Contact and How Not to Pressure Your Ex

Many people trying to get their ex back mistakenly think that telling and showing their ex that they love them very much is what will make their ex want to come back. But unrelenting confessions of love only end up pushing your ex even further away. Why? Because even if it looks like it’s about your ex, telling your ex over and over that you love him/her is really about YOU. It’s your fear and anxiety pushing you to seek some kind of reassurance that your ex still loves you as much as you love him/her.

What you should be doing if you want your ex back is show him/her how important — and valuable — your relationship was and is and want it – again. Putting emphasis on the relationship not only makes you less “selfish”, it also takes off the pressure that comes with your ex feeling like they have to “love you back” because you love him/her so much.

But communicating this to an ex can sometimes be like going to the dentist – you don’t know what to expect once you get there, but you almost always assume that the process will be painful and unpleasant. No wonder most people opt to avoid any kind of contact with an ex.

One of the things that can greatly increase your success of getting your ex back is understanding that the one who is trying to win the other back always has to be in more control of his or her own emotions. When you get emotionally upset, frustrated or discouraged, you not only lose your ex’s attraction, you also lose momentum – and in this process momentum is everything.

The more in control you are of your own emotions, the less stress you’ll feel. The less stressed you feel, the more calm and hopeful you’ll feel. The more calm and hopeful you feel, the more productive your interactions with your ex will be – and the better your chances of winning him or her back.

When helping my clients get back their ex, I teach them what I call stress or hassle free contact/interaction. Stress or hassle free contact/interaction promotes emotional calm and understanding as opposed to the traditional fear and anxiety based contact/interaction. It projects a positive feeling rather than a self-interested and stressful one.

Example 1: Your ex tentatively agrees to a date but says he/she will have to confirm it. Wanting things to go really well you went ahead and made reservations. But the day approaches and your ex still hasn’t given you a firm answer.

Fear and anxiety based communication:You need to confirm if you’re coming before noon tomorrow, otherwise I’ll have to cancel the reservations/arrangements”.

Stress or hassle free communication:Let me know before noon tomorrow so I can confirm the reservation with the restaurant“.

What’s the difference? First of all, the stress or hassle free approach sounds more “upbeat” and has a positive tone, though it contains almost identical content. The reason there’s no pressure is because you’re not making it sound like it’ll be your ex’s fault that you might have to cancel the reservations. By relieving him/her of the “stress” of having to say “NO”, he/she will be more inclined to continue contact/interaction even if for one reason or another he/she is unable to make it to dinner.

Example 2: You and your ex were great friends and you’re convinced that if you build on that strong friendship you can create a better relationship. Your ex on the other side can’t make up his/her mind, keeps changing positions and sending mixed signals.

Fear and anxiety based communication:There is no reason why we cannot be friends and try to work this out. But if you don’t want to try just say so. Don’t waste my time!

Stress or hassle free communication:I can tell this is a hard decision for you to make. We can try it for a couple of weeks and if it doesn’t work, we know we at least tried”.

The reason there’s no pressure is because you’re leaving the right to say “NO” if things don’t work out to your ex. He/she has nothing to lose giving it a try for a couple of week. This not only encourages someone who is hesitant to want to try, it also starts to build trust and comfort level.

Why don’t many people use the stress or hassle free approach more often?

Because most men and women are scared to death of allowing others (especially someone they think might act according his/her own agenda) to exercise their right to say “no.” The irony is that stress-free relationships – the kind we all want and long for – are those that respect the other’s right to say “no” — and not give him/her a hard time about it.

Start practicing stress or hassle free communication and you’ll dramatically increase your chances of getting back your ex!

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76 Comments

  • After 2-3 days of no contact (multiple times) I became frustrated and told him never to contact me again. In your ebook you say not to apologize, but I don’t see how I can open the door without taking responsibility for my behavior. I acted out of fear and wish I hadn’t. I don’t see how to initiate contact after I said what I did without apologizing briefly…and telling him he can reach out in the future. Thoughts?

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    • In the book I say do not apologize for your role in the break-up when your ex is not ready to hear you. It doesn’t help in that the apology may come across as a desperate attempt to change your ex’s mind. If you already apologized once, don’t do it too many times because then the apology will be meaningless.

      In your case, you made a mistake saying never to contact you again, that’s different from apologizing for your role in the break-up. And you are right, you can’t initiate contact and act like you didn’t say “never contact me”. An apology is necessary.

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    • Keep the lines of communication open while he figures himself out, but do not try to actively get him back. In other words, keep the door open for possibilities but go about living your life. He may or may not want you back after he’s “unconfused” himself. The open lines of communication helps you keep track of where you stand, so you can decide whether to keep trying or let him go.

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  • My situation is that the relationship ended 8 weeks ago. First few weeks we were in NC. Then she started commenting on stuff on her facebook status updates that indicated that she is missing me. I did not contact her. Week 5 of NC she contacted me and again I did not contact her. Week 7 she again contacted me and this time I replied asking her if she wanted to go out for a drink. No response. Two days ago, I texted her asking her how she is doing and what she has been up to, nothing from her. She is sending mixed signals that is why I’m back to NC.

