By Chris Seiter

Updated on March 21st, 2022

Today we’re going to talk about if fearful avoidants ever come back after a breakup. Believe it or not the answer to that question is a little bit complicated.

We have found that on average a fearful avoidant will not initiate a reconnection with you. However, there is a window of time where they do consider it and if you time it right you can get them to come back if that’s what you want.

So, what I’d like to do is really talk through what a fearful avoidant is and how they handle breakups so you can learn everything about them.

Let’s get started.

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Why Avoidants Rarely Come Back On Their Own After A Breakup

One thing you need to learn about people with avoidant attachment styles is that they typically don’t like things that make them feel overly vulnerable.

In my last article on this I talked a lot about how we are seeing breakups occur during “tipping points”

  1. You ask for them to be relationship official
  2. You ask them for clarification on when marriage is going to happen
  3. You ask them to move in together
  4. You buy a house together
  5. You have a child together
  6. You get engaged
  7. You get married

The tipping points all have to do with deeper commitments and certainly the fearful avoidant will get scared during them.

Yet here’s perhaps the greatest insight I can leave you with an avoidant.

They literally prefer to be broken up with you. They understand they need emotional support but the confines of a relationship scare them. A part of them enjoys existing in a constant state of rejection and distance from you.

Here’s perhaps the greatest insight I can leave you with what we’ve learned about fearful avoidants.

They would rather be broken up with you and use you for emotional support because it makes them feel safe but there’s also no threat of a relationship ever happening. It’s a one sided arrangement where they get what they lack, emotional support, but you get used.

Of course, I mentioned above that there is a period where they do consider coming back.

What’s that all about?

Understanding The Nostalgia Factor

Probably the best video I’ve ever recorded on this one where I talk exclusively about something I’ve been calling the nostalgia factor.

Here’s how it works.

It’s true that the fearful avoidant prefers to keep you at an arms length because it makes them feel comfortable. However, an interesting thing happens when they’ve kept you at arms length long enough.

If they literally do it for a long enough period of time and they believe that there’s no chance of reconnection ever happening it’s at that point that they allow themselves to feel nostalgia.

Have you ever heard of the peak-end rule?

It posits that we aren’t great at remembering the “whole” of an experience. Instead we make these quick calculations and remember the “peak” moments and the “end” moments.

Of course, if there aren’t any great “peak” moments  that could be a major problem but what tends to happen is that once the avoidant has this nostalgia wave they’ll think back to those peak moments.

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And if you reach out and try to reconnect then they’re a lot more agreeable.

But that’s why I’ve always found it a little ridiculous when people claim that you can get an ex back “no matter what.” Or they’ll go on and on about how  “timing” doesn’t matter when our research has shown that it clearly does.

Understanding The Fearful Avoidants Idea Of A Perfect Relationship

You may have noticed that a fearful avoidant has a tendency to jump from rebound relationship to rebound relationship as a type of coping mechanism.

But if you understood what the fearful avoidants idea of a perfect relationship looks like it’ll begin to make more sense.

  • They crave passion (honeymoon period)
  • They crave transparency (their anxious side)
  • Any tiny breach of trust is enough for them to throw the relationship away (again their anxious side coming out)

Let’s tackle the craving for passion. One of the reasons a fearful avoidant will tend to have a rocky relationship history is because they are constantly chasing honeymoon period experience after honeymoon period experience.

They crave that passion and chemical spike that you get during the honeymoon period. This is often why their relationship history doesn’t have a lot of long term commitments.

Yet at the same time the fearful avoidant will often demand transparency throughout the relationship. Here we see their anxious side coming out. I’ve ever seen situations where the smallest breach of trust like getting caught in a small lie has led to the demise of a relationship.

It’s important to remember that they break up with you to protect themselves.

Such a volatile relationship history will often do a number on their preconceived notions of what healthy relationships look like and this is rooted in their childhood.

I feel it’s important to give some background on how the average fearful attachment style is created.

How The Fearful Avoidant Attachment Style Is Created

If you’ve done any type of research on attachment styles you’ll have learned that all attachment styles are formed during childhood.

The fearful avoidant is a special case though.

Often their parents will have created an environment where mixed signals were common. At times they will have been overly affectionate. Other times they will have potentially failed to provide the child with even the most basic needs.

Such a volatile upbringing will teach the child that this is how all relationships should be. They’ll realize over time that they need to learn to fulfill their own needs.

It’s easy to sit back and blame the parents of the child but more often than not they’ll have the same working framework for how attachments should be developed and they’re just projecting what they know onto their children.

