Attachment theory offers a basic guide to how much contact each attachment styles needs to feel safe and want to be in a relationship. Each attachment style has specific needs for connection (closeness) and space; and this affects how often you reach out or text an avoidant.
How often to reach out or text a fearful avoidant ex
How often you text a fearful avoidant depends on whether they lean anxious or lean avoidant, and whether they’re hyperactivated (anxious) or deactivated (avoidant).
1) Text a fearful avoidant more when they’re anxious/activated/hot
When a fearful avoidant feels anxious they need less space and want you to reach out or text them more often. This is what I like to call a fearful avoidant in ‘connection mode”. In “connection mode”, fearful avoidants usually text more and show that they want connection. They even text you when you are not responding and after you stop texting them back.
But fearful avoidants are also on high alert when it comes to how often you reach out and how quickly you respond to texts. If you pull back or start playing “I want you to miss me” mind games when a fearful avoidant is in “connection mode”, fearful avoidants can get very anxious because they feel abandoned. Fearful avoidants react to feeling abandoned by either seeking more contact and texting more (needing validation and reassurance) or deactivating (avoiding the source of their anxiety). So contact and text a fearful avoidant ex in connection mode as much as they’re contacting and texting you
2) Text a fearful avoidant less when they’re avoidant/deactivated/cold
When a fearful avoidant pulls back or deactivates, text them less because they need more space/distance than connection. Contact them less doesn’t mean do no contact.
Learn more: How Much Space To Give A Fearful Avoidant Ex
3) Meet a fearful avoidant’s specific attachment need at the time
Make sure that you reach out or text them in a way that meets their specific attachment needs for contact and space at the time. Don’t get stuck on “how often” to reach out or text, but instead pay close attention to how they respond or react and let it guide your next text.
How often to reach out or text a dismissive avoidant ex
How often you reach out or text a dismissive avoidant depends on the strength of your connection or emotional bond. A dismissive avoidant will indicate to you how strongly they’re attached to you by how often they reach out or text you.
1) Space out text messages when texting a dismissive avoidant
In general, dismissive avoidants need more space between texts than fearful avoidants. As someone who had a dismissive avoidant attachment, I know that dismissive avoidants find frequent contact and texting suffocating and infringing on their need for space. This doesn’t mean dismissive avoidants don’t want you to text them at all, it just means that they prefer more space between contacts or text messages. Even when you are in a relationship, a dismissive avoidant may be comfortable with a couple of text exchanges a day, and often control how much of their space and time they share with a partner.
2) Try to avoidant double or triple texting a dismissive avoidant
Text a dismissive avoidant and wait for them to respond before you send another text. Don’t text a dismissive avoidant more than a couple of sentences per text, they’ll probably not read or respond. With a dismissive avoidant, shorter sentences will get you faster responses, and so try to keep text messages with a dismissive avoidant short and direct to the point.
3) Expect to do most of the reaching out
Do not expect a dismissive avoidant to reach out, they’re most likely not going to. This means that you will be doing most of the reaching out and initiating conversation, asking to hang out etc. Eventually they’ll begin reaching out and initiating text messages, then you can slowly pull back and try to create a give-and-take balance. Do not stop initiating hoping that they’ll do all the work because once they notice they’re doing all the work, dismissive avoidants deactivate and pull further away.
Learn more: How Much Space To Give A Dismissive Avoidant Ex
Changes in texting behaviours just after a break-up are temporary
Many people have a hard time adjusting to the new dynamics of when and how often to reach out or text and ex. This is quite understandable. It’s hard to go from texting someone every day all day long to texting them every few days or once a week. But if you don’t adjust to the realities of a break-up, you’ll end up pushing your ex away, especially if your ex is a fearful avoidant or dismissive avoidant.
The reality is, when you breakup, the how, when, and even what of reaching out or texting change regardless of your ex’s attachment style. For example you find that:
- A dismissive avoidant ex who wase comfortable with good morning and goodnight texts when you were in a relationship, after the break-up barely responds at all.
- A fearful avoidant ex who was initiating most texts, arranging most of the dates and even needy at times, after the break-up want “no contact” to focus on themselves.
- An anxious preoccupied ex who days following the break-up was blowing up your phone and begging you to come back suddenly stops reaching out to protest the break-up (anxious protest behaviour).
- Even an ex with a secure attachment style after a break-up is taking longer to respond and initiating contact less and less because they don’t want to lead you on or want to take things slow.
Most of the time the “change” in how and when to reach our or text an ex, and how much space each attachment style needs after the break-up is temporary; a reaction to the break-up. With time, exes revert back to their core attachment styles.
Be flexible and text an avoidant in a way that’s safe for both of you
While how well you space or time your contacts and texts alone will not attract back your ex; an understanding of how much balance of contact and space makes your ex feel safe enough to respond or initiate contact can make a big difference as to them responding, engaging in conversation, reaching out and initiating conversation, wanting to meet and go out on dates, and eventually coming back.
There are also individual factors that may affect how often you reach out and text an avoidant. For example: 1) What else is happening in your exe’s life that may be a priority (new relationship, illness in the family, work or busy schedule etc.), and 2) Issues outside of their control (e.g. depression, long distance etc.). All these can affect how often an avoidants wants connection and how they respond to you texting them.