Getting dumped is probably one of the worst experiences you can have during a breakup and almost everyone who gets dumped wonders if their dumper feels anything about the breakup.
They just assume that because the dumper initiated the breakup, they’re going to move on much faster.
I’ve found that it’s not always that straightforward…
When I first started my coaching practice most of my advice was based on my own experiences or understanding of breakups, so I also thought that dumpers don’t feel any remorse after a breakup and move on very quickly.
However, the more I worked with people who had been dumped or people who had dumped their exes but now wanted them back, I realized that there are fundamental differences in how dumpers move on after breakups.
No two dumpers are the same and to answer the question of whether dumpers move on faster after a breakup we need to dive deeper into the four main attachment styles and how each attachment style handles a breakup.
Looking At Attachment Styles In How Fast A Dumper Moves On
Before getting into the specific attachment styles I want to make it clear that this is just a generalization that will apply to most, but not all dumpers.
Even if it doesn’t fully apply to your ex it still gives you some insight into their brain during a breakup.
That insight is very important because most of us assume that because someone breaks up with you, they don’t also feel the heartbreak and pain from a breakup.
That’s false – generally speaking, the pain of a breakup is almost equally felt by both parties.
And one of the best ways to understand said pain is to look at how each attachment styles copes with it.
Today we’re going to be looking at four specific attachment styles,
Now, for those of you keeping up with some of our more recent articles this shouldn’t be anything new. However, where our new twist comes in is how we will be applying them.
Secure attachment style
If the dumper has a secure attachment style, they will cope with the breakup in the healthiest way.
They’ll look at the breakup and take stock of what they’ll ultimately need to be happy in life moving forward. Sometimes if the breakup was amicable, you’ll find that they’ll even try to be friends afterward.
Secure attachment is pretty much the holy grail of attachment styles and it’s always what you want to be or imitate. If a secure attachment ex broke up with you, they are much more likely to move on from the breakup quickly compared to the other attachment styles.
They have so much fortitude and self-confidence that they understand that there is much more to them as individuals aside from their relationship. Knowing this allows them to move past a breakup without letting it break them down or challenge their self-worth.
This doesn’t mean they don’t feel pain after a breakup like everyone else, it just means they’re better at handling those emotions and channeling them into more productive avenues like bettering themselves.
People with secure attachment styles often offer to stay friends after a breakup because they believe it’s a healthy way to move forward. They’re so secure in their sense of self and ability to successfully navigate friendship with an ex that they might not really think how it would be on you.
Generally speaking, friendships with exes can be difficult but that’s beside the point.
The bottom line is that a dumper with a secure attachment style tends to move on the quickest after a breakup.
Anxious attachment style
People with anxious attachment styles tend to get overly attached to specific individuals in a relationship.
Now you’d think that someone who becomes overly attached to individuals will jump from relationship to relationship after a breakup, but that’s actually not the case.
Interestingly, if your ex had an anxious attachment style, they have the highest probability of coming back to you and not being able to let go.
This definitely sounds counterintuitive because you’d think that after dumping you they’d move on to someone else they can tie their self-worth to.
However, they will probably be too stuck on the relationship and bond that you’ve formed that they’ll want to keep a hold of it and probably even mend it.
So, if your ex is an anxious attachment style, they’re actually not going to be able to get over the breakup very quickly.
In fact, they’re the best candidate for getting back together with you.
Avoidant attachment style
Avoidant attachment generally stems from having parents who were rarely present leading to a child feeling as though they were destined to go through life alone.
I’ve recently talked about dismissive avoidants on my YouTube channel and blog but the main characteristic they show is having incredibly high self-esteem, coupled with a low opinion of their partners. This combination allows them to pretend like they don’t feel anything after a breakup.
People with avoidant attachments will tend to avoid the pain that comes with a breakup but eventually, the pain will catch up to them no matter how hard they try to resist. When the pain catches up, they can either process their emotions in a healthy way or they can look for distractions.
Most of the time, avoidant exes will do something to numb the pain.
They will probably throw themselves into a new relationship with someone else because they see others as tools to help them get over you.
They might even indulge in multiple rebound relationships, jumping from one person to the next until they convince themselves that they’ve moved on from you.
So, do dumpers with an avoidant attachment style easily get over a breakup? I would argue they’re not easily over a breakup especially if they’re clearly hopping from relationship to relationship to numb their pain.
They’re simply acting like they have moved on after their breakup, but their decisions are still being influenced by their last relationship.
Fearful attachment style
Before we get into the fearful attachment style, I want to put out a quick disclaimer:
Only 7% of the entire population has a fearful attachment style therefore it is highly unlikely that this applies to your ex.
This style is so rare because it’s kind of like a hybrid between anxious and avoidant attachment styles. People with a fearful attachment style will act extremely interested in the relationship one day and act completely ready to move on the next day.
Their emotions are always on this pendulum and can go either way depending on the day and their mood.
Now you might think “yup, this sounds exactly like my ex”, but remember there’s a 93% chance that this is not your ex.
Most people don’t simply fall 100% into one attachment style or the other – they can feel secure with a hit of anxiety on some days, or maybe even avoidant. There are a lot of factors that go into attachment styles and people can share percentages of each, so your ex is probably just some combination of the first three styles and not a true fearful attachment.
Let’s say your ex is one of those rare truly fearful attachment types though, what does this mean with regard to them moving on?
Well, fearful avoidant people tend to have mixed reactions to breakups.
They might initially try to avoid their feelings or numb them in ways but after some time the feelings will catch up just like that avoidant style. That’s when their anxious part will kick in and they’ll be unable to run away.
They’ll have low self-esteem coupled with a desire to get into a new relationship as soon as possible but rebound relationships might not come as easy for them.
So, if you ask me whether a fearful attachment style who has dumped you is over the breakup very quickly, I would argue that they’re not.
Recap and conclusion:
We have looked at the four different attachment styles (secure, anxious, avoidant, fearful) and how they handle breakups after dumping someone. I would argue that three of those four different attachment styles do not have an easy time getting over a breakup even if they’ve dumped you.
These three attachment styles cope with a breakup in completely wrong and unhealthy ways:
- Anxious attachments stay hung up over their ex and are unable to let go.
- Avoidant attachments try to avoid and numb their feelings by jumping to rebound relationships.
- Fearful attachments have the pitfalls of anxious and avoidant attachments, so they avoid and deny the pain of a breakup and try to get in rebound relationships, however, their low self-esteem makes it difficult to let go.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the best way to approach a breakup is always by adopting or mimicking a secure attachment style.
Secure attachment styles will accept the breakup as a learning opportunity and look to the future.
Dumpers with a secure attachment style are therefore the hardest to get back because of their high self-esteem. In our practice, we see the most success in getting back dumpers with anxious or avoidant attachment styles.
However, the most important thing to remember is that regardless of whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, the pain after a breakup is universal and both parties will share in that emotional trauma.