How To Get Back An Ex Who’s Acting Hot And Cold

In my article: Using Limited Contact To Get Your Ex Back, I explain why “minimal contact”, “limited contact” or “low contact” undermines the chances of getting back your ex. You feel like you are doing “something” to get your ex back, but in reality you are not doing anything to move your ex closer to getting back together. All you are doing is keeping the lines of communication open, and getting vague responses.

You think the problem is your ex. He/she doesn’t respond to most of your contacts. He/she is not opening up to you. He/she is doesn’t know what he/she wants etc.

If only you could contact him/her the right amount. If only you knew how to say things the right way. Everything would work out fine.

At some point you start feeling like your ex is drifting further and further away from you. Quite often, he/she is.

That feeling that your ex is pulling further and further away may not be you being “needy” after all. You may be starting to realize what’s happening. Your ex is drifting further away.

Your ex is not responding, opening up or emotionally investing in the relationship because there is no emotional safety in a relationship where contact starts, stops, and then start again after a few days or weeks. Where one day the conversation is really good and connecting, and the next day you’re like two strangers who don’t know what to say to each other. Where one day you act like you want him/her back and the next you act like you don’t care about him/her.

No consistency in contact. No consistency in connecting. No consistency in positive emotions. No consistency in anything.

Why would your ex want to put down his/her guard and risk rejection (or being played) when you who is trying to get him/her back is not willing to put down your guard and risk rejection? How can he/she help but be hot and cold, when you yourself are acting hot and cold?

Consistency is so important that I tell my clients: it’s better to risk coming across as needy than make your ex feel he/she can’t trust you not to hurt him/her (again).

Consistency should not be confused with being predictable.

Being predictable is doing the same thing over and over. It’s contacting your ex every x number of days (like clockwork). It’s sending “hi, how are/what’s up/how’s you day?” text every time you make contact (blah, blah, blah). It’s bringing up the old relationship/getting back together in every conversation (nag, nag, nag). It’s him/her ending every contact with you trying to hang on (please, please, please). Etc.

Being consistent is being the same regardless of what your ex chooses to do/does. It’s reaching out when your ex’s responds and when your ex doesn’t respond. It’s trying to emotionally connect when your ex is receptive and when your ex is guarded. It’s showing your ex you care about him/her even when you feel he/she does not care about you. It’s staying emotionally calm even when your ex posts things on Facebook that upset you. It’s making sure your words match your actions.

It does not mean you can’t get upset, show frustration, have arguments or mess up. It just means that even when you are upset/frustrated or when you have an argument, you do not say or do things that make your ex feel that he/she can’t trust you not to hurt him/her (again).

Just as you are afraid of rejection, your ex is too. And just as you fear you might get hurt, your ex has fears too. What if nothing has changed? What if it doesn’t work out? What if he/she gets bored or falls out love again? What if you are not “the one”?  What if there is someone else out there?

The difference is you are more willing to take the risk that’s why you are the one initiating contact, trying to connect, trying to make the relationship work again, and trying to get back together.  Your ex may not have the same confidence in you and/or in the relationship, that’s why it’s important to provide that emotional safety he/she needs.

One way to do it is to be consistent. The quicker you can get your ex to trust you not to hurt him/her (again), the quicker you can get him/her to emotionally open up. The more he/she opens up, the more he/she responds. The more he/she responds, the more emotionally invested he/she becomes. The more emotionally invested he/she is, the more he/she initiates contact, face-to-face meetings etc. The more time you spend in contact and on dates, the better your chances of getting back together.

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  • Thanks so much for this amazing detail! I didn’t speak to my ex for almost two months following a long distance break up (we broke up in person) but then I reached out, he’s very responsive, but then just stops randomly.

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    • That’s what happens when you don’t speak for 2 months. You grow emotionally apart. They respond but only politely until they get used to contact with you again, and sometimes the connection is lost for good.

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  • Thank you for this thoughtful and thought-provoking blog. I honestly think I have been doing all the wrong things and feel frustrated. Sometimes I feel I made progress but other times I feel I am getting no where. Last week it felt like she let me in but since Sunday she has pulled away and emotionally shut me out. She responds but it’s very short replies and its giving me a terrible scare. I know I need to work on our connection and trust but I have trouble with where to put myself in relation to her!

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    • Until you’ve made that connection and established trust, it’ll always be more frustration than progress.

      Since you seem to have just found my site, my advice is to spend a little bit more time reading different articles and others’ experiences with these kind of situations (it happens a lot if that’s any comfort).

      As long as the lines of communication are open, there is always hope. It’s how you use and take advantage of the open lines of communication that makes all the difference!

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    • In my opinion and in my approach to getting back your ex, YES.

      Everything is straightforward, honest and open right from the start. No mind games, no trickery or manipulation.

      1. Your ex will know from the start that you accept that the relationship has ended, but you still love and care about him/her.
      2. You don’t want to be “just friends”, you want him/her back.
      3. You’re willing to take things slow, and build a better and stronger relationship.
      4. You have truly and genuinely changed, and things will be different this time around.

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  • My ex broke with me because he lost feelings for me. Right after we broke up he started contacting me. I told him it would be best if we didn’t contact each other for a while. He stopped for 2/3 weeks and started contacting me again. I want him back but I’m afraid that if I am too forward by asking him if he wants me back that I might create more distance

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    • Being forward is a good thing, but there is being open and upfront and there is being too pushy/aggressive. Different outcomes

      Asking him if he wants you back at this stage would be too aggressive.

      Use the open line of communication to try to re-ignite those feelings he says he has lost. A person can’t miss what he doesn’t feel in the first place.

      Look back to the time just before the break up, what was missing? What did he say he’d want more of to feel attracted to you? Try to fill those gaps up. If you can INSPIRE him to feel those feelings of attraction again, you’ll not have to ask him if he wants you back. The new feelings of attraction will do the work for you.

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  • I have been in low contact for almost a month and a half, out of the blue my ex sent me a text saying she was confused and doesn’t know if I was just checking in on her or if it’s more for me. I told her I cared about her and wanted to know she was okay but I also miss her. That’s the last I heard from her. I have sent her two texts and no reply.

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    • Unfortunately, this happens a lot with people in low contact. You keep contacting your ex every now and then, they respond out of politeness, but are confused about why you’re contacting them or what you want.

      You think you’re doing something to get back your ex, but most of the time all you are doing is postponing the inevitable.

      I know people who did this for months and had the nerve to be surprised/hurt when they found out their was with someone else. They’re like, “but why was she leading me on”

      How can someone lead you on when they even don’t know you’re trying to get them back?

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  • We had a falling out in August. I have been in no contact with him for 2 months until October in which I sent him a ‘thank you’ card (positive) for Thanksgiving. I received no contact. Then I wrote him a heartfelt letter telling him how I truly felt about him (positive) for Christmas/New Years. Still received no contact. I’ve been contemplating whether I should call him or not but I am afraid to call him. I don’t know what else to do.

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    • I feel bad for you, but I don’t know what else to do either. He hasn’t responded to any of your contacts, I don’t think a call will change anything.

      On the other hand, I don’t really blame him. You disappeared for 2 months… why would he want you back in his life when he’s adjusted to not having you in it? You’ve proven to him that you can “ignore” he exists for 2 months, he’s showing you he can ignore you too.

      Next time you break-up with someone… DON’T do no contact. Use this as a lesson learned.

      The TRUTH About No Contact No One Tells You

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