And around and around the cycle goes.

So, what actually works on a fearful avoidant assuming you want to get back with them?

The Secure Attachment Gravity Concept

Most of the work we do on Ex Boyfriend Recovery can be boiled down into one simple concept.

Help our clients achieve more secure attachments.

This has a pronounced effect on our overall success rate because we have noticed that secure attachments tend to pull other attachment styles more towards them.

So, if an anxious person is in a relationship with a secure person they can kind of learn what a secure attachment looks like. After all, I’ve long been a proponent for the fact that attachment styles are fluid instead of fixed.

So, what does a secure attachment style look like?

Someone who is secure is comfortable resolving conflicts, addressing relationship challenges openly and non-defensively, comfortable with both intimacy and independence, able to show sympathy to avoidant behaviors and give the avoidant partner the space they need without pressure, but also confident articulating their needs and able to draw clear boundaries against mistreatment.

What can happen is that when a fearful attachment style is paired with a secure attachment is that they begin to learn how relationships should actually be and you’ll find that fearful attachment can slowly move towards being more secure themselves.

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After all, we learn attachment behaviors through others.

Of course, the opposite can also be true. Remember, our attachment styles are fluid and being secure and fearful are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Generally when these two partners pair up one of three things will happen.

  1. The fearful person will take on more secure traits.
  2. The secure person will take on more fearful traits.
  3. The secure person will leave recognizing the fearful person is too much work

So, let’s recap everything we’ve talked about so far.


Trying to understand fearful avoidants is always a difficult thing. Especially when you look at if they ever come back after a breakup. The truth is so complicated. Here’s what we know for sure.

  • The avoidant will probably not be the initiator in asking for you back because doing so makes them feel vulnerable
  • They revel in the early stages of a romance (a la the honeymoon period)
  • Deeper forms of connection frighten them which causes them to…
  • Jump from rebound relationship to rebound relationship as a coping mechanism
  • Eventually they do have a bout of nostalgia where they think about getting back together but they will rarely act on it.
  • If you want a reconnection to occur then you’re probably going to have to be the one to reach out.
  • Don’t consider reaching out until you are certain your attachment style has veered towards more secure territory.
  • Why? Simply put it’s because the only way you’re going to have a healthy relationship is if you employ secure attachment gravity

Boy that’s complicated, right?

Let me know if you have any questions. Simply leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

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17 thoughts on “Do Fearful Avoidants Come Back After A Breakup?”

  1. Kate

    February 17, 2023 at 8:06 am

    Wow… I am going thru a break up right now… everything was going so well. I wasn’t part of his birthday lunch with adult kids so decided to catch up with a friend for lunch who is in his seventies and I told him what I was doing. He never introduces me to his kids even after 1 year together and I was sad about that. He told me about an event with one of his kids which could explain why he is so protective but now I am not sure if it was the thruth. Allegations explode… accusing me of bad things with an older man. he blocks me and unblocks me multiple times on the phone. My language was always polite . His changed from morning to afternoon in the day where it became abusive over and over. I thought he was avoidant all along but didn’t know about his fearful side. He had an event in his childhood. It all makes sence. Today he did a knowledge my emails is a nice way but then every couple of hours abusive messages come through. He says he loves me but he hates himself because he opened up to me and let his guard down. We shared a lot of personal history. He Carries guilt from 2 huge situations in his life. It is a shame because deep down he is such a nice man. Old fashion values likes looking after his woman but unbelievable how he acts now … he says he is hurt . I don’t know what to believe anymore. It’s heartbreaking…

  2. Daisy

    September 22, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Great profile on Fearful avoidant. The bottom line they have to realize and want to become secure. It’s like they have to rewire their view on relationship. Otherwise they will never be in healthy relationship and no one should get back and be involved with them again. Also want to point out they can be very confusing, hot and cold. I would not trust any of those, until they have shown efforts (therapy really, gotta get professional help as some of the trauma ran deep) to become securely attached. Meantime, us continue to heal ourselves and attract healthy partners (through communication and setting boundeies)!

  3. Nicole

    August 16, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Hi, My LDR boyfriend of six years broke up with me back in June. I did NC for 35 days and then reached out mid-July. We had a brief (I kept it brief) and nice conversation with inside jokes and laughter. Since then, my avoidant ex has ghosted me so I have let him be. What would be the next thing to do? Given he is avoidant, I don’t see him reaching out anytime soon but also, don’t want to miss the chance of working through things. I will be in his area potentially next month, but I also do not want to pressure him into meeting me.

