Saturday July 26th 2014

Will My Ex’s Feelings For Me Ever Be Strong Again?

Question:My ex says his feelings for me are not as strong as before and that he’s sorry but he can’t pretend anymore. He says some days he thinks he wants me back and other days he just wants to move on because he doesn’t know if he’ll ever feel strongly for me again. He told me not to wait for him or put my life on hold. I told him we can just be friends for now, and he said he’s okay with that but can’t promise anything. He also said he is seeing other women and if that hurts me he’d prefer for us not to be friends.

I know in my heart that he loves me and there is a possibility that we’ll get back together. I need to believe this, it’s the only way I can keep going on. My question is, based on your experience on these matters, how long do you think I should keep my heart open for him before I move on?

The Love Doctor’s Answer:  I’m sorry you have to go through this. This is probably one of the most difficult things about breakups. I believe you love him and there may be a possibility that you’ll get back together, but I have to agree with your ex, and say do not wait or put your life on hold. Now is the only reality that there is, and the reality is that for right now, he doesn’t feel strongly for you and wants to explore other possibilities.

He’s taking care of his needs (and not in a selfish way since he’s been honest with you) and I think you should too. I’m not saying you should deny your feelings for him and/or go out and see other men, but that you should take care of yourself by helping yourself heal from the pain of not being wanted. Not being wanted does not mean not loved. He may still love you, but loving someone and wanting to be with her (or him) are two different things. You need to come to terms with this because only then can your mind be free to see the options ahead of you. As long as you remain in this place of non-acceptance, your mind will keep coming up with all sorts of stories about a reality different from what is — and you’re likely to act on those stories other than on reality itself.

Give yourself the love you want from him and take care of yourself the way you’d have wanted him to. Once you fill that “empty” space he temporarily occupied, you’ll find that it doesn’t feel as bad as it does now.

My advice is ALWAYS KEEP YOUR HEART OPEN for love. No need to “close” your heart because if you heal well (in a healthy way), you’ll still be able to feel love for him and move on at the same time, if that’s what you decide you want to do. If you decide you want him back, work with what you have now as opposed to what you wish you had. But to be able to succeed, you must first take care of you. You’ll make better decisions and respond better (as opposed to just reacting) when you’re in a “good place”.

Also no need to cut of all contact because doing so only helps kill even the remaining “feeling” that is still there and that you might want to build on in the future. It’s harder to restart a fire from scratch — so to speak.

Readers' Questions and The Love Doctor's Answers...

16 Responses to “Will My Ex’s Feelings For Me Ever Be Strong Again?”

  1. true4U says:

    I broke up with him and realized I made a mistake. I contacted him and we’ve been getting closer. Some days it looks like we’re going to get back together and some days he totally pulls away from me. I told him I can’t take it anymore and he said he understands but that it’s just hard for him to trust me again. I’ve apologized and really shown him I still love him, what more should I be doing?

  2. If he’s genuinely making an effort to get back together, I think you should be patient. Entrusting our hearts to someone who has hurt us before is not an easy thing to do. It takes time to get there. Give him time and not try to push him one way or another. That trust will come back if you consistently show him he won’t be hurt again.

  3. Chelsea says:

    Christine, I respect your advice and believe you’re one of the best love coaches out there- and I mean this sincerely. I’ve bought all your books and visit your blog at least 3 times a week.

    But on the advice in the original post, I think you’re being a little negative. I’m in a similar situation and although he’s told me he sees no hope of us getting back together, I have not lost hope. I believe that if we keep a positive attitude and think something will happen, it will. I’ve given him his space but I’m optimistic he’ll come back. I have to believe that or negative thinking will block my dream from happening.

  4. First of all, thank you for your very kind words, and for the support with my books. I appreciate it very much.

    I’m really glad you brought up “positive thinking” because it comes up quite a lot in my coaching sessions– yes… you’re not the first to tell me I’m being “negative”…(:

    I’m all for positive thinking and agree with everything you said, but I also believe we should be realistically optimistic. I could easily have said “believe or visualize him back and it will be”, but what good would that do? Unless one doesn’t care about the person they’re advising, I think that kind of advice only sabotages the recipient of the advice.

    Realistic optimism on the other hand, combines a positive attitude with an honest assessment of the challenges that one faces or await. Without an honest assessment of the challenges that we face or await us, we can’t come up with realistic action to move us to the next step. Positive thinking is good but it has to lead to action for us to realize our dream. It’s like if you want to be a brain surgeon, you can’t just “think it” and it’ll happen, you have to do research on what it takes to be a brain surgeon, realistically assess your challenges, do what is required to go to medical school, train in a residence program etc.

    It’s the same mindset if one has to succeed in getting back one’s ex!

