Today is all about how to make an avoidant ex miss you.
Avoidant exes are the most common type of exes our clients are trying to get back so we have a lot of real-world experience in dealing with them.
First things first – I’d recommend scrolling through our website and reading some of our articles on attachment styles so you can understand each one.
Here’s a quick recap of the four main attachment style types:
- Secure attachment – the holy grail of attachment styles where you are so confident in yourself that your worth is not defined by your ex/partner and you don’t care whether your ex comes back.
- Anxious attachment style – the most obsessive, clingy, and codependent attachment style where you constantly attach your self-worth and emotional wellbeing to your ex.
- Avoidant attachment style – the most aloof and emotionally unavailable attachment style where you are afraid of getting too close to someone so you avoid deep emotional attachments.
- Fearful attachment style – a rare combination of anxious and avoidant types.
This article will help you see exactly what your avoidant ex goes through so you can truly understand how to make them miss you.
There’s a high chance your avoidant ex sees the world in a completely different way than your anxious self does so you need to empathize with their perspective.
What An Avoidant Attachment Style Is And Looks Like
The defining characteristic of an avoidant attachment style is a lack of intimacy.
They’ll either avoid it altogether or keep their partners at a distance.
Now, this isn’t to say that avoidant people will avoid relationships altogether, just that they will be emotionally distant within the confines of a relationship. They will never truly open up when it comes to expressing emotions or dealing with conflict because they feel like it’s best to avoid any deep connections or conversations. I’d even go as far as saying that they have a pretty big mistrust in depending on others in relationships.
According to the attachment project,
“The avoidant type would often perceive themselves as ‘lone wolves’: strong, independent, and self-sufficient; not necessarily in terms of physical contact, but rather on an emotional level.”1
This fits in perfectly with the deep-seated fear of emotional attachment and intimacy shared by avoidants.
After all, being fiercely independent is just another way to tell yourself you don’t need anyone else to complement your happiness. The less you depend on people, the less there’s a chance they’ll let you down.
A lot of people might misconstrue this fear as being standoffish or not interested in the relationship at all. That’s why you need to empathize with your avoidant ex’s world view before trying to get them back.
Empathize First Before Worrying About Making Them Miss You
Now that you know a bit more about how people with avoidant attachment styles work maybe you have a better idea of why they acted a certain way during your relationship or breakup. An understanding of how an avoidant attachment style operates is crucial in making them miss you.
Freetoattach.com describes this best:
People with avoidant attachment styles “want connection like everyone else but their deepest fear is that love and closeness come at the cost of freedom.”2
It’s already hard to see a relationship as a tradeoff between your freedom and emotional satisfaction and what makes it worse for avoidants is feeling like they are never doing enough.
They’ve spent their whole lives trying to be emotionally aloof to not get too close to someone so when their partners shower them with love they don’t know how to react.
It’s easy for avoidants to get engulfed in and feel burdened by their partner’s efforts and expectations. They feel like their partner brings way more to the table than they do and they hate the feeling of owing their partners more love or emotional dependability.
In fact sometimes avoidants may self-sabotage their relationships because they feel like the relationship has become too obligating and they cannot give their partner what they need. They might even fear being controlled and losing their freedom so they start to distance themselves from the relationship. That way when their partner leaves them it just becomes this self-fulfilling prophecy of
“I knew no one stays forever so I did the right thing by not opening up”.
Think back to your relationship and tell me if you can relate to this:
Your partner seems to be tense and worried about something. They don’t say it but you can tell by their body language cues and general aura so you ask them what’s wrong.
They say “Oh, nothing, everything is fine!”.
You can tell they’re not telling you the truth so you push a little more and they snap at you, “I said there’s nothing wrong. Why can’t you let It go? Leave me alone!”
That is classic avoidant behavior.
What works to make an avoidant miss you?
I had to think really hard about this and I’m really proud of the answers that I came up with because they are extremely unique.
I’ve never seen anyone offer this type of advice specifically for avoidants because it requires you to change your whole paradigm.
The reason I went into such detail in explaining the psychology behind an avoidant attachment style is so you can empathize with their point of view and approach them in a way they would understand best.
So here are the four main components to make an avoidant ex miss you:
Component #1: Avoidants are free to long for an ex once that person is unavailable out of the relationship and typically out of contact.
