Can a dismissive avoidant ex miss you and come back? Yes. How often do dismissive avoidants come back? Not too often, but they come back.
Dismissive avoidants are known for not reaching out first and for not coming back once a relationship ends. In fact, one of the first questions my clients trying to attract back a dismissive is “How often do dismissive avoidants come back?”
To understand why and how dismissive avoidants miss you and how and when they come back; it helps to understand their behaviour in the initial phase of the break-up.
Dismissive avoidants in the initial phases of a break-up
The few studies that focus on attachment styles in the initial phases of a break-up are mixed for dismissive avoidants. On a behavioural level, they tend to show fewer difficulties with break-ups, (Fraley and Bonanno, 2004), but this is often seen as a part of an avoidant defensive suppression of attachment-related thoughts and emotions and not as part of a real detachment from an ex.
Unlike fearful avoidants who tend to obsess about how things might have been different; dismissive avoidants have fewer break-up regrets. If a dismissive avoidant regrets breaking up, they suppress all thoughts and feelings about it. Like securely attached, a high self-concept allows them to bounce back faster, transition more smoothly and adjust to their new reality much faster. This may explain why securely attached and dismissive avoidants don’t feel the need to do no contact.
They do not need the “no contact to deal with break-up emotions” because they suppress break-up emotions; and can go on with their lives like the break-up never happened. But they’re also less likely to initiate contact.
How long does it take a dismissive avoidant ex to miss you?
Dismissive avoidants value their independence and space more than they value relationships. Many are relieved when a relationship ends because they are now “free” to do them. Missing you sets in slowly and over a long period of time. They may think of you from time to time, but it’s not “missing you” thoughts.
But if a dismissive avoidant was in a relationship for more than 3 years and if they developed attachment to you; a dismissive avoidant will miss you sooner. They will miss you whether they are the dumper, or you ended the relationship.
Will a dismissive avoidant reach out when they miss you?
Dismissive avoidants in general do not pursue someone. They see reaching out first as pursuing which is why they do not reach out first. They also do not reach out because they don’t want to put themselves in a position where they feel unpleasant emotions.
If a dismissive avoidant reaches reach out first, it is because they:
- Had developed a strong emotional attachment to you
- View the relationship to have been relatively good (not many arguments or fights)
- Felt you understood and respected their need for space
- Heard something bad happened to you and they think they should show support
- Are having a hard time meeting someone as good as you
- Want sex
Individuals with a dismissive avoidant attachment can easily separate love from sex; and often call an ex they have no romantic feelings towards just for sex.
How do you know a dismissive avoidant wants to come back?
A dismissive avoidant ex reaching out first is a sign that they miss you and may want to come back. It means that you mean so much to them that they are willing to risk being seen as pursuing someone. But whether or not they actually come back depends on the same reasons exes of other attachment styles come back; they believe the relationship this time will be much better than the old one.
How often dismissive avoidants come back depends on how you communicate after the break-up. Anyone trying to attract a dismissive avoidant knows that communication with a dismissive avoidant is always a challenge. Through out the process of trying to attract them there will be very long periods when there is no contact at all. I discus this in my video: Taking Things Slow With An Avoidant Ex.
It’s important to understand that unlike fearful avoidants, dismissive avoidants are not too concerned about rejection. They have reasonable expectations that you will respond at some point. It does not matter to them whether you respond right away or hours or days later. This this is what they do. It makes sense that they expect others to do the same.
But if they think you are playing mind games, they will get frustrated and lash out or shut down. As far as they are concerned, if you want to respond, respond. If you don’t, don’t respond.
How you react to their thinking about contact and communication, will make the difference between the end of contact and the beginning of a new relationship. If you come on too strong, complain or show sign that you are not happy with things being too slow, that’s it. You may never hear from a dismissive avoidant ex again.