If you’re trying to attract back a dismissive avoidant, you probably want to know, how much do you text a dismissive avoidant ex and how much space do you give them.
How much much space you give an ex depends on their attachment style. A secure relationship is where there is some kind balance of heathy closeness and healthy space, however, some attachment styles need more closeness and some attachment styles need more space. The key is figuring out your ex’s attachment style and give them the right balance of space and closeness – when to reach out and when to give them space, and how much.
This article is about how to give space to a dismissive avoidant when they deactivate.
Most dismissive avoidants don’t process break-ups and simply shut down all emotions, they therefore don’t need no contact to “get their emotions in check.” But you might need to get your own emotions in check in order to cope with your dismissive avoidant’s cold and distant responses, and long periods of time between contacts.
After the break-up, dismissive avoidants purposefully create space between contacts or text messages to avoid dealing with an ex’s emotions and/or talking about the break-up. They may want to keep the lines of communication open and immediately offer “being friends” to avoid the two of you going no contact.
Sometimes a dismissive avoidant will keep the lines of communication open because they’re concerned about you and want to know you’re okay and sometimes they want to keep you around so they don’t feel lonely. Other times, a dismissive avoidant ex is not sure they want you back and need time to figure it out but they don’t want to lose contact. They know that once you lose contact they will not think of you or their feelings for you will completely die, but they also don’t want to give you hope. This means that things will move a lot slower, and a dismissive avoidant ex will need a lot more space between contacts.
How much space do you give a dismissive avoidant who deactivated?
The first place to start is to figure out if your dismissive avoidant wants no contact, is taking their time to respond or is deactivated.
You can only figure out what is what by reaching out because dismissive avoidants usually don’t reach out first.
In the initial stages of trying to get them back, give a dismissive avoidant lots of space. This does not mean that after the break-up dismissive avoidants want no contact, they just want contacts spaced farther apart.
Reach out once or twice a week and build up contact based on how quickly they respond and their level of engagement. Less engagement means a dismissive avoidant ex needs more space, and more engagement means they need less space and you should therefore reach out more. As things pick up and there’s flow of communication, dismissive avoidants start to feel the emotions that they’d numbed down, and reach out more. But if you wait too long to reach out, they completely detach from the emotions and from you, and move on.
If a dismissive avoidant is responding and engaged and then pulls away for a few days then reaches out, or is responding but not initiating contact, they probably just need space to regulate their emotions and feel safe again. See if there is a pattern and in how long they pull away and lean back in. If your dismissive 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 5 – 7 days since you last heard from them, send a check-in text. If they don’t respond to 3 texts in a row and don’t respond to a check-in, don’t reach out again out of respect for yourself. Dismissive avoidant rarely play games, not responding means they want you to stop reaching out.
Always remember that your need for connection matters just as much as an avoidant’s need for space. I say this as someone who had a dismissive avoidant attachment style. People with an anxious attachment put in so much more into a relationship, often at the expense of their own needs, and end up feeling invisible, unappreciated and resentful.
It doesn’t have to be “give an avoidant all the space they need” and you’re just there to meet an avoidant’s need for space, or “go no contact” to make them miss you. It may feel good and is anxiety-reducing to think that someone will miss you because you’re not in their lives anymore. But it’s also presumptuous, delusional and even egotistic to think that you’re so important that your ex’s life is “miserable” or missing something because you’re not in it.
You may feel like your life has lost all meaning because your ex is not in it, but that is because you have an anxious attachment and lose yourself in someone or in a relationship. A dismissive avoidant attachment ensures that a dismissive avoidant can suppress all feelings about you and their life can go on uninterrupted whether you’re in it or not in it.
Also keep in mind that by the time most avoidants break-up with you, they’ve been thinking about it for a while and most likely have adjusted to the possibility of a life without you in it. They may even miss you, but not want you back in their lives because of all the baggage you bring with you from the old relationship. Granted, you may have worked on you and changed, but your ex doesn’t know that.
Do the best you can to try and make sure both of your needs get met – an avoidant gets the space they need and you get the connection you need (through emotionally connecting texts); and show that you have changed. But also recognize that, this is not always possible especially in the beginning when an avoidant is guarded. This is why I advice reaching out at least 3 times over several weeks even with no response from an avoidant. The point is to indicate that you want connection, and have made the effort to connect in a way that gives them the space they need, but since they’re not responding, the ball is now in their court.