What’s The Window Of Time To Get Back A Fearful Avoidant?

Question: Did I miss the window of time to get a fearful avoidant back?

Yangki, I read so much about a fearful avoidant attachment and watched so many YouTube videos and everyone said to do no contact. He wanted to be friends, but I said I can’t just be his friend because I love him. I asked for complete 100% no contact for 3 weeks (21 days) because that’s what one coach advised. I think this triggered him because he sent 3 texts within like a minute. The first said, “What for?”, then “a sad emoji” and the last one said, “Okay. So be it”. Next he blocked me, unfollowed me and all my family members.

Fast forward, I reached out 3 weeks later from a number he had not blocked me on and he did not respond. I reached out again two weeks later and still no response. I have since reached out 4 more times and he has not responded. It’s 4 months since the breakup, a mutual friend showed me something he posted 10 days after blocking me about him going out on dates and meeting amazing, beautiful women. My guess is he is done with me. To be honest, I wish I never did no contact and triggered his fear of abandonment. What do you think?  Did I miss my chance to get hm back by gong no contact even if it was only 21 days? Do you think he will miss me later on and reach out?

Yangki’s Answer: You are right that asking for no contact for 3 weeks triggered him and sent him into deactivation, and he’s probably even detached. Him wanting to be friends may have been his way of leaving the door open to get back together at some point. I can’t say for sure that he would have come back if you had not gone no contact, but I can say for sure that going no contact didn’t help. Initially it made him anxious as indicated by his three texts. He went from questioning your decision to go contact to resigning to it and to protesting it by blocking and unfollowing you and all your my family members. Now he may have leaned more avoidant to the point that he’s not responding all of your attempts to re-open the lines of communication.

Did you miss the crucial window of time to get him back? Yes, you missed the 1 – 3 months crucial window of time to get back a fearful avoidant ex. This is the time most fearful avoidants who lean anxious lean even more anxious before they lean more avoidant or dismissive. Forcing no contact on a fearful avoidant ex can heighten their fear of abandonment and shorten the crucial window of time between when they learn anxious to when they lean more avoidant.

Does missing the crucial window of time to get a fearful avoidant ex back mean that you lost your chance for ever? No. It just means it’s going to be harder to get back a fearful avoidant who leans more avoidant (see my article: How fearful avoidants come back).

In your case, where he’s leaned so avoidant and there’s been no contact for 4 months, getting him back all depends on him reaching out first. This is the risk of going no contact with someone who already has a fear of rejection and abandonment, doesn’t trust other people will be there for them when things get rough and doesn’t trust their own instincts or feelings. When you go no contact, how does a fearful avoidant ex know that you will reach out again? When you block them and block all access to you, how do they know you’re not moving on? How do they know you’re still thinking about them and want them back if you’re acting like they never meant anything to you?

Put yourself in your ex’s shoes, what would you have done if you asked someone if you can still be in their life in some way, said they said no and slammed the door in your face? You may even find that like most fearful avoidants, your ex he didn’t wan to break-up or didn’t know how he would feel in a few weeks (maybe regret the break-up), but felt that breaking up at the time was something he had to do because he was so overwhelmed and didn’t have the ability to do a relationship. This may be why he still wanted to be friends (see how he would feel without the pressure of being in a relationship), but you took the break-up personally as something that was done to you rather than something the other person had to do for themselves.

This is one of the biggest differences between secure and insecure attachment. People with an insecure attachment often take a break-up as an evaluation of their value as a partner or even value as a person and even although many will not admit it, no contact is in many ways an insecure reaction to feeling not wanted; if I’m not around, will they miss me?

And if you have a fear of abandonment, a break-up can feel like abandonment. You will react to feeling abandoned with rejecting any kind of contact or even being friends. Why should you give your ex the comfort of your presence when the break-up meant they didn’t want you in their life?

The irony is that it’s possible your ex felt the same way when he asked to be friends and you responded with going no contact. Why should he now give you what you want when he wanted to keep the lines of communication open and you rejected it?

Unfortunately, insecure behaviour triggers insecure behaviour. He triggered your fear of rejection by breaking up and it made you go no contact. You triggered his fear of rejection and abandonment by rejecting his offer to be friends and going no contact. He pulled away and hasn’t responded to all your reach outs, which is likely triggering your fear of rejection and/or abandonment.

One person in the dynamic has to recognize the unhealthy pattern and put a stop to it for any relationship to work, let alone be safe.

RELATED:

How Anxious Attachment Come Back – Crucial Window Of Time

3 Ways No Contact Hurts Your Chances (Attachment Styles)

This Is How An Avoidant Ex Reacts To You After No Contact

How A Fearful Avoidant Ex Comes Back – A Detailed Analysis

Do Avoidants Prefer A Situationship To A Relationship?

How Long Does It Take An Avoidant To Come Back? (FA vs. DA)

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