Learn How To Communicate With An Avoidant Ex After A Breakup (2023)

Communicating with an ex is never easy, but avoidant exes make it particularly difficult.

You really need to understand the mindset of an avoidant ex to effectively communicate with them.

Today we’re gonna talk about how to communicate with your avoidant ex, but before we get into it, let’s take a quick crash course into attachment styles.

There are 4 main attachment styles: secure, avoidant, anxious, and fearful.

Most of our clients have an anxious attachment style, and their exes have an avoidant attachment style. That combination is usually a recipe for disaster.


People with anxious attachment styles put their whole identity into a relationship and often seek validation from their partners, turning their partners off.

Avoidant attachment styles tend to avoid emotional intimacy and usually feel smothered by their anxious attachment counterparts.

Let’s take a deeper look into avoidant attachment styles:

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Breakdown Of Avoidant Exes

Someone with an avoidant attachment style will have discomfort with deep connection.

(Video) How To Communicate With An Avoidant Ex

They value their own independence highly and invest a lot more at the beginning of a relationship than later. They get sucked into the exciting aspects and bored with the deeper ones as time goes on, so they end the relationship.

Most of our clients tend to have anxious attachment styles, while their exes have avoidant attachment styles.

Interestingly, this has been true throughout the history of mankind because those with anxious attachment styles and avoidant attachment styles are naturally drawn to each other.

I know it sounds weird because they’re polar opposites, but the key to understanding this lies in truly understanding people with avoidant attachment styles.

One of the calling cards of someone with an avoidant attachment style is that they’re really into the relationship initially, but as the relationship grows, deepens, and becomes more intense, they begin to get a little bit more frightened.

Ultimately they value their own independence so highly that they prefer being a lone wolf.

So as they feel themselves slipping away from their former lone wolf selves into a pack, they get afraid and bail.
One of the main reasons avoidants are drawn to anxious attachment styles is that someone with an anxious attachment style will put in maximum effort at all times throughout the relationship. Avoidants love this at first and then slowly get annoyed by it.

This is linked to the self-fulfilling attachment cycle.

The self-fulfilling attachment cycle is rooted in one of the biggest misconceptions about people with avoidant attachment styles. People think that they’re always avoiding relationships with deep levels of connection, and they don’t want a relationship at all. That’s usually not true.

One of the reasons avoidants date is because they’re unhappy with being alone all the time, but they still highly value their independence, and therein lies the paradox. Imagine those conflicting feelings and the resulting confusion in relationships.

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At the beginning of a relationship, avoidants seek validation, connection, and commitment, and someone with an anxious attachment style will instantly give them that. However, as the relationship deepens and their anxious counterpart starts to grate on their nerves, avoidants feel increasingly trapped as if they’re losing their independence. So they leave.

Then the self-fulfilling prophecy repeats itself as the avoidant person craves connection again.

(Video) How To Reconnect With Your Fearful Avoidant Ex In A Way That Works | Avoidant Ex Relationship Advice

Further Insight Into Avoidants And How To Communicate With Them

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The first key component here is understanding that an avoidant person’s paradigm is much different than your paradigm.

You’re probably coming at this from a secure attachment style tendency or an anxious attachment style tendency, which often makes it incredibly difficult to understand and empathize with avoidants.

An important first insight into avoidant attachment styles is that they don’t experience nostalgia as we usually do.

They still have it, but it doesn’t surface immediately after the breakup as it does for those with anxious attachment styles.

People with anxious attachment styles often get depressed after the breakup and try everything from obsessively calling their ex to showing up at their doorsteps to get them back.

On the other hand, avoidants only experience nostalgia and allow themselves to miss their ex after they are sure you have moved on.

This mismatch of the grieving process and timing for nostalgia explains why every action you have with an avoidant until they’re convinced you’ve moved on can trigger their avoidant side.

