5 Qualities You Need from A Partner If You’re Anxiously Attached

We all know it by now: modern dating is no sunshine and rainbows. But, it’s even more nerve-racking for people with anxiety or an anxious attachment style.

“An anxiously-attached person doesn’t trust that love is safe. They fear that their partner will leave them at any minute and their needs for intimacy won’t be met. As a result, they’re hyper sensitive to any cues of distance — emotional and physical — and constantly seek security and reassurance.” (Source)

I was one of them.

For a long time, I dated people who always seemed too cool for real emotions and made my heart race constantly in a horrible way — I felt like a crazy person, and dating was literally painful. I knew something needed to change. As I couldn’t change those people, I tried to heal myself instead.

In therapy, I learned that it wasn’t my fault that I had an anxious attachment style, but it was my responsibility to choose better people to date who at least don’t make my anxiety worse.

Luckily, I met a securely attached partner who has excellent communication skills and goes out of his way to show me his love and commitment. Even in the early stage of dating, he gave me no doubt that he was seriously interested in me.

Here are 5 things my fiance does that make me feel safer in our relationship and help me become securely attached:

1. He checks in with me throughout the day

When we first started dating, my partner almost always texted me first in the morning.

Now that we’re engaged, he still texts me while he’s on the way to work. He also calls me during lunch break. When his phone is out of battery or signal, he either Facebook messages or emails me to let me know what’s going on.

Not everyone needs this level of closeness; I don’t either, but I enjoy being close to my partner.

Advice for anyone dating an anxiously attached partner:

  • Keep your communication frequent and predictable.

  • More is always better than less — check-in even when your anxiously attached partner doesn’t ask you to; they’ll appreciate it.

  • If you can’t answer your partner in a timely manner, let them know what to expect. A short line of text saying you’re in a meeting and will reply in an hour would be incredibly helpful.

2. He calls when I tell him I don’t feel well

My partner works a very demanding job.

But he never makes me feel like his job comes before me. I know I’m his priority as he always makes time for me, especially when I’m not okay for any reason.

Even if he’s in the office and I tell him that I’m feeling down, he’ll give me a call. If he’s with me, then he will ask me questions to understand my feelings and try to comfort me.

Advice for anyone dating an anxiously attached partner:

  • Don’t dismiss their needs and feelings, ever.

  • If they show any signs of anxiety, proactively ask them questions, or at least make yourself available for when they want to talk. Don’t take their anxious behaviours personally.

  • If possible, give them your undivided attention.

3. He responds to my anxiety with love

In the past, when I acted anxiously, my exes pulled away.

In my current relationship, when I bring up my anxiety, my partner comes closer to me and becomes extra attentive. More than once he has read my articles about anxiety and asked whether we should do couple therapy so he could understand me and how to handle my anxiety better.

Such responses from him make me feel more confident in our relationship. I understand that my anxiety is no longer my own burden to bear but I have him to shoulder it with me, which makes me much lighter.

Advice for anyone dating an anxiously attached partner:

  • Let them know that you love them for who they are.

  • When they’re anxious, show them even more love and care. Calm them down with your patience and kindness.

  • Remember that your partner is not their anxiety. It’s not about you either. You should handle their anxiety with them as a team.

4. He reads my emotions and body language quickly

My partner is highly emotionally intelligent and good with people.

But the reason why he can read me well is that he pays a lot of attention to me. He responds to things going on with me and addresses my needs even without me having to ask.

So, whenever my anxiety was triggered in the early days, he was right there to ease it before it could escalate. Over time, I learned that my needs were valid and important and would be met by my partner, which made me much less likely to react prematurely.

Advice for anyone dating an anxiously attached partner:

  • Be generous with your time and attention.

  • Take their needs for closeness seriously. If you can’t meet them where they are, be honest with them but do not shame them.

5. He frequently expresses his love and admiration verbally

My partner doesn’t just show me his love in actions but he also compliments me every day. He says “I love you” freely and reciprocates my loving expressions.

At first, I was cautious with him, but over time as we built trust, I started to mirror his behaviours and become much more open and giving.

Now, if I have to pick one word to describe our relationship, it’d be “abundant.” Love, time, and attention are all abundant between us.

Advice for anyone dating an anxiously attached partner:

  • Give them physical and verbal reassurance of your love and interest — if they’re interested in you, nothing’s ever too much.

  • In the beginning, you might have to be a bit more patient and giving than them, but as your connection deepens, trust me, they will make up for it.

It’s not hard to get into a relationship even if you have an anxious attachment style, but whether that relationship is a healthy and value-adding one depends a whole lot on who you choose to be with.

If your anxiety is severe, I would suggest taking a break and seeking professional help. When you feel more solid, you can slowly put yourself out there again; don’t stop looking until you find someone who’s emotionally healthy and available for you.

If you’re already involved with someone who shows signs of being avoidant or lacking communication skills, it doesn’t mean you should instantly break up with them, but they need to be willing to work on themselves and the relationship just as much as you.

Remember that no matter what the outcome is, it’s not your fault.

You deserve a partner as described in this article!

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