When Does A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Reach Out?

When does an avoidant ex reach out? Based on my (decades long) experience helping exes get back together:

  • If your ex is a fearful avoidant, there is a 50-50% chance they will reach out first; fearful avoidants are after all anxious-avoidants. One part of them craves connection but the other part fears it, especially after a break-up.
  • If a fearful avoidant leans anxious, the chances of them reaching out first are much higher, even as high as 80%. When they reach out is another story.
  • If a fearful avoidant leans avoidant, the chances of them reaching out are much lower.
  • If your ex is a dismissive avoidant or a fearful avoidant heavily leaning dismissive after the break-up, the chances of them reaching out are 0% – 10%.

Dismissive avoidants exes are less likely to reach out to an ex after the breakup, but more likely to want to maintain some type of superficial contact or be friends after the break-up. But even dismissive avoidants exes who maintain contact or want to be friends don’t often reach out first.

There are exceptions on when a dismissive avoidant ex will reach out first after a breakup:

  • If a dismissive avoidant feels some kind of guilt for dumping you – They may reach out first to make sure you are doing okay, for damage control (if they care about what you think of them) and to absolve their guilt. Guilt is a motivating factor for a dismissive avoidant thinks about why they treated you the way they did, the more guilt they have and the more likely that they’ll feel reach out and even apologize.
  • If a dismissive avoidant dumper thinks a reasonable time has passed – You’ve dealt with your emotions, (they don’t have to deal with an emotional you) and maybe they can try to establish some kind of friendship. They usually wait for you to reach out first because this indicates to them that you’ve self-regulated, healed and/or moved on.
  • If a dismissive avoidant had developed and still have an attachment to you.

A dismissive avoidant ex reaching out because they still have an attachment to you is a better indicator of the chances of them coming back, than if they’re reaching out because they feel guilty for breaking up with you, or just checking in to see if you are ready to open the lines of communication.

For some dismissive avoidants, it’s the first time they felt someone understood what they needed and met their attachment needs or at least some of them and it may also be the first time they genuinely reciprocated the love, care and support they’re receiving.

Reaching out after the breakup is a dismissive avoidant acknowledging that they have an attachment to you that’s more than superficial. They’ve made a calculation that reaching out and trying to establish some kind of relationship far outweighs the risk of you thinking they need you ( but only if a dismissive avoidant is the dumper). A dismissive avoidant dumper can afford to risk you thinking they need you because they know that you know that if you try to use them reaching out first to control or manipulate them, they’ll dump you, again.

A dismissive avoidant ex who was dumped is less likely to reach out first. First, they don’t want you to think that you dumped them, they missed you or can’t live without you and they’re reaching out because they need you to be happy. Secondly, most dismissive avoidants know that they are hard to be in a relationship with, that’s why they tell you from the start not to get too attached, to expect them to hurt you or tell you they’re not looking for a serious relationship. They are aware that they have a problem opening up and being vulnerable, are afraid of commitment, push people away when they get too close and value their independence and alone time than they value relationships. Knowing all these about themselves, the majority of dismissive avoidants are not surprised when someone dumps them.

A dismissive avoidant who was dumped for being a dismissive avoidant will not reach out because they don’t expect anything to change. You are still going to be frustrated and unhappy with who they are, and they’re still going to value their independence and alone time more than they value the relationship.

A dismissive avoidant reached out, now what?

Given the chances of a dismissive avoidant reaching out are 0-10%, it’s normal to get excited when a dismissive avoidant ex reaches out. Respond to their bid for connection, but don’t overread into the fact that a dismissive avoidant ex reached out. Take things slow and try to better understand why your dismissive avoidant ex reached out.

  • Are they just checking in to make sure you are okay because they still have feelings and doing damage control, or do they feel guilty and only want to feel that they made it up to you by reaching out?
  • Did a dismissive avoidant dumper genuinely miss you or miss the attachment resources the relationship provided and looking for another round of a non-attached superficial relationship??
    Are they going to invest in the connection even if it’s just being friends or being friends first, or is a dismissive avoidant dumper as usually going to let you make all the effort?
  • Can the two of you come to a compromise that meets a dismissive avoidant’s needs and makes them feel safe, and also meets your needs and makes you feel safe?


What Are The Dismissive Avoidant Breakup Stages?

When Do Dismissive Avoidants Begin Longing For Ex?

How To Respond When An Avoidant Ex Reaches Out (Bids)

What Triggers A Highly Independent Avoidant Ex? (What to Do)

Why An Avoidant Lost Feelings They Had After The Breakup

How Does Being Friends Help Get an Avoidant Ex Back?

Do Avoidants Distance From An Ex They Still Love?

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