An avoidant personality disorder is when you have a pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and are very sensitive to negative judgments. You could be avoiding social situations in fear of criticism or rejection, are unwilling to be associated with certain people until you know for sure if they like you, or reluctant to take personal risks. While the symptoms of avoidant personality disorder can harm a relationship, it is important to have an honest talk with your partner to see what you both find comfortable.

Challenges of Being in a Relationship When You Have Avoidant Personality Disorder

People with avoidant personality disorder find relationships to be stressful and emotionally draining. Because they are self-reliant people, they are not used to a partner that needs them for their emotional needs. Having an avoidant personality can also mean they do not like navigating their emotions and have little self-awareness of identifying their feelings. This can make the emotions of others very confusing and frustrating. Any negative emotions are unwanted and defied.

When it comes to experiencing negative feelings in themselves or their partner, people with avoidant personality disorder isolate themselves. They look for ways to detach from their partner and avoid physical closeness, deep conversation, and refuse to listen to a partner’s feelings.

Challenges For Partners of Those With Avoidant Personality Disorder

It can be very confusing for people to understand partners who have an avoidant personality disorder. They try to figure out how they are communicating or what they want. This can be the partner at a loss of what to do. When partners with avoidant personality disorder are educated on the mental condition, they no longer have to take the behavior of their partner personally.

How to Keep the Relationship Alive

Unlike typical relationships, those with avoidant personality disorder are not looking to talk about feelings or seeking emotional closeness. Partners who can make this work are those who do not want or need a high level of emotional intimacy with their romantic partners. That person may be satisfied to live with someone and coexist without a high level of communication about each other’s feelings. If you consider yourself an independent person, do not need a lot of emotional sharing, and are content with the way things are, your relationship with someone who has an avoidant personality disorder can work.

An avoidant personality disorder is when you avoid social situations because of the fear of rejection or negative criticism. While a relationship with someone who has an avoidant personality disorder can be challenging, that does not make it impossible. As long as the two of you have an open conversation about what makes you both comfortable, you can make it work. At Alta Loma, we understand how hard it can be to have an avoidant personality disorder. We can help you with individualized therapy, a long-term continuum of care, life and coping skills education, and more. Please call (866) 457-3843 to learn more.

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