4 Ways To Take It Slow With A Fearful Avoidant Ex (Try It, It Works)

If you are reading this article it means that you’ve probably heard or read that taking it slow is the best approach to getting back your ex. But what does taking it slow with your ex really mean? And how do you take it slow with a fearful avoidant ex when they act hot and cold?

What does it mean to take it slow with your ex really mean?

Taking it slow in anything means slowing the pace at which things are moving forward so that you can go further much. It does not mean completely disconnecting from your ex or stop trying to attract them back. It means:

  1. Instead of rushing through the process, you take one small step, see it’s impact and then take the next small step.
  2. Constantly asking yourself, “What can I say or do that will move my ex the smallest step towards them making a decision to get back together?”
  3. Not rushing your ex to make a decision that they are not ready to make and waiting until they’re ready to make one.

The most important part of taking things slow with your ex is “moving forward”.

If there is no movement because you are giving them ” space”, you are not taking it slow. Instead you are foot-dragging and not taking necessary action. As a result, you are nd missing opportunities to move things forward.

Taking it slow ensures that you are not getting far ahead of your ex’s feelings for you. It also ensures that you are not putting an enormous amount of pressure on your ex.

By taking small measured steps, you are able to see the effectiveness of what you are doing. In addition, you will be able to course-correct before things reach the point of no return.

The problem is if neither of you has any experience “taking things slow” you might want to take things slow but not know how. This is especially true if one or both you has attachment anxiety. Talking for hours in the initial stages, feels normal. And if your ex is a fearful avoidant leaning anxious, they may  respond positively. But then they pull away, or complain that you need more attention and time they can give you. You are left wondering, “but you were okay with it, even initiating most of the contact”.

But how does one take it slow with a fearful avoidant ex is?

When trying to attract back a fearful avoidant, they will from time to time withdraw from contact or respond but are cold and distant. Just remember that fearful-avoidants want and desire contact but fear getting no response or feeling rejected.

When they pull away, “giving them space” helps the part of them that needs to distance and that it a good thing, but it does not address the part of them that still needs connection.

In other words, if you give an avoidant “space”, they will appreciate the “space” but also feel rejected ad abandoned if during that time they reach out because they need connection. And when you give them more space than they needed, then reach out, they’ll be cautious and sometimes even resistant to emotionally opening up. To a fearful-avoidant opening up means getting close and getting close ends in rejection. But too much distance also means no closeness and that hurts, too.

Try to figure out a fearful avoidant’s pattern of closeness and distancing

Since each fearful avoidant is different in terms of how close they want to be, how they distance and for how long, it’s your responsibility to figure out their closeness-distancing pattern. So, you can set the pace for taking it slow.

What has worked best for my for my clients especially ones with an ex who is a fearful or dismissive avoidant is:

1. Do not “actively” try to get back together

For a month or two depending on what stage of the process you are in, don’t talk about the past (old relationship) and don’t talk about the future (getting back together). Just focus on the present –  emotionally connecting and getting to know each other all over. This is especially effective if one of you has reservations about trying the relationship again, or even staying in contact.

2. Have a plan

Don’t just go with the feelings of the moment especially if you have very strong sexual attraction. Instead plan when to go out. For example, plan on going on a date 2 weeks or a month from now if everything goes okay. If that goes well too, plan on another date if things keep going well… and so forth.

3. Live your life

Don’t start drastically changing your life just because things are going well at the moment. Do all the things you’ve been doing to make your life full and happy on your own, and schedule the “new relationship” with your ex to fit in, instead of the other way around.

4. Work with what your ex is comfortable with (and makes them feel safe)

This is especially important if your ex wants to be friends and see where things go. Do the things that friends would do together (see: 3 Ways Being Friends Can Get Back Your Ex).

RELATED:

How A Fearful Avoidant Ex Comes Back – A Detailed Analysis

What Makes A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Miss You And Come Back?

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131 Comments

  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: B R

    Hi Yangki, I had a few sessions with you 2 years ago and the biggest impact I’ve learned from you was when you said:
    “It sounds like you’re only providing security to your FA with the expectation they give you the same amount of safety back. A real secured person, while they may seek reciprocity, will not take it out on their partner if they are unable to give the same amount of security.”

    And boy you were 100% right. I’ve worked a lot on myself in the past two years, and found myself dating another FA.

    Things are going great with my new partner. I’ve become the emotional anchor in the relationship and have truly modeled what a secure relationship is like and am no longer swayed by my FAs inconsistencies and conflictions.

    I think the biggest change I found in myself is learning to ask 100% of my needs, 100% of the time, and giving my FA the chance and time to meet those needs.

