Why A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Ignores Texts (What to Do)

One of the hardest things about trying to get back an avoidant is trying to figure out why avoidants ignore texts and don’t text back or respond for hours even days. In this article. I will help you understand why avoidants specifically dismissive avoidants ignore text messages and stop texting back. Hopefully it’ll help you feel less anxious when a a dismissive avoidant doesn’t respond or stops responding.

You are not right or wrong to expect a response to a text, but..

When you have an anxious attachment, you’re over sensitive to what the other person thinks and feels, and how they respond to you.

When an anxiously attached gets a text, they’ll respond 95- 99% of the time. They also reply to a text immediately because they get excited (sometimes too excited) when their ex responds or reaches out. They are afraid that if they don’t respond immediately, it will make their ex feel ‘unloved’ or their ex will get upset and may pull away.

But if they respond right away, it will make their ex ‘feel good’ that they didn’t wait too long for a response. Remember, anxious men and women do things they want their ex to do to them including respond immediately:

When an ex responds immediately, it means that their ex still cares about them, is missing them and/or interested in what they have to say. A delayed response means something is “wrong”. Their ex is pulling away, not interested any more, doesn’t want to get back together etc.

When you are this over sensitive to what others think and feel, and how they respond to you, someone ignoring texts, leaving you on read and not responding to a question rude, disrespectful and shows lack of care.

You are not right or wrong to expect a response to a text, but when you are dealing with someone who isn’t as over sensitive to what others think and feel, and how they respond to them, it helps to understand how they may be thinking and feeling when they don’t respond. You’ll see that it’s not always that you’ve said or done something wrong and pushed an avoidant away or that they’re intentionally avoiding replying to a text – which is where an anxiously attached mind always thinks.

Why dismissive avoidants ignore you and not text back

A dismissive avoidant’s nonchalant attitude about replying to texts frustrates and infuriates many with an anxious and fearful attachment style.

  • How can someone not respond to a text for hours or days, then act like it is no big deal?
  • How could they have said x and y and reach out so casually?
  • How can they ignore questions and continue with a conversation like it doesn’t matter?
  • How can they go on acting normally like nothing happened?

Dismissive avoidants like securely attached do not feel anxious reaching out or when an ex does not text back. But while securely attached text back, a dismissive avoidants ex is not eager to connect. They can afford to wait hours or days to text back or not text back at all because they don’t value connection as much as they value their independence.

A dismissive avoidants attitude towards ignoring texts or not responding is:

  • “I will respond at some point. Does it matter if it’s two hours or two days or even two weeks later?”
  • “Okay, so I didn’t respond at all, what’s the big deal?”

This doesn’t mean dismissive avoidants they don’t care, it is just means that relationships, connection, contact or texting an ex is not something they think about all the time and all day long, or allow it to influence how they feel or act.

A dismissive avoidant may even text back but be very short and cold because they feel that someone texting them when they’re not in the mood is violating their boundaries and sometimes dismissive avoidants use ignoring text or not texting back to control closeness.

A dismissive avoidant will even think, “I should text back my ex” but counter the thought with “they’re expecting me to respond”. And if there is something that dismissive avoidants don’t like about relationships, it is “expectations”. Expectations to dismissive avoidants equals “controlling me” or “making me do what I don’t want to do”. They end up not texting back not because of something you said or because they lost interest, but because dismissive avoidants are not worried about losing their partners or ex, and not constantly on the lookout for signs that their partners or ex might be pulling away from them.

Dismissive avoidants not responding doesn’t always mean something is wrong

When a dismissive avoidants ignore text messages and stops texting back, anxious exes find themselves becoming more fearful of contact and asking themselves the same questions fearful avoidants ask: How much should I text my dismissive avoidant ex? My dismissive ex is not responding is it because I text too much? Do they need space or should I give them space? etc.

Very often I find myself reminding an anxious and fearful client that a dismissive avoidant not responding may mean something, but it may also mean nothing.

The reality is sometimes dismissive avoidants ignore text messages and stop texting back because:

  • You text too much and instead of telling you to stop, they ignore you and let you figure it out for yourself
  • They’re pacing contacts. They know if they respond you’ll text back right away and they don’t want the frequent back and forth
  • They’re not interested in the topic or subject of the conversation
  • They don’t want to answer the questions you’re asking
  • They don’t want to talk about the past – relationship or break-up
  • They don’t want to talk about the future and getting back together etc.

And sometimes dismissive avoidants ignore texts and don’t text back because they just don’t think there is need to, don’t feel they don’t owe you a response, or think they’ll respond later but get distracted with other more important things to them than a relationship or texting an ex.

Of course, it hurts to hear or accept that someone values their independence and comfort more than they value the relationship, but if it helps, unlike fearful avoidants, dismissive avoidants are less likely to respond just to be polite or nice. With some exceptions, many dismissive avoidants are incapable of or unable to sustain being just “polite or nice”. They’re not people-pleasers and don’t really care much about what others think of them, plus, there’s nothing in it for them since it takes a lot of emotional energy to sustain connection even nice and polite ones.

