Why A Fearful Avoidant Ex Wants To Only Text But Not Meet

One of the challenges of trying to attract back a fearful avoidant ex is getting them to meet or want to hang out.

Most fearful avoidant exes want to text only but when you ask to meet, they’ll give you so many reasons (excuses) why they can’t hangout including family is visiting, family/friend has an emergency, busy with work, completing a project, have a deadline to beat, travelling out of town/country etc. Some fearful avoidant clients have told me that they avoid sharing details of their life because they think that when their ex knows when they’re not working or have plans, they’ll ask to meet or hang out.

If you point out that if they can have the time to travel, hang out with friends, do home repairs etc. they can find time to meet and hangout with you, that’s pressure.

This can create a lot of anxiety and even doubts about a fearful avoidants interest in you or in getting back together.

  • Why don’t she they want to meet (hang out)
  • Did I act needy by asking to hang out
  • Was it too soon?
  • Are they leading me on?
  • Is there someone else? Should I ask?
  • What do I say?
  • Have I ruined my chances?
  • Should I reach out?
  • What if they don’t respond?
  • Should I ask if they don’t want me to contact them?
  • Should I give them space/wait for them to contact me?

Anxiety over a fearful avoidant not wanting to meet is valid. If you’re only texting and contact is random and far between, it’ll be hard to build momentum. Meeting and hanging out has the potential to build momentum faster and the momentum is more enduring than momentum from texting only.

Why fearful avoidant exes want to text but not meet or hang out

Most of the time, fearful avoidant exes want to text but not meet or hang out because they feel that it is too soon to meet or hangout. The emotions of the break-up are still raw, and they don’t want things to get “too emotional”. They may also fear that the feelings they still have for you will overwhelm them and they don’t want to deal with those feelings. And some fearful avoidant exes just want texting attention via text and have no intentions of meeting in person let alone get back together.

But the main reason both fearful and dismissive avoidant are comfortable with texting but not meet in person is that text messaging and social media are an avoidant’s preferred way to communicate because with texting an avoidant can control closeness.

1) It is easier for an avoidant to control closeness when texting because can simply delay responding, ignore a text or not text back at all. Face-to-face meeting takes away some of the control texting provides. It’s uncomfortable and awkward to ignore someone when they’re on the other side of the table.

2) Texting feels safe for a fearful avoidant because on a superficial level it looks like there is still closeness because there is some form of contact even if it’s random and shallow.

And if they’re not ready to even consider getting back together, meeting up is “too much” closeness that most fearful avoidants exes are not ready for or want.

Fearful avoidant exes will not initiate meeting up or hanging out

Avoidant exes generally do not initiate conversation about meeting in person or hanging out. They’ll usually keep things fun and lighthearted for a few weeks to a few months of regular texting hoping that you’ll suggest meeting up eventually. An anxious-leaning fearful avoidant may cautiously ask to meet or hangout but only if they think you will be open to it. They’ll also ask to meet if they think just texting only and not wanting to hangout will jeopardize the “texting relationship”. But on most part, an avoidant will not mention hanging out at all unless you do.

When you ask to meet or hangout, most fearful avoidant exes will not directly tell you they’re don’t want to meet. This is because a fearful avoidant attachment’s natural tendency is to be conflicted. The anxious side of them wants to meet and may even feel that the experience will be pleasant, will increase feelings of connection and make them want to get back together, but the avoidant side of them thinks it’s not a good idea and may lead to unpleasant things.

Most of the time a fearful avoidant will say “Yes, I’d love that” or “Sure” when you ask to meet or hangout but never follow -up on actually meeting or hanging out. They keep giving reasons why “it’s not a good time” or keep pushing meeting up to a future date. A fearful avoidant ex may even agree on plans to meet but cancels meeting or date last minute because they felt so anxious and deactivated. This can happen time and time again.

This is one thing that makes fearful avoidants look like they’re playing games and leading you, and sometimes they’re. They may have no intention of meeting or hanging out or even getting back together but want the attention or connection texting gives them. It makes them feel that someone still cares about them, finds them interesting and wants to talk to them and if they’re lonely, it makes them feel less alone.

A fearful avoidant ex will eventually want to meet and hang out

It may take a while to get a fearful avoidant ex to eventually want to meet up and/or hang out. Most avoidant exes will only when they’re relatively confident that you will not push for more than they’re comfortable with or make them feel unsafe.