    Thank you again for all that you do and for your impact in my life.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lori

    I am finally getting some positive movement forward. I moved across the country to instill some hope into our future. It was a risky move in a way. I had to be happy with my decision with or without him, and I was even when he seemed to respond initially very negatively to the pressure of my being here. Once he saw that I was creating a life of my own, he has relaxed and today finally asked me on a date. You prepared me for this Yangki, as I had two phone consultations with you where you strongly suggested that I create a life with my own friends and activities not relying on him for my needs. I hope to keep the same fun, pressure free vibe going on the date and after. We broke up twice before due to the long distance. Keeping in contact has been a big part of maintaining a connection. Big thank you for everything

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Yuen

    I never believed that going back to an ex was a wise decision, but it’s been different this time. I wanted her back and read every article you’ve written and also got your book. I’m glad to say that she has agreed to give me another chance.

    For everyone still trying to get your ex back, Yangki’s advice works. You just have to make sure to address the problems that led to the breakup and show her that you have changed. Another thing that you have to remember is that reading all of this advice isn’t the same as putting it into practice

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Vincent

    Your advice has definitely helped me a lot. I have been able to remain calm and not put pressure on her or talk about what happened. I just focused on what has been going on in her life, making an emotional connection and being honest with everything. Although we are not back together, she says she sees I have changed and are more positive. I wouldn’t have been able to change the way that she views me had I not come across your blog and book. I want you to know you are always appreciated. Thank you so much.

    1. I think you are on the right track. Changing the way your ex views you is the most important part of getting back together.

      Don’t worry too much about when you’ll get back together, keep taking the right steps and things will fall into place.

      All the very best!

    2. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      It’s always good to read stories like yours. I accept the thanks but as they say, any advice is only as good as the person using it.

      You made it happen for you. I am rooting for you… 🙂

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Stevo

    My story is similar except that I was the one who emotionally checked out of the relationship. When she saw that I wasn’t there for her, she stopped caring as well. We finally broke up, she did the breaking up. That’s when I realized how much I really loved my ex. I’ve since then apologized and doing everything to show her that I have changed (I’m following your book). She says she sees that I have changed and part of her wants to give us another chance, but she’s afraid of getting hurt again. How do I get her to the next step?

    1. Looks like she’s leaning more towards “yes” than “no”. Using the guidelines for the “trial period”, see if you can get her to agree to a couple of months “trial period”, and follow the steps on implementing this period.

      If she agrees to it, and you handle things well, she’ll eventually say “yes”.

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: JoeR

    I do feel like we are “just friends” at this point, but I do not want to push too hard and push her away. She knows I still have feelings for her, but if I push hard, she will off contact. Right now we have some contact which is good. I have also invited her out a couple of times and she has said yes both times but she was kind of acting distant. I had half-expected this. It’s been 6 months and I’m just not sure where to go from here. I think my best option is to just wait and hope that things change.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Things will not change without you doing anything to change them. I think that your problem is not that you do not know what to do, your greatest obstacle is that you are too afraid to take any action because you are afraid of losing her.

      I’ve seen so many men and women like you, tip-toe around their ex for months, only to be told “I met someone else”… then the same people get upset that they were led on/used.

      1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Kweni

        Yangki. Thank you so much. I believe that No Contact doesnt work at all. Instead of making the heart grow fonder, it makes the heart find another. When my ex tried to communicate with me I immediately reached out to her. We are now seeing each other, having over nights and stuff… And we are still intimate. I guess all you need to do is prove to them that you can always do better.

        1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

          You are right. You need to prove that you can always do better, be better. You can’t do that when you are not talking to each other.

          I hope you can make it work this time around. All the best.

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: JoeR

    Right now I’m giving her space but keeping the lines of communication open. She says she just wants to hang out a few times as friends and also says if I want to see other people she does not mind. We’re both in our 30s if that helps.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      I hope you do not give her too much “space” because sometimes “too much space” can lead to things settling into “just friends”.

      As the article says, you must consistently DO what moves your ex towards making a decision to get back together. People don’t fall in love (again) just because you are giving them ‘space’. What makes people fall in love is words and actions that make them FEEL they are in love, again.

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Dayna

    I bought your book last week and it has really helped. We had our first date last night and had a great time. We hadn’t seen each other for a while and I was prepared for things to be somewhat awkward. After our date, I sent her a text telling her I had a wonderful time and wished her goodnight. She immediately replied saying it was nice to see me again and also wished me goodnight. This morning I woke up to a text from her. This is the second time she’s initiated contact since we reconnected two months ago. I don’t want to rush anything but also don’t want to make huge mistakes. My question to you is, do I now let her initiate most of the contact?

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      It’s never a good idea to let someone initiate most of the contact. That’s giving them too much control over the relationship. Besides, she’s only initiated contact once, who is to say she’ll do it again.