Think of it like this – your avoidant ex will not miss you until they feel like you’re over them. So if you keep reaching out to them, you’re just reinforcing that you’re still into them, and therefore, they are not safe to miss you yet.

Understanding how and when avoidants feel nostalgia coupled with how it’s not a good idea to push them right after a breakup by trying to fix things will give you insight into how you should be communicating with them.

Communicating With an Avoidant Post Breakup

Learn How To Communicate With An Avoidant Ex After A Breakup (4)

Now that you have a better idea of your avoidant ex’s mindset, let’s get into my four ultimate tips for communicating with them:

  • Become securely attached and determine if you still want them back
  • Learn tactical empathy
  • Let them feel what they want to feel
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about your own flaws and mistakes

Let’s dive deeper.

Become Securely Attached and Determine If You Still Want Them Back

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This may seem a little out of left field, but it’s all about this concept of secure attachment gravity. So when an anxious attachment style and avoidant attachment style are together in a relationship they are almost like two polar opposites that have fun at the beginning.

Still, like fire and ice, one will eventually win and destroy the other. Most of the time, it’s the anxious person’s anxious tendencies getting on the avoidant person’s nerves, and boom, you have a breakup.

Whereas if you come into a relationship with a secure attachment, you will stop hyper analyzing everything your ex does, and you can actually cause the avoidant person to take on more of your secure attachment tendencies.

This concept doesn’t directly relate to communication but it’s about understanding that you need to shift your anxious attachment tendencies to secure attachment to effectively communicate with and positively influence your ex.

Having a secure attachment style means being so emotionally secure that you can accept that it’s okay if you don’t get your ex back. You will be fine either way.

This secure self-identity will give you more clarity and confidence. If you still want your ex back after you get to this point, then you know it’s definitely worth pursuing, and you’ll be a much more confident person when you approach them.

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(Video) How To Reconnect With A Dismissive Avoidant In 5 Key Steps | Dismissive Ex Relationship Advice

Learn Tactical Empathy

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An avoidant ex is someone who has a tough time communicating. Every time you push them on communicating, they don’t feel like doing it because it triggers their avoidant tendencies.

You often see them look away and refuse to maintain eye contact, especially in emotionally intimate moments.

For example, when you say something so powerful like I love you and all they do is smile without looking at you directly in the eye.

It’s not that they don’t understand the gravity of the moment; it’s more like the moment is so intense for them that they have trouble reciprocating in a way you would like.

This can really upset people with anxious tendencies and lead to fights because they see it as their avoidant partners not loving them back.

Ultimately the only way to bridge this communication gap is tactical empathy.

Tactical empathy is a concept coined by FBI expert negotiator Chriss Voss who basically explains it as empathizing with the other party’s worldview and repeating it back to them, so they feel heard, and therefore more open to negotiation/conversation.

Using tactical empathy when communicating with someone with an avoidant attachment style looks like this: repeat their worldview back to them by literally letting them know that you know what they’re going through.

Don’t be vague like, “I understand what you’re going through.” Instead, label exactly what you think, for example, “I know you’re worried that you’re not going to have your independence anymore the deeper we get into this relationship, but I want to assure you that’s not going to be the case.”

If you do it right, tactical empathy will make your ex think that you truly understand them. This might not make them instantly open up to you, but it’ll definitely help bridge the gap.

Let Them Feel What They Want to Feel

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If you’re anything like me, you’re a fixer.

(Video) Tips To Communicate With An Avoidant Ex

Your first instinct when someone comes to you with a problem is to fix it immediately.

I actually have a hard time with this myself because it’s often hard to understand that sometimes your partner doesn’t need a solution from you; they may just need you to listen or leave them alone to feel their feelings.

This is a common problem for people with anxious attachment styles because they’re hypersensitive to their partner’s emotions and moods.

They can sense something is off from their partner’s subtle body language cues, and they can’t help but ask what’s wrong. It’s okay to ask your avoidant ex/partner what’s wrong, but don’t push them for a response if they don’t feel like sharing.