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    • It’s mixed signals alright… When someone is sending you mixed signals, my advice is to go by the strongest signal. I don’t know what she put on her status to make you think she was missing you but I’d consider the one time contact from her to be the weaker signal since there was no follow up.

      The fact that you have contacted her twice with no response is the stronger signal…i.e. she’s not that interested in regular contact. If she was, she’d respond to show she wants contact.

      It’s possible she’s just messing with your head.

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  • Yangki, I followed your advice of no pressure contact and yesterday we had our very first meeting in 3 months. Things went well and when I asked her if we can meet again, she was open to it. I guess my next move is to continue the no pressure contact, connecting emotionally and to build momentum, right?

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    • I am happy for you, and you are right. Don’t start asking to meet too often though. Build momentum slowly and steadly.

      All the best… 🙂

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  • I have been doing this and not putting pressure but now I’m worried I may be playing too safe since she’s seeing other people and seems to only respond to my texts as a friend.

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    • If all you are dong is contacting her and not trying to build an emotional connection or create momentum, your worry is legit. Nobody ‘falls in love” just because you contact them, if that was the case, dating would be so simple. Just contact him/her the “right amount” and “Voila! We’re married”.

      But that’s not what happens. People fall in love because of how they FEEL about you. It’s about FEELING. Not contact.

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  • Yangki, in one of your comments you said you do not have advice for people doing no or limited contact, but in one of your articles you say your clients sometimes tell you they want to give their ex space. I am just curious, what do you tell them?

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    • Knock yourself out…

      I’m kidding. That’s just what I am thinking… 😉

      I tell them (very politely) they are free to do what they feel like doing. When that fails (I know it will) and if it’s not too late or if they have not completely blown their chances, we can try my approach.

      I discovered many years ago that 1) you can not talk logic to fear and 2) everyone thinks they are an ‘expert’ at relationships. Once they find out that they are not, then they are more open to being helped/advised.

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  • Your advice Yangki brings clarity and forward movement. I’ve been beating myself up over my mistakes but since telling myself that it was both our faults, I feel a lot better about myself and the relationship in general. I’d like my ex back and I’m sure some exes can get back together and do very well, but it’s too late for us. We let our problems get out of hand and now we can’t even talk civilly to each other. I’m actually more hurt that we can no longer communicate than I’m that the relationship ended. Does that make sense?

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    • Yes it does make sense. A breakup doesn’t have to mean you can’t be civil to each other, but the reality is sometimes exes can’t be civil to each other mainly because of built up anger. You can’t make your ex talk to you in a civil manner but you can work on making yourself a better person, and hope that someday you will have the opportunity to showcase the work you’ve been doing on yourself.

      I strongly advice against trying to force communication, let alone civility. All you get is more push back and anger.

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  • Yangki, you said “assuming that one’s ex still has feelings of love and/or thinks one is potentially “the one””. What about in a situation where the ex says he no longer has feelings of love but still keeps in contact? He says he still believes I am “the one” but does not know why he doesn’t feel that excitement anymore. Is it possible to get one’s ex back? Does your ebook also address a situation like this?

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    • It is possible to get one’s ex back even when they say they no longer feel that “excitement” of the earlier days. But it will take a lot more work and often takes a lot longer.

      When the feeling of being in love (excitement) is still there, it means he/she has NOT lost interest in you as a person. What it means is that, for whatever number of reasons, he lost interest in being in the relationship. Your ONLY challenge is to get him/her interested in the relationship again.

      But when that feeling of excitement is gone (he/she has lost interest in you as a romantic interest), your challenge is two-fold. 1) get him/her to again be interested in you and 2) get him/her interested in a relationship with you.

      If there were negative feelings (anger reactions, words said or things done, acting needy and pathetic etc) during and after the break-up, your challenge is three-fold. 1) get him/her to want to talk to you, 2) get him/her interested in you again and 3) get him/her interested in a relationship with you.

      Dating Your Ex addresses 1) re-establishing contact, 2) getting your ex to warm up to you, and 3) demonstrating in words and actions what it’d be like to be in a relationship with you, if he/she decided to come back.

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  • I agree with this article and Yangki’s comment above.

    My ex-hub and I have been separated for almost a year, but as parents of two very beautiful kids, we see each other quite a lot. Lately, we’ve become even closer and all this is a result of lots of communication about what we each did, what we did not like about the other and what we can or can not put up with. We would not have arrived in this place in our relationship without communicating.

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  • Thank you Yangki for your quick response. So far I’ve been able to avoid the “hot” topics and we don’t fight that often. It’s just the silence and being a little uncomfortable just being around each other that I need help with.

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    • Avoiding the “hot” topics will help you avoid conflict/fights/arguments. That’s okay if your goal is a short term relationship, unfortunately it does little in terms of building trust and inspiring commitment. There will always be that “a little uncomfortable just being around each other” feeling because there is an elephant in the room.

      What I’m saying is, the things you fight about will not go away because you are not dealing with them. They just dig deeper and in time become “irreconcilable differences”. If you plan on the longer haul, better to work on being able to talk about those “hot” topics without getting “hot” yourselves.

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