Why Did My Fearful Avoidant Ex Block and Then Unblock Me?

Question: Why did my fearful avoidant ex block me and why did he unblock me? He has blocked and unblocked three times since the breakup.

I have read your articles on attachment styles and decided to reach out. I am anxious preoccupied, and my ex is a fearful-avoidant. We have been together on-and-off for 3 years. In the beginning, my attachment anxiety was a constant problem. But I have since worked on myself to become less anxious and continue to do so. My ex on the other hand has not and although I love him so much; I feel like I am constantly walking on egg shells trying not to do anything to make him stop talking to me for days.

I am the one always reaching out and trying to make peace. We never talk about our issues because he doesn’t want to talk about them. If I insist, he breaks up with me and immediately blocks me and cuts off all contact. After a few weeks, I find that he has unblocked me. I reach out and we begin to talk and eventually get back together. This has been pretty much the pattern for 3 years.

All my friend and family tell me to make him know what it is like to miss me and not contact him, so he misses me. I did this a few times before I started working on my own attachment style and it worked sometimes and did not work other times. I always ended up reaching out first. Now that I am more secure, I see my ex’s behavior as manipulation and just don’t feel comfortable responding with being manipulative myself.  Do you have any sights on why fearful avoidants block you then unblock you?

Yangki’s Answer: There are several reasons why a fearful avoidant ex blocks you then unblocks you. Here are the three main ones.

1. An avoidant ex blocks you and unblocks you because they’re conflicted

Usually when a ex blocks you after the break-up, they do it to heal or move on. They want no contact and see blocking you as the best way for them to move on.

But when an avoidant blocks you and then unlocks, it’s usually the case that a fearful avoidant is confused and conflicted about their feelings for you. Rather than address their feelings of loss, fearful avoidant lash out by blocking you but after a while, their feelings for you overcome their fear of abandonment and rejection, and they unblock you.

2. An avoidant ex blocks and unblocks you as a tool, and a weapon

Blocking and cutting off all contact and then unblocking you after a few days or weeks is part of the conflicted nature of a fearful avoidant attachment style. They act like they want to be in a relationship with you and even seem emotionally invested; but are also so fearful of rejection and not trusting by nature.

In the relationship, fearful avoidants use “the silent treatment” to pressure, punish or manipulate; and it does enormous damage to the relationship. The impact is that it reduces the ability to communicate in a way that’s healthy and meaningful. When the relationship ends and usually for a good reason; a fearful avoidant ex blocks and unblocks you to pressure, punish or manipulate you into coming back.

3. An avoidant ex blocks and unblocks you as a mind game

Some exes block you hoping that you will miss them or regret the break-up. Blocking and unblocking you is also a mind game that fearful avoidants play to get you to chase them. They block you hoping that it’ll make you miss them; then unblock you hoping that you will reach out.

It’s an incredibly hard pattern to break. The irony is that these manipulative strategies prevent fearful avoidants from experiencing the thing they desire the most (and fear the most) – deep connection and full intimacy in all it’s forms.

Can you still make it work? Yes, absolutely

As you have seen first hand, a relationship with a fearful avoidant is not easy. It’d be a lot easier if your ex was willing and open to working on becoming less fearful avoidant; and more secure. But in my experience, self-reflection and self-work is not something many avoidants are keen on. Many don’t see anything wrong with the way they are (they’re just protecting themselves); and even blame their ex for all the problems in the relationship.

This means the burden of making it work falls mainly on your shoulders.

1. When your fearful avoidant ex blocks you, pulls away or distances; try to understand what the pulling away is truly about. Is it because they feel things are getting too close (fear);or is it because they need space to rebalance as an individual (secure)? Then respond appropriately. Each of these require a different response.

2. Continue to work on being more secure and model (be a secure-base provider) to him what a secure relationship looks; and feels like. Hopefully this will give him felt-security and your fearful avoidant ex stop blocking and unblocking you.

3. Walk away. Using abandonment as a weapon to pressure, punish or manipulate a loved on is an incredibly hard pattern to break; because it works sometimes. It’s not a productive and meaningful way to deal with relationship problems; and not a healthy way to be with someone, but unfortunately some people make this choice.

Nobody in their right mind will blame you for saying “I deserve better, I can do better than my manipulative fearful avoidant ex”.


Why An Avoidant Ex Posts About Good Memories (Good Sign?)

Is It Okay to Watch A Fearful Avoidant Ex’s Instagram Stories?

How A Fearful Avoidant Ex Comes Back – A Detailed Analysis

How to Make An Avoidant Ex Feel Safe Enough To Come Back

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  1. says: Twister91

    I’ve done blocking and unblocking but it’s usually because I want to keep talking to you but feel threatened by you needing me to make you feel ok. I feel bad doing it but it’s either blocking you or me feeling overwhelmed. I don’t block someone if they seem fine on their own and reaching out to me from a place of calm and self-reliance.

  2. says: Corey Lambert

    I’m the dumper and was blocked for 2 months. One day I sent a random message and alas! I was unblocked and she replied. When I replied back, I got blocked again. There was nothing in my reply that would have caused me to be blocked. 3 weeks later, I was unblocked again and she replied to me asking why she blocked me, then blocked me again. Very immature for a 32-year-old.

  3. says: Elaine

    I’m currently blocked on everything except on WhatsApp. He has kept the lines of communication open but controls when and how.

  4. says: Kimberly

    I was unblocked last Tuesday after 45 days of being blocked. I miss him but no way am I reaching out first. He blocked me, he should reach out. I saw yesterday he’s started watching my IG stories again.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      If he’s a fearful avoidant, he will reach out at some point. It may take a while and a few mind games trying to make you reach out first, but if he doesn’t get you to directly reach out, he will.

      This article and comments will give you some insights into how fearful avoidants come back.

  5. says: Annpatpat

    I can’t tell if my ex is FA or DA. It’s been two months since our breakup, I initiated no contact and I was doing fairly well, but this week was extremely hard because it was the anniversary of our meeting. I started having all these good memories and reached out. He replied but was cold and distant. This triggered my anxiety and I asked if he missed me or thinks of me. He said he doesn’t. I told him I think of him and miss him. He said he doesn’t know what to tell me. I told him I wanted him back, he told me to move on. I tried to call him, and he did not answer. Now he has blocked me. I haven’t felt pain like this ever, but I keep the hope alive that he will reach out.

    1. says: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. Looks like he’s made his point clear that he does not want to get back together but I could be wrong. I hope he reaches back, but don’t put your life on hold waiting for him to reach out. You deserve a lot more than wait for someone who may or may not want you back.

    2. says: Jasmine

      I’m in the same exact boat. I’m blocked too and I’m stuck in this place trying to understand him. I know our relationship had some problems but on most part it was good. The love we both felt was real. What changed? What happened?

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