How Can I Change My Ex’s Mind?

can-i-still-change-my-exs-mindIt’s is so much easier to say, just “let things happen naturally” than actually “Let. Things. Happen. Naturally.

Even for the most laid back and most patient of us, there comes a time when you want to “hurry” things up a little.

Although still open to contact and even going out on dates, your ex doesn’t seem able to make us his/her mind. You get the feeling that he/she is struggling with whether he/should give the relationship another chance or not.

The best thing you can do in a situation like this is determine if your ex’s difficulty making up his/her mind is because he/she thinks it CAN’T work between the two of you, or if he/she simply thinks the relationship WILL NOT work.

There is a difference between “it can’t work” and “it will not work”, and this difference may well be that little thing you need for it to “click”.

1. When your ex says the relationship “will not work”, he/she is CHOOSING not to give the relationship another chance. What they are saying to you is “I could, if I wanted to, but I’m choosing not to”.

In my experience, someone will often “choose” not to give the relationship another chance because he/she is judging you based on what he/she knew about you before the break-up — behaviours, habits, preferences, interests etc. Changing “I won’t” to “I want” not only means changing the old perception your ex has of you, but also convincing your ex that there is more you bring to the relationship this time round, and that the additional value will be worth it for him/her.

2. When your ex says “it can’t work” between the two of you, he/she is saying, if he/she could, he/she would give you what you want or agree to what you want, but for reasons beyond his/her control (at the time), he/she can’t give you what you want or agree to what you want.

Quite often the reason an ex will say “it can’t work”,  is because he/she believes that you are two different people who want different things. It maybe that you are in different places in your lives, your goals have changed over time or you are not the person he/she thought you were.

It’s much harder to convince someone that you are right for him/her or that you want the same things. It takes skill, patience and good ol good luck. But it can be done by breaking down those difference to wants and needs and coming up with solutions that address those wants and needs.

It’s a bumpy ride ahead but you aren’t going to get very far getting frustrated and cutting off contact with your ex, trying to force your ex to “make up” his/her mind or fearing to say this or do that and waiting for things to happen naturally. You have to carefully move things forward to make ANY progress.

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16 Comments

  • My ex and I broke up almost 2 months ago but since then we’ve seen each other four times and been intimate twice. I would say things are good between us. He says he loves me but he’s scared of getting back together out of fear that we won’t work out. After reading your book and articles I realized that I rushed things and haven’t shown him enough how the relationship can be different. So now I’m resetting the pace and doing more to show him the changes. I hope this is the right thing to do. What do you think?

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    • Yes, it’s the right thing to do.

      Sometimes when someone thinks it won’t work out, it is because you have continued with the old relationship. Use the advice on making things FEEL new to create a different tone to the relationship.

      Showing him the changes and making things FEEL new should speed up the process.

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  • I broke up with her 6 months ago, then I realized how much I really love her. Losing her is tougher than I thought. I’m following the advice in your eBook and so far we are exchanging many fun texts, still no phone calls. She says she’s not ready to talk or meet me for drinks. You said in your eBook that your ex will test you, I’m I being tested? I want to be more real, be there for her and really make her happy.

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    • It’s possible that she’s testing you, but it’s more like she’s afraid of being hurt again. If you are serious about really being there for her and making her happy, give her time. Right now all she has as proof that the changes you’ve made are real and lasting is your word. When she sees for herself that you are consistent in being real and being present, she’ll feel safe to open up more.

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    • It depends on the context in which she said it and where you are in the process of trying to get back together. It could mean she doesn’t want to come out and say the next relationship will be with her, or it could mean she wants you to think of your next relationship with someone else, not her.

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  • My ex and I have broken up 11 times within a 2 year duration of the relationship. The recent breakup is 7 weeks ago. We didn’t talk for 4 weeks, he contacted me first. We still have feelings for each other but I don’t know if it will work for us. Part of me believes everything will work out in the end, but another part of me says we’ve tried to make it work too many times and it just is never going to work. What do you think, give it another chance or just move on?

