I’ve been on and off these boards for the past few years and have dated a few avoidants it seems. I can’t even tell what the common theme was at the beginning with them, but I would say most of them would be quite love-bomby! They would quickly commit to me and profess their feelings and paint a very positive image of me and themselves. I being FA would be stand offish at first, but as soon as I “fell” for them within the first couple months the dynamic would shift into poor communication and a push pull cycle would start that would go on indefinitely until I decided to exit the loop.
I would like to find a secure partner (I am myself FA with some progress and have tested Secure recently). For those of you, who are in a relationship with a secure, what was the initial courting/ dating like? Especially women dating a secure man, what was his behavior? Thank you!
annieb, I've been seeing someone for several weeks who has given me no reason to think he's anything but secure. He's very kind and straightforward and there's nothing confusing about it. He even started things off by telling me exactly what he's looking for in general, as a quick and comfortable check for dealbreakers, to make sure we're aligned on long-term goals. There was no pressure, didn't seem to be any desperation or anxiety behind it, and we were in agreement so it hasn't come up again. (I've had guys who brought this up in the past and it was really icky -- as if it didn't matter who their partner even was, I just checked some of their boxes and now they were projecting all over me to get their own non-sexual life goals eventually met if I was willing, if that makes sense.)
I've found I easily take him at his words and face value and have no nagging gut instinct to doubt him. His words and actions appear to be totally aligned. I don't feel like he's projecting on me at all, or like he's sometimes not truly seeing me, as often happens with guys who aren't emotionally available enough.
It's also a really difficult time to get to know someone new well in the middle of a pandemic, and he's expressed exactly the amount of contact and distance he's comfortable with while we're under lockdown orders (while reassuring me he wouldn't be choosing virtual dates over in person in normal circumstances). It's a bit more conservative than I'd prefer, since we were being diligent when seeing each other in person before there were official orders, but I understand and don't see any reason to challenge it or take it the least bit personally. It's not unreasonable for him to want to follow these rules, and it would be disrespectful for me to push that. We've both sought creative ways to continue getting to know each other in spite of the circumstances.
We don't talk every day, and it seems fine because we haven't defined the relationship yet and don't know each other that well. It's moving slowly and it's not a passionate, chemistry-laden thing, in part because we've had to take that pause in seeing each other in person so that would just create a weird hormonal fantasy longing that I'm frankly not looking for. My lust-filled chemistry has always been with avoidants and never worked out. So as long as there's a baseline attraction, I'm really trying to simply build and gauge for a serious relationship / marriage. We will, at some point (when we're able to resume meeting in person), need to make sure that physical compatibility is there and enduring, but currently it's more about slowly getting to know each other. It's calm.
In the past when I had an insecure attachment style, not moving swiftly and passionately may have frustrated me or made me anxious. But this just feels like we have our own lives and don't need anything from each other, but we are choosing to get to know each other better with the intent of sharing our lives if it's compatible to do so. So again, building something but there being no pressure or confusion about it at all.
Part of the calmness is, of course, that I resolved my insecure attachment issues and am not projecting onto him, either.
I haven't made any longer-term decisions about him yet, and have plenty of questions still, but have taken note that our values and likes are very similar, and it's comfortable to see and chat with him. But it would be way easier to do this if we could spend more time together, meet each other's friends, really get a feel for how we fit into each other's lives in a more regular way than is possible during lockdown :/
Based on prior life experience, I feel like trying to navigate this stay at home distance with a more insecure type while I was also more insecure would quickly become a desperate, mutual Romeo and Juliet star-crossed mess of longing and hours and hours of conversation building out the fantasy.
I'm with alexandra. I identify as ex-AP (in romantic rships) and we think he's ex-DA. so we were anything but secure; we did alot of the work ourselves before we met, and I think we came into the relationship already moving towards secure (and frankly more towards each other's style). He moved towards being more affectionate and intimate while i moved towards being more independent and guarded, so we sort of met in the middle more naturally.
