How Avoidant Exes Feel When You Start Dating After A Breakup

Whether or not to start dating other people while trying to get your ex back is a dilemma you will be faced with at some point, especially if the process is dragging on for too long as it tends to do with avoidant exes.

My personal opinion and experience as a coach is that there is nothing wrong with dating other people while trying to attract back your ex. You are not in a relationship, so it’s not like you are cheating. And if the process drags on past 6 months, it’s unrealistic for your ex to expect you to put your romantic life on hold when it’s unclear if they’ll ever come back.

But while there is nothing wrong with dating again and trying to attract back your ex at the same time, you will have exes who have a problem with you dating other people while at the same time trying get them back, and see this as a potentially red flag and even use it as an argument against getting back together.

Research on attachment styles and jealousy gives us useful insights on how you dating after the breakup will make your ex feel and how it will affect the chances of getting them back.

How  anxious attachment feel and react when you start dating again

Anxiously attached and fearful avoidant exes (especially those leaning anxious) feel sadness and heightened jealousy when you start dating again. This happens whether or not they still have feelings for you and/or want you back.

Because of their fear of rejection and abandonment, you will likely see an increase in anxiously attached and fearful avoidant ex’s social media activity as soon as they find out you are dating again. They’ll start liking your posts and watching your stories more, leaving comments something they may have not done before, posting messages about heartbreak, sadness, moving on and/or posting things to try to provoke jealousy, reestablish contact or reel you back into a relationship.

But the fear of losing you to someone else can also make anxiously attached and fearful avoidant exes feel that you moved on, there is no more hope that you’ll get back together and they should move on too. Because of their negative self-view, anxiously attached and fearful avoidants believe that people will always choose others over them, and because you made a choice to date someone else, you must think and feel that the new person you are dating is better than them. The best they can do to keep what’s left of their dignity is to move on.

Many anxiously attached and fearful avoidant exes also turn their fear of abandonment and losing you to someone else into anger – anger against you for rebounding so fast or moving on so easily (like they meant nothing), and anger against the new man or woman for taking you away from them. In some cases, the anger anxiously attached and fearful avoidant exes feel when their ex starts dating again can lead to loss of attraction or even the ick.

How avoidants feel and react when you start dating again

The majority of dismissive avoidants don’t come back or want their exes back, so you dating while trying to get back a dismissive avoidant will likely have no impact at all. And because dismissive avoidants are not afraid of abandonment and have a positive self-view, they’re likely not to take you dating again seriously or as something of concern to them. This is largely a result of a dismissive avoidant “you do you, I do me” dismissive attitude towards all things relationships.

But there is evidence that dismissive avoidant and fearful avoidants leaning avoidant exes can feel sad and even jealous when you start dating again. This however depends on if there was a possibility that they might someday want to come back. But just because they feel sad or jealous doesn’t mean that your dismissive avoidant or fearful avoidant ex leaning avoidant is going to act on their feeling. Studies show that jealous avoidants in general feel less fear and anger because avoidants have a negative view of romantic partners. They are not surprised when you rebound so quickly or start dating again because they expect you to be unreliable and undependable. Even dismissive avoidants who still have feelings don’t act that much affected by you dating again. They may go into denial about what you starting to date again means for the two of you, dismiss it as just a stunt or ploy to manipulate them, doom the prospects of you finding someone better than them and/or distance themselves to avoid feeling any type of way about you dating again.

I want to make it clear that the typical way dismissive avoidants feel and react to an ex dating again is often different from how most fearful avoidants feel and react. Although “avoidant”, fearful avoidants (or anxious avoidants) tend to bounce between anxious and dismissive when you start dating again. Fearful avoidant exes also tend to send so many mixed signals that are very confusing.

I’ve found that most of these mixed signals are subconscious because fearful avoidant are genuinely confused about what they want. But some mixed messages fearful avoidants send as soon as you start dating again are intentional. I’ve spoken to fearful avoidants trying to get their exes back who hope that the mixed signals will make it hard for their ex to emotionally invest in someone new. They’re banking on their ex to interpret their actions as them feeling nostalgic and/or even regretting the breakup but with little to no effort from a fearful avoidant to try to get back together.

Advice for dating again while trying to get back an avoidant ex

My advice is, if you are thinking of starting to date while trying to get an avoidant back, know, understand and consider how it will make your avoidant ex feel and how they might react, but don’t make your decision solely for an avoidant ex, especially (this is very important) if an avoidant is not making a genuine effort to engage in meaningful interaction.

The decision date others while trying to get an avoidant back should be something that feels right for you and you’re emotionally ready for, and not some insecure attachment strategy to appear unavailable or make an avoidant ex jealous. 

Here is the thing: Someone who comes back only because they felt threatened by you dating someone else didn’t come back because of you, they came back because they’re afraid that someone else might love and care about you the way that they couldn’t (and haven’t learned how to). It’s a false sense of emotional investment, it’s self-serving and it can keep you emotionally stuck, unable to move forward but also unable to let go.

I’m not saying that a relationship can’t work if an avoidant ex comes back when you are dating someone new or if an avoidant ex comes back after dating someone else. I’m saying, an avoidant coming back should be for the right reasons and not because they felt jealous that someone else is interested in you.

What you are doing using someone’s insecurity to manipulate them into coming back or taking back someone who only came back to you because they felt threatened by you dating someone new is consciously choosing to continue a cycle of insecure relationships, where you never truly feel loved or even wanted, and have to endlessly work hard, beg, manipulate and self-sacrifice to keep someone whose one foot is always out of the door in a relationship. 


How Quickly Do Fearful Avoidants Rebound? (Shocker)

How A Fearful Avoidant Ex Acts When Feeling Jealous

Do Dismissive Avoidant Exes Get Jealous?

Phantom Ex: Do Dismissive Avoidant Fantasize About Exes?

The Fearful Avoidant 3-6-9 Month Breakup Timeline

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One reply on “How Avoidant Exes Feel When You Start Dating After A Breakup”
  1. says: DeJuan

    Thank you, this is really helpful. My ex blocked me after seeing photos of me with another woman on Instagram. I love my ex and want her back, but because we are not together, I thought she would not care. As I am reading this, I am taking the photos down and will send an apology text. I really want her to respond, but she may not.

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