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      September 2, 2022 at 8:52 pm

      Hey Nicole, an avoidant takes time to build rapport with you are going to have to keep reading and working through the articles to support you. If you feel that you need more support then take a look at our products section for the ERP program or even the one to one coaching

  4. Hunjo

    July 8, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Chris, so when me and ex broke up I beg and pleaded on the first few days. I then tried to keep contact but eventually stop. I did the 30 day no contact but she still give me very short replies. After we broke up she went on and dated this new person who now has to move away and it would turn into a long distance rebound relationship. I think she might be a fearful avoidant but I’m not 100% sure. What is the best plan for me to get her back?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      July 24, 2022 at 9:00 pm

      Hey Hunjo, as you started your NC did you complete without watching her social media or reaching out at all? If so then you need to read the texting information to help you create a plan on how to rebuild your connection. Remember NC is just step one of the process.

  5. JDP

    July 4, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    Hello. Finding your resources very helpful. My fearful avoidant wife of 6 years (same sex r’ship) broke up with me suddenly while I am on the opposite side of the world on a research trip (I had only been away 6 weeks, and when I left things were fine). We had recently bought a house together and she said the renovation planning had been a trigger, but says her decision is final and she is unhappy in the relationship. She didn’t raise anything with me prior and I’m wondering if me leaving (although she was supportive of this) triggered something in her?

    We have a couples therapy session and I’m wondering how to gently raise some of my concerns that there may be other factors at play here?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      August 6, 2022 at 7:40 pm

      Hi JDP as you are in a “safe place” to bring up these issues you will be given a time by your therapist to speak about your worries / concerns / issues during your session just avoid using the blame game (you are, you did this, you said that)

  6. Kendee

    June 11, 2022 at 5:42 am

    My ex avoidant and I were together for 3 years. broke up over text message then started dating someone right after. it has been 5 months and they look happy. I believe she is anxious . will he ever regret breaking up with me? He said our relationship was amazing, but ultimately didnt work for him.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 15, 2022 at 5:33 pm

      Hey Kendee, if their relationship is reaching the 5-month period they would be coming out of the honeymoon phase and would start to settle into a longer-term relationship style which would mean that there is a chance he will start comparing her to your three-year relationship. If you are not willing to follow the information about the being there method then the only option you have is to sit back and wait to see what happens between them. I would suggest that you date in the mean time.

  7. Elle

    April 3, 2022 at 3:39 am

    Thank you so much for this article. My FA bf broke up with me two weeks ago and I have been devastated. I wanted him back soooo badly. After reading your site about FA, there’s no chance I’m getting tangled up with him again!

  8. Anne

    March 20, 2022 at 11:23 am

    My FA boyfriend broke up with me just a few days ago. The night before he was still telling me how much he loves me. The very next morning, he sent me a message that we are better off as friends as he no longer has that love for me anymore. He also said that he feels that he can’t spend enough time with me because of his work and that he can’t imagine life continuing on like this if we were to have a family.

    I really felt deeply hurt.

    Does he still love me? Or is he pushing me away just because he is overwhelmed?

  9. phyllis

    January 31, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    i broke up with my FA. maybe DA Almost 5 months ago! He immediately went into a rebound relationship because he felt he needed to find someone who he could actually fall in love with. ( he actually told me he found someone new) He told me he loved me various times during the relationship but like a turtle. took cover in his shell after being vulnerable ! I don’t really want to get back together. At least not until he gets help. But…we never communicated. I do love him, but I also know better. I wrote a letter sharing my thoughts but i have not sent the letter. The letter is only about me and i am very clear about my intent. is this smart to send? We are not in our 30’s or 40’s

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 11, 2022 at 9:12 pm

      Hi Phyllis, I wouldn’t recommend sending the letter it is not going to help your situation in anyway, along with you saying you do not want to get back together with him unless he gets help. This all needs to be his actions and the letter is unlikely to ignite that inside him.

  10. Jason Hulbert

    January 21, 2022 at 1:51 am

    What do you do of the avoidant isn’t a believer in the idea of attachment theory? Even though avoidant is nearly exactly what she is?

    We broke up on Sunday, still head over heals
    For her but she said she felt “no connection”. I want to call and contact but doing so will only push her away. As painful as it is, I am going to stick to it. Great article. Thanks.

  11. maisy

    December 22, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Is it possible for them to commit or they will simply break your heart even though they come back to you?

    1. Chris Seiter

      December 22, 2021 at 8:00 pm

      I think getting them to commit is a function of if you can have an impact on their attachment style. All roads lead through secure attachments.