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Ambivalent Attachment Style: Is It a Recipe for Heartbreak?

The ambivalent attachment style is just how it sounds! Ambivalent about the feelings and emotions of the person they are in a relationship with.

ambivalent attachment style

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone where you constantly reach out only to find nothing coming back your way? The ambivalent attachment style is when someone seemingly doesn’t care very much about people in their lives.

Their MO is they need no one and no one should need them. In fact, your insistence to try to get close, irritates and feels overbearing to them. They are ambivalent about the people around them and pretend they want to live solo. If you are someone who desires to attach to them, it brings you nothing but heartache. [Read: 13 ways to get away from a toxic love]

20 hints you’re with an ambivalent attachment style partner

People with the ambivalent attachment style come across as the mysterious, bad, or tough guy or the untamable woman. Being in a relationship with them is a recipe for disaster.

Constantly trying to get to their “real self,” you dig away at something while the dirt keeps falling in. You won’t ever get where you want to be with them. There is a glitch that can’t be unglitched.

The rough exterior is not an exterior. It is a learned way of attaching to people in life, usually born out of parents were ambivalent toward their child. It is who they are, and they aren’t going to change. Instead of prying your way in, move along to someone who wants to attach to you as much as you want to attach to them.

Keep an eye out for these 20 hints of the ambivalent attachment style personality.

#1 “I don’t care” crosses their lips about everyone and everything. The person with an ambivalent attachment style’s favorite phrase about everything is “I don’t care.” It isn’t an act. They really don’t care. They learned a long time ago that caring got them nowhere but rejection from their parent or guardian. [Read: The right way to let go of a relationship that’s bad for you]

#2 They seemingly don’t care about anyone but themselves. The world is about being solo and taking care of numero uno. You can’t blame them. It is what they learned in their formative years. [Read: 15 ways to spot selfish people and keep them from hurting you]

#3 Asking for help goes against what they believe. It isn’t that they are selfish and just want your attention and give you none in return. They literally want nothing from you and to give you none of themselves. You have you. They have them, period.

#4 Your need to be near them is irritating. To the person with an ambivalent attachment style, someone needing or wanting them is highly irritating. They see the need for others, or the need to be attached to someone else, as annoying and needless.

#5 Alone is better than with you. It isn’t just you. The person with the ambivalent attachment style rather sits out on the porch alone, drinking and looking through their phone rather than “talking shit” with anyone. Loners through and through, they really just don’t have much to contribute or desire to share.

#6 They are great at small talk, but feelings are out of the question. The thing that first attracts you to the ambivalent attachment style is how they talk to anyone.

But, what you might not notice until you find yourself bottomed out and wondering why they won’t talk to you, they like to talk to people about surface things. Conversation is all about things that don’t matter and have no emotion for the other person. [Read: The shallow traits of a superficial person]

#7 Their parental relationship is very odd and they act uncomfortable with them. Because they learn the way to attach to others from their parents or guardians, with their parents, things seem awkward and tense. It is like two opposing energies pushing each other away instead of an attachment style where people want to be attracted to one another.

#8 They cling to insignificant people and ignore the ones they are supposed to be in a relationship with. The hardest part about being in a relationship with someone like this is that all you want is their love and connection, and they appear to give it to everyone else but you.

Avoiding your neediness at any costs, it appears to the one being shut out they aren’t worthy of love and care.

#9 They are ambivalent about your emotions. You can sit in front of an ambivalent partner and cry your heart out. They remain impervious to it. Tears are something they not only don’t understand, but they also don’t care about them, nor does it make them feel any empathy for you.

#10 Continually harp on you to control your emotions while they show none. If you constantly hear “you can’t control your emotions” from your partner, then there is a good likelihood you are with a person with the ambivalent attachment style.

For most people, the more you are ignored, the louder you become. Before you know it, you are overly emotional about everything in your attempt to gain a response. If that describes you in your current relationship, you probably try to attach to someone who isn’t attaching back. [Read: 10 signs you’re dating a self-obsessed narcissist]

#11 The minute you do get close, they shut you down. It leaves you always wanting to get back in. Once you start to get close to the ambivalent person, they shut you down.

But, it is too late, you got a glimpse of what it is like to be attached to them. And, like a drug, you forever chase the illusion that you can get close again.

#12 They are very low on empathy. Since they think they don’t need to connect, they care very little about the concerns of anyone else.

Someone with ambivalence about attaching to others is typically out for themselves. They can’t walk a day in another person’s shoes.

#13 The more you chase, the quicker they run. You can’t break your way into their heart as hard as you try. In fact, the more you try to appeal to them and get close, the quicker they run.

Most often, it feels like a continual run/chase marathon that never gets you or them anywhere, except maybe a ride to hell.

#14 They have a stream of failed relationships in their past that typically end the same way. If you think you have a hard time getting close to them in a loving relationship, take a look at their previous relationships.

If their failed relationships left people in ruins, it is a sign you are not the first person they treated with indifference and bottomed out emotionally. Their past love life indicates how they treat the person they are with. [Read: 10 unassuming signs you’re dating a jerk]

#15 To outsiders they seem aloof and closed. The tough person exterior isn’t just for you. This person seems cold and aloof to everyone around them. Often sullen, they want and need no connection to anyone. They are in it alone and just fine with it.

#16 When things become emotionally charged they are out the door. The minute you need them the most, they can’t be out the door fast enough. Not wanting to get drug into your drama, the person with an ambivalent attachment style isn’t going to be sucked into your misfortune or coddle you.

They are their own person and only take care of themselves and their own needs.

#17 If you cry and need comfort, do not look to them to provide it. One of the hardest things is they really don’t want to provide you with support or even get involved when you hurt the most.

The first sign of trouble is the when they say adios. Out the door they go, leaving you feeling alone and on your own. [Read: How to pull back in a relationship when you’re giving too much]

#18 They want to be in a relationship, but only if it requires no feelings on their part. A relationship void of feelings or emotions is what they desire. That is why they have a ton of “friends” they hang out with but don’t really ever spend any time with the person they profess to love.

They want to be in a relationship, but only if it doesn’t require any real concern or give and take.

#19 Confusion over why you are upset with them. They are completely befuddled about why you are always upset with them. They feel like all you do is tell them they aren’t good enough.

They make you feel like you ask way too much to simply be loved. Before you know it, you beg for them to love and care about you. They read it as you are upset with them and can’t take the “abuse” from you. [Read: The impact of insecure attachments in relationships]

#20 Few displays of affection occur with the ambivalent attachment style individual. PDA is not something they will engage in. You might get a superficial hug, but if you want that deeply seated kind that says, “I love and am concerned about you,” you look to the wrong person.

Everyone’s attachment style to the world and people around them differs. People develop their attachment style early on by the way they connect to their parents.

It isn’t that someone with the ambivalent attachment style can’t change. But, if you are in a relationship where you feel like you can’t break the barrier, I hate to say it, you probably won’t. It’s like banging your head against the wall. No, it is not a rough exterior, it is hard as rock. You only lose yourself trying to get them to be your partner.

It isn’t about you, or that they don’t want to be with you. They don’t know how to attach or even realize the benefit.

[Read: The 4 attachment styles impact upon your relationships]

If you are in a relationship with someone with an ambivalent attachment style who refuses to attach to you, it is time to find someone who, when you reach out to them, they reach back.

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Julie Keating
A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined in...
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