Avoidants easily feel suffocated when they are smothered with too much attention and that’s one of the reasons why most of our clients with anxious attachment styles fail in getting their exes back.
We know that a lot of the people coming to ex-boyfriend recovery or ex-girlfriend recovery have anxious attachment styles so they want to fix the relationship as soon as possible.
That obsessive desire to instantly fix things will not work with an avoidant because they will not miss you until they believe you’ve truly moved on and let go of them.
They need to believe that you’re unavailable before they allow themselves to miss you. Knowing that you’re no longer available takes off any pressure they might have about missing you when there’s a chance of getting back together.
They don’t want that, so it’s an important distinction to make.
Component #2: Low-level interactions have the potential to bring up uncomfortable emotions or guilt.
Basically, every interaction with your ex has the potential to disrupt their automatic avoidant triggers and make them feel uncomfortable emotions or guilt.
In this sense, the more you engage in conversation with them, the clingier and more “unmissable” you are.
If you’re constantly messaging your ex and trying to stay in contact, your ex can just put you on the back burner and keep denying the loss of an attachment figure.
This is why the first thing we advise in this circumstance is to enact a no-contact rule.
A no-contact rule is a period of time (generally 30-45 days) where you completely ignore your ex and work on yourself. This time allows both of you to process your emotions and have a chance to eventually miss each other.
But if you decide you don’t need the no-contact rule and end up blowing up your ex’s phone, you’ll probably end up being blocked. Not only is constant contact with an avoidant ex annoying to them, but even a little bit of contact can tell them it’s not okay to miss you yet so they will distance themselves.
Therefore, you must follow a strict no-contact rule that gives your avoidant ex the space to miss you.
Component #3: Without the danger of reciprocal feelings they are free to miss you.
An avoidant ex will only feel the liberty to miss you once they’re sure you’ve moved on and there are no leftover reciprocal feelings of romance.
They finally feel free of all the emotional burdens of being in a relationship and that lets them think back and romanticize about the good times you both had, knowing that they will not get those times back.
Sometimes an avoidant ex may even enjoy seeing you move on because it allows them to reminisce and miss you while confirming their self-belief that everyone leaves them. They use this to further justify their avoidant attachment style.
This is why timing is key to having an avoidant ex miss you. Don’t expect it to happen too fast because they probably don’t expect you to truly move on that fast either.
Going on dates with others might expedite this process though because it shows your ex that you’re moving on and there’s no danger of reciprocal feelings.
Component #4: Usually they’ll only truly miss you after they fail to find a bond with new prospects.
So you know that my advice to deal with an avoidant ex after a breakup is basically to do nothing. You might ask how long you should do nothing for and honestly, I can’t answer that.
You’ll probably be doing nothing until your ex feels free enough to reach out to you. Another great indicator of whether you should actively start trying to get your ex back is to see if they’ve started dating others.
You might think it’s a bad sign if they’re seeing other people but that’s not necessarily true.
If an avoidant ex is dating other people it usually means two things:
- They’re probably still hung up on you so they’re trying to fill that void with someone else
- They’re comparing all their new prospects to the great relationship they had with you and there’s a high chance none of them will compare.
That’s when they feel like they can truly start to miss you as they see that the grass is not as green on the other side as they thought.
Adopt a secure attachment style to make your ex miss you
What’s the worst thing in an avoidant ex’s mind?
An anxious, clingy, overly emotional ex who doesn’t move on from them. You need to be the opposite of that.
You need to mimic and adopt a secure attachment style where you become so confident in yourself that you truly stop caring whether your ex comes back.
If you still have the mentality where you’re spending every waking moment of your day trying to get your ex back it means you haven’t confronted the reality that you may never get them back. If you can’t even accept this then how will you ever be okay with it?
Your ex will see right through you and be able to tell that you have not moved on yet so they cannot allow themselves to miss you.
You literally need to get to the state of mind where you use the no contact rule to rebuild your self-worth to the point your ex is no longer a defining part of your identity. You have to truly realize a “take it or leave it” mentality when it comes to getting your ex back.
Only then will you be in the correct mindset to talk to your avoidant ex again.
You see, when your ex sees you being so secure, they will lose their emotional inhibitions and stop feeling like they have to reciprocate anything.
The best way to deal with an avoidant ex is to ignore them and give them their space.
Avoidants thrive on a fear of getting too close to someone so they really need to see you move on before they allow themselves to miss you.