  5. Dameon says:

    I’m glad I read this. I was at the point where I felt I had absolutely no other choice but cut my losses (after about 7 years together) and move on. She’s messed me around with her not being sure about whether she wants me back or not. She says she loves me very but doesn’t want her heart broken again. I couldn’t understand how it’s possible to love someone and not want to be in a relationship and I kept pushing and pushing. She finally said we should have no more contact. I was just about to give up. But now I’m thinking that may be there is a chance for us after all.

    Your advice is excellent, and on top of that, you are extraordinarily generous by giving it for free.

  6. I’m glad something in here gave you hope. Many people — sadly– give up because they can’t handle the chaos/uncertainty typical in a get back with ex situation. The point at which things seem most out of control, our relationships can move with new and better possibilities in directions we had never anticipated.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed…(:

  7. Conny says:

    My ex always behaved immaturely but I stupidly stayed with him hoping that he would grow up. Two months ago he broke up with me again for the 5th time. I cried and begged him but he said being with me means that he will stay miserable forever. Now that I’m serious about moving on, he is contacting me. I’m not wasting anymore of my time with someone who comes up short every single time. I made the mistake of trying to change a man but never again.

  8. Mabel says:

    I think that your comments on positive thinking shows how limited your are. One of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time, Dr. Wayne Dyer says whatever we think positive or negative creates our reality. I know that he is right and have experienced it in my life. May be you should read some of his books and attend his seminars and learn something from him. He is the best.

  9. You are right about one thing, I’ve never read Dr. Wayne Dyer books or attended his seminars… shame on me, right? …:-)

    However, I have a lot of respect for Dr. Dyer and I certainly don’t want to lead you away from what you believe. In fact I’m not asking anyone to believe what I believe. I give advice to those who want it but it has to resonate with someone for it to be their “truth.”

    My personal belief is that “positive thinking” is NOT the answer to everything. I have personally experienced many instances in my life where I was what you might call thinking negatively and expected things to go wrong, and to my pleasant surprise, they turned out amazingly well. And there have been many instances where I was so positive in my thoughts and full of optimism and was greatly disappointed. May be I’m just limited…lol… or may be “positive thinking” isn’t the way we think it works… just saying.

  10. Anna says:

    1 yr 8 months together, broke up, did no contact for 3 weeks. Jan 2012, I contacted him. He said he missed me and things were going really great until two weeks ago. We got into a fight about a woman who keeps calling him. We had plans to meet but she called about some work thing she needed help with and he canceled. Things have gone straight downhill from there. I haven’t helped things, I’ve cursed and called him names and now he will not even respond to my texts or calls. Can I get this back on track or just call it quits?

  11. You didn’t say why you broke up before you got back. If it’s for the same reason(s) (e.g. fighting), you might want to work on that before even attempting to try to get this back on track. Also stop trying to get him to talk to you, it just makes things worse. Give it a week or so and then contact him and see what happens.

    But if this is the pattern, the inevitable will happen sooner than later if it hasn’t already.

  12. Neel says:

    Per the plan outlined in your ebook, I started to take control and she has been receptive to my texts, I even got to call her once. I can get her to say a few things, but when I say anything about myself the conversation dies. How can I get her to emotionally open up to me?

  13. You can’t really get anyone to emotionally open up to you. People open up ONLY and ONLY when they feel safe to do so. Your job is to create an environment in which your ex feels safe to open up, this is what the first part of the eBook is all about. It takes time. The guidelines on “effective contact” helps move things along faster. All the very best!

  14. Annabella says:

    I’ve been reading these posts and they completely identifying with how I feel at the moment. My ex broke up with me about 5 weeks ago because he needed space. I asked for no contact but after reading your articles, I contacted him and told him I wanted us to stay in contact. But lately I noticed that he does not seem to be very interested in responding to my texts or talking to me. He used to respond within a few minutes and now he takes a day or two. When he broke it off he said he is not the type to give up on someone he really cares about, but I think that may be he suddenly feels differently about me. Is it me just me over-analyzing this?

  15. Yes, you are over-analyzing. The reason you are not together is because he needed space, and from your comment I’m guessing he felt smothered. You can’t expect him to respond the way he used to respond and have his space at the same time.

    His delay in responding may be his way of pacing contacts so that you do not smoother him again. Usually people do this if they genuinely care about you, but can’t make you stop over-contacting them or get you to respect their need for breathing space. Instead of completely cutting you off, they’ll try to force contact to be at the level they are comfortable with by not responding immediately. They know that if they respond immediately, you will respond immediately too, and before long you are overwhelming them with texts, emails or calls – again. So instead of over-analyzing this and coming up with negative conclusions, work on whatever is causing you to be so smothering that someone you want to be with feels that he needs space away from you.

  16. Desiree says:

    This site has really been very helpful. Before I was trying to manipulate the situation and our conversations were at a shallow level. Since reading your articles and book, I have seen a big change in my ex. He’s more open to talking to me and asks how I’m doing. I know it’s not much but I can only hope that things continue improving for us. I love him with all my heart and will do anything to have him back.

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