How Dismissive Avoidants Feel When You Leave Them Alone

It’s a well-known that dismissive avoidants are highly independent, do not prioritize relationships and need lots of space, and do not often come back after a breakup, but how do they really feel when someone walks away from the relationship or when left alone? Do they feel ashamed for not being able to sustain a long-term relationship? Do they feel lonely?

Some dismissive avoidants feel are ashamed of not being able to sustain a long-term relationship, but the majority of dismissive avoidants genuinely enjoy their own company more than they enjoy others. When you walk away from them, a dismissive avoidant will feel your absence but they will not see your absence as leading to loneliness because dismissive avoidants generally do not expect much from others or depend on others for their sense of worth or to feel complete.

Dismissive avoidants embrace “aloneness” as a part of their individuality and strength

To further understand how dismissive avoidants feel when left alone, it’s important to understand that dismissive avoidants embrace “aloneness”. They’re perfectly comfortable and happy being alone without feelings lonely. If you’re not a dismissive avoidant, its hard to wrap your mind around feeling comfortable with the absence of connection and interaction or feeling isolation but without feeling lonely. You think everybody craves connection and interaction and dismissive avoidants are stubbornly choosing not to act on their craving. You couldn’t be more wrong.

Aloneness protects dismissive avoidants from loneliness. People who experience loneliness feel the absence of connection and interaction and want to end the unpleasant feeling, but someone who prioritizes being alone does not feel loneliness because they do not feel distressed by the absence of connection and interaction. They may feel isolation but without feeling lonely because there’s no distress in being alone and no longing for connection or interaction. It’s their comfort with aloneness that has earned dismissive avoidants monikers like loner, lone wolf, drifter, rolling stone, rebel spirit, etc.; monikers many dismissive avoidants embrace and use to describe themselves.

Dismissive avoidants are more afraid of relationships than they’re afraid of being alone

While anxiously attached and anxious-leaning fearful avoidants are terrified of being alone, dismissive avoidants are actually more afraid of relationships than they’re afraid of being alone. And unlike fearful avoidants who avoid relationships out of fear of rejection and/or abandonment, dismissive avoidants avoid close relationships to avoid the stress and complications of being in a close-relationship.

What they feel and think is … Here come expectations… I take care of myself and now I have to take care of your needs too… Less time for myself… I’m not responsible for your feelings… You’re trying to change me so you can control me… Can’t I just have some peace and quiet… I don’t have to listen to you complain about what a bad person I am…Leave if you want, I don’t care… I don’t ask you for anything or need anything from you… This is why I don’t want relationships… This is too much… I miss being by myself… I can’t. I just can’t… Bye.

The dismissive avoidant thinking is, why would I put myself through all the stress and messiness of a relationship when I can be happy on my own? Some dismissive avoidants even feel “lucky” that they are completely and perfectly happy all on their own.

Being alone gives dismissive avoidants the independence and autonomy that is fundamental to their attachment style. Being alone allows them to escape the expectations, unnecessary dramas and misunderstandings that come with romantic relationships.

The fact that dismissive avoidant embrace “aloneness” and see it as a strength of their attachment style does not mean that dismissive avoidants don’t enjoy romantic relationship. Just like everyone else, dismissive avoidants the feeling of being loved otherwise they wouldn’t be trying to get into relationships. The difference between dismissive avoidants and anxiously attached or fearful avoidants is that dismissive avoidants don’t worry about a romantic relationship ending. They know that they will be fine on their own, better than fine as a matter of fact.

So when you walk away and leave them alone, a dismissive avoidant will think about it like for a few minutes and shrug it off. As far as they’re concerned, no one is that important to fall part over. Some dismissive avoidants even gain more respect for someone walking away from a relationship that they’re not happy in because that’s something they themselves would do, especially if there is incompatibility and/or lots of emotional stress.

Knowing how dismissive avoidants feel about being alone helps you understand their mindset when you walk away and leave them alone, and appreciate Why A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Reaching Out After a Breakup Is A Big Deal. It will also help you respond in a way that makes a dismissive avoidant ex appreciate and prioritize a relationship with you.


Why Avoidant Ex Doesn’t Want A Relationship (What to Do)

Does My Dismissive Avoidant Ex Want To Be Left Alone?

What Happens When You Ignore A Dismissive Avoidant Ex?

Dismissive Avoidant Attachment And “Longing” For An Ex

Why No Contact Doesn’t Work With A Dismissive Avoidant Ex

Why I Came Back To My Ex – My Dismissive Avoidant Story

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  1. says: Lami

    My last real breakup was 11 years ago. It took me a while to get over this one mainly because she made my life a living hell and I probably let it go on for far too long. I’ve been single since and you can say at my age I’m set in my ways and don’t feel like anything is missing in my life. Every once in a while I get casually involved with someone, but it never rises to the level of a relationship. I just don’t need that in my life. I have great friends and family I see them 2-3 times a year and that’s good enough for me.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      It would be if a dismissive avoidant’s fear of being vulnerable was because they fear that it will not be returned. It’s fearful avoidants who want connection but fear opening up because they do not trust that others will reciprocate, receive it well or value it (fear of rejection). They also don’t trust themselves to be doing the right thing opening up or even doing it the right way.

