Did you recently go through a breakup with a partner who has a dismissive avoidant attachment style? After the breakup, did you choose to go no contact with them? And, now that you’ve gone no contact, the silence is making you ask yourself some questions like:
- What is my dismissive avoidant ex feeling or thinking?
- Is no contact working?
- Are they missing me?
- Are they thinking about me at all?
If you’re asking any of these questions, then you’re in the right place. By the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to know about what your dismissive avoidant ex is feeling post-breakup and why.
Gathering the Details for No Contact with a Dismissive Avoidant Ex
As you’re gathering details to figure out how your ex is feeling, you first need to reflect on how you started no contact. Did you choose to have a conversation with them? Did you just stop speaking to them? At the end of the day, how and why did your relationship end?
While everyone’s relationship is unique, it’s also important to look at a breakup from a more general and objective lens. For a more individualized answer, a coaching session could help. In my sessions, I treat all relationships as unique because they are. Blanket advice on relationship breakups doesn’t help anyone because no two relationships are the same.
However, this requires some assumptions to be made about your (ex) partner. One of them is that you have a pattern in the relationship that is “moving towards moving away,” which means you are gravitating toward them and they’re moving away from you.
What emotions will my avoidant ex experience post-breakup?
Now that you know the context behind why people go no contact, let’s dive into some of the things your ex might be feeling post-breakup.
#1 Blissful Ignorance
If you’ve fallen into a pattern of “moving towards, moving away,” you’re probably in a headspace where you want to fix the relationship. They might want to “deactivate” in the relationship because they’ve grown used to the relationship dynamic.
So, if you initiate no contact with them, it’s possible that they may actually not notice what you’re trying to do. They may feel some kind of sense of initial relief; like they have room to breathe. They’re used to communicating in the world without a sense of urgency to interact with others.
#2 Becoming Aware
As your dismissive avoidant ex starts to notice that something is different, they’ll probably wait to see if you’re actually going to follow through with no contact. They could be surprised after this period of noticing that anything has changed and when they notice that the typical relationship pattern has been interrupted. This causes a multitude of thoughts and feelings. For example, they could:
- Miss you
- Question their choice about leaving
- Think more about the relationship now that they are distanced from being in a relationship
- Understand what it’s like to be without you or be rejected by you
Naturally, this could generate some surprise, confusion, or mixed feelings from your ex — all of which could be fleeting. After this phase, the dismissive avoidant attachment style person will probably move into the next stage of emotions. Keep in mind that going no-contact is not a fix-all solution that provides immediate change. Even if you give someone some space for a short amount of time, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to quickly change their mind.
It’s also an indicator that you’re not in a healthy relationship. If you have to go no contact with someone for them to pay attention to you again, or be afraid to lose you, it tells you they might not be capable of being in a relationship. While these instances are more rare, they still may not immediately change their mind about getting back together with you.
#3 Avoidant Ex Deactivation
The next stage your ex could experience would be deactivation, which is where they shut almost completely down. At this point, they’re using strategies to move away from the relationship. You can’t really predict how long this will happen, because you simply don’t know. Many factors contribute to this emotion, like how the relationship ended, what happened towards the end, and the length of the fallout of your relationship. Also, these factors are more important to pay attention to if you want to want to really understand what might be happening for this person during no contact.
During the deactivation stage, a person with a dismissive avoidant attachment style may do a number of things — like distracting themselves or using a variety of healthy and unhealthy coping strategies. These strategies take more work for the avoidant-style person, contrary to what you might think. So, that’s why someone in pain that has this attachment style employs the deactivation strategy. When they’re feeling pain or are feeling a strong amount of feelings that they don’t know what to do with, they end up shutting down. However, it also depends on how self-aware the person is and their ability to cope.
Does going no contact with your dismissive ex really work?
There are always two sides to every coin. Every breakup is different, and each partner will have their own version of what happened or what caused the separation.
For example, say some time has passed and you’ve doing strict no-contact a few months. The situation at hand could go a few different ways. If you and your ex had a strong connection and were hesitant about breaking up, going no contact can give each partner time to really think about what they want. It allows everyone to enter the relationship with a new, fresh perspective.
In this case, no contact can be really useful. The patterns in the relationship aren’t healthy for either one of you, you aren’t treating each other well, and you aren’t getting any benefit out of being with each other. Being out of communication can be really positive, giving you both the space to regroup. Maybe, after a few months, it could be a good idea to reconnect and reevaluate where you both are when it comes to handling conflict in the relationship. A person with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style may be a much more open place to receive your communication to potentially reconcile or to have conversations from a different headspace.
On the other hand, going no contact could do nothing for you. The reality in this scenario is that no contact is a fix-all or a blanket solution for your relationship problems. It could make you grow farther apart, especially if the relationship was never meant to be. Whether you just weren’t compatible for each other, had too many heated fights, or didn’t share the same feelings for one another, no contact isn’t going to be helpful. If it’s not meant to be, you will need time to process the relationship and heal.
Ready to learn more about how to handle your breakup with a dismissive avoidant person?
If you’ve done a deep dive into resources that encourage going no contact, but something in your gut tells you that maybe this isn’t the right thing to do, having a one-on-one session with someone who understands could be extremely beneficial. In my coaching sessions, we discuss if no contact is an appropriate strategy for your unique relationship dynamic.
It’s easy to panic when you consume a lot of information that is catered towards the general population. However, you have to consider your unique situation. After all, “If the shoe doesn’t fit must we change the foot.”
Book a coaching call with me today to learn more about how to evaluate whether your dismissive-avoidant, no-contact situation is beneficial or not.