      At this point, continue doing what you have been doing until she is initiating contact as much as you are doing or slightly more. The more engaged she is, the better.

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mesak R

    This website has made me more self-aware and act in ways that are emotionally stronger, more honest and more caring. She broke up with me and in retrospective I can see why. I am not trying to “actively” get her back but showing her I still love her and interested in dating her again. She seems more open to this, and also going on a date a months from now (technically 2.5 weeks remaining).

  10. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Aisel

    I’m getting closer to my ex again. The reason for the break up was he didn’t want to be in a relationship because we were fighting all the time. I went limited contact for a month but he was only responding to some of my texts. He didn’t initiate any contact. I started showing him I changed and we stopped fighting and arguing like we used to. He has started acting like how he was when I first met him and seems more open to talking to me and telling me stuff. I’m trying not to jump to conclusions and rebuilding what was lost by starting a NEW relationship.

  11. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Linet

    The breakup for me has been a huge eye opener! I realized that i’d really just lost myself and was needy and clingy. He wanted space and we broke up. But we kept in touch because we just care for the other very much. I have been making many changes and I can see it’s making him want to come around but very slowly. This is really very hard but I think that I have a very good chance.

    1. LOVE DOCTOR, YANGKI AKITENGLOVE DOCTOR, YANGKI AKITENGsays: LOVE DOCTOR, YANGKI AKITENG

      If you’ve made changes, he’s noticed them and is coming around… I too think you have a very good chance… 🙂

  12. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Gulio

    Hi Love Doctor, is her sending me a photograph and asking what I think an emotional bid for connection? I’m still trying to get the hang of it, I think it is but not sure 🙂

    Btw, your book is amazing, i’ve learned sooo much. Thank you and keep up the good work.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Yes, it is an emotional bid for connection…:)

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s people like you open to learning new ways of loving that make it worthwhile.

  13. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Randy

    Yangki, I spoke with you about a month ago. I have been keeping things easy light and fun and she has initiated small conversations everyday. She even started calling me for small chats. I am concerned about the rapid pace at which things have moved and scared that I may move things too fast and then have that abrupt stop you talk about. Do you think I need to be worried.

    1. Any progress means something is working, and that’s good. But you are right, if you feel that things are moving too fast, they probably are.

      Use the advice in the book on how to slow things down a little without causing any alarms. If you abruptly slow things down or slow them down too much, she may think you are pulling away and shut down again or pull away herself.

  14. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: diane

    5 months after the break up and constant communication i talked to my ex about still having feelings for him… he said he didn’t know if we should get back together but kissed me and hugged me for hours. we met again after that and the same thing happened… i think i’m on the right path but feel anxious about what he’s thinking. should i ask him or just wait patiently?

  15. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Anja

    I found your site seven months ago when I just broke up with my ex. It was the toughest time of my life but your words and advice gave me comfort and hope. I started all over again to slowly build our relationship. Step by step, day after day things got better and better. I finally created enough momentum to ask him if he wanted to get back together. He said yes. So we are back together. I know if it wasn’t for your advice things could have turned out differently. I am truly grateful.

  16. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Walt

    Yangki, best advice I got from your book was not to be too bothered if she says “lets be just friends”. I turned it around and used it to my advantage. I flirt and touch her and make jokes about it being a friend thing to do. It seems to relax her and last night she initiated a kiss on the mouth and then said “it’s a friend thing to do’. I don’t know if this means anything, but it feels real good to just be relaxed and be myself with her again. Am I on the right path?

    1. Yes! You’re on the right path.

      The fact that she not only initiated the kiss but used your own joke on you is a good sign. Like you said, she seems relaxed around you and that’s always good.

      Some distance to go, but on the right path for sure.

  17. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jerome

    Hi Yanki,

    I like your book! My ex and I are dating again and texting every day. Though most of the contact is initiated by me, it seems like she is opening up to me again. Im working on myself to fix the issues that made her break up with me. Seems like everything is going well wouldnt you agree? Here is the thing, My ex is going on a holiday in three weeks with her sister, wich probably means the frequency of our contact will change. What do you advise i should do?

  18. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Monet

    He said that he still loves and may be we will get back together someday but right now he wants to be just friends that don’t talk every day. We talk a couple times a week and hang out once a week. His friends tell me they think he still loves me and wants to be with me but I feel like I’m getting mixed signals. What do you think?

    1. I think that he’s being honest about how he feels about you and is leaving the door open for a reconciliation. But at the same time he feels the need to set clear boundaries about how much contact he wants because he thinks you will be contacting him every day if he does not set clear boundaries. My guess is you have acted needy and clingy in the past.

