In today's blog, I want to talk to you about the best strategy to re-attract your dismissive avoidant ex. I have a message from one of my previous clients that I thought was a perfect message for this topic.
“So much has happened since you and I talked. To cut the long story short, we're talking again. He came out of his cave and is chasing after me again. I think the distance and space between us was good in a way. I managed to gain my strength back and I don't feel like I'm being needy anymore. I've been reading books and trying to improve myself. I really want to become more secure rather than anxious. I've been binge watching your videos on youtube too quite a lot.”
Thank you to that client for sending that message. It came right on time. This client made a real turnaround. She applied what I told her right away and she came out with some good results.
The first thing that you want to do in order to re-attract your dismissive avoidant ex, is to back away and give them the time and the space. That can be really difficult for the anxious preoccupied to do because they are often triggered and their anxiety is going all over the place. When an anxious person is triggered they tend to lean more towards that spouse instead of leaning away. Leaning away feels like it's counterintuitive and they feel like they need to do something. That's called The Illusion of Action. When you are in that state, you can be getting feedback from anybody (coaches, friends, family, etc.) and you just won't be able to apply that advice. You may not even hear it because you're so triggered and you're anxious. But what you need to do is to back away and give them the time and the space that they're usually asking for.
The next thing you want to do is to work on yourself. And when I say work on yourself, I mean really do some soul searching and try to figure out where this need to have such an unhealthy dynamic of a relationship is coming from. What happened to you to where you feel like you need to chase after this person and become that codependent?
Once you've gotten yourself to the point where you are far enough from the breakup to where you feel like you'll be a bit more under control emotionally, that's when you would want to re-engage. If it wasn't a real ending to the relationship and that person just pulled away from you, then I would say that it's safe to reach out to them right away. The reason we don't reach out is either the fear of rejection because our pride or our ego was getting a little bit out of control and taking the driver's seat; or because we're so frustrated with having to be the one to always reach out first.
When you re-engage you want to do it in a safe and an empathetic way. You don’t want to look at it as somebody that's trying to do you wrong on purpose. You want to do it in a way that you understand why they are the way that they are. And if you're able to deeply comprehend that, if you just put yourself in their shoes, and understand why they are the way they are, and what makes them tick, then it'll be a lot healthier for you to do it in that manner.
I like to use the turtle in a shell analogy. If you have ever seen a turtle, sometimes those turtles can go into their shells for a really long time, and it's hard waiting around for them to come out of their shell. So when they're feeling unsafe and they're feeling as if they're losing their freedom or their independence, they'll go into their shell and you have to wait around for that. When you re-engage them you don't want to be too hot and you don't want to be too cold. If you make them feel bad for going in and reflecting on why they're feeling a certain way, and how to best proceed, then they're going to feel attacked when they come back out. This is going to make them withdraw even more, if not push them further away.
Now, if they were the one that broke up with you, then you want to give them at least a couple months. You want to give them the time to see you differently. Let them get through their party phase or whatever it is they're going through to get their relief. The phase where they don't have to have somebody relying on them and trying to make them who they want them to be. Once they get past that, if they see a future with you, it'll be a good time for you to reach back out. When you do reach back out, make sure it's safe. Make sure it's light and humorous. Because who doesn't like humor? Who doesn't like things to be fun, light, and playful? Re-engage them in that way and if the communication is flowing freely, ask to reconnect.
I believe that the magic happens in person. All this texting we do and all this communication over social media, it doesn't show you who the real person is. You have to do that in person. That's when the chemistry starts to really flow. When you can read the room a little bit and know that they may be open for a get together, then I would say go ahead and pull the trigger. Too much dancing around and not seeing each other isn't gonna be in your favor. If things are going the way that I think they're going up to this point, you definitely don't want to talk about getting back together while you're on the date. Give that time. Let them come to you. Let them kind of feel things out a little bit and determine whether or not they want to revisit this thing again. Don't put any pressure on them to be in a relationship again.
Remember, you get no brownie points for the previous relationship, no matter how long you were together. The courtship has to start all over again. You have to re-attract them the same way that you did before.