Today we’re going to talk about if fearful avoidants ever come back after a breakup. Believe it or not the answer to that question is a little bit complicated.
We have found that on average a fearful avoidant will not initiate a reconnection with you. However, there is a window of time where they do consider it and if you time it right you can get them to come back if that’s what you want.
So, what I’d like to do is really talk through what a fearful avoidant is and how they handle breakups so you can learn everything about them.
Let’s get started.
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Why Avoidants Rarely Come Back On Their Own After A Breakup
One thing you need to learn about people with avoidant attachment styles is that they typically don’t like things that make them feel overly vulnerable.
In my last article on this I talked a lot about how we are seeing breakups occur during “tipping points”
- You ask for them to be relationship official
- You ask them for clarification on when marriage is going to happen
- You ask them to move in together
- You buy a house together
- You have a child together
- You get engaged
- You get married
The tipping points all have to do with deeper commitments and certainly the fearful avoidant will get scared during them.
Yet here’s perhaps the greatest insight I can leave you with an avoidant.
They literally prefer to be broken up with you. They understand they need emotional support but the confines of a relationship scare them. A part of them enjoys existing in a constant state of rejection and distance from you.
Here’s perhaps the greatest insight I can leave you with what we’ve learned about fearful avoidants.
They would rather be broken up with you and use you for emotional support because it makes them feel safe but there’s also no threat of a relationship ever happening. It’s a one sided arrangement where they get what they lack, emotional support, but you get used.
Of course, I mentioned above that there is a period where they do consider coming back.
What’s that all about?
Understanding The Nostalgia Factor
Probably the best video I’ve ever recorded on this one where I talk exclusively about something I’ve been calling the nostalgia factor.
Here’s how it works.
It’s true that the fearful avoidant prefers to keep you at an arms length because it makes them feel comfortable. However, an interesting thing happens when they’ve kept you at arms length long enough.
If they literally do it for a long enough period of time and they believe that there’s no chance of reconnection ever happening it’s at that point that they allow themselves to feel nostalgia.
Have you ever heard of the peak-end rule?
It posits that we aren’t great at remembering the “whole” of an experience. Instead we make these quick calculations and remember the “peak” moments and the “end” moments.
Of course, if there aren’t any great “peak” moments that could be a major problem but what tends to happen is that once the avoidant has this nostalgia wave they’ll think back to those peak moments.
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And if you reach out and try to reconnect then they’re a lot more agreeable.
But that’s why I’ve always found it a little ridiculous when people claim that you can get an ex back “no matter what.” Or they’ll go on and on about how “timing” doesn’t matter when our research has shown that it clearly does.
Understanding The Fearful Avoidants Idea Of A Perfect Relationship
You may have noticed that a fearful avoidant has a tendency to jump from rebound relationship to rebound relationship as a type of coping mechanism.
But if you understood what the fearful avoidants idea of a perfect relationship looks like it’ll begin to make more sense.
- They crave passion (honeymoon period)
- They crave transparency (their anxious side)
- Any tiny breach of trust is enough for them to throw the relationship away (again their anxious side coming out)
Let’s tackle the craving for passion. One of the reasons a fearful avoidant will tend to have a rocky relationship history is because they are constantly chasing honeymoon period experience after honeymoon period experience.
They crave that passion and chemical spike that you get during the honeymoon period. This is often why their relationship history doesn’t have a lot of long term commitments.
Yet at the same time the fearful avoidant will often demand transparency throughout the relationship. Here we see their anxious side coming out. I’ve ever seen situations where the smallest breach of trust like getting caught in a small lie has led to the demise of a relationship.
It’s important to remember that they break up with you to protect themselves.
Such a volatile relationship history will often do a number on their preconceived notions of what healthy relationships look like and this is rooted in their childhood.
I feel it’s important to give some background on how the average fearful attachment style is created.
