Question: Yangki, I need help with a fearful avoidant who was responding but has stopped and gone silent. I reached out 3 times as per your advice, and on the 3rd text she responded. She was cold at first and then she warmed up a little. Our conversations were mostly pleasant. We talked everyday things, no talk about the breakup and it felt like old times. She was responding within minutes and even reached out and everything seemed really good. Then I made the mistake of asking her if she wanted to get back together not right away but in the future. She said she wants to be single for a while. I told her we could be just friend as long as there is a change we’ll get back together in the future. She said she felt pressured and I could see that she was upset. She has since stopped responding to my texts. A couple of days ago, I sent a text telling I was sorry for putting pressure on her and I want to take things slow but she did not respond. It’s been complete silence for 8 days.
I don’t want to go no contact. I feel that if we keep in contact we will figure out how to fix things. In your experience with a fearful avoidant attachment who has gone silent, will she start responding again? How do I get things back to how they were? Your advice was working and I wished I had not gone ahead of myself, please help.
Yangki’s Answer: I don’t know if this helps but a fearful avoidant who was responding then stops responding is common. This is the nature of an avoidant attachment. Avoidants pull back and go silent if they feel overwhelmed or in this case pressured.
You are right, by keeping in contact you can work out most of your problems. The reason the first conversations went great is because you were just two single people who enjoy talking to each other. And from your question, you also realize that you should have kept things at that level for some time. The mistake you made was “over think” what those great conversations meant causing you to rush into a premature conversation about getting back together. Asking a fearful avoidant ex (or ex with any attachment style for that matter) to get back together when you have not given them reason to expect a better relationship is a mistake many people make.
The second mistake you made and that causes most avoidants to go silent is make contact conditional. When you said ” as long as you agree to…” you scared her away. A fearful avoidant or not, if you are not in a relationship, conditions just push someone further away. That is because you are giving someone no option and forcing them to choose what they’d probably would not have chosen without pressure. She’s not responding because if she does, it’ll mean she’s thinking about getting back together, which she might not be at this time. It doesn’t mean she won’t ever, it just means right now, she’s not.
Sit down with yourself and work out a plan of action. If you don’t have a plan of action, you are winging it and that’s a HUGE mistake. When you have a plan of action, contact her and apologize for putting that kind of pressure on her. Tell her you understand why she reacted by withdrawing. It is too premature to even be thinking of getting back together. Then explain to her you have things about you that you should be working on and need time to work on them before you can be in a relationship with anyone. If you want, mention that “pushing hard when you don’t get your way” as one of them. Then tell her how much you enjoy talking to her and hope that the two of you can stay in contact but it’s completely up to her.
There is no guarantee that she’ll respond but you at least clear the air and give her ac clear picture of what to expect if she decides to respond. If she responds, start things as if you were meeting a new woman and wanting to get to know her and eventually date her. You have a better chance dating your ex than trying to recover or fix a broken relationship.