If you keep pushing to meet when they’re still uncomfortable and/or feel unsafe about how and where things are, a fearful avoidant may eventually give in and show up but will be guarded and even look uncomfortable. They expect things not to go well and are just waiting for when it’ll happen.

But if they’re confident enough that the two of you have established enough safety, they’ll agree to meet and/or hangout. Some fearful avoidant exes may even all of a sudden want to meet and catch up in person. Prior to asking to meet, you’ll notice that they’re acting super interested and replying right away. This is because they’re leaning somewhat or a lot anxious about asking you to meet up.

A fearful avoidant ex may even be worried that you’ll say no and pull away, say yes then cancel, or show up and hangout then pull away.

Some fearful avoidant exes will ask to meet, and if they don’t get a response right away, they immediately cancel because they’re overwhelmed by anxiety and fear of possible rejection. Others wait for you to say yes, but as the day of the meeting draws closer get so anxious that they cancel.

My advice to my clients is if a fearful avoidant agrees to meet up or hangout (of course there’s a lot more background work that goes into actually getting them to agree to meet), or if they ask to hang out, try to be as reassuring as you possible can. Don’t change your texting pattern (in the name of giving space) and don’t bring up the past or uncomfortable topics because a fearful avoidant ex will cancel on meeting up or hanging out.

And when you do end up meeting or hanging out, don’t bring up the past, not in the first or even second meet up, because a fearful avoidant will not want to meet again if the meeting felt very uncomfortable especially if they felt “attacked”. They may even withdraw from texting and all contact.


How Does Being Friends Help Get an Avoidant Ex Back?

7 Steps From Being Friends With An Ex To Getting Back Together

How A Fearful Avoidant Ex Comes Back – Explained In Detail

Friendzoned By An Avoidant Ex Or Starting As Friends First?

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15 replies on “Why A Fearful Avoidant Ex Wants To Only Text But Not Meet”
  1. says: Shyamalan

    I asked my fearful avoidant ex to meet for a drink and she said she had a work project to complete and couldn’t hang out. We ended up texting all night. Clearly she wasn’t as busy as she claimed to be.

  2. says: Dayna S.

    Asked my DA ex for the 3rd time to meet for a drink or coffee. He’s ignored precious requests but last week he finally addressed it. He said that for as much as he likes talking to me, he doesn’t want to be in any relationship right now. 2 months of nice conversations seem like a waste now.

  3. says: Isabel

    It would be nice to be with someone who wants to see me instead of waiting around to be allowed to see them.

  4. says: Lisalisa

    I’m a fearful avoidant and when I like someone, I find it difficult to communicate with them because I’m afraid I’ll say something and they’ll not anything to do with me. I like texts because I can take my own time to respond.

  5. says: Zuzzie

    FA ex doesn’t respond to my text for three days and then responds and wants to hang out. I text back and suggest where to go and get some drinks, he texts back saying he doesn’t like that area of town. I ask him where he’d like to go, and he texts back saying he’s tired anyways, a long day at work. Could we hang out the next day. I don’t hear from him for two days. I ask him if he wants to hang out and he replies that he’s in a bad mood from work and doesn’t feel like going out.

    It’s nice that he wants to hang out but when? Is this just a game for him?

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      Anything is possible. I have my theories based on his reasons for not hanging out which are really lame; and the fact that he said let’s hangout the next day, and never follows up.

      1) He’s not that into you but too afraid to tell you he’s not interested (probably a very short-term relationship).

      2) This is not something new. He has a history of not prioritizing spending time with you.

      3) He’s a fearful avoidant playing hard to get/wants you to chase him/stroke his ego.

      4) He wants to hangout, but on his terms/avoidant control thing.

      5) He wants to hang out, but talks himself out of it because he thinks it’s a bad idea (fearful avoidant catastrophizing).

      1. says: Zuzzie

        We were together for 6 months. He broke up with me because he “couldn’t give me what I need” (his words). I read in one of your articles that this is a common fearful avoidant breakup reason. He definitely likes me chasing him. Most of our relationship, I was the one reaching out, asking him out on dates etc. and him doing the same thing he’s doing now. Maybe it’s a control thing or fearful avoidant catastrophizing, what do you suggest I do? Keep reaching out or move on?