You just have to accept that you cannot solve every problem possible, so you need to let your partner feel what they want to feel and be comfortable that giving them space is the right decision. This will put you so much further ahead of the version you were at the beginning of your relationship.

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Your Own Flaws and Mistakes

Learn How To Communicate With An Avoidant Ex After A Breakup (9)

Humans are inherently self-interested to some extent and look out for themselves.

Last year I did a whole YouTube video about altruism vs. selfishness and how many people think there is no truly altruistic act.

Avoidant people have these selfish tendencies, too, so they get a tunnel vision of self-interest where they do what they think is best for them.

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The best way to snap them out of this self-centered tunnel vision is by simply pointing out to them that you’re not perfect either.

If you have an anxious attachment style, you probably have a hard time doing this because you’re in a problem-solving mode, but sometimes self-deprecation can go a long way to allow your avoidant partner to relax.

This point relates back to tactical empathy because it takes understanding your ex’s worldview to the next level by sharing personal stories of when you experienced the same situation and reacted the same way as they did. You don’t need to share how you overcame and fixed the situation; just be self-deprecating, so your avoidant ex knows it’s normal to not always have the right answer.

(Video) Communicate with Your Avoidant Ex


Avoidant exes have discomfort with deep emotional connections, so they usually shut down when having conversations.

They also don’t allow themselves to miss their ex until they believe their ex has moved on. These factors make it hard to talk to them, but here are my top 4 tips for doing so:

  • Become Securely Attached and Determine If You Still Want Them Back
  • Learn Tactical Empathy
  • Let Them Feel What They Want to Feel
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Your Own Flaws and Mistakes


How do Avoidants handle being broken up with? ›

However, regardless of whether they are the instigator of a breakup or not, avoidant attachers tend to repress or avoid expression of their intense emotions in the aftermath. This response isn't to suggest that avoidant attachers don't feel the pain of a breakup – they do.

How do you get an avoidant to chase you after a breakup? ›

10 ways to make an avoidant individual chase you
  1. Don't chase the avoidant. The very first thing you have to do when it comes to learning about how to get an avoidant to chase you is to stop chasing that avoidant person. ...
  2. Stay mysterious. ...
  3. The waiting game works. ...
  4. Give them space. ...
  5. Patience is crucial. ...
  6. Don't rush them.
Feb 2, 2022

What makes an avoidant ex come back? ›

The first reason a dismissive avoidant ex may come back to you is if the relationship ended on neutral or positive terms. People with this attachment style aren't big on processing difficult emotions because, often, they struggle with emotional intelligence.

Do Avoidants return after no contact? ›

Avoidants do sometimes cycle back around to those they have shut out, disappeared on, and ignored. However, just because they come back this doesn't mean this is a viable relationship.

What is the best way to communicate with an avoidant partner? ›

Communicating with empathy, using “I” statements, and avoiding blaming and criticism are some of the ways to help avoidant partners feel safe enough to express their thoughts and feelings, as well as change their behaviors in time. “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.”

How do fearful Avoidants feel after a breakup? ›

"Fearful avoidant attachment individuals will probably feel like they 'deserve' the breakup, that it was inevitable, and they aren't likely to follow up with questions or to try to reignite the relationship," says Holland. They may be despondent one day, and cold and disconnected the next.

Do Avoidants miss you after breakup? ›

Yes, the dismissive avoidant misses you, but they miss you later on. In the beginning they're going to be relieved that they have their freedom. They can get their independence back and they get to go and do what they want to do without having to answer any questions to anybody.

Do Avoidants regret pushing people away? ›

The fearful avoidant will typically go through a period of euphoria after a breakup due to their newfound freedom from the confines of the relationship. However, that doesn't mean they won't eventually regret the breakup.

