Do Dismissive Avoidants Come Back After The Break Up?

Dismissive avoidants are the least likely attachment style to come back after a break-up. Usually when they’re done they’re done, but every now and then, dismissive avoidants come back if they had developed an attachment to an ex and still feel attached to them.

How a dismissive avoidant ex feels after a breakup

After a break-up, dismissive avoidants feel a range of emotions including sadness, regret, relief, guilt, anger etc., but they’re so good at suppressing their attachment-related emotions, compartmentalizing and focusing on something else (work, school, hobbies, friends, partying etc.) that on a behavioural level, they show fewer difficulties with break-ups. A dismissive avoidant can go from talking to you everyday, hanging out 2- 3 times a week and sharing your lives together to nothing and carry on with life like the breakup never happened. They “completely disappear” like you never existed or maintain contact but be more emotionally distant than before the breakup.

Dismissive avoidants can carry on like everything is fine because they don’t let a break-up turn their emotions and world upside down, which is easy to do because dismissive avoidants often have short-term relationships, take long to fall in love, don’t attach to their partners and prefer to slowly fade away or ghost an ex rather than go through an actual break-up (and all the associated emotions and drama).

And when you break-up with a dismissive avoidant, they develop what I call “Who needs you?” attitude which makes it look like a dismissive avoidant moved on fast after the breakup. In the “who needs you” mental space, some dismissive avoidant quickly move on to someone new or go back to an old ex, but most dismissive avoidant exes stay away from relationships altogether, especially if the relationship ended badly and with lots of drama. It reminds them of why they don’t want to be in relationships and triggers in a dismissive avoidant the fear of getting close to someone.

But while a break-up can trigger in a dismissive avoidant the fear of getting close to someone and make them wary of getting into a relationship again, it does not make most dismissive avoidants want to cut off contact with an ex. They can afford to maintain contact with an ex and even remain friends because they have no “painful feelings” to deal with. If there are any, they’re suppressed and compartmentalized away. As long as there’s no break-up drama, you’re okay with keeping the lines of communication open, and don’t keep bringing up the relationship or break-up, a dismissive avoidant ex will respond to texts and even initiate some texts but they’ll be more emotionally distant and slower responding.

Will a dismissive avoidant contact you after the break-up?

Dismissive avoidants sometimes contact an ex after the break-up but it’s rare for them to do so.

1. Unlike anxiously attached and fearful avoidants who impulsively reach out to an ex out of anxiety, dismissive avoidants have so much emotional control that even when they know that they’ve pushed you so far away that you will not reach out first, they will take their time reaching out.

2. Of all the attachment styles, dismissive avoidants do very well, in fact do much better all on their own and will generally not reach out to someone because they’re lonely or feel alone. Wanting connection is not something they crave or seek out.

3.To a dismissive avoidant contacting you after the breakup is showing vulnerability. Showing you that they need you makes them vulnerable to you later using their need for attachment to manipulate and control them.

So if your dismissive avoidant ex contacts you after the breakup, it’s likely that they:

  • Had developed a strong emotional attachment to you and misses what they had with you.
  • Feel some type of guilt for ending the relationship, especially if the relationship was relatively good (not many arguments or fights) and they see you as someone they still in their life even though they might not want a relationship with you.
  • Heard something bad happened to you and they think they should show support or concern because it’s the right thing to do.
  • Are having a hard time meeting someone as good as you and either regret breaking up with you or want to see if they can do a relationships this time around.
  • Want sex with no strings attached because dismissive avoidants can easily separate love from sex and often call an ex they have no romantic feelings towards just for sex.
  • Want to be friends because they think enough time has passed for you to still want to pressure them to get back together.

If a dismissive avoidant thinks that you are doing no contact just to see if they’ll reach out first, they won’t reach out just to prove to you that they can’t be manipulated or controlled. They see any attempts to influence their behaviour as trying to control them and will not reach out to show you that they they’re so independent that they can’t be manipulated or controlled.

Some dismissive avoidant who think you might be using no contact to try to manipulate them go on social media just to taunt you or send you messages to let you know they know what you’re trying to do. Even a dismissive avoidant who misses you will postpone reaching out for months if they think you might be using no contact to try to manipulate them into coming back.

Do dismissive avoidant dumpers come back?

Dismissive avoidants are more likely to come back if they initiated the break-up than if you broke up with them. They may even regret the break-up and reach out a few days later or feel regret for the break-up months later and reach out to see if you want to get back together.