  19. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Barbara

    I have been talking it slow with my ex. I don’t initiate contact and don’t ask him many questions about his life. But I feel like he’s pulling further away. The last time he initiated contact was 6 days ago. Some days I wish he just told me he no longer has feelings for me so I can move on.

  20. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Deanne

    I’m really glad I started reading the articles here. Not that I’m any closer to getting my ex back, but it made me realize all the things I was doing wrong. I’m glad we were able to stay connected and occasionally see each other but I sometimes freak out when he pulls back and it’s caused some unpleasant exchanges. I need to chill and accept that we’re not together and not expect to be talking with him every day, or even every other day.

  21. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jattu

    Yangki, I’m following the advice in your book and giving him whatever emotional space he needs but maintaining contact and trying to get to know each other again. We’ve had a couple of great dates. I think that I am different and he is different and we have enough of what initially drew us together to make it work. There are still many things that need changing but I am hopeful.

  22. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Airisha

    Yangki, thank you for your honest response. I want to still try to see if we can make it work because I want to believe he’s just genuinely unable to give me what I want/need.

  23. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Airisha

    My ex and I started dating again. We agreed we would take it slow and not rush into it again. But I feel like we are growing apart instead. At the start we saw each other at least 2x a week and texted 1-2 x a day. Now we only text every once in a while and it’s all initiated by me. We don’t go out on dates. Am I wrong to assume that he is not interested? I don’t want to waste my time. Please advise. thanks.

  24. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lorrita

    Yangki, I have gone over what you have written and believe that I have taken away a lot from this article. We were together for 13 years and have a 9 year daughter. Our relationships has had many ups and downs including 8 breakups. 6 months ago he moved out because he wasn’t happy. It was a quite breakup, no screaming and such. Because he comes to the house to see our daughter, we see each other every day. This past weekend we had a long talk and for the first time really opened up to each other. We agreed that we will try dating each other again but take things very slowly. But since our talk, he seems to have pulled away. Is this normal?

    1. Yes and no. Sometimes after the kind of talk you had, one or both people might need space to reflect on what was said, how they feel about it, and what they are going to do going forward. This usually lasts a few hours or few days.

      It becomes a concern if it takes weeks, and if it happens too often to the extent that you’re growing more disconnected than connected.

      Wait and see if he re-engages and when he does, if you feel more connected or disconnected.

  25. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Chad77

    I want to communicate regularly but would also like a little space but my ex sends me texts everyday, even when I don’t respond, she keeps texting me. We didn’t contact each other for 8 weeks after the breakup which btw she initiated because I asked for space and she decided it was better to just breakup. She is also the one that initiated no contact, and also initiated the first text saying she missed me. I love my ex but can’t handle her needy texts. What do you suggest I do, doc?

    1. There is not much you can do with someone who doesn’t know how to be close without suffocating the other person. Given her actions before and after the breakup, it’s either too much contact or no contact for her.

      You can try talking to her about how much contact you are comfortable with, set very clear boundaries and every time she crosses the line, remind her what you talked about.

      Hopefully this will help.

  26. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Grains

    I asked her if she was open to the possibility of it getting back together and she said, “yes”. I guess I’m getting impatient because of how long it’s taking.

  27. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Grains

    It’s definitely hard to take things slow when what you want is for everything to happen right away. She says she still loves me and we hang out but she wants to go with the flow and figure it out with time. I don’t want to jump back into a relationship, it’s been 5 months and I guess I’m getting impatient. To be fair, I made so many mistakes initially and it set me back a couple of months. I’m happy with where we are now, I just wish I knew when she’d be ready.

  28. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Genrich

    Yangki, before reading your articles I believed that getting back together after she’s told you she lost feelings for you was impossible. My thinking was I did my best and if it wasn’t enough then may be it was not meant to be. After deciding I should at least try instead regretting it for the rest of my life I reached out to her. We had a talk. I’ll just sum it up. She gave me the impression that I could win her back but wants be friends first. My plan is not to pressure her with getting back together and show her that I can handle being friends.

  29. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lisa

    Hi I’m in a similar boat as Mariangela. We were texting and flirting and it felt like things were heading to getting back together. 2 weeks ago I felt him pulling back and becoming more closed off now. We were still texting everyday and seeing each other 2-3 times a week but he is not as open as before. I think that he’s scared to let things become a relationship again so quickly. What do you think?

  30. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Makari

    For weeks my ex has been initiating brief contact with me. Mostly its just simple texts checking up my day and other times he sends me youtube videos he thinks I’ll get a chuckle out of. Last night he sent me “I miss you”. I’m trying not to get my hopes up. I know reading your site and book not to take his contact as anything other than him getting comfortable with talking to me again.