      Dismissive avoidants fear being vulnerable because vulnerability makes one susceptible to being emotionally dependent, controlled and/or manipulated, which is the big fear for dismissive avoidants. If you let others in, they’ll mess things up and stress you out and they’ll use your vulnerability to try to control you. If you keep them out, you remain in control of your life and leave peacefully ever after.

  2. says: Julian

    I’m the stereotypical dismissive avoidant. I trust myself to take care of me 100%, on a cognitive level I believe I’m deserving of love though I don’t yearn for it or seek out relationships. I don’t believe having someone in my life solves my problems or feel lonely when I’m not in a relationship. When someone rejects me, I decide not care and forget about it. I’m a fairly successful, good looking and charming guy and have no shortage of dates, and when I’m with someone, I’m not so concerned for myself, I know I can handle any situation quite well, I’m more concerned for them and how they’ll handle me walking away, if that makes sense.

    I don’t reach out to my exes first because I think they want to move on and don’t want me to hurt them any more than I already have, and I don’t want to hurt them any more either. When I think of reaching out, the image of them expressing frustration and pain flashes in front of me and I snap out of wanting to reach out.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      It makes sense. If you read my story, one of my concerns also was hurting someone, especially if they were good to me and/or I was the reason for the break-up. I knew that I’d be okay, but would they be okay? Definitely some guilt there, and I kept checking up on them until I felt that they were going to be okay.

  3. says: Crystal

    Thank Yangki, for clarifying the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. I’ve always wondered why some people lack the basic human desires for connection and intimacy and how do they even make it in life.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      I don’t think “lack the basic human desires for connection and intimacy” is an accurate way to describe a dismissive avoidant attachment. It’s more like “low drive” for connection and intimacy.

      I think that all humans have the basic human need for connection and intimacy but at varying degrees. People with an anxious attachment for example have a very high drive for connection and intimacy and fearful avoidants (anxious-avoidant) have high and low drive (hot and cold). Secures have what’s considered “standard” drive, but that’s debatable. Newer studies argue the current Western categorizations of secure, anxious, and avoidant may not be universal or apply in all cultures.

      1. says: Georgia

        I’m a Psychology Masters student and dating someone from a different culture. I’m very interested in these newer studies. Do you have links?

  4. says: Chalsey

    I get really upset when people say dismissive avoidants fear rejection or read comments where people they’re dismissive avoidants and fear rejection because they do not have a positive view of themselves. Based on attachment theory, if you have avoidant traits and a negative view of yourself, you are a fearful avoidant.

    I never worry about rejection or felt abandoned. I however feel deeply hurt when I’m misunderstood or accused of doing something I’ve not done but that’s not the same as feeling rejected. I don’t seek acceptance or care if someone likes me and can easily brush off hurtful behavior, I just don’t like being misrepresented as something I’m not. I go on the attack or block you.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      I hear you. 1) avoidant traits + a negative view of self and 2) avoidant traits + fear of rejection/abandonment is a fearful avoidant attachment and NOT a dismissive avoidant attachment.

      I get a lot of people mistaking their fearful avoidant ex for a dismissive avoidant and clients who think they’re dismissive avoidant when they’re actually fearful avoidant. A lot more who think they’re secure when they’re actually anxiously attached.

      I think that many people who take online attachment quizzes don’t realize that many of those tests are not scientific or validated by someone trained to do psychological assessments or accurately measure people’s responses. And because most of the tests are self-questionnaires, it’s easy to misrepresent yourself because most of us are not fully aware of our own attachment issues or behaviours. The best you can end up with is which way you possibly lean.

    2. says: Zeke

      Another one is “DAs fear you going to abandon them because they’re not good enough”. Have any of these “experts” met a DA? We think WE ARE good enough we just don’t think YOU ARE good enough for us, and for this reason we will abandon you. We don’t fear you will abandon us, we expect you to leave because we can’t give you what you need. And when you leave, we don’t feel abandoned we are relieved.

  5. says: IceMint

    I laughed so hard at the last part that I scared my dog. You described how I feel almost word for word. There’s no stop button once the trigger is set off.

    To add, … Bye… why did I even bother?…

    Thank you for a good laugh, albeit at my expense.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      My apologies to your dog. Sometimes you got laugh at yourself.

      Definitely, … why did I even bother? goes in there too. But for me that’s only if I had emotionally invested in the relationship. Most times it was just bye, no processing the break-up, self reflection or looking back.

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