Going No Contact with a Dismissive Avoidant


There are very specific things that will happen with a person if you go in no contact with them and they have a certain attachment style. In this blog, I want to talk to you about what will happen when you go into no contact with a dismissive avoidant. It is completely different from any other attachment style.

Right away when you go no contact with a dismissive avoidant, if they were the one to break up with you or vice versa, they are going to feel some sort of relief. You have to remember, for the dismissive avoidant, they're taking a gamble by getting into a committed relationship with you. When they let people close to them in, it's tough for them because they don't like to be vulnerable. So, when you break up with them, or vice versa, they're going to automatically feel relief. They're going to feel like they can have their freedom, that they can have their autonomy back, and they feel like they can have their space. If you're waiting for them to reach out to you, you shouldn’t hold your breath, because they typically don't like to be friends after. They will cut off the communication with you and they'll feel alright that you're moving on with your life. 

The dismissive avoidant puts you on a pedestal and when they see the flaws in you, which they look for just so they can come up with a reason to distance themselves, they come to the conclusion that you aren’t the person for them. They have an unrealistic view of what relationships are supposed to be. This is something that has formed from their childhood. They struggle with all-or-nothing thinking. There's no more wasting their time with you. They're always looking for the red flags, and they will find them, so when you go no contact with the dismissive avoidant, don't expect them to reach out to you. They won't text you because likely when you were in a relationship with them, you were the one to initiate most of the contact. They're now in their own world, they're doing their own thing, and they don't feel as if they need to be connected with you, especially if things weren't going well. If things were rocky, they definitely will try to distance themselves emotionally and start their deactivating strategies. Distancing is one of their deactivating strategies.

Will the dismissive avoidant come back? Chances are they don't lose their feelings for you. They're just like everybody else. They don't lose their feelings for you, but it's going to take a while for them to start feeling the break-up. In the beginning they'll feel the initial relief and then after about eight weeks, around the two-month mark, they’ll start to reimagine a relationship and start to actually grieve for the relationship. They start to really grieve the relationship far later down the line than the other attachment styles. They don't want to feel that pain and that disappointment that comes with breaking up. They have a hard time accepting it. They start to really sit and think about what went wrong maybe a month and a half to two months down the line. That's when you will want to reach out to them and see how they're doing. If they were to reach out to you beforehand – before that month and a half to two month mark – it's probably to come up with some kind of excuse to get you to talk to them. They'll say something like, “I left something at your house, or you left something at my house. How do you want to organize this? How do you want to get this thing settled?” 

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They don't want to look vulnerable and they don't want to make it seem like they're actually chasing after you. That's one of their biggest fears. They don't want people to feel like they have to rely on them and need them in their life. That's something that goes all the way back to their core wounds. When either their own caregiver or their parent wasn't there for them when they really needed them in their developmental states. Or in their previous relationships that didn't work out, when they reached out for that person they really let them down, so now they put these walls up. If you were to go no contact with them, they're going to automatically assume you are leaving them just like everybody else.

I have coached many people who feel that exact same way that have the dismissive avoidant style. So you have a much better chance of getting them back if you were to keep things light. Don't try to force the relationship and don't try to get them back right away because they're going to get annoyed with you. They're going to get angry because they're going to feel like you're trying to control them and force them into doing something that they're not comfortable doing. You have to let them do that on their own. You have to let them come to you. When they feel like they have gotten over the negative emotions that they feel from the breakup, they start to create small talk. The reason they do this is because they want to see where you stand mentally and if you actually still miss them. They won't come straight out and say it because rejection feels horrible to them.

When the dismissive avoidant style was being formed they had to basically do things on their own. They were independent and they had to learn how to do a lot of things on their own. They had to become adults quicker than they wanted to, so when somebody comes into their life and tells them they’re not doing something the right way or that they can do something much more efficiently, they will feel insulted. They don't want someone to come into their life and try to make them do things differently than they have done them. They have a hard time making changes and dealing with change. That's why they like to keep things simple and in the way that they know works because it's always worked for them.

Can you get a dismissive avoidant back? Yes, but it's very difficult. It takes a lot of work. It's going to take a lot of trust building because if you guys broke up and they felt like the relationship just wasn't going the way they wanted it to or that you're not the one for them, it's going to take a lot of rebuilding of their trust to get them back. Is it worth it? I would say that it is. Dismissives can be some of the most fulfilling relationships that you can have, but on the flip side they are the ones that will most likely, just in general, have short-term hookups in between you guys breaking up. They are okay with having these superficial relationships and not dealing with relationships that involve too much emotional engagement. They're just like everybody else. We're all human and we want companionship and we want love, but for the dismissive avoidant, when a person gets way too close to them, they can't sustain it for a really long time because they're going to start looking for their exit.