How you know a dismissive avoidant regrets the break-up and wants another chance is they’re very apologetic and tell you that it’s them and not you. This is significant because dismissive avoidants think of themselves positively but have low opinion of others especially the people they’re in a relationship with. So them saying the problem is with them and not you means they know they royally screwed up.

But even when they know they messed up and want you back, most dismissive avoidants will not rush to getting back together. They’ll usually want to meet right away or within a few days because they know themselves enough to know that if they don’t make that move to meet, they’ll convince themselves that it’s better to just forget the whole thing. Despite how they feel, it’s not worth putting anymore effort into making the relationship work.

They’ll also want to meet sooner than later because they want to see how you are going to be with them. If you keep talking about the past, are still angry about the break-up, ask them too many questions to explain themselves or complain about their behaviours, a dismissive avoidant pull back on their regret and convince themselves you and not them were the problem all along.

Do dismissive avoidants come back if you broke up with them?

Most dismissive avoidants don’t come back if you initiated the break-up because they’re too proud to come back to someone who broke up with them or because they don’t want to ever feel sad or hurt again. They may even feel that they deserve better because even if they come back you won’t ever really understand them or appreciate them.

Some dismissive avoidant dumpees even come back because of a bruised ego. If they made an effort to try to be a good partner, they may feel offended that you didn’t appreciate the effort they put into the relationship. Their coming back is not to make the relationship work but to make you realize that you should have appreciated them while you had them

But if a dismissive avoidant dumpee is self-aware or has some level of self-awareness, or is doing self-work and/or seeing a therapist, they’ll come back hoping that they can do better and be less dismissive avoidant.

What makes a dismissive avoidant ex want to come back?

The main reason dismissive avoidants come back to exes is because they are still attached to you and still have strong feelings for you.

The second reason dismissive avoidants come back is the relationship was relatively good, they felt safe and it was different from all past relationships.

The third reason dismissive avoidants come back is the break-up was a positive experience and didn’t trigger in them why they don’ want relationships in the first place.

The fourth reason reason dismissive avoidants come back, and probably the one reason that has the most impact on a dismissive avoidant staying after they come back and the relationship working is they’re in therapy or did deep self-work and take responsibility for their behaviours and actions. This is important because dismissives avoidants very rarely process break-ups, let alone do relationship autopsies. They simply suppress everything and want to move forward like nothing every happened, an when you try to talk about the relationship or break-up, they stop responding and disappear, then reappear again (and still don’t want to talk about the past).

You’ll notice a change in your dismissive avoidant’s behaviours and even language when they’re done their own inner work and healing. They’ll be more reflective, be more emotionally vulnerable, open to talking about the past and the work they’re doing on themselves, talk about relationships in more positive light, and they’ll even start noticing things about you that have been there all along but being dismissive avoidant they never noticed before. This is a dismissive avoidant trying to better and be less dismissive avoidant.

COMMENTS: I encourage comments from dismissive avoidants on what makes you miss an ex and what makes you comes back. Let’s all learn from each other.


What Are A Dismissive Avoidant Break Up Stages?

Do Dismissive Avoidants Miss You After The Breakup?

Why A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Reaching Out Is A Big Deal

No Contact Works Differently With A Dismissive Avoidant Ex

Do Dismissive Avoidants Ever Feel “Longing” For An Ex?

How Avoidants Leave Open The Option To Reconnect With Exes

How Does Being Friends Help Get an Avoidant Ex Back?

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69 replies on “Do Dismissive Avoidants Come Back After The Break Up?”
  1. says: Kaavaan

    What if DA ex wants to be friends? I don’t want to just be friends but do you think he can later on change his mind and want to get back together?

      1. says: Kaavan

        Thanks, I’ve read the article. I will follow your advice but one more question, do I tell him I don’t want to be just friends?

        1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

          Yes, be open and direct in communication with a dismissive avoidant. As someone who had a dismissive avoidant attachment style, one of the things that I didn’t like about my exes with an anxious attachment style is not being direct about what they needed and trying too hard to please or get on my good side. It was so transparent that they were terrified of losing me and I felt like I was responsible for their happiness. This made me want to avoid them.

          So be direct with what you need but don’t make it sound like a DA is expected to meet you needs and don’t pressure for a response right away. You may not even get a verbal/text response but a response in his actions (mentioned in the article). Also look at the links below the article for more guidance.

