Do fearful avoidants regret the break-up? Yes they do. Fearful avoidants sometimes regret the break-up and regret losing you and some of them come back after they realize they made a mistake breaking up with you.
Why fearful avoidants break-up with someone they have feelings for and love
Fearful avoidants break up with you for the same reason the other attachment styles break up; the relationship is not working for them. But there is one reason that sets apart people with a fearful avoidant attachment style; the one that probably makes a fearful avoidant regret losing you and regret the breakup the most.
Fearful avoidance more than all the other attachment styles have a tendency to break up with someone they have feeling for or love because they believed that the person was going to break up with them at some point.
Something their ex said or did triggered their fear of rejection and abandonment; and the fearful avoidant pre-emptively ended the relationship. This explains why some people are blindsided when a fearful avoidant breaks up with them. There were no signs and no pushing you away; and it’s not like they planned the breakup. A fearful avoidant kind of panicked and ended things.
The break-up feels like it came from nowhere; but in reality it came from a fearful avoidant thinking that you were unhappy; and you were going to break up with them at some point.
A Fearful avoidant would rather regret losing you after the break-up than feel rejected
When I ask asked some of my fearful avoidant clients why they just didn’t wait for their ex to break up with them; since they believed their ex was going to break up with them anyway. Some of them tell me they thought about it for a long time because of all the arguments and the complaints from their ex; but being a fearful avoidant, they went back and forth about it. Then in an instant they decided to break up. They’d rather regret losing their ex after the break-up than feel rejected.
Some of my fearful avoidant clients said initiating the break-up made them feel more in control; like they won something out of the break-up since they were the ones to end things. Other clients told me that they thought their ex was unhappy and was going to break-up with them. They ended the relationship first hoping that if they were wrong, their ex would pursue them; and show them that they didn’t want to break-up. If their ex didn’t pursue them it made them angry at themselves; and also angry at their ex for what they perceived as rejection.
Sometimes they don’t actively initiate the break-up, they pull away, push you away, disappear without an explanation or start dating someone else; in a way pushing you to break-up with them. But if they didn’t want to break-up, a fearful avoidant will cut off all contact; and will not respond at all when you reach out as a way of punishing you for breaking up with them. They regret losing you after you break up with them; but a fearful avoidant also wants you to realize what you lost.
But whether you broke up with them or they broke up with you, all fearful avoidants carry some guilt and even regret when a relationship ends.
A fearful avoidant may regret losing you after the break-up but not regret breaking up
Most don’t regret the break-up itself and may even feel that the break-up needed to happen. They may regret losing you after the break-up and regret how they acted or didn’t act; and may feel angry about how things ended up the way they did, but they do not regret ending the relationship.
In other words, a fearful avoidant’s regret most of the time is not straight up, “I regret breaking up with you” type of regret; it’s more like “I wish I could turn back time” regret.
Feeling guilt and regret, and sometimes anger goes far back into a fearful avoidant’s childhood; where they sometimes felt that they were responsible for what was happening to them or let it happen. Maybe if they were good enough, maybe if they did this better or hadn’t done that; they would be loved, acknowledged, appreciated, and/or not punished as much or abused at all.
They carry this sense of guilt into their adult relationships. Never feeling good enough or adequate, and never being able to truly trust their relationship partners. Because of this sense of guilt, when someone break-ups up with them, a fearful avoidants takes it too personally.
They mostly feel angry with themselves because they let themselves down (again). They feel even more hurt and angry with themselves if things were going really well for the first time in their relationship history; but then their insecurities, fear, and distrust came up and messed things. Most fearful avoidants regret pushing you away and regret losing you.
Do fearful avoidants come back if they regret the break-up?
Some fearful avoidants immediately regret the break-up and come back; but most fearful avoidants do not immediately come back even after they realize they made a mistake breaking up. They may even admit to an ex that they regret the break-up but hold back on coming back because they don’t trust their own feelings. Some fearful avoidants regret the break-up but remain in no contact for months.
