By Chris Seiter

Updated on June 19th, 2022

Today, we’re going to talk about why your ex pushes you away. And most importantly, figuring out what to do if you are in a situation where your ex has pushed you away.

Now, I originally got this idea after I was going through our private Facebook support group of which there are 6,300 members, both men and women trying to get their exes back.

Most of the time I’m dealing with women who are trying to get their ex-boyfriends back.

Very rarely do I have a woman try to get an ex boyfriend back who’s actually broken up with that boyfriend.

In other words, most of the times the clients I’m dealing with have been broken up with. Very rarely do I encounter a client who’s done the breaking up themselves.

So I thought this would be a really great opportunity to dive into the female psyche of what’s actually going through a woman’s head when they push you away.

I’m going through the private Facebook group and I stumble across this woman’s post, and she said some really interesting things that I think will really answer why women tend to push men away, even if they want that man back.

So let’s tackle the big question first, which is why do women push men away when they break up with them?

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Understanding Exactly Why Your Ex Girlfriend Pushed You Away

Ultimately what we found happening a lot when we encountered women who would push men away during a breakup was this push-pull mentality.

One minute they would often push their exes away, and then the next minute they would kind of flirt back with them and then push them away again and flirt back with them.

This is really interesting behavior. What’s interesting is when I went through the woman’s post on our private Facebook group, she basically says, “I just want to share an experience where I was on the other side of the equation. I was the dumper, so that we could kind of understand why men react a certain way after the breakup.”

Now she’s writing this from the perspective of helping women, but I took it and I’m looking at it on basically someone’s honest opinion of what they went through when they went through a breakup.

So in 2017, she breaks up with her guy after they’ve been together for seven years. She was absolutely sure of it. She knew for a fact, she wanted this breakup. She felt stuck. She felt suffocated in the relationship and she told him things that were not working out between them anymore. Now, while she did this, he was actually on vacation when she initiated the breakup. When he came back, her resolution for the breakup kind of melted away. So I’m assuming he came back into the picture after she exhibits this, I don’t want to be with you anymore, and tries to win her back. Just tries to beg for her back. And her resolution for the breakup kind of melts away.But when he asked me if I was going to change my mind, I said, no. At that point I just thought, if I were to ask him to stay while things were so emotional, the same thing might happen two months down the road. So I did not waiver.

And to me, this is the important part of understanding why women end up pushing you away in situations where they are the dumpers. It all has to do with self preservation.

Now I’ve long been a proponent of trying to help people understand that when it comes to relationships, we all are very self-interested.

We don’t really care much about other people, and this is kind of a weird thing to admit, but we ultimately, all we really care about when it comes to our relationships, our romantic relationships, are how they are going to make us feel.

Now it gets kind of complicated because someone who’s very philosophical can come and say, well, what about me?

Because I care very deeply about what my partner feels. Well, I would actually argue that’s not the case.

The only way you care very deeply about what your partner feels is weirdly enough if they feel bad, it makes you feel bad, because their opinion matters to you. So by making them feel better you in turn, weirdly enough, feel better, which is sort of a philosophical paradox in self-interest. So what’s interesting about this is if you look at someone pushing you away with the frame of mind that they’re being incredibly self-interested, they’re trying to protect themselves from being hurt, it makes a lot of sense.

We often will talk about the emotional wall. Like I said, most of the time I’m dealing with women on a one-on-one basis.

But one thing that I see a lot that is kind of universal among the human race is the idea of putting up the emotional barrier. We all have been there where we put up an emotional barrier, or we’ve been with someone who’s put up an emotional barrier.

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You can sense somethings off. You’ll oftentimes confront them about it and say, “Are you okay?” And they’ll say, “I’m fine,” but they’re keeping you distant because they’re wanting to protect themselves.

They either don’t want to hurt your feelings, which in turn would hurt their feelings and make them feel guilt, or there’s something really going on in their head that they don’t want to share with you. It creates this weird scenario where they’re worried about your feelings. This is an important concept to help you understand why women often push men away. Because a lot of times men will come to me and they’ll say, Chris, why is my ex-girlfriend pushing me away when we shared everything so intimately from a physical standpoint and also an emotional standpoint? Why is she acting different now?

Well, ultimately it’s self-interested. She’s trying to protect herself. But that’s not the whole reason for why women push you away. It’s just a reason for why women can push you away. Another huge reason for why women could push you away is they have a little bit of an avoidant mentality. Now, avoidance oftentimes…

We talked about the core concept of why avoidance will push men away. It’s important to understand this. Someone who has avoidant attachment style tendencies will tend to value their independence a lot more highly than the average person.

