Attract Back An Avoidant Ex: 5 – Wants to Text But Not Meet

If you’re doing everything right, but your avoidant ex wants to text but not meet, there is an explanation why avoidants want to text but not meet.

Text messaging and social media are an avoidant’s preferred way to communicate. But what many people with attachment anxiety (including fearful avoidants) don’t realize that there is a very simple explanation why avoidant want to text but avoid meeting.

The obvious reasons are:

  • Feel that it is too soon to meet.
  • Fear that the feelings they still have for their ex will overwhelm them and they don’t want to deal with those feelings.
  • Just be enjoying the attention via text but have no intentions of meeting in person.

But the real reason an avoidant wants to text but not meet is that with text; an avoidant can control closeness. It is easier for an avoidant to control closeness when texting, they can simply ignore a text or not text back. Meeting in person is “too much” closeness they are not ready for or want. Face-to-face meeting takes away some of the control texting provides.

An avoidant will not not initiate a conversation about meeting or hanging out

An avoidant ex will not directly tell you they’re happy texting but don’t want to meet. They’ll just not initiate a conversation about meeting or hanging out. They may toy with the idea if they think it’s going to jeopardize the “texting relationship” but on most part they don’t mention it. I’ve found that some avoidant exes avoid sharing details of their life because they think their ex is trying to see if they have time and ask to meet or hang out.

And when you ask to meet, an avoidant ex who doesn’t want to meet you will use any and every reason including family is visiting, family/friend has an emergency, busy with work, completing a project, have a deadline to beat, travelling out of town/country etc. Some of these reasons are valid and some of them are just excuses for an avoidant to avoid meeting you or hanging out. Surely if they can have the time to travel, hang out with friends, do home repairs etc. they can find time to meet you, but they’re choosing not to control how close you get.

An avoidant wanting to text but not meet triggers attachment anxiety

The trigger can be something as simple as “Can we meet?” and the avoidant saying, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to meet”. That is enough to trigger attachment anxiety.

  • Why doesn’t she think it’s a good idea to meet?
  • Did I act needy by asking to meet?
  • Was it too soon?
  • Is she leading me on?
  • Is there someone else? Should I ask?
  • What do I say?
  • Have I ruined my chances?
  • Should I reach out?
  • What if they doesn’t respond?
  • Should I ask if they don’t want me to contact them?
  • Should I give them space/wait for her to contact me?

Keep in mind, the avoidant didn’t say anything about “needing space”; they just said “I don’t think it’s be a good idea to meet”. The avoidant didn’t even say I don’t ever want to meet.

An avoidant ex not wanting to meet also triggers avoidant behaviour

An avoidant ex not wanting to meet also triggers avoidance in fearful avoidants. Fearful avoidant like anxious preoccupieds and are overthinkers and over analyzers. When they see that their ex wants to text but not meet, they react with conflicted behaviour – swinging back and forth from anxiety to avoidance.

  • What if they pull away because I asked to meet
  • I don’t want to be annoying, maybe I should give him space
  • Maybe they want me to reach out first
  • I need to apologize if it made them feel bad.
  • What if they never contact me again?
  • I need to reach out to show then I still love them
  • Maybe they think I am angry that they don’t want to meet
  • I don’t want them to think I don’t care

But unlike anxious preoccupieds who keep pushing and pushing to meet and end up pushing an avoidant even further away, a fearful avoidant’s anxiety has a limit. They ask to meet a couple of times, and if the avoidant still will not meet, a fearful avoidant deactivates and become avoidant too.

Pullin away when an ex does not want to meet also happens to someone with an anxious preoccupied attachment style in the form of protest behaviour.

How a securely attached ex handle an ex wanting to meet in person

Most securely attached exes are happy to meet you with no problem at all. But if a securely attached ex thinks meeting you might give the impression they’re ready to get back together right away; they’ll straight up tell you they don’t think meeting in person is a good idea. But they’ll also do their best to reassure you that “I don’t think it’s a good idea to meet” doesn’t mean they want to end contact; that they are pulling away or don’t want to get back together. They just think it is too soon to meet, they are not emotionally ready (not yet there) or they want to take things slow.