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    • 11 times in 2 years is too many times. I’m sure almost everyone has told you to move on already, but for some reason, here you are, still trying to make it work.

      Both parts of you are right.

      It is never going to work if you are doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

      It can work BUT only if the dynamic of the relationship changes fundamentally, and I mean FUNDAMENTALLY! That’s going to require a LOT of self-work on both sides.

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  • We had little misunderstanding and he said he needed space. I said ok because I thought it’ll be for a short time and things would get back to normal. We didn’t talk for 3 weeks. On advice of a friend I contacted him and told him I need to get my stuff from his place. He responded by asking me if we were breaking up. I told him it seems like he is the one that was breaking up with me. He got very upset and now will not respond to any of my texts. I apologized for listening to bad advice but he says we’re done and he will not put up with my crazy behavior anymore. I know I messed up real bad. Why is he so upset when he was the one that wanted a break? Are we done?

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    • Without more details of your relationship, I can’t say for sure that you are done. He may just be upset. But if this is some kind of pattern, he may have reached his breaking point.

      He’s probably upset because he asked for a “break” (from the crazy behaviour), not a “break-up”. He might have thought/hoped that a break would make things better, but instead things got even crazier.

      I don’t think you helped things by apologizing for listening to bad advice. It’s more like an excuse.

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  • My ex dumped me 5 weeks ago. I wished him the best and meant it because he is a great guy and I loved him. He said it would be nice have some kind of contact to check on how I’m doing. they’re doing. I told him. I want the same. We’ve been communicating via text once or twice a week.

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  • You are a true God sent. I am following your ex dating book step by step to get into a NEW relationship with my ex. I didn’t go NC and I am glad I didnt. We are working through our differences to make the relationship work this time. We’ve broken up twice in 4 yrs, but have never resolved the underlying issues hence we’ve been stuck in a vicious cycle. Hopefully we’ll break it with your help 🙂

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  • Yangki, your blog has greatly helped me with new understanding. Even though I personally have made long strides and drastic changes, I feel like my relationship with my ex isn’t going anywhere. I feel more distanced from him than ever. I’ve been initiating contact with him about once a week for the past four months, but he still hasn’t initiated any contacts. I’m always the one who makes the first contact and he responds after a few hours or the next day. Do you think I should continue trying to talk to him more to see if he still has feelings for me or move on at this point?

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    • It’s great to hear that you’ve made strides in your personal development. Change is never easy, but the rewards are worth it.

      I’m sorry to hear that your relationship isn’t going anywhere. Four months is a long time for nothing to have changed. Either 1) you are just doing contact and not connecting emotionally, 2) you are playing too safe because you fear you will push him further away or 3) he is just not interested in getting back together and just being polite by responding.

      While texting is “safe” and great for instant contact, it doesn’t help much in terms of creating a deep emotional connection. I suggest changing things from texting to talking on the phone, or even ask him out and see what he says. Take a few risks with him… flirt, tease, touch, etc. If after a month or so, you still don’t see any changes, it may just be that you are never getting back together. But you can’t know that for sure if you don’t take a few risks and change things up.

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  • My ex broke up with me and 2 days later he texted me asking how I was doing. I told him I needed sometime of no contact to heal. He replied “ok”. After 4 weeks of NC, I sent him a text and he replied, “If you’d like to talk sometime, let me know”. A week later, I texted him asking if he’d like to meet me for a drink. I never heard back from him. I texted him again telling him I’d really like to talk to him. No response. I have sent him 3 more texts, still no response. Why would he say, “If you’d like to talk sometime, let me know” and then say anything else?

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    • I don’t know for sure. I think that he either felt guilty for breaking up with you or was genuinely concerned about your well-being, but he doesn’t necessarily want to get back together with you. I don’t know if he decided that before or after you told him you needed sometime of no contact. Meeting you for a drink would have sent the wrong message.

      I do agree with you on one thing, he should have at least responded to tell you he doesn’t want to meet you. It contradicts the seemingly “caring” person who wanted to know how you were doing and offered to talk if you wanted to.

      If you really think about it, 4 texts and no response, is a RESPONSE

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