Question: My dismissive avoidant ex moved on so quickly only two weeks after the breakup. What do you suggest I do now that he has moved on?
I was with my DA ex for 4-years and we broke up in August a little over 6 weeks ago. Two weeks after the breakup I found out he was in a new relationship. I read or heard from several sources that it takes DAs 6 – 8 months to process the breakup so I was hoping that at some point I’d reach out to him, but he’s already moved on. He’s even met her family and friends.
I love my ex but he is the last person who should be in a new relationship. He is disconnected from his feelings most of the time. Throughout out our 4-year relationship he was emotionally closed off. I wasn’t listened to and it often led to huge fights. He wouldn’t speak to me for weeks and I’d have to reach out 6-10 times before he replied. He’d apologize and we’d have makeup sex, but we never talked about what happened. I honestly don’t know how we lasted 4 years but he always said I was his lighthouse guiding him back to safety. This is why I just can’t fathom how someone can move on so quickly from a 4 year relationship in just two weeks? What do you suggest I do now that he has moved on? What is your experience with DA rebound relationships, do they last?
Yangki’s Answer: I’m sorry about your break-up. I also understand how it can be puzzling that dismissive avoidants seem to be able to “move on” so quickly just two weeks after the break-up. I put the word “move on” in quotes because “move on” for someone with a dismissive avoidant attachment style is different from “move on” for other insecure attachment styles.
Dismissive avoidants generally “move on” quickly after a break-up because:
1.They don’t form strong attachment or emotional bonds
Dismissive avoidants generally have a hard time forming strong attachment bonds, which means that dismissive avoidant’s relationships are often superficial. It also means that they are always one foot out of the door, and mentally and emotionally check out of a relationship long before it ends.
2. They often don’t stay way too long in a relationship
The fact that you lasted 4 years is proof that you two had a strong emotional bond. Unlike individuals with an anxious attachment and some fearful avoidants who stay way too long in relationships and put up with so much neglect, disrespect and even abuse, dismissive avoidants don’t stay way too long in relationships they’re not happy in. They ghost someone, break-up with them or get dumped too often by partners who have had enough of the dismissive behaviours.
3. They often don’t process their emotions after the break-up
I’ve written quite extensively how dismissive avoidants handle break-ups. Just as your dismissive avoidant ex was disconnected from his feelings most of the time when you were together, he is also disconnected from his feelings (most of the time) after the break-up. This is why he can seem to have moved on so quickly only two weeks after the break-up.
I can’t tell you if at some point he’ll process the break-up and his feelings, but given dismissive avoidants’ track record, it’s unlikely.
4. They need to control what’s happening in their lives
Most dismissive avoidants force themselves to quickly move on after the break-up not because they stopped loving you, have lost all feelings for you or don’t want you back; they force themselves to move on because that’s the one thing that they can control. Their childhood experiences taught them not to expect “to be loved” and not to rely on others to meet their needs, they’re not going to let themselves “need you” immediately after the break-up or later on.
The fact that they can quickly move on after the break-up says to dismissive avoidants that they didn’t lose themselves in the relationship, they’re still fiercely independent and don’t need to be loved or cared for.
What to do if a dismissive avoidant moves on quickly
My advice is right now focus on you. Try not to obsess about how your ex could have moved on so quickly from a 4-year relationship in just two weeks.
Just like how many people with a dismissive avoidant attachment struggle to understand how someone with an anxious attachment style can lose themselves in a relationship (be so needy and clingy), you’ll never fully understand how dismissive avoidants can be so disconnected from their feelings or how they can just “move on” so quickly. Both attachment styles can only try to understand as much as is possible, accept the other for who they’re and try to provide each other the safety and security each needs if they want to make the relationship work.
If you feel that you need to reach out, do so knowing that a dismissive avoidant who had a strong attachment to you, such as yours did will very likely respond, unless they think responding will hurt you further or give you the wrong impression. Him responding doesn’t mean he necessarily wants to get back together or even wants to keep the lines of communication open. It might just be him being polite or wants to be friends.
Do dismissive avoidant’s rebound relationships last?
Most rebound relationships generally don’t last although there are cases where a rebound relationship lasts and even ends in marriage.
Given dismissive avoidants’ track record, there is a very high chance the new relationship will not last. It’ll may not last not just because it’s a rebound, but because very few people can put up with someone who’s disconnected from their feelings most of the time, is emotionally closed off and doesn’t listen to how they feel.
Your ex may circle back when the new relationship ends; dismissive avoidants often do because they have a hard time forming strong attachments. But don’t put your life on hold, use this opportunity to decide what it is you really want from a partner and relationship, and if your dismissive avoidant ex can deliver – IF he doesn’t change.
Before you do anything it’s important to understand How Long It Takes A Dismissive Avoidant To Come Back