Why An Avoidant Ex Is Ignoring Texts And Not Texting Back

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 respond for hours even days. This detailed explanation will help you understand why avoidants ignore text messages and why a dismissive avoidant is not responding.

To understand why a fearful avoidant is ignoring your texts, it’s important to understand that fearful avoidant want contact and connection, they’re just afraid of getting close because their experiences have taught them that getting close always ends in pain, disappointment or loss of interest.

So a fearful avoidant is fearful avoidant not responding, it’s not because they stopped loving you or even don’t want contact. Something has triggered them to fear connection.

Dismissive avoidants on the other hand 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 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 and ignore texts sometimes out of fear of saying the wrong thing or not to appear too eager, 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.

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?

How Do I Give My Avoidant Ex Space? (And How Much Space)

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  1. says: Plain Jane

    I asked my ex DA about this and he said he does not deliberately ignore my message, sometimes he just forgets to text back. That didn’t make me feel good at all. But I know him. I know how he is. He is so forgetful, and so I accepted his explanation.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      You’re right to accept his explanation because you know he’s not just forgetful about texting you back, but on other things too. That’s kind and empathetic; and if it works for the two of you, good for you.

      However, I think that sometimes accepting things that can be changed is not good for the relationship in the long term. One person over time will feel neglected and the relationship may not survive because it’s something that’s been going on for a long time.

      What I’m saying is: is there a way the two of you can work out something that helps him remember to text you back? An app probably? Or something maybe him being okay with you double texting and remind him especially if it’s about something important?

  2. says: Swingler

    I may respond quite speedily if I’m asked a question but if not, I’ll just read it. I don’t respond to “good morning ” or “how are you” type texts.

    1. says: Daniel T

      I am fearful avoidant and I don’t respond to multiple texts because I don’t like being pressured and sometimes I feel like I’m being disapproved for not texting back fast enough.

  3. says: Sabrina

    DA not texting back used to drive me insane but now it doesn’t really bother me anymore. I taught myself not to expect him to text me back and it seems to work for my anxiety. He always responds eventually.

  4. says: Toby

    This article is spot on. I’m dismissive avoidant and I never stress about when to respond to a text or get a response back. I send a text when I want to, and they can respond when they want to.

    1. says: Brooke s

      Do you ever think, maybe they’re waiting for me to respond because for me I don’t feel good thinking someone feels I’m ignoring them. I put myself in their place and think about how it would make me feel.

      1. says: Toby

        Not really. It depends on whatever else I’m doing. If I’m not doing something important, I may think about them and remind myself to respond. But if I have other things on my mind, I will most likely be so absorbed that I don’t think about them at all. This has nothing to do with them or the content of the text, it’s just the way I function.

  5. says: Doxie

    I’m FA and it makes me anxious when I respond, and they don’t text back. It can take me hours even days to gather the courage to respond. Also, sometimes when I can’t think of some thing engaging to say, I end up not responding at all.

    1. says: Mr. Fixit

      Me too (FA). I’ll look at a message and want to respond but can’t think of what to say. This happens more often when I feel I’m expected to say something clever or entertaining and I don’t feel in that particular mood. TBH, I find most anxious people exhausting especially those that continue to text when I stopped responding.

  6. says: Chris

    This is balanced advice and not always taking the side of APs like most forums.

    I’m FA and it’s rare for me to ignore a text. If I’m not in the mood to text/feeling avoidant, I’ll text back but in one-word replies. If I’m then text bombed or criticized for being cold, I go full avoidant. After a few days, I may reach out and even apologize, a lot depends on the other person’s attitude. If they’re rejecting, I never reach out again but will always text back, not right away tho.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      I try to be balanced, but I’m also guilty of sometimes “generalizing” attachment styles. It’s convenient when giving advice to a wider audience (vs. customized advice) to focus on common behaviours than the nuanced differences within an attachment style. Obviously FAs are not all the same. You are proof.

      But if I have to generalize, FAs are known for ignoring texts 1) to trigger anxiety in APs as a way of generating interest or 2) not to appear too eager/needy. I think this is common with FAs leaning anxious than with FAs leaning avoidant/dismissive.

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