By Chris Seiter

Updated on March 21st, 2022

Today we’re going to do an in-depth dive on why avoidants tend to ignore you.

In this guide you’re going to learn,

  • What the avoidant attachment style is
  • The paradox that lies at the heart of every avoidant
  • The core reasons for why they ignore you
  • The best way to handle an avoidant ignoring you

So, if you’re ready to learn about why avoidant people ignore you then you came to the right place.

Let’s begin!

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What Is An Avoidant Attachment Style?

Simply put, someone with an avoidant attachment style has difficulty committing to their partners. It will always seem as if that person is keeping you emotionally distant. You’ll often find that they have this idealized version of a partner that you can’t live up to. They’ve convinced themselves that everyone should be independent in relationships and any form of co-dependence will make them uncomfortable.

Often in our business we find that our clients are dating people with avoidant attachments while their attachments seem to lean towards more anxious style ones.

And that’s the interesting thing.

Individuals with avoidant attachments naturally seem drawn towards individuals with anxious attachments.


Well, the first thing you really need to grasp is that someone with an anxious attachment style completely focuses on other people while the avoidant tends to be completely self focused. In a way this is the perfect scenario for the avoidant. They get to be partnered with someone who focuses on the thing that matters most to them, themselves.

And at first it’s great.

The anxious person gets to do what they do best and “care” for the avoidant and the avoidant gets the “care” that they’ve been feeling they’ve missed their entire lives but there’s a flaw with the way the avoidant thinks.

Above all else the avoidant attachment style values independence and the more the anxious attachment digs in the less independent they begin to feel. What at first seemed like a perfect fit become less perfect.

So, what does the avoidant do?

  • They push you away.
  • They break up with you.
  • They do everything possible to cut you out of their life.

And once again the avoidant person is alone wondering why “things won’t ever work out.”

I like to call this dynamic the self fulfilling prophecy of the avoidant.

And perhaps the most interesting part of this self fulfilling prophecy is a big portion of it relies on this idealized version of a partner that no one can ever live up to.

The Idealized Version Of A Partner You Can’t Live Up To

A paradox lies at the heart of every avoidant.

They have an excessive need to be loved but at the same time too much love scares them away.

The result often leads to them forming this idealized version of a partner that no one can ever live up to. Nowhere have I seen this concept illustrated better than the reality vs. expectations scene in 500 days of summer.

In it you have the protagonist, Tom, whose trying to “win back” Summer, his ex girlfriend. She has invited him to a party and he has this entire fantasy about how the invitation will go. He’ll get there and him and Summer will immediately hit it off. Slowly they’ll build attraction until it boils over and they can’t keep their hands off each other.

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The reality is different. Tom gets there and there is no chemistry. He’s alone at the party a lot. Eventually he learns Summer is engaged to someone else and is heartbroken.

The avoidant looks at relationships in the same manner as Tom. They’ll build up these fantasies in their heads and have these unrealistic expectations. We know they do this from studying how they react to breakups.

What’s interesting about the breakup is they go through this nostalgia period. This is often why we’ve found our clients have such a high success rate after their breakups in getting in touch with their exes. We train them to time this nostalgia period and then reach out.

Generally this nostalgia only happens after they feel like there’s no chance they can ever get back together with you. It’s only then that they feel safe enough to romanticize your time together.

Understanding this fact can teach us a lot about how they cope within relationships.

Avoidant People Always Seem To Have One Foot Out The Door


Simply put, it makes them feel safe.

Have you ever been in a relationship where it seems like the other person isn’t all the way invested to the level you are? It’s an awful feeling because to you there are true moments of bliss but 90% of the experience is spent agonizing over if this person loves you to the level you love them.

The avoidant person is truly a master at sending mixed signals and if you really think about it, it does make a lot of sense.

The paradox that lies in their heart is a simple one. They want love but at the same time they don’t want to let anyone too close to give them that love for fear of being hurt.

