7 Reasons The Fearful Avoidant Ex Comes Back

So, you’re recovering from a breakup – a pretty devastating one with your now fearful avoidant ex. You’re just starting to feel some relief, and all of a sudden, your ex comes back to you. You’re not sure what to do or how to interpret them reaching out to you.

Or maybe you’re recovering from your breakup, still really missing your ex, and hoping that they will reach out to you.

We’re going to outline the most common reasons that the fearful-avoidant partner comes back to a relationship with tips on whether you should take their return seriously or not. 

The fearful-avoidant ex felt safe

People with this attachment style often seek comfort in familiar surroundings and relationships, even if they were problematic in the past. So, one of the core needs for the fearful-avoidant partner is to feel safe or comfortable. Of course, all people have these needs to some degree but a person with a fearful avoidant attachment style will need safety to a very high degree and will be on high alert when they don’t feel this way. 

A person with this attachment style may go back to a relationship because their need for safety or comfort was met in a very specific way that they valued. For example, a fearful avoidant partner who may struggle financially might return to a relationship with a financially stable partner, creating a sense of safety.

Another instance could be the fearful-avoidant partner struggling to express themselves emotionally. In a relationship where they are not pressured to express their emotional needs, even if it’s not the healthiest relationship, they might go back because they feel a sense of safety without that pressure. For instance, with partners who are more avoidant than they are. 

Fearful avoidants realize “the grass isn’t always greener”

The next reason a person with this attachment style may come back to a relationship is if they realize that the grass isn’t always greener. This attachment style tends to have an idealistic view of relationships due to not having a strong model for what a normal functioning relationship looks and feels like day-to-day. This idealistic view might lead them to end a relationship, thinking something better is out there. However, upon venturing out, they might realize that people are people, and there’s a certain reality to life.

In moments of vulnerability, a person with this attachment style may come back to a relationship, realizing the value of what they had. These reunions can often be short-lived, though, because fearful avoidants struggle with flawfinding in relationships or feelings of being trapped so they can quickly lose sight of the value they just gleaned in your connection. 

Fearful avoidant comes back because of regret

The next reason is a more hopeful one. One of the reasons a person with this attachment style could come back is out of a sense of regret. In the Handbook of Attachment by Cassidy and Shaver, they discuss how a person with disorganized attachment tends to feel more regret in their relationships due to their inconsistent behavior. They may realize their contribution to challenges in the relationship and genuinely want to repair and work on it.

The fearful avoidant ex and maturity

Now, let’s talk about another reason, not exclusive to the fearful avoidant attachment style. I say that it’s not exclusive to FA’s because it has more to do with a person’s maturity than their attachment style. That said, people with a fearful avoidant attachment style who struggle to directly communicate their needs might come back for this reason. A person might come back with a hidden agenda, testing the waters to see if you’re serious about what you want. Whether that means you’re clear that you don’t want to be friends with them or aren’t interested in a hookup. The fearful-avoidant may come back to test if you mean what you say or if you’re open to a different kind of relationship from the one you had. This can be frustrating, and it’s essential to be cautious about such hidden agendas.

Fear of being alone!

The fear of being alone can be acute for a person with the fearful avoidant attachment style, struggling with both the fear of intimacy and the fear of abandonment. This fear may lead them back to a relationship out of a fear of loneliness.

However, be cautious, as this reason may not be sufficient for a healthy relationship. It’s crucial to consider whether you want to be in a relationship with someone who fears being alone.

Lack of closure

Another reason a person might come back is due to a chronic lack of closure. Disorganized attachment often leads to a chronic lack of closure, where they feel something is incomplete. This lack of closure can continue into adult relationships, leading them to seek closure with past partners.

Be cautious of impulsive behavior in the avoidant

Before getting excited at any of these reasons, consider the final reason – impulsiveness. A person with this attachment style might impulsively reach out due to a sense of longing or loneliness. People who haven’t done their personal development work may not have acquired the tools necessary to curb their impulses. Be cautious about engaging emotionally before knowing how serious your ex is when they reach out.

If one of these reasons resonates with your situation or feels like a fit for why your fearful avoidant might come back, let me know in the comments below. If your fearful avoidant partner has reached out or you expect them to, and you’d like to know what to do in that situation, I recommend booking a one-on-one session with me to discuss your unique situation and develop a game plan for approaching the initial stages of communication.

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