By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 13th, 2023

Today I’m going to talk about how to text an avoidant. This is a topic that I’m sad to say I have a lot of experience with.

I know this is redundant but we know that most of our clients veer towards more anxious behaviors,

While most of our clients exes veer more towards the avoidant side of the spectrum.

Now, when you are dealing with an avoidant it’s best to abide by some of the best texting practices (aka: the stuff we spent the last ten years figuring out.)

It all starts with our texting formula.

Ensure That You Follow The Texting Formula When Texting An Avoidant

Perhaps where Ex Boyfriend Recovery is different than most websites out there recommending you to text your ex is that we’ve come up with a formula.

Ah, but this formula isn’t for one simple text message construction. No, it’s for the whole darn conversation.

Hook + Payoff + High Point = Success

To borrow from the article I literally wrote a few days ago talking about this very thing,

  • Hook- Basically an open loop. Something so interesting that your ex can’t help but respond to it.
  • Payoff- An answer to the open loop/hook that leaves an ex feeling satisfied, wanting to help or wanting to engage with you more in some way.
  • High Point: When the conversation reaches its high point you need to end it.

Here’s a real life example of that in action.

  • The Blue Is The Hook: I could really use your advice on something…
  • The Green Is The Payoff: I’m taking a first year geography module next semester, what did you think about Globalization: Economy, Space and Power?
  • The Pink Is The High Point: (Do I really need to write all that?)

But following the texting formula isn’t the only “best practice” that we’d like you to adopt.

Get Good At Asking Open Ended Questions In “The Hook”

If you are going to ask your ex a question then it’s important for you to make it open ended if possible. If you don’t know what this means then refer to this article,

A general rule of thumb is that if you ask your ex a question that can be answered by going to Google and getting a quick answer then it’s not a good question.

Try harder.

Aim For That 50/50 Split

Whenever you are texting an ex one of the best indicators on if things are going well or not going well has to do with the split or ratio.

You are always looking for a 1 to 1 ratio.

Meaning for every one text that your ex sends you are sending one in return.

Refer to the graphic below for what is good and what is not good.

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Word Count

The general rule of thumb is that you want to put on your editing cap when it comes to word count.

We abide by the quote,

There is brilliance in brevity

That means take out unnecessary words that don’t need to be there.

We want them to be texting longer text messages to you than you are to them. Beat them on the word count.

How To Handle Positive, Negative, Neutral, None

  • Positive Response From An Avoidant = Next Conversation Can Happen In A Day
  • Neutral Response From An Avoidant = Next Conversation Can Happen In 3-5 Days
  • Negative Response From An Avoidant = Next Conversation Can Happen In 14 Days (You need to go back into a mini NC)
  • No Response From An Avoidant = Next Conversation Attempt Can Happen In 21 Days
  • If You Get 3 No Responses From An Avoidant = Next Conversation Attempt Can Happen After 30-45 Days, You probably aren’t doing enough to make your ex think you’ve moved on.

But to quote the great Pirates of the Caribbean,

We are dealing with avoidants and that means you are going to be dealing with some tricky customers in the texting phase with them.

Texting Habits Exhibited By Avoidants

Even for the most ardent “guideline” follower, when it comes to avoidants, you are going to get tripped up because inevitably avoidants have some really annoying habits, that if you handle the wrong way can mess up your progress entirely.

So, what are these annoying habits?

Well, there are four of them.

  1. The Mini Ghost Period
  2. The Taper
  3. The Last Minute Cancellations
  4. The Passive Texting

Let’s take a hard look at each of these so you understand what they are and then we’ll talk about solutions.

The Mini Ghost Period

I’m sure we’ve all been there. You are texting your avoidant. Everything seems to be going well. They like you, you like them and then BOOM.

They disappear.

There was no warning.

Your natural inclination is to try to fix things and so you do the one thing you aren’t supposed to do, you pull the avoidant towards you when you are supposed to push them away to give them space.

Generally you’ll find that these little mini ghost periods can last from anywhere between 2 to 3 days.

The burning question in everyone’s mind is why?

Why does the avoidant do this?

Well, it can happen for a lot of reasons but generally,

  • They’ll do this when they don’t know how to respond.
  • When they don’t find the conversation with you that interesting
  • When they’re trying to slow down how fast the relationship is moving
  • When they perceive the person as being too anxious.

Nex up we have…

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They’ll Taper

Let’s say you have a date planned with the avoidant, it’s in a week.

A few days before the date the avoidant begins a type of taper.

If you aren’t familiar with the term it’s something that endurance athletes do before a big race. Essentially while training for a Marathon or Iron Man they’ll increase mileage every single week.

The one exception to that is the week before the race.

They start to taper.

To slow the mileage down in an attempt to rest their body.

Well, avoidants do the same thing before a big emotional event, whether that is a date, moving in together, talking on the phone, etc.

They’ll taper themselves from you.

They’ll grow distant.

One unfortunate thing that happens as a result of the taper is…

Last Minute Cancellations

I can’t tell you how often an avoidant will agree to plans and they are authentically excited about it, in the moment.

However, they sleep on it.

They second guess themselves.

They cancel.

Passive Texting

Earlier today I was doing a Livestream with our community and someone told an interesting story.

They were having a perfectly normal conversation with their ex and then in the middle of it their ex just started sending memes.

She’d respond to the meme of course with a laughing emoji and then ask another question, she’d get another meme.

Another question, another meme.

On and on it went.

This is a perfect example of passive texting and it’s a classic avoidant coping mechanism. Usually when the avoidant encounters a conversation where they don’t really know how to respond they’ll respond in a passive way and expect you to decipher the meaning.

In this case the meaning was hidden somewhere in the many different memes.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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So, the burning question you are probably having at this point is how the hell do you handle these behaviors in the texting phase.

Well, the fix is comically simple.

When They Pull Back, You Pull Back

Simple, and yet executing it goes against almost every one of my clients programming.

You see, an anxious individual (who are the individuals I primarily work with) want to fix the problems as soon as possible. In fact, they are so obsessed with fixing it because it’s the only way they can feel better.

So, when an avoidant is communicating with you through action that they need space the anxious person does the exact opposite.

They try to fix.

When I told my wife I was writing this article and explaining the contents of it she made an interesting analogy.

It’s a lot like having a child who is extremely anxious about something continue to badger you for an hour straight. By the end you just want to pull your hair out.

It’s not that you don’t love them, you do.

It’s just that a little space would be nice.

Now imagine that kid is your partner and that partner didn’t give you that space.

They just were incessantly pestering you.

How would you feel?

That’s the avoidant for you and why it’s sooo important for you to exhibit emotional control and abide by the “when they pull back, you pull back” mentality.

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2 thoughts on “How To Text An Avoidant”

  1. Lauren

    September 10, 2023 at 9:56 am

    This is FANTASTIC!!! I like how you incorporate psychology (and humor) into this guide. The specificity of how and why an avoidant may text as they do was invaluable to me. Thank you so much!!!

  2. Jenny

    March 10, 2023 at 4:44 pm

    Hey so I recently went through a breakup. He ended things after a month(we were starting off). He got mad that I wasn’t consistent with my communication and said I was playing games. I apologized for the same when in reality I was in a depressive slump that I couldn’t talk about. I tried to reason with him but I got exhausted because I have a lot on my plate. I feel awful. I still love him but he said I’m not what he wants or needs.