This is often why you’ll receive these mixed signals and perhaps the craziest part of this phenomenon is the avoidant is typically unaware they’re doing it. It’s embedded into their natural way of being from years of practice.

Of learning what to say or do to keep you close so that you can continue to give them the love they crave but at the same time keep you far enough away so that you can’t hurt them.

What Happens If You Push For A Commitment With An Avoidant?

This is a concept that I really want you to internalize because it’ll help you understand that there are different levels to an avoidant and it relates to their level of commitment to you. As you may have already surmised we have the most experience with breakups. By studying them we’ve learned a lot about how avoidants react and what the “tipping points” are for them to trigger their fight or flight mechanisms.

Look at the following categories.

  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

These are just a few of the common “tipping points” that can trigger their avoidant side. I’ve tried to order them in the way that an avoidant will look at them from a commitment standpoint.

Committing to you in a relationship isn’t going to be the same as committing to you for marriage.

Now, what’s fascinating is that not all avoidants get triggered at the beginning of this list.

Some can make it all the way up until you move together. Each person is unique in how they handle the tipping points.

But what do all of these “tipping points” have in common?

All of them require some type of commitment. Yet it’s these tipping points that give an avoidant the greatest level of worry. I’ll give you a real example. Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of breakups occur during pregnancy which is just awful.

But it makes sense when you look at it from the avoidants point of view. Sharing a child is something that binds you together with a person forever. Even the thought of it can make them feel smothered in relationships.

Because even if you are just dating and you end up pregnant the expectation of a larger commitment looms and they just aren’t having that.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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The Avoidant Is A Master Of “Silent Conflict”

So, this entire article is dedicated to helping you understand why the avoidant “ignores.” What’s interesting is that psychologists have found that mood swings and stonewalling are generally coping strategies employed by someone who doesn’t yet know how to verbalize how they feel.

It’s simply easier for the avoidant to push people away as opposed to staying in the fight and voicing their frustrations.

I kind of look at it like muscle memory.

Someone who is ignoring you and is an avoidant hasn’t been doing this just with you. Chances are they’ve learned this behavior from childhood and has used it to regulate their situation.


So, the first thing you need to do when figuring out why someone is ignoring you is determining if they have an avoidant attachment style.

  • Essentially someone with an avoidant attachment style has a fear of intimacy when they feel like their personal freedoms are becoming threatened.
  • Another interesting thing about them is that they have this ridiculous notion in their head that they are supposed to feel how they feel during the honeymoon period at all times.
  • They’ll always seem like they have one foot in the door and one foot out the door.
  • Also beware of commitment tipping points. Essentially these points in time where the avoidant is likely to get scared away.

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16 thoughts on “Why Do Avoidants Ignore You?”

  1. Ruth

    October 20, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Shauna

    I pursued a long time friend who was in a new relationship of 5 months. Things were great and he was confused on who his heart is leaning towards. However he felt guilty towards his girlfriend, when his girlfriend found out about me by reading our conversations. then withdraw from me and remained cold, muted my social media. I know it doesn’t look great for me but what I do to make him lean towards me?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      October 23, 2022 at 11:48 am

      Hey Ruth, so you would need to read and follow the being there method. If he chooses to block you because of your guys girl finding you a threat then you know he has chosen her essentially.

  2. Kate

    June 28, 2022 at 5:07 pm

    Hi Shauna,
    I’m trying the being there method as he left for another woman.
    He says we’re just friends and our relationship is irretrievable.
    However, explaining that I miss him he suggested we have lunch together. We’ve arranged it. Are these good signs ? Maybe i messed up by telling him on the phone a week ago that i miss him and care about him. When we meet should i have a not bothered attitude?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      July 18, 2022 at 10:32 pm

      Hey Kate, it is a good sign and while following the being there method – YOU ARE HIS FRIEND. You are placing yourself in a position where you are a friend who the new girlfriend worries about. When you meet, you need to be easy going happy the most confident and happy self, show him how great you are. Be sure that you leave your lunch before things run dry conversation wise.