  2. says: Sanchorff44

    I’m a DA working on secure attachment and only now beginning to understand why I never reached out to an ex after a breakup. I found relationship to be too much effort and closeness made me uncomfortable. I didn’t respond to messages and when someone complained I felt smothered. I saw expecting me to reply as needy and a weakness and would often lead to me ending the relationship without even telling them why. Then I’d feel angry that I still cared for them but not reach out because I thought they hated me, and I didn’t want to put them through it again.

  3. says: Mary1971

    Yangki, my DA ex was happy with me for 5 months. He initiated contact and arranged dates and really showed me he cared about me. The relationship ended because I didn’t know how to deal with him needing space and I wonder if maybe I’d given him space we’d have lasted longer. I read all these things about DAs being cold-blooded and narcissists and deep inside it’s hard for me to accept that what we experienced wasn’t real. Am I convincing myself it was real because I want it to be?

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      If you felt it was real, it was real. For a dismissive avoidant, he did try with you. Don’t let the narrative that dismissive avoidants have no feelings and are all narcissists devalue or invalidate what you felt and had. If you notice, I do not encourage that narrative on my site. I’m more interested in helping different attachment styles REALLY understand each other and try to work together.

      As for what would have happened if you had dealt with a dismissive avoidant wanting space differently, there’s no way to say for sure that you’d have lasted longer. The way you handled him wanting space did contribute to the break-up, but things could have also ended because dismissive avoidants, like the other insecure attachment styles have deep-rooted issues that make relationships hard and likely to end quickly. Take responsibility for the role you played in the break-up, learn and grow from it; but don’t feel responsible for someone being a dismissive avoidant. That’s theirs to fix.

      1. says: Mary1971

        Thank you so much for replying. Yes, he had a lot of good traits and it was real. It would feel good if he reached out so I know that he did care about me.

        1. says: Ruby

          My situation is similar to yours. We also broke up because I was anxious when he needed space and didn’t make him feel safe. I’ve been in NC for 11 weeks and coming to terms with the fact that there really isn’t anything you can do for a DA to “miss you”. They don’t have “longing” feelings like us APs or have the reassuring traits of a securely attached person.

  4. says: Edvige

    I gave my DA ex space for 3 months since I read avoidants need more than the standard 30 days of no contact. I then reached out but didn’t make any demands and avoided talking about the relationship (past, present and future). I kept texts short and reached out every 4 days but when he was distancing, I pull back and reached out after 2 weeks. He never initiated contact but always responded and engaged with me. I felt that was making progress and was on a slow path to getting back together. But after almost 8 months of this, I reached a point where I couldn’t deny my feelings and needs anymore and told him I still loved him and wanted to get back together. He said he only wanted us to be friends and not hate each other.

    In retrospect and after reading many of your articles and eBook, I should have made it clear from the beginning I wanted him back, accepted his answer and moved on much sooner. I was too afraid to push him away but in the end the result was the same. I’m not angry with him because he never led me to believe we were getting back together, I just feel sad that I wasted a year believing I could earn him back.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      I feel your sadness. A year is a long time. All you can do now is pick up the pieces and keep moving forward with what you’ve learned.

      You’ll be ok.

  5. says: Colton

    There is a lot to be learned here. Trust me I know. I’m a dismissive working so hard to fix my attachment style. I’ve never missed someone to the point that I want them back. I don’t think I’ve even ever missed an ex at all. Instead, I become more and more detached with time. With my last ex, she asked for a break but after the 1-month break, I felt so detached and numb, and we ended breaking up. She was more hurt that I was cold towards her and showed no emotion than the breakup itself. I felt bad that I was cold towards her and hurt her more, but I also felt like “spare me the drama”. This sums my feelings about relationships in general. My therapist says my detachment from my own emotions makes me unable to deeply connect. I haven’t dated much since the last breakup 4 years ago.

    1. says: Uno

      @Colton, you described me like you know me. I’ve tried therapy with several different therapists, and all but one ended in disaster. I clicked on this post because I thought it was help for dismissive avoidants. It’s obviously one of those how to get back an avoidant types. I can’t say I learned anything new about myself or how to resolve my childhood traumas but her take on dismissive avoidants compared to others is in line with my experiences. It’s been 6 years since my last breakup and the closest I’ve come to a relationship is a few hookups and 2-3 month shallow superficial connections here and there. I’m generally happy when I’m single because there’s no pressure to feel anything, but it seems that every year that goes by I get more lonely and isolated.