How The Fearful Avoidant Attachment Style Is Created
If you’ve done any type of research on attachment styles you’ll have learned that all attachment styles are formed during childhood.
The fearful avoidant is a special case though.
Often their parents will have created an environment where mixed signals were common. At times they will have been overly affectionate. Other times they will have potentially failed to provide the child with even the most basic needs.
Such a volatile upbringing will teach the child that this is how all relationships should be. They’ll realize over time that they need to learn to fulfill their own needs.
It’s easy to sit back and blame the parents of the child but more often than not they’ll have the same working framework for how attachments should be developed and they’re just projecting what they know onto their children.
And around and around the cycle goes.
So, what actually works on a fearful avoidant assuming you want to get back with them?
The Secure Attachment Gravity Concept
Most of the work we do on Ex Boyfriend Recovery can be boiled down into one simple concept.
Help our clients achieve more secure attachments.
This has a pronounced effect on our overall success rate because we have noticed that secure attachments tend to pull other attachment styles more towards them.
So, if an anxious person is in a relationship with a secure person they can kind of learn what a secure attachment looks like. After all, I’ve long been a proponent for the fact that attachment styles are fluid instead of fixed.
So, what does a secure attachment style look like?
Someone who is secure is comfortable resolving conflicts, addressing relationship challenges openly and non-defensively, comfortable with both intimacy and independence, able to show sympathy to avoidant behaviors and give the avoidant partner the space they need without pressure, but also confident articulating their needs and able to draw clear boundaries against mistreatment.
What can happen is that when a fearful attachment style is paired with a secure attachment is that they begin to learn how relationships should actually be and you’ll find that fearful attachment can slowly move towards being more secure themselves.
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After all, we learn attachment behaviors through others.
Of course, the opposite can also be true. Remember, our attachment styles are fluid and being secure and fearful are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Generally when these two partners pair up one of three things will happen.
- The fearful person will take on more secure traits.
- The secure person will take on more fearful traits.
- The secure person will leave recognizing the fearful person is too much work
So, let’s recap everything we’ve talked about so far.
Trying to understand fearful avoidants is always a difficult thing. Especially when you look at if they ever come back after a breakup. The truth is so complicated. Here’s what we know for sure.
- The avoidant will probably not be the initiator in asking for you back because doing so makes them feel vulnerable
- They revel in the early stages of a romance (a la the honeymoon period)
- Deeper forms of connection frighten them which causes them to…
- Jump from rebound relationship to rebound relationship as a coping mechanism
- Eventually they do have a bout of nostalgia where they think about getting back together but they will rarely act on it.
- If you want a reconnection to occur then you’re probably going to have to be the one to reach out.
- Don’t consider reaching out until you are certain your attachment style has veered towards more secure territory.
- Why? Simply put it’s because the only way you’re going to have a healthy relationship is if you employ secure attachment gravity
Boy that’s complicated, right?
Let me know if you have any questions. Simply leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.
Will a fearful avoidant ex come back? ›
We have found that on average a fearful avoidant will not initiate a reconnection with you. However, there is a window of time where they do consider it and if you time it right you can get them to come back if that's what you want.What makes a fearful avoidant come back? ›
Fearful avoidants usually back out of relationships because they feel overwhelmed, unheard, or distrustful. If you're considering getting back together, the best solution is to sit down with your partner and nail down exactly what went wrong.Do fearful Avoidants reach out after breakup? ›
The truth is, we've found that most exes who are avoidant will usually not reach out to an ex on their own accord because it usually triggers two things within them; A feeling of trauma and vulnerability that they aren't comfortable with.How does a fearful avoidant feel after a breakup? ›
"Fearful avoidant attachment individuals will probably feel like they 'deserve' the breakup, that it was inevitable, and they aren't likely to follow up with questions or to try to reignite the relationship," says Holland. They may be despondent one day, and cold and disconnected the next.How long does it take for fearful avoidant to come back? ›
You have to give it that time of three to four weeks in order for them to start to feel those emotions for you again and actually get back into their activated state.Does no contact work on a fearful avoidant? ›
A fearful avoidant during no contact acts slightly differently from other attachment styles. Going no contact with them can become extremely distracting and often requires a lot of discipline. The fearful-avoidant does not express remorse or sadness over heartbreak in the initial weeks of the breakup.How do you tell if a fearful avoidant wants you back? ›
- They are consistent – Consistency for a fearful avoidant is not reaching out every day or even every other day, though this may happen with an anxious fearful avoidant ex. ...
