
    Im so confused and have no support.

    Thank you. Peace and love to you all.

    January 15, 2017

    Did couples reconcile? Going thru this now.

      Kristy Sharp
      August 27, 2017

      Hey Jen,
      Just was reading this sight again. We did get back together…twice…and are right now. Both, after he was gone on “two month sabbaticals”. First time, he said he missed me and loved me and didn’t want to be alone, that he didn’t know but would try to see if he could give me more time, and he did for a little while, and naively I thought it would work without help. It lasted six months. Then, he suddenly pulled away when things were getting closer (I felt like death of his Godfather might have triggered it. He later told me it was something I did he never let on at all bothered him but apparently triggered trust issues), and I finally pointed out the elephant in the room and quoted Hal Shorey on Psychology Today’s website Fearful Avoidant article, and said that the only way relationships will get easier for him is to work through the fear and anxiety they bring him caused from past childhood traumas and pain. I told him I loved him but going to get on with my life cause it was too painful to watch him stay stuck in fear and being alone. That independence was good but he needed love like everyone else. He came back on his own both times. Now, I’m starting to feel like they miss you when you’re not there, but like a committment phobe, they like the energy high they get from the chase (it medicates their anxiety and feelings of low self worth from what I’ve read), but once they “have you”, quit giving the relationship energy and go back to putting all their energy into other things outside of it.
      This time he came back, he told me he was getting help for his “commitment issues” and drove me by his therapist’s office. I told him I thought it took a really strong man to get help and that if he was choosing love, not fear, then I would try again. I try not to pressure him and ask too much, but don’t really see that it’s helping. I personally don’t think she is qualified to handle this but am trying not to interfere. Honestly, I’m getting depressed cause I just don’t see this r/s going any where. I also don’t know if I could trust him to stay, if he found another partner he started to idolize as perfect, like he used to me, and wanted to chase. He is very charming. Also, I thought she would have goals for him each week. We’re still stuck at once a week date nights, I can tell he is starting to get anxious now that the Chase part is over, and the realness is coming back. I just saw where he was flirting with an old friend on Facebook(first time I’ve seen this, but feel like somehow this is his drug to medicate anxiety of our “real” r/s) and commenting on her pics (is he always going to need validation from others when I give him a lot? Not sure how I’m going to confront him on this yet cause I’ll have to tell him I was reading his Facebook page), He is always playing golf or hanging with the guys. Keeps his time very busy. It hurts that he loves me, but our r/s makes him nervous and I don’t want him to feel nervous, so I dont pressure him, I let him call the shots, but honestly, I’m tired and lonely. It’s very painful to love someone and realize that it just might be too hard on them to change and that you are the cause of their anxiety( actually, he has anxiety when we’re broken up, too, but intimacy makes him feel it, too. I think it’s his feelings of shame and not liking his self that are, but he doesn’t know that), So I’ve been working on me, trying to practice love with detachment (Buddhism technique), living from heart chakra in unconditional love, but don’t know what outcome will be just yet. He will either work through the fear or run. I will either get stronger (not there yet but trying) and leave or set better boundaries and from a place of love call him out on his fear behaviors. Will keep you posted.
      All the best!! Kristy

        Misty Dawn
        April 18, 2019

        Hi Kristy! I’m curious if there’s any update?

        I’m in about the same situation you were at the time of your last post. Now we’re in this kind of relationship limbo. Not quite together, not quite apart.

        Is there any hope of the avoidant waking up to wanting to grow on their own? Is there any type of gentle nudging that you found that helped? Did you ultimately give up? Your situation sounds sooo much like mine.

        I’m 7 years in and 3rd time around with my partner. I don’t want to give up on him, but I don’t know if I can carry the burden of my own emotional desires for connectedness in my relationship alone for much longer.

    June 11, 2017

    Hi Melanie…
    I wish I would’ve read this article way before I did. I am the addict and Stacy is the Avoidant… She has been telling me for a couple months that I’ve been smothering her and reading your blog I can totally see both sides and how we both were doing exactly what you were describing… the more space I gave her the more I was afraid she would disengage… The more she showed me affection the less it she did it… If that makes any sense.
    She finally broke it off with me this past Wed after a year of being together saying I had smothered her to the point of no return and I said all she needed to do was show me some affection here and there and I would’ve given her anything.
    My question is this…
    Is this irreparable? Should I somehow send her this blog without her thinking I’m pining for her? Any advice you can give me would be so helpful.

    January 20, 2018

    I always refer to your blog for various topics. However, I have to say that this specific article on attachment style is the best that I’ve read so far. You’ve explained it perfectly about the fact that both the avoidant and anxious mirror each other’s fears. A lot of other writers on the topic either not quite explain that very important key factor correctly or they miss it entirely.

    I’ve always had a rather high anxious attachment style. I like check ins, I need validation and I need to have my partner tell me I’m okay as I’m not capable of doing that on my own (yet). I don’t know why I’m anxious because I grew up with having love addict parents. Both are love addicts and I guess that’s why I’m one as well. I was never abandoned or felt unloved in my family. I actually felt an abundance of love and had a good childhood. However, I’m assuming my parents are needy on each other and I suppose that is where I learned my ideas of love and why I’m needy as well.