So anytime they’re in a relationship where they feel that that independence is becoming threatened, they push the other person away or they leave, which you take as them pushing you away. Now what’s important about this is it’s really important not to take it personally.

What’s happening here is oftentimes after a breakup, your ex-girlfriend has pushed you away, and then they start to flirt with you. It’s important to understand the cycle of how this works, because when you actually study avoidant women, here’s what we learn. We learn that they actually don’t begin to reminisce or think about the good times until they feel you have completely moved on. At that point, they feel safe missing you. So what happens a lot of times is what we’re trying to teach our men and our women clients to do is to project this persona that you are moving on. And you can’t really fake it, you have to move on without moving on. That’s oftentimes what I tell my clients. So what happens is your ex is naturally drawn to this. So they’ve pushed you away and then what happens is they’re drawn to it and they want to live in the reminiscence of the relationship that the two of you had together.

What ends up occurring though, is when you hit it off, and when things seem to be going well, they get freaked out again because they feel their independence is becoming threatened. They feel like they’re going to get hurt again, whatever the reason is, and that causes them to push you away again and you end up in this really difficult cycle. What happens with most people is they don’t recognize this pattern because it’s so personal. It hurts when someone we love so deeply is rejecting us, right? But if you actually are able to acknowledge, wait, this is what’s happening, what occurs is maybe the key to helping you understand what to do when an ex-girlfriend pushes you away. But let’s deal with something bigger first right now.

Let’s try to answer the question, is your ex-girlfriend pushing you away because she’s scared?

Is Your Ex Girlfriend Pushing You Away Because She’s Scared?

This is a big question that I noticed came up in Google searches a lot.

When I started researching what I was going to say for this article, for this podcast episode, for this YouTube video, wherever you’re experiencing this content, I noticed that one of the big questions people were typing into Google was wait, is my ex-girlfriend pushing me away because she’s scared?

And the answer to that question I think is ultimately yes, but not scared of the basic things that you would assume. You would assume that your ex-girlfriend is pushing you away because she’s trying to protect you from something she’s thinking. That can certainly be the case, but I don’t think that’s ultimately what it is. I think ultimately what it is, is she’s pushing you away to protect herself.

Remember, if you operate under the assumption that every action that is taken during a romantic encounter is self-interested, it helps you understand your ex-girlfriend’s actions a lot more.

Now what’s interesting is going back and trying to understand from a real life perspective of what an ex-girlfriend is going through when she pushes you away, I’d like to point you back to that client I talked about in the Facebook group, whose story we’re really using as a fuel to understand what’s going on when an ex pushes you away.

Here’s something interesting that she had to say.

She did not waiver. So ultimately she broke up with him, he tried to ask for her back, she pushed him away. Ultimately after that, he left to stay with a friend, and a few days later, he asked her out for dinner.

It was good, but she still did not budge. A few days later, he told me he’d booked a flight and would leave the country for good. She was in shock, but yet she did not budge though I felt the pain.

So what this does is basically illustrates the whole avoidant mentality that we’re talking about here.

What’s occurring is she’s pushing him away to protect herself. He comes and chases her when she’s not ready because she’s worried of being hurt and she pushes away again. He does it again and the same thing occurs. All the while though, I felt sad. Yet at the same time, I felt relief for the space. I even told my friends that I really just wanted him to be happy and I would give him my blessing if he found another. Well, until I found out he had someone new two months down the road. That day I received the news, I kept feeling something really weird running down my spine. I tried to shake it off, but it kept piling. I only understood what I was feeling that night when I finally was engulfed by it. It was the sense of loss.

I only felt the sense of loss when I realized he was gone. So it’s true, we really need to evoke this sense of fear of loss in our ERP exes, if not, they’re not going to budge. I’m not saying we have to find a rebound for that to happen, but we do need to evoke that fear in some ways.

So, this is my hypothesis.

Exactly What To Do When Your Ex Girlfriend Pushes You Away

Well, we got an indication of what not to do. That particular ex of this woman kept trying to chase and fix things. This ended up causing her to just dig in and say, no, I need to protect myself, and she probably just gave him some fake reason why.

She was not in love with him anymore.

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Things are not the same anymore, and he needs to move on.

Ultimately he did.

It took a couple of months, but he began to do what is commonly known or commonly referred to amongst society as the mature thing to do. To move on to someone new, to let go of the past, move on with the new.

This evoked the fear of loss.