  3. Camille

    June 7, 2022 at 6:03 am

    I recently broke up with someone who told me he felt he had a block on any long term love potential with me. Everything between was going really well. This was my first safe, healthy and comfortable relationship with anyone. I was able to be myself without any judgement and same with him. I feel like we broke up because things were going too well.

    I feel he pushed me away just when things were getting real between us. I wrote him a letter letting him know the relationship was special to me and Im trying to understand why he doesn’t feel the same way. I feel he’s conflating ‘love’ with toxic relationships and since our relationship was healthy, he doesn’t think he ‘feels’ anything.

    I am suppose to see him this week to grab my things. I haven’t seen him in a month. Only communication we have had has been about getting my stuff back and asking him if he received the letter. He didn’t acknowledge he read the latter.

    How do I handle trying to talk to him? If he willing to talk about the letter, how do I convey I think he’s avoiding true intimacy because he’s scared and doesn’t want to get hurt? I don’t want to beg or pressure him because I know he’ll shut down.

  4. Kate

    May 26, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks Shaunna,
    I wonder if I’m wasting my time. He was with me 6 years but has been living with the new girl for 4 months.
    I gave him 45 days ncr and now messaging he said about meeting, how he was thinking about me, even sent questions to keep the conversation going then suddenly disappeared.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 27, 2022 at 8:51 pm

      Sounds as if he is conflicted between you and the other woman. I would suggest that you read about the being there method before you go much further to assure you know what steps to take when he pulls back from time to time.

  5. Kate

    May 25, 2022 at 6:30 am

    Messaged my avoidant ex after a NCR. He said he was thinking of me and hopes I’m ok. Had a little conversation going then he suddenly ignored me.
    What is the best course of action? The podcasts suggest why avoidants do this but not how we should react.
    It’s his birthday soon, do I send a card?

    Thanks Shaunna

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 25, 2022 at 7:49 pm

      Hi Kate, do not send him anything for his birthday – if anything do not reach out at all allow him to wonder why you didn’t reach out. Him dropping out is typical behaviour all you need to do is leave him be for a few days I would suggest you reach out for your second text around 5-7 days from your last conversation.

  6. Brieanne

    March 27, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve been with my husband for 9 years. At every point in our life, dating, taking our relationship to the next level, moving in, getting married, having a baby and then another… now buying a house he has jumped ship every time. He pushes me away, picks on every flaw I have and devalues me in his mind. I started our relationship very anxious but over the years have put in so much work to try to be more secure. The more I work on myself the more I see his pattern repeating, over and over and over. I can almost time it down to the month. I love my husband but recently I have been very close to calling our marriage and the life we built quits because it often feels so one sided. I’m the one who has to take on all the extra work, mentally and emotionally and then physically when it comes to our home and our children. He is a great father but recently I have also noticed the moment our oldest expresses a negative emotion or calls out his dad for any reason, my husband loses it.

    Please help me find a way to help my husband see his pattern and how he pushes everyone in his life away, sometimes for selfish reasons and other times because of emotional turmoil in the home. How can I help him see that this is just life? Sometimes it’s hard! How can I get him to open up with me and with our children? How can I keep him from continuing this devaluation cycle everytime anything minor happens? He can be really mean when we argue.

    He isn’t oblivious, and often appologizes later when he realizes what is happening, sometimes weeks or months later. I have gotten so used to this cycle he repeats and have learned not to take it so personal but at the same time, I crave to be admired and appreciated for the hardwork I do when often I feel like I am merely a ghost living in our home walking on egg shells half the time because the moment I express a need not being met or an issue I have ww3 breaks out and he completely puts me down until he cools off. There is no empathy, no compassion, and zero understanding or respect of my feelings. It does not matter how delicately I bring up the issue.

    I’m exhausted and don’t think I can continue this pattern and am wondering if love is enough to keep my family together.

