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Is This Avoidant Behaviour?


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I wonder if anyone can help me with understanding if my ex girlfriend is avoidant.


First off, she is highly intelligent, capable and successful. We were together for several months, during which I had to pretty much initiate everything. Sometimes she would seem reluctant, but was then happy once persuaded. In an open moment she admitted that she was "acting up" because whilst she enjoyed the times we spent together, she found the time apart to be unbearably painful. As a result she would talk about ending things, but I always managed to talk her out of it. After a while she moved in with me, which I thought would solve what appeared to be the main issue, and it mostly seemed to, as things seemed to be great and she seemed genuinely happy. She'd have the occasional, random mood swings, where she'd withdraw entirely, which didn't especially bother me, as they'd pass quickly and she'd usually apologise. She was also quite open about avoiding relationships, and hated anything vaguely romantic, and was open about her abandonment issues, and would sometimes react to things I'd say, which perhaps she misinterpreted. I can also say that I always had to be careful what I said, as sometimes I felt I was being drawn into an argument.


However, during one of these mood swings, I got angry and shouted at her. My fault, as I had other things on my mind. This resulted in her ending things completely. Not being the overly anxious or chasing type, I respected her decision and didn't try to change her mind, and in any case she seemed in no mood to communicate.


Since the split, after a brief bit of anger (not much), she resumed contact, which was always friendly, if a little cautious, although she did say she was missing me. She also suggested that she felt I may have been losing interest before the split, which wasn't true, and that I didn't fight for her. We texted/spoke a few times a week, and saw each other several times, which was also friendly, and even fun. We even spoke about trying again, which she raised, but then seemed to put obstacles in the way. The last time we met I said that I'd be happy to try again, but would accept things if she didn't want to. It was again very friendly and we'd made plans to see each other again. Following that things changed suddenly, with contact more basic than friendly, and her being unable to make the meeting we'd arranged. Replies, although polite, were no longer fun and friendly, and came after days, rather than minutes or hours, with no phone calls anymore.


I knew that week that she was under a lot of pressure at work, so didn't give it much thought, but as it continued I figured that something had changed. I thought maybe that me being around added to her stress, as she did admit to being confused and conflicted, and that perhaps she blamed me for that. As a result I called her, which she reluctantly answered, and said that perhaps I should give her some space, as it must be putting pressure on her knowing that I wanted her back whilst maybe she didn't. I kind of thought she might welcome that, but instead she took it a bit angrily, which made me come across a bit hurried and anxious, and it ended with her hanging up. I half expected an angry text telling me not to contact her again, but I've heard nothing since. That was several days ago.


I'm pretty laid back and, like I said, I'm not really a chaser. If she's not interested, then naturally I'll move on, although it would nice to remain friends, as we got on well. However, if there's more to it than that, then I wouldn't want to give up on her, as she seemed to make a lot of effort to manage her issues and not let them be a problem to me, and I do like her lot.


I guess then I'm looking for some insight into whether this is typical avoidant behaviour, and if so how best to handle it. Should I reach out, not knowing if she's still angry, or leave it to her? On the one hand I don't want to be a pain if I'm not wanted, but on the other I don't want her to think I've given up on her if she still has feelings and may want to try again. If I do reach out, then how long should I wait. It's a tough call as, whilst I'm not the gushy romantic type, I did show I cared, although I think she thought me a little aloof and dismissive, which is untrue, as I cared a lot. So, would reaching out sooner rather than later, even if she's still angry, be better than waiting, and her possibly thinking I'm not that bothered?

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