A dismissive-avoidant is willing to put in the work to make a relationship work if they can somehow be guaranteed that they can still maintain most of their independence and autonomy even in a relationship, there is no pressure for them to be a certain way (the way you want them to be) and you can and will meet most of your needs on your own.
This is the stable, secure and loving base for attracting back a dismissive-avoidant. Words or behaviours that suggest otherwise will get you the typical pushing you away, withdrawing from contact. “I don’t care” attitude or cold and sometimes hostile responses.
When a dismissive-avoidant pulls away, sometimes asking “Is there something I should be concerned/worried about?” works with dismissive-avoidants too, but unlike fearful-avoidants, dismissive-avoidants prefer more direct communication. That’s how they communicate and that’s how they expect others to communicate.
Securely attached individuals are better at direct communication and therefore better at communicating with dismissive-avoidants. Both attachment styles score very low to none on attachment anxiety and when they communicate neither is afraid of losing the other. Both attachment styles also score high on a positive view of themselves and in self-confidence which helps in being able to communicate directly and assertively.
Direct communication is harder for someone with attachment anxiety and fearful-avoidants because of high anxiety and fear. This is why it’s very important to work on becoming securely attached.
But of course in the meantime you want you ex back, so what do you do?
If your ex is sometimes a fearful avoidant and sometimes a dismissive-avoidant, I suggest you go with the “Is there something I should be concerned/worried about?” approach.
Another approach that seems to work very well with dismissive-avoidants is using humour and jokes to broach difficult topics. But this has to be approached carefully if your ex is in a defensive mode or has been pulling away for a while. It also depends on your ex’s personality and if jokes, teasing and sarcasm is something the two of you shared when you were together.
The third option is to directly state your needs and let the chips fall where they may. I know this is scary for someone with attachment anxiety because of the fear of losing your ex, but the reality is, you will still lose your ex because unmet needs have a way of making themselves heard whether or not you are aware that you are communicating your unexpressed needs.
There is nothing wrong with communicating your needs if they are reasonable. It’s how you communicate that often makes the difference between getting your needs met and pushing your ex away.
Make sure that before you bring up your concerns or needs, you have carefully thought things through:
1 – Is it important enough for you to make an issue of it?
Some things need to be addressed so things can move forward but some are not that important for the end goal. For example if your ex responds to a text 3 days later and it is a positive text or shows he wants to keep in contact, is it worthy making a deal about the fact that it took them 3 days to respond?
2 – Is this about what is really going on or is it your attachment anxiety that has been activated?
Are you interpreting the situation correctly or assuming things that may be incorrect? Anxiety and fear tend to exaggerate problems or what’s really going on, that’s why it’s sometimes best to check with an independent objective person not emotionally invested in what’s going on (friends and relatives are not usually objective because of their emotional investment in what they think is your well-being) – Realistic About Your Chances Of Attracting Back Your Ex
3 – Is this something your ex can do something about or is it something beyond their control?
For example, if your ex is depressed they may not be motivated to talk to anyone or do anything, and making it about you doesn’t help.
The fourth option is to go with the flow. The pros and cons of going with the flow depends on who your ex is and what your situation is, see: Attracting Back Your Ex – Pros And Cons Of Going With the Flow