    When we are getting along and I suppress my need for closeness, connection… everything is great… as long as I don’t have an issue…

    Will therapy help us? Or are we doomed for failure and just extending the inevitable?

    We both recently took an attachment style quiz and his came back dissmissive avoidant and mine came back secure. I can say that this relationship can make me feel anxious at times for sure. So maybe I a mixture of anxious in there too.

    Please help! Thank you

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 21, 2022 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Brieanne, so yes from what you have told me you need to source a marriage counsellor where you can express both your sides of the stories in a controlled environment. He is most likely NOT going to be open to the idea of therapy and may refuse to at first, telling you that you can work on things without the help etc. I would suggest that you allow him to make those changes and then research couple counsellors around your area to have ready when things do not change = fall back into old habits.

      You are right, love is not enough so you need to be sure that you are happy and that you are doing what is best for yourself as you have to consider a happy mother = happy children.

      You being secure attachment is going to help and shows that you are doing all you can to work on yourself enough but it takes two to make a marriage work. I totally understand where the anxiety is going to come from especially if you feel that he jumps ship each time you reach a milestone/step in your life. I would be sure that when you speak to him that he is in a good mood and the home is in a quiet relaxed mode.

  7. Maud

    January 20, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I had been seeing this guy for a month and things were going great. I was clear with him from the beginning about how I wanted to invest my time building a serious relationship and he agreed to try. After a month when I thought things were getting more official, he told me out of the blue that he didn’t want to be exclusive and that he wanted to see other people, and that in fact, he had slept with other people while being with me. When he broke up, he said he was scared to be hurt again because of his last relationship and also said he didn’t see a future with me. I accepted his decision and did not contact him at all for two months. I also noticed he started liking my social media posts out of nowhere after a month of NC. Is reaching out to an avoidant and commitment phobic ex after no contact okay if you were the one who was dumped? Is there a chance he might have changed his mind and want to try again even though the relationship was short-termed? I’m wondering whether or not I should contact him. Thank you for your advice!

  8. maisy

    December 22, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Hi, what would you say someone who is in love with a compulsive gambler? His addiction makes him emotionally unavailable but I love him so much… Is there any hope?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 22, 2021 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Maisy, in situations like this it can be sensitive and difficult. I am going to assume you have spoken with him about the gambling addiction before and he does not change, so I would suggest that you explain to him that you need to end the relationship until he is ready to truly work on himself and overcome his addictions. Often when people go through therapy they do choose to be single so that they can be selfish and focus solely on themselves rather than the partner. There is hope, but only if he is willing to change and work on himself.

  9. Kristi Jones

    December 21, 2021 at 2:35 am

    Hi Chris,
    I was dating a military guy long distance for about 3-4 months. He broke up with me a week ago through a text and then blocked me before I could say anything. I realized I have anxious attachment towards the end of the relationship. And it wasn’t until after we broke up I recognized he is avoidant attachment. At the time I desperately tried to get in contact with him and he responded once with a cold message. Throughout the relationship thing were pretty great. And I did meet him and there was intamacy. I intimacy. I feel that last text was his best effort to push me away so he could avoid his feeling. This is normal for him to block his exes after breaking up. I’m worried about waiting for his nostalgia to happen but he’ll never reach back out. Is there a safe time? I don’t know if he’ll date because we live in different states. Even if I become secure with myself I still want him to know I understand him but not push him away by talking about feelings. Just a little torn but I am super grateful for all of your guidance and advice!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 10, 2022 at 9:23 pm

      Hi Kristi, so you speak of nostalgia, I hope you understand that there is not a lot of memories that can be created in 3-4 months of dating. I would say that you need to work towards being a secure attachment, regardless if you get this ex back or not, this is for all future relationship and friendships that you may have. When it comes to reaching out the last thing you should be speaking about is feelings and emotions anyway, it is more about getting to “know each other” again after your NC period and re connecting without adding pressure to the situation.