Wednesday October 7th 2015

How Much Contact Should You Have With Your Ex?

If in the relationship and/or after the breakup you did most of the initiating or maintaining contact, going no contact and then coming back and letting the other person do the initiating may seem like you’ve turned the tables around. But is it?

First of all, by leaving all the initiating contacting to your ex, you’ve put all the power to ACT in his/her hands. All you can do is REACT to what he/she chooses to do. They contact you when they feel like it, and you jump at it with the hope that it means something. When they don’t feel like contacting you, and all you can do is wait (and hope that they do).

May be it’s just me… I don’t want to give someone else that kind of power over my life. I want to be the one who decides what to do with MY life. That includes contacting someone when I feel like it and not contacting them when I don’t. I don’t want to just REACT (and be a pawn in someone else’s life), I want to ACT (and create my own experiences).

My point is, while your ex initiating contact and how often he/she does it is an indicator of interest, making a big deal of it blinds you to all the cues and opportunities to move things forward. But even worse, it prevents you from seeing the red flags that say, “don’t waste your time here… move on already.”

Secondly, if you believe just mere contact — e.g. who initiates contact or good spacing of your contacts — is what’ll make you attractive to your ex, you will find yourself spending so much time trying to do “the right amount of contact” but getting the exact opposite result.

1) One day your ex seems so interested and the next, he/she disappears… then reappears again… and so forth.

2) Your ex is initiating all the contact but it’s annoying you because you feel like your ex is treating you like a ‘friend” — and may be he/she is.

3) After weeks or even months of steady contact, you ask your ex if he/she wants to give the relationship another try but he/she says they’re not sure, not ready or don’t think it’ll work.

What I’m trying to say here in many words is, once you make “contact” the central piece in your efforts to get your ex back, you’ve already lost the battle.

I know this from experience. I tell a client what they need to do to get their ex back, and in the middle of my advice they ask “so when should I make my next contact?” or “I want to know what’s the right amount of contact… once, twice…a week?”.

They didn’t hear a single word I said about what’ll get their ex back. And sure enough, a couple of weeks later I get the dreaded email, “Things didn’t work out…”

And I’m sure when some of you clicked on this post, you did so expecting some “rule” on “the right amount of contact”. Some might have even quickly scrolled to the end, just to see what’s best… contact once or contact twice a week. This is exactly the problem.

There is no such thing as the “right number of times” to contact your ex. The type and amount of communication with an ex depends on individual circumstances. In some situations, the number of times you contact your ex means little when it comes to getting your ex back. And in some relationships it means nothing more than a power-control trip — just to see who has control over who.

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6 Responses to “How Much Contact Should You Have With Your Ex?”

  1. Jus says:

    I’ve done the NC rule 2x with the same person. After we started talking the first time after the NC rule, I thought I’d be a lot stronger and okay with starting it slowly but boy was I wrong. Feelings came rushing back again and I started acting needy and clingy again. She broke up with me. I initiated NC for the second time but when I contacted her after 4 weeks she said “stop contacting me. It’s Over!” I texted her if she’s interested in being just friends, her reply “No. Not now not ever.” Not sure what to do now?

  2. Chalk it down as lesson learned and move on… Of course I’m assuming you learned something in all this.

  3. Carla says:

    Boyfriend of 4 months broke up with me after an argument about me not being more understanding when he wants his alone time. I left him alone for 3 months and then we reconnected end of April. We have seen each other in person two times in 6 months. He’s not a big texter so I call him once every week. He seems happy to hear from me but has never initiated contact or called me. I’m giving him his space, my question is, do I call him after every 2 weeks then after 2 months ask to see him in person?

  4. Giving him more “space” isn’t going to change anything. 3 months of “no contact” didn’t do it. 6 months of calling once a week isn’t doing anything either.

    Why? because the “problem” isn’t “space”. It seems that you are more into him than he is into you.

  5. Benji says:

    If you have nothing to lose by using no contact, then knock your socks off. But myself, if I’m in love, I will go to the greatest extents to make a relationship work, but if the other person simply doesn’t want me anymore, then it’s best to move on.

  6. I agree with you that one should do everything possible to make things work. Unfortunately some of the things we do to get our ex back hurt our chances.

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