  6. says: Sagegrn

    I’m FA and mostly dated APs who I felt had expectations of me to communicate and be more open with my feelings. This caused me anxiety which then triggered deactivation and avoidance behaviors. My current ex was a DA leaning secure, and as crazy as it sounds, his DA tendencies helped me feel more secure because there were no expectations to communicate and be more open with my feelings and no anxiety from him. I don’t know if anyone else has this experience with DA lean secure.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      This is very interesting. If you don’t mind, why did you break up? Who broke up with whom?

      1. says: Sagegrn

        I broke up with him. The relationship was sexless and I urged him to get help but he never did. I finally told him I had needs and was done waiting. He said he loved me but understood I needed more in a relationship. He apologized for the hurt he caused and asked if we could still be friends. I told him I needed a little time and space and after 2 weeks I reached out, and we’ve been friends since. I actually feel staying as friends has made us get closer because I see parts of him he never let me see when we were romantically involved. He’s also recently started therapy.

        1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

          Good for you!

          I’m interested in how this plays out. Could you please text or email me? Thanks.

  7. says: Novelty

    Yangki, do DAs mean it when they say, “contact me if you need anything?” My ex reached out for the first time in 4 months since the breakup. He said he was checking on me because he heard I was sick. After 2 weeks of begging to get back together, I told him I needed space to heal. He replied that he understood. 2 months later, I reached out and he replies to my texts after 5 days – I week. He’s never reached out first until this week. We had a 30-minute text chat and it felt good.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      In my experience, most dismissive avoidants mean it when they you say you can contact them, and most respond (and take their time to respond). He’s not reaching out because:

      1) dismissive avoidants generally just never reach out first unless they’re emotionally invested. There are exceptions as some have pointed out.

      2) you asked for space; he may be thinking he’ll be overstepping the boundaries reaching out, or he just doesn’t want to seem like a bother. He is leaving it up to you to reach out if and when you want.

  8. says: Whok

    I’m not your typical dismissive avoidant in that I like good conversations and initiate them often if someone is interesting. What turns me of is multiple texts a day wanting to talk about how their day is going or ask about my day.

    1. says: Marky

      For me it depends on who and how checkins are done. I had an ex who I think was secure and always asked if I was ok if I go silent for days or was not keeping up with the conversation. I didn’t always respond, but I appreciated it. I had another ex who sent annoying texts trying to be emotionally supportive but always made it about her. It was like she wanted to be liked rather than be supportive.

  9. says: StuckFA

    I’m FA lean anxious and I agree that we’re not much different from a preoccupied attachment. For 2 weeks after the breakup (she’s DA and broke up with me), I did everything you’re not supposed to do after the breakup. I love bombed her so much that she wrote me a long angry text saying she didn’t want to block me but I’m forcing her to do it. I haven’t reached out since but everyday I fight the urge to reach out, the only thing that stops me is that she’ll block me. I read that DAs once they block you don’t unblock you. I’ve deleted her number but deliberately not blocked her in case she wants to reach out. I know everyone says to do complete wipe out but I don’t want her to try to reach out and find she’s blocked or she blocks me. I’m stuck in this waiting game.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      When things get to this point, all you can do is wait. But waiting shouldn’t be putting your life on hold, she may never reach out. Use this time to work on you and live your life, if and when she reaches out and you still want her back, you’ll be in a better position to attract her back.

  10. says: Just Steve

    I’m dismissive avoidant and I generally find no reason to do not contact or block someone unless they’re unbearable or toxic. If there are no hard feelings and we can still be friends, I’ll reach out just like I do with my other friends. But if we can’t be friends, I’ll leave the door open for you to reach out, but I will never do it myself. I may watch your stories just because I’m curious about what you’re up to and because I want to know you’re okay, but there’s no romantic interest there.

    Now, if I still have romantic feelings for you, I’ll reach out within a few days to a couple of weeks of the breakup. My reasons for waiting to reach out are because I don’t want to cause you anymore pain than I already have. So when I’m reaching out, I’m basically checking to see if you hate me and testing the waters. If I get the green light, I’ll reach out again, if not, I will leave you to reach out to me.

    We avoidants are not all the same, but this is how I approach things.

    1. says: Bekkah

      It’s really interesting to hear it from the side of an avoidant. I’m a secure but sometimes become anxious.

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