One of the hardest things about attracting back an avoidant is trying to figure out why avoidants ignore text messages; and don’t text back or responding for hours even days. This detailed explanation will help you understand why a dismissive avoidant is not responding and why avoidants ignore text messages.
Dismissive avoidants like securely attached do not feel anxious reaching out or when an ex does not text back. But while securely attached text back, a dismissive avoidants ex is not eager to connect. They can afford to wait hours or days to text back or not text back at all. They don’t value connection as much as they value their independence. And as discussed in part 5, dismissive avoidants sometimes use texting to control closeness.
It is painful to hear or accept that someone values their independence and comfort more than they value the relationship. It’s even more painful for people with an anxious attachment style. If there is anything someone with an anxious attachment style craves and values, it is connection and closeness.
Most exes with anxious attachment think that a dismissive avoidant not texting back or responding for hours or days, means they’re pulling away or lost interest. The truth is actually much simpler.
A dismissive avoidants attitude towards ignoring texts or not responding is:
- “I will respond at some point. Does it matter if it’s two hours or two days or even two weeks later?”
- “Okay, so I didn’t respond at all, what’s the big deal?”
Unlike securely attached individuals who care about how their actions affect their ex, dismissive-avoidants don’t want to be bothered about their partner or ex’s feelings, especially if the feelings are exaggerated by anxiety or fear.
You can talk to a dismissive-avoidant about your bad day at work and their response is “You’ll be okay”. It is almost like they are saying, “You are making a big deal about nothing”. Some dismissive-avoidants go as far as saying “Why is it my problem?” It is not their problem because they tend to be overly focused on their independence and comfort.
Given a choice between saying or doing something that makes their partner or ex feel secure and loved, and doing what makes a dismissive avoidant happy or comfortable, dismissive avoidants almost always choose what makes them happy or comfortable.
Why do dismissive avoidants ignore you and not text back?
Dismissive avoidants ignore you and ignore text messages because they don’t think they owe you a response. They may even text back but be very short and cold because they feel that someone texting them when they’re not in the mood is violating their boundaries. Sometimes avoidants ignore text messages to reaffirm their independence.
A dismissive avoidant will think, “I should text back my ex” but counter the thought with “they’re expecting me to respond”. And if there is something that dismissive avoidants don’t like about relationships, it is “expectations”. Expectations to dismissive avoidants equals “controlling me” or “making me do what I don’t want to do”. They end up not texting back not because of something you said or because they lost interest; they don’t respond because it’s how they see relationships.
A dismissive avoidants childhood experiences taught them that no expectations, no disappointments. If a partner or ex points out or complains about their detached, distant or dismissive attitude, they react with pulling away behaviours including emotionally shutting down, anger and/or hostility. Sometimes it goes all the way to “If you don’t like the way I am/I do things, then leave”. And when they say, “then leave”, they mean it.
Dismissive-avoidants are not afraid to lose a partner or relationship
Unlike fearful avoidants who are ambivalent about closeness, dismissive avoidants are not afraid to lose a partner or relationship. They may regret their decision later and even miss their ex, but at the time, they are thinking, “I didn’t ask you to make sacrifices for me, so if you are unhappy, leave! or “I don’t need you or anyone, so go!”
All a dismissive avoidant’s partner wanted was to talk about how they feel, what they need and/or understand the dismissive avoidant’s pushing away behaviour, but as far as a dismissive avoidant is concerned, “I am perfectly fine with the way things are, the only thing wrong with the relationship is you acting like something is wrong“, or “Everything is fine if you don’t ask for more (time, closeness or contact) and then turn around ask me why I am distant”.
Dismissive avoidants find displays of ‘neediness’ or out of control emotions disturbing
Dismissive avoidants genuinely believe that most people use relationships to fill gaps or fulfill needs that they should be filling or meeting on their own. Translation: most people are dependent, needy and clingy. They are deeply disturbed by displays of ‘neediness’ or out of control emotions. The irony is that they are right because of the type of partners they attract and are attracted to. Most people with an anxious attachment style do exactly that. They use relationships to fill gaps or fulfill needs that they should be filling or meeting on their own.
This creates a dynamic where a dismissive avoidant is avoiding true intimacy that comes from meeting a partner’s needs and wants, and an anxious ex is craving that kind of intimacy and/or feeling ignored, taken for granted or undervalued.
Dismissive avoidants ignore texts, keep text conversation to a bare minimum for a reason
If there is anything dismissive avoidants are really good at, it’s being able to avoid situations that highlight their inability to connect. Most of them associate a partner or ex wanting connection with them losing their ability to control their space and time.
When trying to get back together, this translates into:
1. An anxious ex wanting to talk about the old relationship. Talking about the connection they had makes them feel connected. The dismissive-avoidant ex keeping contact and communication to a bare minimum to avoid talk about the old relationship.
2. An anxious ex getting impatient that things are not moving forward. They want to know when things will get to where their ex starts meeting their need for more contact and closeness. The dismissive avoidant ex pulling away because the new relationship is progressing to where the anxious ex will start asking for more contact and closeness, or reassurance.
Some anxious exes find themselves becoming more fearful of contact and asking themselves the same questions fearful avoidants ask: How much should I text my dismissive avoidant ex? My dismissive ex is not responding is it because I text too much? etc. Sometimes, it is because you text too much and sometimes, your dismissive avoidant ex is just being the dismissive they are. Understanding a dismissive avoidant’s texting behaviour will spare you the stress, worry and frustration you feel when a dismissive does not respond or text back.
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.