Question: Why did my avoidant ex contact me and then disappear. Why do they even bother to reach out if they’re just going to disappear?
She broke up with me after 3 years together. I initiated no contact because I was so hurt and needed time to heal. After 45 days of no contact, I sent her a text message and attached photo of us. It was one of her favorite photos. She did not reply. Then 4 months after the break-up, and out of the blue she contacted me. I waited 30 minutes, then asked if I can call her. We talked for 45 minutes. I told her I missed her and wanted to see her again, and she said “let’s see how the week goes”. I never heard from her again. I sent 3 text messages and all were left on unread. It’s now 3 weeks and I’m feeling crashed. My question to you is why do avoidants reach out and when you respond, they disappear. Why do they even bother to reach out if they’re just going to disappear?
Yangki’s Answer: If it helps at all, what you’re going through happens to a lot of people (unfortunately). There are several reasons an avoidant ex will contact you out of the blue and then goes quiet again or completely disappears.
1) They just wanted to see if you still had feelings for them (ego trip);
2) If they dumped you, an avoidant may feel guilt and/or be concerned about how you are doing;
3) They were feeling lonely or bored (or both) and impulsively contacted you with no real interest in re-opening the lines of communication or even getting back together;
4) They genuinely missed you and contacted you thinking that they were ready for re-engagement but realized they were not;
5) Something important that has nothing to do with you came up and an avoidant prioritized it over you.
6) They may be a fearful-avoidant who wants contact but is scared of rejection.
7) They’re a dismissive avoidant and got put off by you saying you missed them
Why fearful avoidants reach out and then disappear
If your ex is a fearful avoidant, there is a high chance that the 45 minutes phone call caused her to deactivate. Fearful avoidants want contact and closeness but fear it due to the fear of being rejected or abandoned. Something may have made her feel vulnerable and caused her to feel unsafe. It may not even be something you said, but her own thoughts about what it meant scared her and caused her to pull back.
Fearful avoidants also don’t want to seem like they want the other person more than the other person wants them, and sometimes play mind games to see who wants the other more. Wait for her to contact you again and if she does, ask her a direct question, e.g. “Is this a mind game you are playing?” Someone who is not playing a mind game and is genuinely trying to build a relationship will try to reassure you it’s not. Someone who is playing a mind game will most likely not respond and disappear again, or will respond and pretend she does not know what you are talking about.
Why dismissive avoidants reach out and then disappear
If your ex is a dismissive avoidant, it’s likely that she was just reaching out to see how you’re doing and hoping to have a “non-emotional” conversation, but you said you missed her, you scared her off.
One of the biggest mistakes exes with an anxious attachment make when a dismissive avoidant reaches out, responds to a text or social media post is assume that a dismissive avoidant ex has been thinking about them and missed them that’s why they reached out. They project their “longing” feelings and emotions on their dismissive avoidant ex and text back, “I’ve been thinking about you” or “I missed you” or “x, y reminded me of you” and a dismissive avoidant is taken aback.
And when a dismissive avoidant stops responding, the anxious person is like, why do they do this? Why do they reach out and disappear? Why they do they even bother to reach out? Well, you completely misread why a dismissive avoidant reached out and scared them off. There was no malice in a dismissive avoidant reaching out, they just didn’t plan on hearing about how you feel or talking about their feelings.
Understanding how avoidants think and feel after a break-up will help you avoid many of the common mistakes individuals with an anxious attachment make when an avoidant ex reaches out after a break-up.