        1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

          It’s not my place to tell you whether to keep trying or move on. That’s a decision only you can make. My question for you is: knowing what you know, and if he doesn’t change (he hasn’t so far because he’s doing the same things he did in the relationship); can you be happy if you got back together?

          If the answer is yes, then keep trying. But if the answer is no, then moving on may be the right move.

  6. says: Christine Lou

    My ex is a fearful avoidant. After a week of texting, I asked if he wanted to meet and he said he’s busy finishing a project but once he’s done he’d let me know. In this time, he travels across state to visit his brother but continues to text and watch my every story and like posts. I wait a month and ask if he’s still interested in meeting. He says, of course but he’s still not done with his project. A few weeks go by and it’s another excuse. Finally, I confront him and told him I’d rather he says he does not want to meet than make me think he wants to meet but never follows up.

    He responded that he does want to meet but fears that this will give the impression he wants to get back together. He cares about me, likes talking to me and doesn’t want to lose me, but thinks that our dynamic is too toxic for a relationship to work. After a couple of conversations, he said he’ll meet with me.

    Two weeks ago, we met for coffee. I think I was very anxious and probably brought up the past too soon. We had some emotional exchanges, but things ended on a positive note. We haven’t spoken since. I sent a couple of texts but he hasn’t responded and he stopped watching my stories and liking my posts. I feel partly responsible for confirming to him that our dynamic is too toxic, but I didn’t expect him to ghost me.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      You’re right that the emotional exchanges confirmed to him that your dynamic is too toxic to be together. But I also think he’d have pulled away regardless. He’d been avoiding meeting in person for so long and when it finally happened, he was emotionally flooded and needs time and distance to self-regulate. It’d be of course nice if he communicated this to you, BUT… avoidant!

      In my experience, he’ll reach out at some point because there’s a part of him that truly cares about you, likes talking to you and doesn’t want to lose you. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem enough because of his fear that the two of you are toxic for each other.

      It’s up to you to decide when he reaches out if you still want to keep trying to heal the toxic part of your dynamic, or if it’s just too much work to try to work things out with a fearful avoidant.

  7. says: Bluebug

    Thank you for all your article and videos, they’re been a great help. After months of asking my fearful avoidant ex to meet last week, unpromoted he asked if I wanted to have some drinks the next evening. I read in one of your articles that avoidants want to feel in control and I think me asking him to meet was taking away the control he needed. When I stopped asking he felt in control to ask.

    There was some tension in the beginning because we’d been texting for so long. We got over that and the rest of the evening was really good. I told him we should do this again, and he agreed. I’m thinking of waiting a couple of weeks and then ask him if he’d like to go out for drinks. Is this the right move?

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      Yes. Avoidants want to feel in control but they also don’t want to feel like they’re trying too hard to make you like them. Fearful avoidants are especially sensitive to rejection and see them doing most of the work to keep the connection as trying too hard. And you also should not give up all control just because an avoidant needs to be in control. Set the tone for the new relationship right from the start.

      See if you can pick up some emotional momentum, and then ask him out.

      1. says: William

        This is so true. I’m a fearful avoidant and if someone is being needy, clingy and demanding I become avoidant and distant. And if on the other hand they’re, extra distant and ignoring my texts, I also become avoidant and distant. If I think they’re making minimal effort, I respond with just a much effort or less. But if I see that they’re putting in real effort, I also step up.

  8. says: Patty

    My ex is DA and for 3 months all we did was text. Sometimes he didn’t reply and sometimes conversations died quickly. I asked to meet on several occasions and he ignored the question every time. It was the loneliest I’d ever felt with him being close but distant too. Last week out of nowhere, he asked me out to dinner and even offered to come pick me up. I was shocked, happy, excited etc but played it cool. Best date we ever had. Conversation was great and he kept staring into my eyes. I’m not getting my hopes up because I know DAs can be so charming one day and totally cold the next. But I can honestly say, it felt amazing!

    My advice is keep things cool, go with the flow and let them ask you out instead of constantly chasing them.

  9. says: Vi

    OMG! None of my DA exes ever did anything beyond texting. We text for months 3x/week and then they stop responding. But I probably pushed to meet too soon and pressured them. Oh, well.

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