The main reason why fearful avoidant who regret the break-up don’t come back is that fearful avoidants tend to hold on to grudges and harbour resentment, bitterness, and anger long after the break-up. They may regret the break-up but will not come back or hold off coming back because of these negative feelings towards an ex.
If they initiated the break-up, they may be relieved that the relationship ended but hold resent and feel angry with their ex because their ex didn’t validate, acknowledge or appreciate the fact that they tried to be good enough.
Some fearful avoidants focus exclusively on what they or their ex could have done differently; so much that they become depressed and anxious even thinking about getting back together.
A fearful avoidant ex’s fear of things being the same prevents them from coming back
What if things are the same, what if I can’t be the boyfriend or girlfriend my ex wants; and what if we get back together and they break-up with me?
Depending on how angry a fearful avoidant ex is about how you treated them or how you acted; it may take sone fearful avoidant up to 3-6 months to reach out. If a fearful avoidant doesn’t reach out within 6 months of the break-up; as hard as it maybe to accept, sometimes no response is a response in itself.
Sometimes they respond to all text messages and even initiate text messages; but still maintain distance until they’re confident that things between the two of you have changed enough for them to take the next step of seeing you in person. If you keep pushing to meet when they feel that things may not end very well; a fearful avoidant ex will say, yes, let’s meet but it never actually happens.
A fearful avoidant get triggered by even good memories
Fearful avoidants often keep playing the negative things that happened during the relationship over and over; and even months after the break-up. These negative memories often overshadow the good things that happened in the relationship. This is one reason I advice my clients trying to attract back a fearful avoidant not to use triggering memories as a central part of their strategy to attract back a fearful avoidant. You might think you are trying to trigger a good memory, but that memory also triggers guilt, regret and even anger.
If you’re in contact with your ex, you may have noticed chatting with your fearful avoidant ex that sometimes they overreact or feel slighted by very minor things. You are having a perfectly normal good conversation, then in the middle of the conversation they become cold, and sometimes even mean or angry. This often has very little to do with the conversation but with a fearful avoidant triggered by a past memory.
It’s best to avoid memories in the initial stages until you have had better experiences to offset any guilt or regret a fearful avoidant may have.
What to do with a fearful avoidant’s regrets about the break-up
How do you approach a fearful avoidant ex who may be regretting losing you, but feels that the break-up was necessary due to the things that happened in the relationship?
First determine if your fearful avoidant is indeed feeling guilty or has regrets about some of the things that happened in the course of the relationship or during the break-up. Look back at the things they’ve said while you were still together, during the break-up and after the break-up. Does anything they said suggest that they regret their actions or inactions?
This is important because I don’t want you reading this and concluding your fearful avoidant ex feels guilty and regrets the break-up without any evidence of guilt or regret. This is not fair to you, to your ex and to your chances.
You can also watch my video on Strong Signs An Avoidant Regrets The Break-Up.
Once you’ve determined what your fearful avoidant’s regrets are:
- Factor them in your overall strategy to attract back a fearful avoidant.
- Make sure your strategy have a plan on how to address each of the concerns a fearful avoidant has based on the past relationship.
- Work on the behaviours and communication style that may have contributed to a fearful avoidant feeling unappreciated, undervalued; and not good enough.
What to do when a fearful avoidant is triggered by a past memory
If you sense that your fearful avoidant ex feels bad about somethings they said or did during the relationship, or even actually feels bad for breaking up with you, don’t try to push them to talk about it.
If it happens in the middle of a conversation, tell them you sense something is wrong, and if they want to talk about it, you’ll hear them out. But if they don’t want to talk about it, it’s best to end the conversation and you will reach out again later. Tell them you care about them, and their feelings are important to you and when they’re ready to talk, you will listen. You are not going anywhere.
They may pull back for a few days. The reassurance that when they lean back in, you will not reject them feels safe for a fearful avoidant; and they’ll likely reach out depending on how deeply the memory triggered them.
