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If you’ve been in a relationship where your ex’s openness to intimacy and need for space wigwagged like a pendulum, there’s a good chance they’re a fearful-avoidant. And in this guide, I’ll walk you through going no contact with a fearful avoidant in order to maximize your chances of getting them back.
Who And What Is A Fearful Avoidant
Everyone possesses one of four attachment styles, predominantly influenced by their childhood and upbringing: anxious (excessive need for closeness), avoidant (excessive need for space), secure (no excessive needs), and fearful-avoidant (excessive and shifting need for closeness and space).
For an in-depth guide on these attachment styles, consult my guide to attachment theory. For this one, however, I’ll mainly focus on fearful avoidant attachment.
Individuals with this attachment style have usually experienced childhood trauma where love has not been expressed to them in a healthy manner. This childhood experience with love makes them very insecure. They find it difficult to commit to relationships; they often cannot express their feelings and avoid sentimental and moving expressions because they see it as a threat to their personhood or independence.
It is because of their complex attachment style that breaking up with a fearful avoidant becomes difficult, especially if you want to cut them out of your life via no contact.
Further, no contact with a fearful avoidant is especially difficult for them because, during the initial stages of the breakup, they sometimes want you to reach out to them for the possibility of mending things. That said, the fearful-avoidant will concurrently do their best to avoid the expression of any emotion or desire of wanting to rekindle things — seldom even if you do reach out to them.
Yes, dealing with these people is a mindfuck.
What Is The No Contact Rule
The theory shrouding no contact is vast. Below I’ll only report on the basics for understanding the concept. If you’d at any point like to dive deeper into it, read this long-ass guide.
No contact is exactly what the name suggests: it’s the act of cutting all contact with your ex after a breakup. This process is incorrectly thought of as a manipulative technique to get them back, whereas, in reality, it has very little to do with the ex and much more to do with your own recovery. It’s a process of inward growth rather than an outward expression of disinterest.
No contact allows you to take time away from the post-breakup push-pull dynamics and allows you to unwind and release some of your angst as you remove yourself from any potential post-breakup games. You can give yourself time to think and create a need for yourself in your ex’s life. You increase your value in their life simply by reducing supply (basic economics).
When you are constantly trying to reach out to your ex, you come off as needy, which makes the fearful-avoidant especially cautious of you and more likely to run farther away, making it a pain in the ass to ever reconcile.
Why Is No Contact Good For You
Here is why you should opt for no contact with a fearful avoidant:
1. It Helps You Gain Control Of Your Thoughts
In the initial phases of no contact, it’s natural to reminisce about the good times spent in your relationship. At this point, your mind is busy romanticizing mundane things about it, which makes it challenging to stay in no contact, especially if you just got out of a long-term relationship.
But throughout no contact, you learn to detach from intrusive thoughts and the emotions they make you feel and behave less irrationally and panicky as a result.
2. It Gives You Space
Often people who have been in long-term relationships have gotten used to having someone by their side all the time. For the most part, this tendency is healthy. The time it becomes unhealthy, however, is when a person loses their individuality due to the urge to spend all their time with their partner. The latter is the case for most people reading my blog.
Luckily, no contact gives you the time and space to reclaim this individuality and get used to solitude. Even better, it helps you organize your thoughts and clears your mind.
3. It Makes You Introspective
No contact grants you the space for a much-needed introspection about your needs, experiences, mistakes, and what you’ve learned about yourself up to this point. In other words, it’s a time for you to come to valuable, perhaps even life-altering conclusions.
Conclusions like: Maybe you weren’t such a good partner, after all. Maybe you were actually a jealous emotional wreck. Maybe you sucked at boundaries. Perhaps you’d also break up with yourself if you were in your ex’s shoes.
4. It Helps Plot The Future Of Your Relationship
During no-contact and especially no contact with a fearful avoidant, pondering about our relationship is paramount. With time, and the weakening of the rose-colored glasses, we tend to start seeing it as it really was — not as we want it to be.
This ultimately helps you make a more rational decision of how to move forward: to try to get your ex back or close that chapter of your life for good.
What Does No Contact With A Fearful Avoidant Look Like
A fearful avoidant during no contact acts slightly differently from other attachment styles. Going no contact with them can become extremely distracting and often requires a lot of discipline. The fearful-avoidant does not express remorse or sadness over heartbreak in the initial weeks of the breakup.
During this time, they’re busy avoiding their emotions until they get too hot to handle — this usually occurs around the 3-5 week mark. However, simultaneously, the individual in the no contact process comes towards a more centered and stronger place as they usually stop grieving the relationship forgone and start to look ahead.
It is in this peak moment of their recovery process that the fearful-avoidant may start reaching out. At this point, their emotions are heightened, and they often become unable to decide what they want: do they want to get back together, or do they want to stay broken up?
The Right Approach
Here is what you need to remember when going no contact with a fearful avoidant.
You must not let them distract you from your recovery. It’s natural that the pendulum of emotions might strike you, and you may feel like you do want to get back with them, but it’s pivotal that you remember to make decisions at your own pace and in your own time.
No contact is a healing process for you; you should not allow anyone or anything to interrupt or forcibly speed it up. Whatever the fearful-avoidant is saying and doing is to fulfill their immediate needs, whereas you should prioritize your needs at this phase.
If you, at some point during the fearful avoidant’s back-and-forth confusion, decide you want them back, simple invite them on a date the next time they reach out and commence the rekindling process (learn more about it in my article on getting back with an ex).
Fearful Avoidant No Contact: The Bottom Line
The end goal of no contact is not to get back with your ex; the end goal of no contact is to grow as an individual — to become someone more resilient, attractive, and well-rounded. Getting your ex back is simply a sexy side-effect of no contact.
Having a lengthy and fruitful no-contact period — the kind where you actually invest in yourself during it and not just sit around and mope and twiddle your thumbs while waiting for your ex to reach out — not only makes you a better person and partner but also gives your ex the opportunity to become a better person and partner as well.
In other words, no contact with fearful avoidants is an excellent opportunity for much-needed growth for both parties involved. And perhaps mutual growth is just what you need to rekindle things for good.
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