How do you win an Avoidants heart? ›

We spoke with relationship experts to learn about ways you can increase your connection with an avoidant partner.
  1. Be patient. ...
  2. Create an atmosphere of safety. ...
  3. Respect cultural differences. ...
  4. Try to understand how they view 'needs' ...
  5. Avoid controlling their behaviors. ...
  6. If possible, offer alone time. ...
  7. Try not to interrupt their space.

What makes an avoidant ex miss you? ›

Give them space when they pull away.

Avoidants need lots of space to feel comfortable in a relationship. Since they're afraid of commitment, spending too much time with them will make them feel smothered. When they start to grow distant, respect their need for time apart, even though it might be hard.

Do Avoidants want you to chase them? ›

Fearful avoidants both want and fear intimacy. So they seek closeness. But once they do, their fear of intimacy and attachment kicks in and they suddenly feel the need to escape, and this is when they need you to chase them.

What do Avoidants do after a breakup? ›

Avoidants will use many justifications (to themselves as well as others) to avoid exposing these basic truths. They have fewer break-up regrets and feel relieved at leaving their partner, but will then seek out someone the same.

Why do avoidants ignore text messages? ›

During the initial stages of getting to know someone, avoidants typically avoid texting. You'll find that they don't text too much. They need time and space to get to know you before they can text you more freely. Avoid bombarding them with texts during this stage.

Does no contact work on Avoidants? ›

Remember that both avoidant and anxious people can be included in the no-contact rule. It works no matter the attachment style.

How long does it take no contact to work on an avoidant? ›

In closing, I just want to say going no contact works with pretty much every attachment style, but it's different for the fearful avoidant. You have to give it that time of three to four weeks in order for them to start to feel those emotions for you again and actually get back into their activated state.

How long do Avoidants pull away for? ›

So a lot of the times you'll see them recover within the next three to five days so leaving them alone is really a great way to deal with the situation. Of course, it's always easier said than done especially when many of our clients have anxious attachment styles.

Do dismissive Avoidants go back to their exes? ›

Dismissive avoidants tend to circle back to the familiarity of a relationship, and sometimes you may find that a dismissive avoidant keeps coming back again and again. Returning to the familiarity of a relationship doesn't always mean a dismissive avoidant wants to get back together.

Should I reach out to my avoidant ex? ›

If you're constantly flooding them with messages that express how you miss them, they'll be tempted to avoid you even more. So, stop communicating with your avoidant ex. It'll give them time to process their feelings and determine how they feel about you.

Does no contact work with an avoidant ex? ›

Remember that both avoidant and anxious people can be included in the no-contact rule. It works no matter the attachment style.

Will avoidant ex contact me? ›

The truth is, we've found that most exes who are avoidant will usually not reach out to an ex on their own accord because it usually triggers two things within them; A feeling of trauma and vulnerability that they aren't comfortable with.

How do you show an avoidant you care? ›

How to Increase Intimacy and Communication with an Avoidant Partner: 21 Ways
  1. Be patient. ...
  2. Create an atmosphere of safety. ...
  3. Respect cultural differences. ...
  4. Try to understand how they view 'needs' ...
  5. Avoid controlling their behaviors. ...
  6. If possible, offer alone time. ...
  7. Try not to interrupt their space.


1. How To Talk To A Fearful Or Dismissive Avoidant (When They're Stonewalling) | Attachment Styles
(The Personal Development School)
2. How To Get Your Avoidant Ex Back
(Brad Browning)
3. 4 Signs Your Dismissive Avoidant Ex Wants To Get Back Together Or Still Has Feelings | Dismissive Ex
(The Personal Development School)
4. The Inside Of The Dismissive Avoidant's World After A Breakup | Dismissive Avoidant Attachment
(The Personal Development School)
5. THIS Is How To Get An Avoidant Ex Back
(Chris Seiter)
6. Dismissive Avoidant Breakup | How to stop obsessing over your avoidant ex
(Katya Morozova)
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