At What Point Do You Stop Trying To Get Back An Ex?

Anyone who has tried to get back their ex knows too well that this is not something you can achieve with a single action or random number of actions. It takes time, good strategic planning, and sometimes it’s one step forward and two backwards. Other times you feel like you’re getting mixed signals.

Many tend to give up after just one or two attempts and others stubbornly persist to the point of becoming so annoying that their ex is frightened of them — and even gets a restraining order.

When do you persist and refuse to take “no” for an answer, and when do you just quit and move on?

I personally believe that it all depends on a lot of factors. In some situations persistence pays off and in others, persistence can be a major turn off.

If for example, you try to reach out the first time and there is no response, try a couple more times. Your ex might be out of town or in a place he/she can’t call/text back. There are also people who take a “let’s see” approach because they don’t trust that you’ll follow through and not just give up. Kind of like a test. A little persistence may pay off.

But if after 3 or 4 attempts and still no response of any kind, then you get the message; they’re simply not interested. Someone who is interested will at least try to give you some encouragement to keep persisting.

If on the other hand, the response is rude, mean or says “leave me alone”(this is not the same as I need some space), no amount of persistence will pay off. It’s best to accept that it’s over and move on.

In some cases the response can be very random and far and in-between. In such situations the extent, manner, and frequency with which you persist has to be moderated by a realistic assessment of the situation and a commons sense approach. You can choose to be persistent sometimes and other times it’s best to step back, let go and allow things to be as they should. This is what I call “non-attached” persistence.

“Non-attached” persistence means that you’re 100% actively engaged in trying to get your ex back but your life and happiness is not dependent on things going the way you want them to. If you take two steps forward and get pushed a step back, that’s okay. You keep going until it’s very clear that there is no path ahead, then you give up.

Try it and see how far you can get. You just never know. Just keep your heart and mind open to the fact that it may go the way you want it to, and it may not.

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51 Comments

  • Me and my ex have stayed friends. We never fought, but one day he said the love was just gone. He insists that he wants us to be friends, and even flirts with me on occasion. When I bring up getting back together, its a no go for him. But he keeps staying in touch, and insists that he doesn’t want me to not be his friend. Is he just selfish? I strongly believe that he just freaked out about taking the next step, and wanted to focus on his career, but when do I quit? It has been almost 8 months since he ended it, but I still love him.

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    • I think that there is ‘something’ holding him back. May be you have not done enough to move him to a point where getting back together is an attractive proposition.

      Think of it this way, you are trying to sell someone something. They are saying no, but keep calling you (insists that he wants your in his life) AND shows interest in the product (flirting with you), a good sales person will ask himself, “What can I do to seal this deal?”, not think “he’s freaking out about taking the next step”. That kind of thinking is self-defeating. You are essentially saying, “there is nothing I can do”. his is why you feel like giving up.

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  • Yangki, I’ve been trying to get my ex back for a year. We have times when we get very close then he pulls away saying he does not want to give me false hope. He has had one rebound but continued to have sex with me. She found out and broke it off. I am wondering if a year is too long to keep trying.

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    • It does get harder to get back together with the passage of time, and I agree with you that a year does seem pretty long. That said, people do get back together after a year or more. It’s not about just how long you’ve been trying to get back together but WHAT you do in that time that makes all the difference.

      Many of the people I’ve seen that take a year or longer are 1) in denial (the relationship was over a long time ago), 2) are doing something wrong or 3) are too afraid to do anything that moves things forward.

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  • I think I’ve completely blown my chances of ever getting my ex back. We had fights constantly and mutually agreed to take a break for a month and meet again and see how we both feel. I got bad advice and stopped responding to his texts. After four attempts he stopped trying to reach me. After reading your blog, I felt bad and contacted him, he responded three hours later and we talked for a bit. I asked him if he was feeling different about us and he said nothing has changed but the door is not completely closed either. So now I don’t know what to do. I know him and I think he is angry that I did not respond to his texts. I love him and don’t want to lose him, please help.

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    • I don’t think you completely blew your chances if he’s saying the door is still open. He may be upset as you say, but it may also be that he genuinely believes nothing has changed.

      Try to see if you can slowly start over, from the start. Start reconnecting with him and getting back into his life — without asking him to get back together. He needs to see that you can talk to each other without fighting (and/or you running away into no contact) and that the relationship can work for him to even give it a second thought.

      Warning: The process of reconnecting with him and getting back into his life can be long and involves many things. I suggest you spend time here reading many articles to see which apply to your situation.

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  • I want to believe that we will get back together but everyone keeps telling me to just move on. This are the same people who told me the no contact strategy will make my ex miss me and want me back.

    I’ll take your advice and be optimistic that she’ll respond. I just feel so angry that I followed wrong advice and now may she does not want to hear from me.

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    • I don’t think being angry helps anything. The people who gave you the advice were most likely looking after what they thought was your best interest. They were more concerned about your emotional well-being than the two of you getting back together. Like most “No Contact” advocates, they were probably hoping that “No Contact” would help you heal and move on.

      At this point you have only 3 choices to choose from. You can wait for her to respond, call it quits now and move on or, contact her one more time and see if she responds.

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  • Hi Yangki,
    I pushed too hard with my ex to the point she ignored me. We have been broken up now for 19 months now. I tried one last time to make contact, which i asked her via her mother since she knows our situation best if she was willing to meet up so i could apologise for the mistakes i made throughout our relationship. Unfortunately the response was no as she said it brings back too many memories and she still gets upset by it all. I made alot of mistakes and unfortunately have to learn the hard way but i thankyou for your wonderful site and great advice it has provided me with some great tools for personal growth.

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    • I can only imagine how much it must hurt that she won’t talk to you at all. May be if instead of asking (via her mother) to meet in person, you’d tried to ease yourself back into her life first, it might have been different (just a thought). Asking to “meet” was probably too much too soon. A text or email here or there in the beginning makes a whole lot difference. Also mentioning “apologize” sometimes makes people unwilling to go through all the emotions again.

      You may still be dealing with all the raw emotions of the breakup but if she’s moved on from the painful emotions, I’m sure you can understand why she wouldn’t want to be dragged back into it.

      This may not have worked out, but your personal growth is not wasted. Keep your heart open, love has away of surprising us!

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  • So if she said “Please leave me alone. I dont want to have comunication with you. I feel like i dont know you anymore. I dont know what you are trying to achieve with everything you do. leave our friends alone and forget about me. I am in another road and I feel very good with what i am living. I never wanted it to end this way but you leave me no other choice”. She was my girlfriend for 10 years we were planning to get married. We move to europe together, one day she went back to visit and never came back. I was devastated I want to get in touch with her again. What can I do.

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    • What else do you think you can do but leave her alone? Sometimes the “pushing” and forcing things to work in your way, time and schedule ends up making things worse. The part about “forget about me” and “you leave me no other choice” says you’ve pushed hard and she’s more frustrated or even angry with you now than she was when the two of you broke up.

      Stop pushing. 10 years is a long time and if you made good of those years, it’ll be hard for her to just walk away and not look back. You may still have a chance — I said “may” because I do not know the details of your relationship, the circumstances around your breakup and what you’ve done to try to get her back. But I do know that if you go along this “I’m devastated I want to get in touch with her again” way of doing things, the 10 years will mean nothing.

      Just leave her alone. Let go. Not give up, but let go.

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