  31. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mariangela

    I’ve been following your book and have made progress. We are spending more time together but also giving each other space. However this last Saturday he told me we should be friends because he’s not ready for a relationship with anyone. He says he still loves me but at this point in his life he just wants to relax and see how things go. I know I pressured him too much for a commitment (I’m 34 and he’s 33) and that’s why we broke up. I don’t want to pressure him again but just don’t know what to do or how to act.

    1. Things started moving forward faster than he’d like and this is his way of putting breaks to it.

      As mentioned in the book, there is no reason to panic. As long as he’s still open to contact and to possibility, you are good.

      Follow the advice on “strategic thinking, tactical action” and also on “going slow to go fast”, and you’ll continue to make progress without creating any pressure.

  32. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: RayGB

    Things have been great between my ex and I. We talk like old friends via text messages and phone calls. We also have been out on 2 dates in the last month. It’s a complete 180 degrees turn from two months ago. My strategy is simple, build emotional momentum and show her I have changed.

  33. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Unique

    I am happy that many people here seem to be working things out with their exes. My situation is that we are still living together although we have been broken up for two months. We fell into a routine and it made her rethink a future together. I was lucky to have come across Yangki’s blog before I fell for the no contact rule. We are civil towards each other and occasionally she acts like we were before. I’m taking account all the things that she has said to me in order to come up with a better plan to make things work.

    1. It complicates things a little if you are still living together, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t make it work. Sometimes living together can actually work to your advantage because she can see you changing before her very eyes. Changes one can see are usually more convincing than ones that one is told about.

      You can do it… but if at any time you need help coming up with a plan, I’m happy to work with you via phone.

  34. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Janet

    Yangki, I find your advice comforting and make it a point to visit your blog every time I feel discouraged by what my friends tell me about my ex. He wasn’t the best boyfriend but he has since changed and we are both trying to be better partners for the other. Because of our history, we have decided to take things slow now that we both realize how much hard work goes into making a good relationship. I just wish my friends saw what I see.

    1. I think your friends mean well, after all they care about you. The problem is if you start to listen to what they say, you will begin to believe it yourself and start seeing what is not there, or seeing things in a negative way.

      My advice is listen to what they have to say, thank them for their concerns and support, but tell them that “matters of your heart” is something that only you can make decisions about.

  35. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mara

    Yangki, thank you for your articles. They make a lot of sense to me. This is the first time I ever tried so hard to get back my ex and it’s harder than I ever imagined it to be. I am a pretty confident woman but here I feel like I’m flailing about. The more I read your articles the more I realize that i need to make him feel safe and trust me with his heart again. He’s still very much guarded but I’m noticing some progress. Just wanted to add my voice to the many others who appreciate your dedication and wisdom.

  36. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Naz

    I agree with everyone who say this is the best advice for getting back your ex. I went from her saying she does not want contact to let’s try being just friends for a month and plans to go on a real date 30 days from now. One more week to go and so far things are going great, really great I must say. Listen to Yangki, people!

  37. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Iris

    Yangki, the best advice I have received from you is 1. follow your heart and do what you feel is right for you, 2. talk it out with your ex. I followed my heart and did not do no contact, and I asked my ex to sit down and tell me why he felt he did not want to continue with the relationship. I used your approach not to be confrontational and make him defensive and instead told him knowing would help me better myself. At first he said there was nothing wrong with me, but he eventually gave me the real reason he left me. I said thank you. Then I told him i want us to remain in contact. Yangki, it was like a load had been lifted from both of us immediately. We both felt at ease with each other and this is how things have been for the last 3 weeks. I know we are a long ways from getting back together, but it feels so good texting and talking to each other without any hard feelings and no pressure to restart anything. Just wanted to say thank you for all you are doing on behalf of love.

  38. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Amaal

    Yangki, you probably don’t remember me since you work with so many people. I contacted you 3 months ago for a couple of emergency sessions about my ex and you told me to take things slow because my chances were very good. I thought I’d give a little update.

    We had our first date over a month ago and have had 4 dates in total since. We enjoy each others company and our communication has improved so much. Neither of us has brought up the past but I feel that there are things that we absolutely need to get past to move to the next level. My question is, at what point do I bring up the past?

    1. First of all, I am happy for you. Four dates is definitely progress …:)

      If you think that you can talk about those things without stirring up the unwanted emotions from the past, then do it to move on from it. Just make sure that you talk about it, put it past you and move on.

      All the very best.