How a fearful avoidant ex handles an ex wanting to meet in person

A fearful avoidant ex’s natural reaction when you ask to meet is to be conflicted –  wants to meet but is afraid of it too.  Texting feels safe for a fearful avoidant because on a superficial level it looks like there is still closeness because there is some form of contact even if it’s random and shallow. Unfortunately, contact that is random and sometimes far between does not build momentum; not to mention bring two people close. After a while, the contact fizzles out and because both people are fearful avoidants neither party has the courage to reach out; it’s over.

Because fearful avoidants are conflicted and want to meet with an ex but afraid of it too, a fearful avoidant ex seeming agree to meet keep pushing meeting up to a future date. This is one thing that makes fearful avoidants look like they’re playing games (and sometimes they’re) but quite often it’s not a game. They want to meet but are genuinely uncomfortable with the idea of getting close.

A fearful avoidant ex may even agree on plans to meet but cancels meeting or date last minute because they felt so anxious and deactivated. This can happen time and time again.

How a dismissive avoidant ex handles an ex wanting to meet in person

A dismissive avoidant will most likely tell you they don’t want to meet if you ask them to meet with you. But unlike a securely attached ex who will explain to you why they think meeting in person is not a good idea; a dismissive avoidant will not respond to any questions about why they don’t want to meet. They will either get upset or pull away when a triggered anxious and fearful ex starts acting needy and clingy.

Unlike a fearful avoidant, a dismissive avoidant is not conflicted about contact or closeness. They don’t want to meet, they don’t want to meet period. An can take it anyway they want, accept it or not accept it. They don’t need to explain anything.

When an anxious ex asks, “What did you mean by ‘it’s not a good idea’ to meet?”, a dismissive avoidant will respond that it’s just not a good idea. They will not give further explanations because talking about thoughts or feelings makes them vulnerable; and in the mind of a dismissive avoidant, vulnerability is weakness.

If the anxious ex pulls away (in the name of giving space), a dismissive avoidant will not reach out. To them, needing contact, connection or closeness is a sign of weakness. They can’t afford to be weak by being the one initiating contact. But there are exceptions where dismissive avoidant exes reach out.

Next: Attract Back An Avoidant Ex: 6 – Dismissive Avoidant Exes Reach Out

To get a better idea of how often each attachment style comes back, I have written detailed articles on individual attachment styles: why they come back, what makes them come back and how long it takes them to come back. You will find the links at the bottom.

How A Fearful Avoidant Ex Comes Back – Explained In Detail

What Makes A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Miss You And Come Back?

Why Anxious Attachment Ex Doesn’t Want You Back (What To Do)

Do Exes With A Secure Attachment Reach Out And Come Back?

Friendzoned By An Avoidant Ex Or Starting As Friends First?

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15 Comments

  1. says: Dayna S.

    Asked my DA ex for the 3rd time to meet for a drink or coffee. He’s ignored precious requests but last week he finally addressed it. He said that for as much as he likes talking to me, he doesn’t want to be in any relationship right now. 2 months of nice conversations seem like a waste now.

  2. says: Lisalisa

    I’m a fearful avoidant and when I like someone, I find it difficult to communicate with them because I’m afraid I’ll say something and they’ll not anything to do with me. I like texts because I can take my own time to respond.

  3. says: Zuzzie

    FA ex doesn’t respond to my text for three days and then responds and wants to hang out. I text back and suggest where to go and get some drinks, he texts back saying he doesn’t like that area of town. I ask him where he’d like to go, and he texts back saying he’s tired anyways, a long day at work. Could we hang out the next day. I don’t hear from him for two days. I ask him if he wants to hang out and he replies that he’s in a bad mood from work and doesn’t feel like going out.

    It’s nice that he wants to hang out but when? Is this just a game for him?

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      Anything is possible. I have my theories based on his reasons for not hanging out which are really lame; and the fact that he said let’s hangout the next day, and never follows up.

      1) He’s not that into you but too afraid to tell you he’s not interested (probably a very short-term relationship).

      2) This is not something new. He has a history of not prioritizing spending time with you.

      3) He’s a fearful avoidant playing hard to get/wants you to chase him/stroke his ego.

      4) He wants to hangout, but on his terms/avoidant control thing.

      5) He wants to hang out, but talks himself out of it because he thinks it’s a bad idea (fearful avoidant catastrophizing).

      1. says: Zuzzie

        We were together for 6 months. He broke up with me because he “couldn’t give me what I need” (his words). I read in one of your articles that this is a common fearful avoidant breakup reason. He definitely likes me chasing him. Most of our relationship, I was the one reaching out, asking him out on dates etc. and him doing the same thing he’s doing now. Maybe it’s a control thing or fearful avoidant catastrophizing, what do you suggest I do? Keep reaching out or move on?

