You went out on a few dates with an avoidant ex, they seemed interested and even said things to suggest they wanted to move things forward, then they abruptly ended things or just ghosted you. You’re left without answers and without closure. Well, these 13 common anxious attachment behaviours that turn off avoidants before the relationship has even a chance to grow may explain why your avoidant ex (or if you can even call them that) abruptly ended things or just ghosted you.
Avoidants may also recognize the signs you missed right from the beginning of the relationship. But maybe you didn’t miss them, you thought things would get better, but they didn’t.
An ex with an anxious attachment didn’t just become anxious and needy after the break-up
Many signs of an anxious attachment style were already there, the break-up just hyperactivated them.
Studies show that individuals with an anxious attachment style react with the most difficulties following a break-up. They report being more anxious, more depressed, more confused, more “cheated”, and more attached to their ex.
The need for contact, connection and closeness makes them engage in obsessive pursuit of an ex and in protest behaviours. They may text or call incessantly, send angry texts and may even stalk you. They may also unfriend or block you on social media, or post photos to try to make you jealous. Some of them even change their phone number after the break-up.
One of the common signs of an anxious attachment style is being needy
We all have our moments when we’re a bit needy; being needy becomes a problem when someone is needy all of the time. People with an anxious attachment style have an excessive need for contact, connection and closeness that often drives partners away.
Here are 13 signs your ex had an anxious attachment style right from the beginning of the relationship.
1. They always miss you
Even though they’re constantly around you, during those hours and days that you are apart, they flood you with messages about how they misses you, how they hate being apart, and how they can’t wait to see you next. It’s normal to miss people you haven’t seen in a while, but needy people seem to miss you every single hour of the day. Though nice at first, this can quickly become annoying.
2. They’re all over your social networks
After just a few dates they sent you friend requests on every social network that you’re a part of. They liked all of your photos, posted photos of you to their page, and they’re even requested that you change your status and profile picture to include you. Clingy men and women are known for wanting to be included in every single part of your life.
3. They’re always talking to you
When someone likes you and wants to let that be known, it’s not uncommon for them to send you a text message, call you, or email you to check up on you and ask how your day is going. However, you know someone is extremely needy when they stay in constant contact with you. They text you every hour on the hour and they call you as much as they can. Someone who feels the need to talk to you 24/7 is definitely needy.
4. They want to move things along quickly
After the first few dates, they’re talking about a future together and already have plans in mind. When someone tries to move things along very quickly, it’s a good sign that they’re needy. They don’t care if they know you well enough because individuals with an anxious attachment style don’t want to wait to get things done and instead they’d rather do things right now. Moving the relationship way too quickly is red flag of someone needy.
5. They’re always sweet talking you
When you first meet someone, it’s not uncommon for them to sweet talk you and to compliment you. The issue with needy people is that they sweet talk you 24/7. Every word that comes out of their mouth is laced in romance in some way or another. Someone who constantly sweet talks you could definitely be needy or suspect — neither of which is good.
6. They give ultimatums
Ultimatums and dating just don’t go together. If someone starts giving you ultimatums such as “hang out with me or go to the mall with your friends,” then it’s obvious that they’re needy and clingy.
7. Their friends no longer exist
When a relationship becomes serious, it’s not uncommon for one or both of you to cancel plans with others every once in a while in order to spend time together. But an extremely needy person will cancel plans with their friends from day one and make their whole world about you — and expect you to do the same.
8. They want to be exclusive ASAP
Even though the two of you hardly know each other yet, needy people are already willing and ready to be exclusive. They’re desperate to label the relationship and to claim you as theirs.
9. They enjoy arguing with you
Fights during a relationship are bound to happen. However, you may find that with someone needy, they enjoy arguing and fighting with you. A man or woman who is clingy is more likely to want to fight constantly in order to make you feel inferior, which in their mind, will make you feel like you need them.
10. They’re okay being one of the girls or guys (friends)
When it comes to dating and relationships, there is time that we spend alone, time we spend with our partners, and time we spend with our friends. If you’re with someone willing to be one of the girls or guys in efforts to have as much time with you as possible, then they’re super needy. Any man willing to be part of your “girlfriends circle” or woman happy to be “one of the guys” is clingy and clearly refuses to be without you.
11. They’re always asking for reassurance
Once you have been dating for a while, you notice that they’re always seeking reassurance. Every other day they’re asking you to reconfirm that you’re interested in them or that you still find them attractive. Someone who constantly seeks reassurance of your thoughts and feelings is surely insecure and needy.
12. They do too much too soon
Men and woman are always looking to impress the person they’re and that’s normal. Things become a bit weird when a man or woman does too much too soon. On the first date you told them your favorite musician and a few dates later they present concert tickets to you. Or you tell them about your favorite store and they get you a $100 gift card soon after.
13. They question your friends
So you two have spent a night out with all of your friends and as soon as you walk away for a second, they immediately jump to interrogating your friends. They want to know what you have told them and what you can do to make things better. Clingy and needy people seek reassurance from others as well in order to make themselves feel like everything is okay.
PS: This post [appeared in Madame Noir] was originally about needy men. I personally think all the 13 signs applies to women too, and has implication when trying to attract back an ex with an anxious attachment.
If you are trying to attract back an ex with an anxious attachment style; it helps not only to understand their attachment style but also what drives it. You may find that you are doing many of the things that increase anxiety in an ex with an anxious attachment style.