The dismissive avoidant attachment style, often called avoidant attachment for short, is an attachment style involving a high level of avoidance in intimacy and a low level of anxiousness about abandonment. When intimacy increases, they express avoidant patterns and engage in distancing tactics out of discomfort.
“People with this attachment style have no problem being single,” explains licensed professional counselor Rachel Sims, LPC. “They usually date many people but lose interest as soon as a sexual partner tries to connect with them on a deeper, emotional level.”
Psychologist Nadine Macaluso tells mbg this behavior likely originated in response to childhood experiences, manifesting a hyper-independent adult who dismisses and devalues connection. The devaluation is motivated by the need to avoid dependency on intimacy.
As such, individuals with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style tend to deny feelings and take their sovereignty to an extreme. They don’t rely on others and don’t want others to rely on them, they keep their innermost thoughts to themselves, and they find it difficult to ask for help.
They’re also sensitive to feeling controlled, Sims adds, and they have a core fear of being hurt that makes it difficult to bond and open up. This makes it tricky for them to date, since for them, the process of knowing and trusting potential partners is marked by pain, confusion, and distress.