If they don’t reach out, check in with them in a few days or within a week.
How A Fearful Avoidant Ex Comes Back – A Detailed Analysis
How To Get Close To An Avoidant Ex (Get Them To Trust You)
4 Ways To Take It Slow With A Fearful Avoidant Ex
Why Did My Fearful Avoidant Ex Block Me and Then Unblock Me?
My FA ex said he regretted the breakup and really believed it was a mistake, but he doesn’t think we should get back together. He brought up our history of on-and-off again (7 times in 3 years) as a reason for not wanting to try things again. I’m tempted to go no contact, but every time we broke up and I went no contact he told me he liked me less. First he’d miss me like crazy, then he’d grow cold and distant even though he was the one to reach out first.
Fearful avoidants send mixed messages that can be very confusing, but 7 break-ups in 3 years is a lot. Maybe you should work on why you keep breaking up before attempting to try things again. And you’re right, no contact will make him like you even less.
One of a fearful avoidant’s greatest fear is that someone they like and love will abandon them, no contact feels to him like abandonment and that’s why he likes you less, and may have trouble trusting you will stick around. He misses you and reaches out, then he gets into his own head about you abandoning him and distances.
A mountain of regret and feelings of “will I ever get it right?” 3 years later, she’s in a happy relationship, and I still can’t get it right.
I only became aware of my fearful attachment recently. I look back at the many ways I pushed my ex away and made her feel I didn’t love her. She was good to me and even when I broke up with her she said she hoped we can be friends some day. She even reached out to me a few weeks after we broke up but I didn’t reply to her text. She also wished a happy birthday and I coldly replied “Thank you” I really made her feel unloved. It hurts that I lost her, but it hurts more realizing I self-sabotaged the best thing in my life. I’m finally working on myself, but it is too late, we’ve been broken up for a year.
It’s not always too late. Reach out casually and see what happens. It might be scary as a fearful avoidant, but it’s also stepping out of your comfort zone and learning to be vulnerable.
Yangki, do FAs miss you sooner if they impulsively ended things or if they deactivated gradually and had time to process their feelings before they actually ended it?
It makes sense that they’d miss you sooner if they impulsively ended the relationship because that means they didn’t plan on ending it, and may have some regrets about it. If they gradually detached, it means that they’ve had a lot of time to think about missing you and decided it was still better to break up. But I think it’s more complicated than that, and of course each fearful avoidant is different. The reason for the break-up, how you treated them, and all the things I list in this article play a role in how soon an avoidant misses you; or if they miss you at all.
For me the break up was necessary but getting over him was still tough. We were together for 4 years.
I still love my ex and regret leaving her. It’s only after reading about attachment styles and understanding my fearful avoidant style that I finally understand why one day I just stopped feeling for her. I miss her every day, but I can’t ask her to come back or be in any relationship until I get some kind of help. I can’t hurt her again so I’m staying away and avoiding her at all costs.
I’ve regrated almost every break up except for one. I have this thing where I get in my head and this I‘m missing out on something even though the person I’m with is wonderful. But after going through the break up I feel terrible about it, but I can’t just take it back. Years later I still think of many of my exes.
I just found out about attachment styles and that I’m a fearful avoidant. Out relationship was good for the first year but I started to worry that she didn’t want to be with me. I tried to hide my fears by doing so much for her to show her how much I love her but it seemed it was never enough. I didn’t want to breakup, I did it as a way to give her an out if she need it. She immediately blocked me and now she’s in a relationship 2 months after our breakup. I regret breaking up with her every day but seeing she’s in a relationship so quickly I can’t but help wonder if I was right all along that she didn’t want to be with me.
It’s possible you were right she didn’t want to be with you, but it’s more likely that it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy, unfortunately. Also, an ex moving on too quickly isn’t necessarily a reflection of you or the relationship. Some exes don’t want to be alone and jump into a new relationship to avoid being alone whether they loved you or the relationship was relatively good.