  39. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Troy

    Yangki, I can’t begin to describe how much your posts have helped me. She ended the relationship because we were not compatible with one another but said she wants to be friends. At first it was uncomfortable being friends but we seem to have that figured out now. In my heart, I know we are not friends because she flirts with me and shows that she’s still attracted to me. I can only pray that things will eventually work out thanks to your advice. A long road, but I’m proud of myself 🙂

  40. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Nathan

    Yangki, you probably don’t remember me. I contacted you a few weeks back for a couple of emergency sessions about my ex and you told me to take things slow because my chances were very good. I thought I’d give a little update. I am having lunch with her tomorrow. This is our first face to face meeting since the breakup 4 months ago. I had previously asked her out but she turned me down saying she didn’t think it was a good idea. I agreed with her and kept it to text and phone calls for the past 5 weeks.

    I’m a little nervous and hope that she does not cancel on me. I simply asked her if she’d like to meet up sometime and she said tomorrow would be good. She always follows through on commitments and keeping my fingers crossed. Will let your know how things turn out.

  41. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Alta Moda

    My ex broke it off over a month ago. I was thinking of doing no contact when I came across your site. We have maintained contact 2 -3 times a week. We mostly talk about what’s happening in each other’s live, but once in a while talk about our 4 year relationship. We both agree that maintaining contact was the right thing. The more we talk, the more clearer things become. I still miss him very much but I don’t know if he’s what I want, and he’s not sure about what he wants. We have agreed to maintain contact as we both figure out what it is we want. I just wish we had been this open and honest with each other before the breakup

    1. At times like this (when everything is uncertain), hindsight can be exactly what you need to put your life into perspective.

      Take as much time as you need to figure out exactly what it is you want and also to work on yourself. This is so important whether you later decide you want to try to get him back or move on to find someone new. Whatever has not been dealt with, will show up and mess things up AGAIN!

  42. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lauren

    My ex has on and off depression which has affected our relationship over the past 4 years. In March he broke up with me again because he said he didn’t want to be a burden to me. That he cared a lot about me to steal my chances for happiness. I told him I was happiest when I was with him but he said it was best to take a break until he felt better. My therapist advised me to do no contact but I felt that it would send a wrong message that I don’t care. I kept in no pressure contact and after 3 weeks he asked me out on a date. We both agreed that we wanted us to work out. He said he didn’t want us to stop trying. We are planning to see a couples therapist in a couple of weeks.

    I wanted to share my story, hopefully it’ll give hope to others going through the same thing.

  43. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Dreson

    Hi Yangki, I’m using your book Dating Your Ex and must say it’s the best one in the market. I read many of the other books but still could not get my ex to talk to me. I applied the advice in your book and used the script on when an ex wants no contact and after 3 weeks, I got a reply saying she appreciates that I respected her wish. Things moved on from there rather smoothly. We’ve been through “the conversation” and now I’m in the “Waiting Phase” with her. I know you mention in your book that sometimes things we expect to happen don’t happen and those we expect to happen happen and that we should look for opportunities instead of focusing on the obstacles. But I’m meeting obstacle after obstacle with my ex. I really need help here, some kind of encouragement or advice?

    1. I hear you… and thanks for not crowding my blog with the list of obstacles you’re encountering with your ex.

      Obstacles are part of the process. In fact if things go “too smoothly”, it means that some issues are not being addressed, and they’ll show up later when you get back together and cause problems or even another breakup. If she’s expressing her reservations openly, talk about them openly and honestly. If she’s not, then try to get to the emotional reason behind her hesitation and find “cooperative/collaborative” ways to go around it instead of trying to blast through it. Force only creates counter- resistance… it’s a losing battle every time.

      I’m happy to go through those obstacles in a phone conversation.

      You are so close, don’t lose hope… (:

  44. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Kristen

    Thought the situation is a bit different in that my ex and I have recently gotten back together after being a part for two years, thanks for your insights on taking things slowly and what that practically looks like. One of the problems we had in the past was taking things too fast due to being “head over heels” for each other and neither of us want to repeat that this time around. I guess you could say that we’re both assessing what went wrong as not to repeat the past. Thanks for the reminder and practical insight here on the importance and reason behind taking things slowly.

  45. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ally

    Yangki, what I’m learning from this is that patience is key. If you force your feelings on your ex too quickly, they will react negatively to it and distance themselves from you before you even have a chance to try anything.

  46. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Effie

    We both went into this wanting to get back together but realized that rushing it just isn’t a good idea for either of us. Since two weeks ago, we’ve seen each other a few times and have a lot of fun together. Generally we both like how things are right now. If we are to get back together, we wouldn’t want many things to change very much.

  47. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Kara

    Yangki, I posted here a while ago about my ex and you gave me very good advice. I bought your book and started to rebuild communication. It took sometime but it seems that we have made some progress. We go out on dates and have spent more time together than we did just before the breakup. Last night however, I may have messed up. Out of the blue he asked if I wanted us to get back together. I fumbled and said something like, “isn’t that obvious?”. He simply saying “I guess” and I asked him if that’s what he wanted, and he said he doesn’t know. I think I pushed hard. After sleeping on it, I wrote him a long apology email and he replied with a text, “no worries.” Later we texted as if nothing had happened but I can sense him distancing a little. How bad did I mess up?