        1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

          It’s not my place to tell you whether to keep trying or move on. That’s a decision only you can make. My question for you is: knowing what you know, and if he doesn’t change (he hasn’t so far because he’s doing the same things he did in the relationship); can you be happy if you got back together?

          If the answer is yes, then keep trying. But if the answer is no, then moving on may be the right move.

  4. says: Christine Lou

    My ex is a fearful avoidant. After a week of texting, I asked if he wanted to meet and he said he’s busy finishing a project but once he’s done he’d let me know. In this time, he travels across state to visit his brother but continues to text and watch my every story and like posts. I wait a month and ask if he’s still interested in meeting. He says, of course but he’s still not done with his project. A few weeks go by and it’s another excuse. Finally, I confront him and told him I’d rather he says he does not want to meet than make me think he wants to meet but never follows up.

    He responded that he does want to meet but fears that this will give the impression he wants to get back together. He cares about me, likes talking to me and doesn’t want to lose me, but thinks that our dynamic is too toxic for a relationship to work. After a couple of conversations, he said he’ll meet with me.

    Two weeks ago, we met for coffee. I think I was very anxious and probably brought up the past too soon. We had some emotional exchanges, but things ended on a positive note. We haven’t spoken since. I sent a couple of texts but he hasn’t responded and he stopped watching my stories and liking my posts. I feel partly responsible for confirming to him that our dynamic is too toxic, but I didn’t expect him to ghost me.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      You’re right that the emotional exchanges confirmed to him that your dynamic is too toxic to be together. But I also think he’d have pulled away regardless. He’d been avoiding meeting in person for so long and when it finally happened, he was emotionally flooded and needs time and distance to self-regulate. It’d be of course nice if he communicated this to you, BUT… avoidant!

      In my experience, he’ll reach out at some point because there’s a part of him that truly cares about you, likes talking to you and doesn’t want to lose you. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem enough because of his fear that the two of you are toxic for each other.

      It’s up to you to decide when he reaches out if you still want to keep trying to heal the toxic part of your dynamic, or if it’s just too much work to try to work things out with a fearful avoidant.

  5. says: Bluebug

    Thank you for all your article and videos, they’re been a great help. After months of asking my fearful avoidant ex to meet last week, unpromoted he asked if I wanted to have some drinks the next evening. I read in one of your articles that avoidants want to feel in control and I think me asking him to meet was taking away the control he needed. When I stopped asking he felt in control to ask.

    There was some tension in the beginning because we’d been texting for so long. We got over that and the rest of the evening was really good. I told him we should do this again, and he agreed. I’m thinking of waiting a couple of weeks and then ask him if he’d like to go out for drinks. Is this the right move?

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      Yes. Avoidants want to feel in control but they also don’t want to feel like they’re trying too hard to make you like them. Fearful avoidants are especially sensitive to rejection and see them doing most of the work to keep the connection as trying too hard. And you also should not give up all control just because an avoidant needs to be in control. Set the tone for the new relationship right from the start.

      See if you can pick up some emotional momentum, and then ask him out.

      1. says: William

        This is so true. I’m a fearful avoidant and if someone is being needy, clingy and demanding I become avoidant and distant. And if on the other hand they’re, extra distant and ignoring my texts, I also become avoidant and distant. If I think they’re making minimal effort, I respond with just a much effort or less. But if I see that they’re putting in real effort, I also step up.

  6. says: Patty

    My ex is DA and for 3 months all we did was text. Sometimes he didn’t reply and sometimes conversations died quickly. I asked to meet on several occasions and he ignored the question every time. It was the loneliest I’d ever felt with him being close but distant too. Last week out of nowhere, he asked me out to dinner and even offered to come pick me up. I was shocked, happy, excited etc but played it cool. Best date we ever had. Conversation was great and he kept staring into my eyes. I’m not getting my hopes up because I know DAs can be so charming one day and totally cold the next. But I can honestly say, it felt amazing!

    My advice is keep things cool, go with the flow and let them ask you out instead of constantly chasing them.

  7. says: Vi

    OMG! None of my DA exes ever did anything beyond texting. We text for months 3x/week and then they stop responding. But I probably pushed to meet too soon and pressured them. Oh, well.

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