The word I'd use to describe my relationship is calm - and is still calm now that we are in lockdown together. the calmness, I believe, stem from different factors. First, I was very calm in dating him - I didn't care if it happened, if ht was the one, if he liked me, if he talked/didn't talk to me. I just literally didn't care, because I just wanted to sit and watch to see what happened. There's no pursuit on my part, and the APness didn't show up at all. So, again, it's about resolving my own insecurity and not projecting onto him as well.
He was also very clear about what he wanted, from a positive approach e.g., I want a partner to build a life with, rather than a negative approach e.g., I want a partner who is calm because I don't want drama. The former tells me he is forward looking towards a vision while the latter tells me he is backward looking focusing on avoiding mistakes rather than seeking out what he wants. It is not that the latter is "wrong" or "bad" but it's a very subtle nuance that MAY indicate where a person is coming from.
There was no confusion on both our parts. I was clear what I wanted, he was clear what he wanted. It was just more so whether we were a good match and if we should be dating. There wasn't any of the "lust filled chemistry" as alexandra puts it, nor a instant passionate love thing. It felt more like there was neutrality and calmness, and it was a decision I should take on my own terms, not so much on the terms of my primal instincts of love and lust. Our discussions around conflict or life or decisions were more... business like, almost clinical. That's not to say that we didnt have emotions, but the approach towards it was more business like and calm.
It felt also that we were both independent people living our own lives and we chose to build a life together. While our lives are relatively independent, it also blended together quite well - we understood and accepted each other's lives. It didn't feel like I had my life and then I had a boyfriend. It just felt like.. he was part of my life, but if he wasn't in it, it's fine on its own.
I see him as an individual, not as my boyfriend. in my mind, he is his own person that has influence on my life, but isn't the center of my life. it's a very bizarre feeling that as an insecure, you don't really feel. It's simultaneously seeing this person as an independent individual that is quite unfamiliar but also as a familiar presence. I think it goes for me as well, the feeling of being ME and being a partner at the same time. as an insecure, there's usually a loss of self, fear of or actual loss, that is seen as exclusive with the identity of being a partner. As an AP it's losing the self very easily and then resenting the other person for it. As a DA, it's the fear of losing the self and then resenting the other person for it. With a secure relationship, it's gaining an additional identity to the self, and there's no real fear of losing either identity.
We also took our time and assessed each other more thoroughly, not in the sense of having alot more "tests", but really think through practically our lives and whether it was ok. If there were discrepancies e.g., maybe we want to live in different places, then we have chats about it. i evaluated if he could merge into my life and if i could his and if we could make one togeher - that's 3 things. he did the same. as an ex-AP, i thought much more about whether i could fit into their lives and if we could make our own, and less about if he fits into mine.
Each of you have hit the nail on the head! What a blessing in your lives that you've encountered an opportunity to explore a bond with a Secure. This is a gift regardless of outcomes! While I am a Secure, the most overarching trait you've identified is a sense of the overarching calm and peace that I bring to the table, along with a sense of thoughtful mindfulness, insight, and responsiveness to an intimate other, friends, colleagues etc. A Secure possesses humor without hurt, we laugh at ourselves a lot(!), the flexibility to collaborate and solve problems with little fuss or fanfare, and owns themselves (beliefs, behaviors, choices etc.) we're not victim nor perpetrator. We strive for win-win outcomes free from thinking errors. All while remaining curious and open about the perspectives of others, taking opportunities to expand our insight and understanding of other, and usually giving the benefit of the doubt, though remaining accurately aware of others intents and motives also. A Secure chooses vulnerability in revealing ourselves honestly, freely and appropriately sharing ourselves. We are free to give, of ourselves, our time, our resources to strangers and family alike, without expectations or strings. The legitimate caring of a Secure is truly a gift to be treasured
It is readily apparent by the posts I've read on this forum, many folks have sought diligently for insight, understanding, and personal growth.....truly remarkable!