    1. On a scale of 1 – 10, probably 6. It’s normal for him to pull back a little, but not too much. Don’t let panic make you do something even worse. You have apologized, give him time to process how he feels about it. Maintain contact but pace it with how he responds, until things pick up again.

  48. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Trinny

    This was a great article. Something I have done with my ex is to just relax and let everything evolve organically. We were together for almost 2 years and I rushed the relationship before he was ready. Looking back I realize that I didn’t feel secure within myself and that was causing me to want to rush him. I feel much more at ease and able to go with the flow of things. My ex is picking up on the release of pressure and things are better than they have ever been.

  49. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Camille

    Yangki, first of all, I want to thank you for your great insight and advice. I’ve been reading your blog daily and also bought your book. My ex and I agreed to take things slow, spend time to get to know each other. However, things moved too quickly to a point where she was spending nights at my place almost every night. Then I noticed that she was starting to pull away. She wasn’t responding to my texts and was in a hurry to hang up. We spoke a lot about what was happening and she said she wanted to take things slow. That’s when I bought your book. I’ve kept contact to 1-2 texts a day and she texts once or twice a day. Our conversations full of content and emotions. She’s clearly trying to process the new relationship and I’m doing everything to show her that I’m okay with her taking her time.

  50. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: LarryM

    Yangki, we’re still in the initial stages where she still wants to focus on herself and be single. She wants to keep communication open and see where things go from there. Is this a case of her wanting to have her cake and eat it too? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    1. It may well be, and it may also be that she doesn’t want to rush into anything right now. The more important question is, can you wait until she’s ready to start “dating” (you) again? If you are then, use this time to improve on yourself and to show her that you are the one for her. If not, cut your losses and move on.

  51. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Tony63

    I agree that you do not advice on not contacting her unless she contacts me. I will start to initiate contact but not do it too much. You also said to check to make sure my feelings are aligned with hers. She broke up with me because I was not being the boyfriend she expected of me, so her feelings for me were dying. I know she hasn’t got those feelings back, but my feelings for her are strong as ever. Does that mean we have no chance?

    1. I do not know enough about your relationship to answer your question.

      When you are the one trying to get your ex back, it’s reasonably expected that your feelings for him/her will be stronger than his/her feelings for you. The “pressure” comes from you trying to get her to feel the way you feel about her. As long as you are not asking for more (attention, time, space, contact, closeness, reassurance, love, trust, commitment etc) from her than she is ready or willing to give you, you’ll be okay.

  52. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Tony63

    I have been reading all the comments and just want to make sure I’m doing things right. I set the pace by not contacting her unless she contacts me first. A couple of weeks ago after she contacted me about some information she wanted, I asked her if we could meet and talk in person and she didn’t respond. I sent her the information she needed but have not asked her out again. As you said in your article it was probably too early and spending time together will only bring back the bad memories. How much time do you recommend before asking her out? I was thinking a month?

    1. The advice and approach to getting back your ex you are using is definitely NOT the one I write about because there is nothing in my advice (articles and book) that says “do not contact unless she contacts you first”. I’ve seen it advised in some sites but it’s not something I’d advice.

      As the article says, taking it slow doesn’t mean staying away. It simply means not putting more pressure, expectations or demands on the relationship than is reasonable for where things are. The only way you can do that (also mentioned in the article) is by regularly checking with yourself to make sure that your feelings, expectations, words and actions are aligned with your ex’s feelings, expectations, words and actions.

  53. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: KYla

    Yangki, I realized reading your blog and book that I have been rushing my ex and he’s been pushing back. I have started to gradually reduce my texts and calls to a few a day and he is responding very positively. Thank you for all you do!

  54. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Joy

    Hi Yangki, ex and I never set any contact rules. I just let him know where I stand and told him he could call me anytime. After two weeks he messaged me asking what I’m doing. We’ve been talking 3 -4 times a week and have been on 2 dates. He says he wants to continue to see me and spend time with me but he wants things to progress slowly. I just wish I knew how slow he wants to take things. I could use some advice. Thanks

    1. I don’t think anyone other than him can tell you exactly how slow he wants to take things. I assume slower than the pace things have been going. But it’s best to ask him since he’s the only one who knows what he’s comfortable with.

  55. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ingrid

    This was just what I needed to read and at the right time. I tend to obsess over every single thing and what it means instead of taking this as a new opportunity to learn and grow. I just need to try to calm down and not worry so much.