    I always attract love avoidants. I’m always chasing love. Interestingly enough (as you stated) I can’t stand anxious style men! If a man pours out his heart 24/7 and needs my constant attention, I bail on them. I have yet to meet a secure man.

    I’m currently working on myself and utilizing your steps mentioned in this article to get control of my attachment anxieties. What’s actually helping is dating someone that is long distance. You would think it would be hell but it has forced me to control obsessive thoughts. Granted, I have my bad times here and there wondering what he’s up to but I get myself out of that funk by turning my focus back on me again. He appears to be fearful avoidant though with diagnosed PTSD which is difficult to deal with on its own!

    Misty Dawn
    April 18, 2019

    How do you get the avoidant to be vulnerable enough to accept the idea of going to therapy? Mine just pushes it all down till it turns into depression. I care for him while he’s depressed, then when he has his confidence back again he pushes me away. I mean, I want to grow with him, and I believe he does too, but he’s just so scared to. And I know if I push at all it will only make things worse.

    I know I have to let him come to it on his own, but what about me? The last thing in the world I want to do is abandon him and add to the trauma, but how do I get my emotional needs met in the meantime? I mean, is there some sociologically accepted amount of time to wait before giving up on someone whom you love and swore you’d never give up on?

    The challenge isn’t in learning how to cope with love addiction. The challenge is being willing to break a commitment to someone who you know really wants you to stay, and who really is the person you love underneath all the avoidant behaviors, but has not found the strength to face their traumas and heal their attachment triggers. I am putting in the work, but how do I know if it’s too late for this relationship. There’s such a fine line between being selfish and self supportive. Is it selfish of me to walk away for good when that’s not even what I [think] I want?

    • Melanie Tonia Evans
      April 18, 2019

      Hi Misty Dawn,

      The real truth is we can only decide and align with what is true for us, and then free people to choose what is the truth for them.

      It is never abandoning or forcing someone to change when we say ‘I am living the life that is my truth’.

      It is loving us and them enough to end the pain.

      This recent video of mine may help.

      Mel 🙏💕❤️

    April 22, 2019

    Like most of us here I was in love with a dismissive avoidant girlfriend. First three months of our r/s were wonderful. Sometimes I had to pinch myself that I found such a person – her lovebombing skill was unbelievable. When we went on our first vacation together, she suddenly became distant and cold – actually it started day before our departure. And I was not even that needy or overbearing – we just discussed moving in together to which she agreed. I think I am a secure type bordering on anxious when triggered.

    Not knowing about attachment styles at that time I asked her if there is something wrong or something I did/say that she behaves so differently, but she said she does not see that her behaviour changed and did not want to talk about it further. So we spent the rest of our vacation in stony silence. When we came back I broke it off with her, telling her I cannot be in a relationship with a person that refuses to communicate at all. That took her by surprise, but she only kept saying she does not know what to say. Next day I sent her a letter saying that I still love her but need to be able to communicate with her and I am sorry if I hurt her feelings by pulling away and was willing to work on our relationship. She sent me an e-mail telling me she wants to be alone and concentrate on her career. She offered me her friendship which I declined.

    Tried few times to restart the relationship by meeting with her, but it is a lost cause. While obsessing over her I realised one fundamental issue – I was willing to change myself, willing to hide my emotions, willing to hide my love for her, willing to jump through her dismissive avoidant hoops just so I can be with her. Most of you are contemplating doing the same thing in order to be with the other person. I am not sure it is very healthy for you and it certainly was not very healthy for me – constantly walking on eggshells looking not to trigger avoidant’s turning off while trying to woo her back into relationship.

    After few meetings/dinners I told her I cannot ever be her friend only – it would be a charade – and I walked away. It is not easy by any means – in fact it is very painful. What helps is reading about avoidant’s expectations of a “healthy” relationship and telling myself that I would have to abandon my feelings just to be with that one person. I think we should all be proud that we feel emotions, love, care, vulnerability and tenderness when we are with that special person. It is what makes us human. I feel sorry for my ex gf, but she does not want to work on her fears, she dismisses all the suggestions thinking her issues are external and has no desire to change. We as partners of avoidants are searching the internet, trying to educate ourselves, trying to see if we can change ourselves to fit the other person’s very peculiar requirements. They are just sitting back, waiting.

    I would say you have a choice – either confront them and if they are unwilling to work with you on their issues then walk away and be in pain for 6 months or a year. Or stay, conform and be in pain and unhappy state for the rest of your time together. Yes, there will be breadcrumbs, but is this the best you can do with your life?

    May 12, 2019

    This article provides soooooooo much clarity for me. Incredibly insightful and helpful. Ive read TONS of stuff online about the dynamics of attachment theory but this one stands out above the rest with its simple dissection and instruction on how to fix. Its really not that hard is it? At least I t Well don’t think so. Heres the information….heres the solution…..if you want to keep your connection….hop to it.

    Its just wether or not BOTH parties think its worth the relatively minimal effort. And if one party doesn’t well then I think there are other issues aside from the differing attachment styles at play.

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