Avoidant Exes Who Respond But Never Initiate Texts (What to Do)

It’s always a good sign when an avoidant ex responds to your texts and even a better sign when they’re initiating texts. It means that your avoidant ex is emotionally invested in keeping the lines of communication open. But when an avoidant always responds but never intimates any texts, it is discouraging to put it mildly. And I’m not even talking about getting an avoidant ex to talk about what happened that led to the breakup or about getting back together, I’m talking about simple everyday communication like how are you?, how’s your day, what plans do you have for the week type of communication.

An ex who wants the other back often initiates communication

In the initial stages of getting back with an ex, the one who wants the other back is going to do most of the initiating contact and sustaining conversations. It doesn’t matter if you are the dumper or dumpee, this is true for over 90% of all people trying to get back their ex. The one with more investment in getting back together doe most of the work of keeping the lines of communication open.

In my experience, this stage of the process where you are the one doing most of the work of keeping the lines of communication open takes 4 – 6 weeks. As things pick up, most exes start initiating texts and making an effort to sustain conversations. But when you’re dealing with an avoidant, it takes months for them to start initiating texts. How long depends on an avoidant ex’s emotional investment, how much you have in common, your ability to emotionally connect and/or sustain a conversation long enough to build up momentum.

Until that time when an avoidant starts initiating texts on their own, you can actually do a few things to make sure that things keep moving forward.

1. Become OK with initiating contact

What helps is understanding that most avoidants, especially dismissive avoidants are not talkers, don’t like small talk (chit-chat) and don’t like texting back and forth for hours. they are therefore not going to give you the long responses you want or initiate conversations or ask questions. for a period of 4 – 8 or more weeks, find ways to become okay with initiating all contacts, trying to start conversations, asking questions etc.

In other words, do what securely attached would do. When you are securely attached, you do not need (keyword here is “need”), the other person to reassure you that they want to be with you. Fear that others don’t want to be with you and constantly validation that they want to be with you, care about you or miss you is an anxious attachment styles programming that you need to unlearn.

Securely attached have confidence that they’re have value and do not base their value or their happiness on other people’s actions. They do not need someone to miss them or prove that they want to be with them. For someone securely attached, what matters is, do they enjoy talking to someone and if so, then there is benefit in keeping the lines of communication and that’s enough for them.

If later on they see no benefit to themselves, they will ask for what they need and if that doesn’t work, they’ll walk away. The two things securely attached don’t do is get all emotionally worked up and frustrated by things they don’t and can’t control, and/or let other people’s actions dictate how they feel.

2. Ask for what you need

If after 8 – 10 weeks of you initiating all contact and things are in a relatively stable place – an avoidant ex is responding consistently, even it takes them days to respond, and they’re negating more in conversation (there’s momentum), it’s okay to ask for what you need.

Asking an avoidant ex for what you need is a very vulnerable thing to do because you risk making them feel pressured and/or pushing them away. But as you become more secure, you come to the realization that you and no one else is responsible for your needs, and asking for your needs to be met is your responsibility.

There’s a very big difference between asking for what you need and complaining about what you aren’t getting (which is an anxious default way of asking for a need to be met). Asking for a need to be met is proactive and forward looking, complaining is reactive. Being proactive about asking for your needs to be met requires for you to be sure of what your needs, understand what’s in your control and what’s not, and be able to negotiate your needs vs. your avoidant needs and come to a compromise that makes both of you feel comfortable, safe and secure in your interactions.

3. Be ready to walk away

If an ex comes back, you want to be sure they came back because they want to be with you and not because you were so desperate and tricked them (and yourself) into a relationship with you. Most of the time you end up with the person, but still feel insecure because you know they wouldn’t have come back if you hadn’t tricked, manipulated or play reverse psychology to get them to want to be with them.

If after 2 plus months of you initiating all communication and there is still no sign that your avoidant ex is putting any effort to keep the lines of communication open and/or things are getting worse rather than better, you might want to reconsider if trying to get an avoidant ex back is worth the effort or even what is right for you.

I tell my clients, being secure is not about finding ways to excuse, tolerate or fix avoidant behaviour, being secure is about making sure that both people (including you) feel comfortable, safe and secure in your interactions or connection.

Sometimes it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with either of you. Sometimes it’s bad timing or not the right time for either one or both of you, and sometimes you are not right for each other. You may be right for someone else, and your avoidant ex may be right for someone else, just not the two of you right together.

That said, walking away from someone you still love should be something you are absolutely sure is your only option.

1) First try to find fulfillment in initiating texts and just enjoying connection as an end in its’ self (and without worrying that an avoidant doesn’t want contact, isn’t missing you, isn’t interested in you, is having ther cake and eating it too etc., or trying to rush things to getting back together.

2) Create a healthy environment in which to negotiate your needs so both of you are happy with keeping the lines of communication open. Then give time for your avoidant ex to show that they want to meet your needs. Don’t ask for an avoidant to do something that’s outside the character of their attachment and expect immediate results. And when they try to meet you need, don’t focus on how they’re not doing a good job meeting your need, try to recognize their effort and reinforce those moments.

3) Only after you’ve done the above and an avoidant ex is still only responding and never initiating texts do you walk away knowing that you did everything within you power and control, and it didn’t work.


When Does A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Reach Out?

Why Avoidant Exes Only Respond To Some Of Your Texts

What To Avoid In A Check-In Text To An Avoidant Ex

How Long Should I Wait To Check-in On My Avoidant Ex?

My Ex Replies To My Texts With Cold And Distant Short Answers

How to Deal With A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Slow Replies

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