Fearful avoidants chase you if they think you moved on and they might lose you forever. This might look like a good thing in the short term; but it is not good for your chances long term.
When a relationship ends, fearful-avoidants usually don’t know what to do or how to act.
They don’t want to remain close to their ex because it hurts; but they also don’t want to distance themselves because that hurts too.
Most are not aware that they are cutting themselves off from someone they love as a way to manage the discomfort they have with closeness; and the emotions that go along with it. All they know is they get overwhelmed very often by how vulnerable they have allowed themselves to be; and want distance from you. Then after a while they miss loving you and want to feel loved by you.
As discussed in my video of 7 Warning signs that should make you worried about your chances of getting back together; a fearful avoidant pulling you close then pushing you away is normal, even expected; but when they start feeling like they cannot measure up to what you want, it’s not a good sign for your chances of getting back together.
If you haven’t watched the video with the 7 warning signs, please watch it.
Fearful avoidants chase you then pull back and chase you again for three reasons:
1. Some fearful avoidants chase you because they’re scared they might loose you for ever
Most fearful avoidants unlike dismissive avoidants don’t like the fact that they are unable to sustain a relationship. Many have a history of failed relationships but can’t seem to figure out what to do to change their luck.
A fearful avoidant may even want to get back together; but keep asking themselves, “why would it work this time?”
When the guilt and shame of not being able to be consistent and love you the way you deserve outweighs the happiness they feel being with you and the love they feel for you; they convince themselves that not getting back together is what’s best for both of you.
Some fearful avoidants even convince themselves that something is wrong with you or with the relationship to justify why they cannot be close to you and others even make up stories to explain why not getting back together is the right thing to do. And depending on their narrative (the story they tell themselves), they may decide against their best interest not to come back.
2. Some fearful avoidant chase you to prove to themselves they are good enough
Fearful avoidants chase you if they think you moved on and they might lose you to “someone better”. Studies show that preoccupieds and fearful avoidants feel jealous and to consider rivals as more threatening.
Because they already feel that they don’t measure up to what others want, losing you to someone better creates panic and anxiety, and often triggers feelings and emotions of other losses from the past.
Some fearful avoidants chase you because they are truly scared of losing you. But some fearful avoidants chase you aggressively to prove to themselves that they’re just as good or better than the person they think they are losing you to.
A fearful avoidant becoming suddenly interested and chasing you when they think they’re losing you is not about you. It’s not even about losing you. It’s about a fearful avoidant’s insecurities and feeling that there must be something wrong with them that invites rejection and betrayal. This is why a fearful avoidant suddenly chasing you as good as it feels is not a good sign
As long as a fearful avoidant has these negative views about themselves, they will never truly feel as if you care about them, and this behaviour will likely continue. They will keep chasing you, pulling back and then chasing you again.
3. Some fearful avoidants chase you because fearful avoidants play too many mind games
One of the top reason most exes don’t get back with fearful avoidants (and preoccupieds)is because of the mind games they play. A fearful avoidants chasing you and pulling back is part of the mind games pattern.
How do you stop a fearful avoidant chase and pull back pattern?
Show a fearful avoidant that you love and care about them; and they don’t have to feel like they could lose you to start showing you how much they love and care about you.
1) Do not use their fear of losing you against them
Do not try to get into a new relationship or lie about seeing other people; just to make a fearful avoidant feel like they lost you. Yes, they may come running back if they think they lost you to someone else, but they will also have a hard time trusting you and may never trust you at all.
If your fearful avoidant leans anxious, they may obsess over what they perceive as a threat and see it as problematic to the relationship’s future. If they are leaning avoidant, it will confirm to them that you can’t really trust someone, soon or later, they will disappoint you.
2) Clearly communicate what you want and expect
For example, communicate in advance that if you decide that you do not want to work on trying to get back together anymore; that you will not just disappear. You will let them know about your decision because they mean a lot to you, and you respect them that much. And if they decide to date other people; you hope that they will respect you enough to inform you instead of you finding it out on your own.
Naturally if you have attachment anxiety, communicating what you want and expect seems counter intuitive. And I can hear so many “will that not push them further away?”
No, it will not. Clear and strong boundaries when communicated in a safe, empathetic and caring way; protect you, protect the other person and protect the relationship. You should try it more often.
3. Be Consistent
Fearful avoidants are the most inconsistent of all the attachment styles; but they are also the ones that need consistency the most.
Keeping in mind that fearful avoidants want to love and be loved just as much as you do; but are afraid to get close because they think they’ll get hurt; is the first step to learning how to be consistent with a fearful avoidant.