Question: Why do avoidants want to stay friends with an ex after the breakup and why does my dismissive avoidant ex say she’s happy we’re friends?
My dismissive avoidant ex broke up with me about 3 months ago. She wanted to be friends after the breakup, but I was still too and told her I needed to heal and get over her. Staying friends would keep me from moving on because I would be hoping for a reconciliation. She said she understood, and she wanted me to feel free to reach out when I was ready. We didn’t communicate for 2 months then I reached out because I was feeling better and myself again. She responded after 2 days and we’ve been in contact for a little over 3 weeks. The conversations are nice and all, but I get really angry when she says she’s happy we are friends. Does this mean I’m friendzoned? I’m still in love with her and don’t want her thinking of me as a friend.
This is not the first time an avoidant ex has asked to stay fiends after the breakup. I don’t know if it’s about me or do all dismissive avoidants want to stay friends with an ex after the breakup.
Yangki’s Answer: It’s true that some avoidants stay fiends with an ex after a break-up or reach out after months of no contact with no intention of wanting a relationship again. And as a discuss in my article: Starting As Friends First With Avoidant Ex Or Friend-Zoned? There are several reasons avoidants stay friends with an ex.
Some avoidants don’t want to lose the comfort of being in a relationship but also want to avoid the deep intimacy or commitment romantic relationships require. A dismissive avoidant ex can maintain some level of closeness without the “threat” to their independence and a fearful avoidant ex can meet their need for closeness with less risk of rejection or abandonment than in romantic relationships.
Some avoidants want to stay friends with an ex after a break-up because they believe the relationship can work if they approach it as friends first. They know they’re not good with romantic relationships but good with friendships; and think starting as platonic friends may lead to a romantic relationship.
In this particular case, you can’t blame your dismissive avoidant ex for thinking that you are now friends or saying she’s happy you’re are friends. You set her up to it by telling her you needed time to “get over” her. She now believes that you are “over her” and ready to be just friends, otherwise you would not have reached out.
Instead of getting angry, see if you can use this as an opportunity to re-acquaint yourself and get her interested in you again as a romantic partner. If you make it an issue at this stage, she’ll back off and stop responding altogether. Any possibility you might have had of getting out of the “friend-zone” and getting her back will be lost.
Show that you care about her, want to be in her life and rebuild a relationship with her. This means:
- Being consistent with reaching out (as often as she’s responsive is better)
- Connecting in a more open, honest, vulnerable and deeper way
- Trying to hang out as much as possible
- Flirting here and there; and
- Doing things to make her catch feelings again
Anything less than this will land you in the friendzone. It gets harder and harder to get yourself out of the friendzone once the boundaries tighten. This site is friendly to being friends with an ex and will help with how to get back with our ex even if you’re starting as friends first.