- They're putting in the effort – and want you to know they're trying.
At this point, you may be wondering: will an avoidant miss you? The thing is, when you're patient enough to give them a lot of time and space, they will initially get back to their everyday life. They will neither miss you nor demand time or attention from you.Do fearful avoidants come back after ghosting? ›
Avoidants do sometimes cycle back around to those they have shut out, disappeared on, and ignored. However, just because they come back this doesn't mean this is a viable relationship.Do fearful avoidants move on quickly? ›
The fearful avoidant will typically appear to move on from you quickly. The fearful avoidant will still think you're available for them even after a breakup. Don't expect the fearful avoidant to initiate contact.
Do fearful Avoidants have Rebounds? ›
One of the hard truths is that a lot of times a fearful avoidant will attempt to cope with rebound after rebound after rebound. They're very subject to rebounds because they have that anxious side of them. They can fall victim to that honeymoon phase.Do fearful Avoidants withdraw? ›
Individuals with fearful avoidant attachment are a combination of the preoccupied and dismissive-avoidant styles of insecure attachment. They believe they are unlovable and also don't trust other people to support and accept them. Because they think others will eventually reject them, they withdraw from relationships.Do fearful Avoidants fear abandonment? ›
People with this type of attachment style fear being abandoned. They also fear feeling trapped in a relationship. That makes them oscillate between emotional highs and lows. It may prevent a meaningful relationship in the long term.How long do fearful Avoidants pull away? ›
So a lot of the times you'll see them recover within the next three to five days so leaving them alone is really a great way to deal with the situation. Of course, it's always easier said than done especially when many of our clients have anxious attachment styles.Do fearful Avoidants Miss ex? ›
Ultimately there are six phases that a fearful avoidant will go through after a breakup and yes, missing you will happen, but again, it's a matter of when and not if.Should I text my fearful avoidant ex? ›
If your fearful avoidant ex regularly pulls away for a few days at a time, wait for them to reach out or respond. If it's more than 4 days since you heard from them, send a check-in text. A fearful avoidant leaning anxious will probably need more check-ins.Do fearful avoidants regret breaking up? ›
The fearful avoidant will typically go through a period of euphoria after a breakup due to their newfound freedom from the confines of the relationship. However, that doesn't mean they won't eventually regret the breakup.Do fearful Avoidants isolate? ›
People with avoidant attachment styles are more likely to feel alone in their experience of the world, according to new research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. The study also provides evidence that feeling existentially isolated is a distinct phenomenon from loneliness.Will an avoidant reach out after no contact? ›
They're always looking for the red flags, and they will find them, so when you go no contact with the dismissive avoidant, don't expect them to reach out to you. They won't text you because likely when you were in a relationship with them, you were the one to initiate most of the contact.What pushes a fearful-avoidant away? ›
Because Fearful-Avoidant people lack access to internal resources to self-soothe, they compulsively reach out for connection when they experience negative emotional states. Once connection is established, however, the Fearful-Avoidant person starts to feel trapped, so they compulsively push people away.
What hurts a fearful-avoidant? ›
A fearful-avoidant will assume the pieces of the puzzle they arent provided and create their own story. Lying, stealing, cheating, and obvious large-scale issues are big triggers.Will a fearful avoidant ever commit? ›
They struggle with commitment
Someone with a fearful avoidant attachment style may find it very difficult to commit to someone. They tend to both seek out connection and closeness while simultaneously trying to avoid getting into a serious relationship.
