How Your Ex Really Feels About You – Pt. 3


Bottom line, relationships start with a feeling, are sustained by feelings and end because of how one or both people feel.

If you can’t get this very basic fact, you might as well say goodbye to your boyfriend/girlfriend or the ex you’re trying to get back. Not only are you wasting your time, energy and money, but trying to convince the other person to stay in the relationship or come back to a relationship that makes them feel bad about themselves is courting misery.

So before you even think of asking someone to stay or come back to the relationship, ask yourself: how am I making him/her feel about him/herself?

The goal for asking this question is not to make you feel bad about yourself for not being able to make someone feel good about him/herself. The goal is to clearly identify the reasons the relationship is not working or did not work, and come up with a plan for the targeted changes you need to make in order to make the other person once again feel the same way, or even better about having you as a date, partner or spouse.

Narrowing down the changes you need to make will make re-igniting the sparks of your relationship or getting back your ex much faster, than blindly changing this and changing that — whatever sticks. When you blindly make changes because that’s what someone on the internet says it’s what you need to do, you may find that whatever changes you’re making are not good enough because they do not necessarily address how the other person is feeling.  It may be helpful to someone else, but not useful to your particular situation.

Since change is a lifelong process and feelings keep changing, it may take a while for someone to see the changes that may not be as important to them or be convinced that the changes are real. A couple of targeted changes can have a much bigger impact on how someone feels about you than whatever sticks type of changes.

It’s important to remember that all relationships change. It’s the natural flow of life. Some relationships get better, some get worse and others die a natural death. But you’ll never know if yours died a natural death if you did nothing to try to keep it alive. If you have no more desire to keep it alive, then let it die. Move on.

But if your desire is to keep your relationship alive, then care about how your words, actions, behaviours and attitude make the other person feel about him or herself. Don’t think that you can yell at someone, insult and demean them, harass them, disconnect all contact and ignore them, treat them like an enemy and expect them to want to be with you. Some people may temporality draw closer because they desperately want to feel good about themselves (not feel rejected, not valued, ignored, unattractive, unwanted etc) but eventually, they’ll start sitting on the fence, act resentful or even leave again because they can’t forgive or forget how you made them feel.

How is your attitude, your actions and behaviour making him/her feel about him/herself?

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  • My ex and I had some form of contact but I followed the wrong advice and did not initiate contact. She also did not initiate. I found your site and realized what I was doing was pulling us further apart. I have since contacted her 3 times, she has responded all the 3 times, the first one she responded the next day, the second after 8 hours and the third after 2 hours. Is this considered progress?

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    • I don’t usually advice putting too much weight on how soon an ex responds. There are so many other factors in the mix other than just how your ex feels about you, e.g. mode of contact, content of contact, how busy/not busy your ex is, things that have nothing to do with you etc. In this case however, it may be a positive sign that her response time is changing.

      That said, don’t rely solely on response time. Look more at the level of emotional engagement. That’s a better indicator of how she feels about talking to you. It may not necessarily be an indicator that she wants you back, but emotional engagement means she wants to keep the lines of communication open, which is always a good thing.

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  • My ex said I made him feel like he was not a good person because I complained that he is being a good boyfriend. I know I should not have done that and have told him I am sorry. He says he still loves me but his self-esteem right now is very damaged and he does not think he can give me what I want. I read your advice and we are in contact. He responds and sometimes initiates contact but I feel like he is holding back.

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    • He is holding back because he does not see what will be different if he opens himself up to you, again.

      Just saying I am sorry, isn’t enough. He needs to know 1) you really UNDERSTAND why and how your actions caused damage to his self-esteem, 2) you have CHANGED, 3) it’s emotionally SAFE to open himself to you.

      Anything less, will not get him back even if he still loves you.

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  • I don’t know what to do. My ex is mad at me because I told him I moved on. We’ve been in contact for sometime but every time I ask him if we can be together again, he said he doesn’t know. So last week I wrote him a long email telling him I was moving on. He has not replied. I feel like it is my fault because I really don’t want to move on and only said that to see how he would respond. What do I do now?

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    • I don’t see anything odd with your ex not replying to your email. How does one respond to an email saying “hey, I’m moving on”?

      I think that you set your own trap and got caught in it. The fact that he said he “doesn’t know” means that he hadn’t completely dismissed the idea that you might get back together. He just at the time wasn’t sure of anything.

      Either you just accept you messed this up and move on, lesson learned. Or give it a week and then contact him again casually and see if he responds. Alternatively, you could just swallow your pride and admit to him what you did.

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  • I broke up with my ex because things were not good in the relationship. He immediately instituted no contact for 2 months. Last week he contacted me and I responded because I thought that time would have changed things. But after only four texts, I realized he is still the same guy…. he has not learned anything from the breakup, changed anything and doesn’t care about my needs. I’m done…. moving on.

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