This made her realize, oh my goodness, I could lose him forever. I had no idea how great it was. And this is completely in line with what we understand about avoidant attachment styles. Remember what I said. In our research, looking at what makes people who have avoidant attachment styles miss you, we have found that people with avoidant attachment styles end up only missing you after they feel that you’ve moved on. That’s exactly what happened here, but there’s a little bit more to it than that.

So if you’re wondering, what do I need to do if my ex-girlfriend is pushing me away?

How can I get her to not push me away?

How can I get her to truly want me? The answer is actually pretty simple. What you need to do is understand the intricacies of how attachment styles work. I’ve talked a lot about this in the past on my other website,, and haven’t really talked much about it on, so I’d like to give you a quick crash course on how attachment styles work.

Here’s sort of the brief rundown.

There are four main attachment styles.

  1. Secure attachment style, which is sort of like the holy grail. This is how you should always try to act. This is what you should always aspire to be. You deal with loss and breakups in a mature, healthy way.
  2. Then you have someone with anxious attachment style tendencies. Now somebody with anxious attachment styles, and I’m just going to use a breakup to illustrate my points, someone with an anxious attachment style is the type of person that will immediately try to fix the breakup as soon as humanly possible because their entire world is not right until that breakup is fixed. This often relates or ends up being where you encounter people who GNAT. They go nuts at texting. They show up at their exes work unannounced. They show up trying to find their ex in-person unannounced. They send their ex gifts. These are very anxious type things.
  3. Then of course you have the avoidance. Avoidance is basically what we’ve been talking about this entire presentation. Avoidance are people who value their independence so highly that they will push anyone away that they feel threatens that independence, but they have this competing need for wanting warmth and security. So they’re often stuck in this self-fulfilling cycle where they find someone that they think, oftentimes someone with an anxious attachment style, that will give them the warmth and the need and the love that they feel they deserve. But then when they get too close, they push that person away, and they’re just stuck in that cycle.
  4. Then of course you have the fearful attachment style, and the fearful attachment style is incredibly rare. We’re not going to talk a lot about it here because only 7% of the entire human race has it. It’s kind of like taking the worst combination of anxious tendencies and avoidant tendencies and flip-flopping them. Oftentimes people who have fearful attachment style are misdiagnosed as having a multiple personality disorder. This is how crazy these people tend to be.

Now, what ends up occurring though is there’s this interesting fact that we’ve noticed occurs with attachment styles.

If you have a secure attachment style, you have the also added benefit of creating gravity to the other attachment styles. So what ends up happening is the most common component for a breakup that we see is someone with an anxious attachment style, most likely you, is being with someone who has an avoidant attachment style, most likely your ex.

I’m just using examples here. These two ultimately are not a great match for each other because they ultimately are the exact opposite of what each other needs.

This causes a breakup.

Yet when someone who has an avoidant attachment style partners with someone with a secure attachment style, an interesting phenomenon occurs, and we call this phenomenon secure attachment gravity. The way it works is the person with the avoidant attachment style starts to see, wow, this is what it’s supposed to be like when I’m with someone who is secure with themselves. And they start to actually subconsciously get rid of their avoidant tendencies and adopt more secure tendencies. So the key to handling an ex-girlfriend who pushes you away is to actually identify your own attachment style and work to shift it towards more secure behaviors.

This will create the gravity that not only makes her notice, wow, something’s different about him, but it will also help her realize that she can be open with you. It also has the added benefit of creating a fear of loss, which is exactly what happened in the sort of phenomenon we talked about what the Facebook client. Why? Well, ultimately the main goal that you’re trying to get across here is you’re trying to exhibit secure tendencies after a breakup. This means handle the breakup in a healthy way, and someone who handles the breakup in a healthy way is someone who realizes, yeah, I would love to reconnect with my ex, but if I’m not able to reconnect with my ex, I’ll be okay. I’ll be able to find someone else. I’ll probably be able to find someone else just as good. And in some cases, they go and date other people with this mentality. This mentality is a healthy way to handle a breakup, and it’s the way you should be handling the breakup. It sounds weird when you’re looking at it from the watchtower 5,000 feet above ground, but I promise you, I’ve seen this happen time and time again.

So here are the quick crash course rules for what to do if your ex-girlfriend pushes you away. If she pushes you away, give her space. Also, exhibit secure attachment style tendencies on social media. This means doing things that you should be doing after a breakup. Really focusing on your health, really focusing on your wealth, really focusing on relationships outside of your ex and also going on dates with new people. That’s an important component. Your ex does need to feel a fear of loss because they do need to realize you aren’t going to wait around for them forever.	

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