This means that if a dismissive avoidant ex is responding to texts and even reaching out after a break-up, it’s usually a sign that:

  • They don’t think it’s necessary to make a big deal out of what happened and want to move on from it.
  • They feel responsible in part for the way things are. Stepping out of their comfort zone is their way of trying to make things right again.
  • They are not yet ready to let you or the relationship go.

What to do when a dismissive avoidant ex ignores texts or stops texting back

When a dismissive avoidant ex stops texting back the first thing you need to determine is whether the anxiety and frustration you’re feeling is because of your anxious attachment style or because something is indeed wrong.

If a dismissive avoidant to stop responding because of something you did – e.g. texting too much, after an argument, because you keep bringing up the past, talking about getting back together, pushed for more closeness they’re not ready for etc., attempt to course correct. This doesn’t mean they’ll start responding, it just means you recognize you went wrong and making an effort to better. Dismissive avoidant exes take note of someone trying to do better.

If you determine that you’ve not done anything to cause a dismissive avoidant to stop responding, don’t try and fix what’s not broken. It’s not personal so don’t take it personally ad start acting weird or go into protest behaviour. Then a dismissive avoidant will not respond at all and even lose all feeling for you.

Reach out again in if you don’t hear back from your dismissive avoidant ex in 5 – 7 days since you last heard from them. There’s no “magic” in 5 – 7 days, it’s just how much time most dismissive avoidant deactivate for. Send a check-in text.

RELATED:

How Do I Give My Avoidant Ex Space? (And How Much Space)

Why Avoidants Lose Lingering Feelings After The Breakup

Is It OK To Text An Avoidant Ex About The Good Times?

How Long It Takes Dismissive Avoidants To Come Back

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12 replies on “Why A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Ignores Texts (What to Do)”
  1. says: Plain Jane

    I asked my ex DA about this and he said he does not deliberately ignore my message, sometimes he just forgets to text back. That didn’t make me feel good at all. But I know him. I know how he is. He is so forgetful, and so I accepted his explanation.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      You’re right to accept his explanation because you know he’s not just forgetful about texting you back, but on other things too. That’s kind and empathetic; and if it works for the two of you, good for you.

      However, I think that sometimes accepting things that can be changed is not good for the relationship in the long term. One person over time will feel neglected and the relationship may not survive because it’s something that’s been going on for a long time.

      What I’m saying is: is there a way the two of you can work out something that helps him remember to text you back? An app probably? Or something maybe him being okay with you double texting and remind him especially if it’s about something important?

  2. says: Swingler

    I may respond quite speedily if I’m asked a question but if not, I’ll just read it. I don’t respond to “good morning ” or “how are you” type texts.

    1. says: Daniel T

      I am fearful avoidant and I don’t respond to multiple texts because I don’t like being pressured and sometimes I feel like I’m being disapproved for not texting back fast enough.

  3. says: Sabrina

    DA not texting back used to drive me insane but now it doesn’t really bother me anymore. I taught myself not to expect him to text me back and it seems to work for my anxiety. He always responds eventually.

  4. says: Toby

    This article is spot on. I’m dismissive avoidant and I never stress about when to respond to a text or get a response back. I send a text when I want to, and they can respond when they want to.

    1. says: Brooke s

      Do you ever think, maybe they’re waiting for me to respond because for me I don’t feel good thinking someone feels I’m ignoring them. I put myself in their place and think about how it would make me feel.

      1. says: Toby

        Not really. It depends on whatever else I’m doing. If I’m not doing something important, I may think about them and remind myself to respond. But if I have other things on my mind, I will most likely be so absorbed that I don’t think about them at all. This has nothing to do with them or the content of the text, it’s just the way I function.

  5. says: Doxie

    I’m FA and it makes me anxious when I respond, and they don’t text back. It can take me hours even days to gather the courage to respond. Also, sometimes when I can’t think of some thing engaging to say, I end up not responding at all.

    1. says: Mr. Fixit

      Me too (FA). I’ll look at a message and want to respond but can’t think of what to say. This happens more often when I feel I’m expected to say something clever or entertaining and I don’t feel in that particular mood. TBH, I find most anxious people exhausting especially those that continue to text when I stopped responding.

  6. says: Chris

    This is balanced advice and not always taking the side of APs like most forums.

    I’m FA and it’s rare for me to ignore a text. If I’m not in the mood to text/feeling avoidant, I’ll text back but in one-word replies. If I’m then text bombed or criticized for being cold, I go full avoidant. After a few days, I may reach out and even apologize, a lot depends on the other person’s attitude. If they’re rejecting, I never reach out again but will always text back, not right away tho.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      I try to be balanced, but I’m also guilty of sometimes “generalizing” attachment styles. It’s convenient when giving advice to a wider audience (vs. customized advice) to focus on common behaviours than the nuanced differences within an attachment style. Obviously FAs are not all the same. You are proof.

      But if I have to generalize, FAs are known for ignoring texts 1) to trigger anxiety in APs as a way of generating interest or 2) not to appear too eager/needy. I think this is common with FAs leaning anxious than with FAs leaning avoidant/dismissive.

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