For a person with this anxious attachment style, romantic relationships are a source of massive ambivalence. They can come off as clingy and needy. Then, all of a sudden, they run away at the first sign of true intimacy. It can be confusing for both the fearfully avoidant person and their partner.Do fearful avoidants want you to chase them? ›
Fearful avoidants both want and fear intimacy. So they seek closeness. But once they do, their fear of intimacy and attachment kicks in and they suddenly feel the need to escape, and this is when they need you to chase them.How do Avoidants deal with breakups? ›
Avoidants will use many justifications (to themselves as well as others) to avoid exposing these basic truths. They have fewer break-up regrets and feel relieved at leaving their partner, but will then seek out someone the same.Do fearful Avoidants need reassurance? ›
A person with a fearful avoidant attachment style may crave closeness and reassurance from their partner, fearing that they will abandon them. In another instance, they may begin to feel trapped or afraid of how close they are with their partner and attempt to distance themselves.Do fearful avoidants apologize? ›
According to Schumann and Orehek, avoidant individuals were less likely to offer a comprehensive apology. Instead, they were defensive, prone to justify their behavior, blame the other person and make excuses.Do fearful Avoidants suffer? ›
At core, people with fearful-avoidant personalities are suffering from relationship insecurity—an instilled belief that people in your life are going to reject or leave you, just like your earliest caregivers or loved ones did.Do fearful Avoidants dissociate? ›
It's often normal for avoidant people to dissociate. It's a strategy to down regulate activation in the nervous system and to create space in the connection when it feels like too much.What happens when you stop chasing fearful avoidant? ›
Dismissive avoidants grow up to become distant, unapologetic, and selfish. They might never come back to you if you stopped chasing them. They choose to have countless flings/one-night stands/casual dating because they think it's impossible to fall in love and commit to the person.
Does my fearful avoidant ex miss me? ›
At this point, you may be wondering: will an avoidant miss you? The thing is, when you're patient enough to give them a lot of time and space, they will initially get back to their everyday life. They will neither miss you nor demand time or attention from you.Will fearful avoidant regret? ›
We already know that regret for a fearful avoidant doesn't come until they feel safe to feel regret. Usually that means “you've moved on to someone else” or you haven't talked to them in a long time. The problem we see with most of our clients is their inability to control their anxious behaviors.Do avoidant exes return? ›
In my opinion, dismissive avoidants usually won't come back to you unless they are given enough time to begin “longing” for you and even then they tend to like fawning after you from afar. So, most people don't ever think their dismissive avoidant ex wants them back because there are no “big” signs.Do Avoidants return after no contact? ›
Avoidants do sometimes cycle back around to those they have shut out, disappeared on, and ignored. However, just because they come back this doesn't mean this is a viable relationship.What pushes a fearful avoidant away? ›
Because Fearful-Avoidant people lack access to internal resources to self-soothe, they compulsively reach out for connection when they experience negative emotional states. Once connection is established, however, the Fearful-Avoidant person starts to feel trapped, so they compulsively push people away.What do Avoidants do after a breakup? ›
Avoidants will use many justifications (to themselves as well as others) to avoid exposing these basic truths. They have fewer break-up regrets and feel relieved at leaving their partner, but will then seek out someone the same.How do you make a fearful avoidant miss you? ›
Give them space when they pull away.
Avoidants need lots of space to feel comfortable in a relationship. Since they're afraid of commitment, spending too much time with them will make them feel smothered. When they start to grow distant, respect their need for time apart, even though it might be hard.
Now you'd think that someone who becomes overly attached to individuals will jump from relationship to relationship after a breakup, but that's actually not the case. Interestingly, if your ex had an anxious attachment style, they have the highest probability of coming back to you and not being able to let go.