  56. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jey

    I’m reading your book every day and have been doing great the last 1 month. We were talking everyday for hours but last week I noticed that she was pulling away. I asked her if we could talk about it and we met Friday night. She said things are moving too fast and she’s afraid that we’ll fall back into the same old pattern. We talked and laughed then went home. I didn’t call or text her. She called me last night, and I told her I was backing off to give her some space. She got quite and ended the call shortly after that. Before this everything was great and I don’t want to ruin it. I guess this “moving too fast” is throwing me off.

    1. Telling someone you are backing off or giving them space even meant with the best of intentions is always NOT a good idea, unless someone has directly asked for “space”.

      Since you’ve signed for a phone session, we can talk in more detail how to course -correct and keep things moving forward.

  57. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Wayne

    Reading Lee and Katie’s comments made me smile for them. Your stories gave me hope.

    I’m 35 and she’s 28. She called it off 6 months ago because I was being overly clingy and smothered her. Following the breakup I begged and pleaded and that only pushed her farther away. I’ve since been following Yangki’s advice and I believe I am very close to getting back together. I have made the changes I needed to and improved other aspects of my life. She tells me she still loves me but wants to take one step at a time. We went to dinner last night and we’re meeting up again in 3 days.

    Keep the rest of us in your prayers and best of luck with your relationships.

  58. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Christa

    Thank you for your honest opinion. The answer is no, he’s not that type. He’s a pretty straightforward guy. I’d like to ask one more question. Should I be worried that he’s not sure about what he wants?

    1. You’ve only been “hanging out” for 5 weeks, he’s just getting to know you again. The fact that he’s told you he wants to get back together too is a strong positive sign. Give the new relationship a chance to grow and blossom. As you can see from the stories of those who got back their ex, it takes time… a period of taking the right steps slowly. You just have to know which steps to take and when.

  59. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Shay

    Yangki,
    I want to thank you for the resources you provide. I didn’t relate to the advice given by friends and other sites to play games and manipulate my ex into coming back, especially because our break-up was amiable. Over the past 6 months I have followed your advice and my ex and I are a couple again! Our relationship feels like a new adventure and we are both very positive because of the personal work we have done on ourselves. We seem to understand each other better now than we ever did. I am so grateful for the guidance you gave on this blog and in your e-book. Thank you.

    1. Congratulations! It takes a certain kind of person to get their ex back without using mind games and manipulation… the personal work you both did certainly paid off.

      It’s people like you who make what I do worthwhile. THANK YOU RIGHT BACK!!!!

      Take care of yourselves… and each other.

  60. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Christa

    Yangki, my ex broke up with my ex I January saying he wasn’t in love with me, but I took the advice on your blog and book. We kept in contact while I worked on myself. Over the last 3 months we just texted each other. I texted him and he texted me. If I didn’t text him, he’d text me. 5 weeks ago, we started hanging out, first it was once every week, then it was once every few days. I mentioned to him that I wanted us to get back together and he said he still loved me too, and wanted us to get back together too. But this seems to change from week to week. He says he has issues that he needs to work on before we get back together. Do you think he wants to get back together or just stringing me a long? Please give me your honest opinion.

    1. It’s possible that he’s being honest about wanting more time to work on his issues. I also think that for whatever reason, he’s not sure about what he wants. This is why his mind changes from week to week.

      But that’s just my opinion. You know your ex better, do you think he’s the type to string you along?

    1. Excellent question. When you are taking things slow, things are moving along but at a slower pace than you’d probably have wanted.

      If on the other hand nothing has changed over a period of time of actively trying to change things (in my experience 1 – 3 months), and you feel like you are trying harder and harder, and getting less and less positive response, chances are you’re wasting your time.

      The reason (or reasons) for less and less positive response varies from relationship to relationship. In my experience, most people know when they are wasting their time, some just have a harder time accepting that it’s indeed over.

  61. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Nakita

    I found this article because I am confused about my ex’s actions. We were together for 2 years and broke up 5 month ago. I didn’t contact him after the breakup and he contacted me many times but I didn’t not respond. He kept contacting me every few weeks, and after 3 months, I eventually responded. We started hanging out and spent much time together mainly initiated by him. He now says he wants to take things slow and I’m not sure what it really means. I have stopped contacting him and he asked me to hangout with him, but i said I had other plans. I enjoy spending time with him and miss him very much, but I also don’t want him to feel that I’m not respecting his wish.

    1. Going slow doesn’t mean not contacting him or not spending time together. Going slow means things are moving at a pace that your ex is not comfortable with and they want to slow it down a little. He may be worried that things might be getting too serious too quickly.

      In my book, the fact that he wants to take things slow is actually a good thing because it says he is emotionally invested and open to the possibility of getting back together. He just wants to keep things in perspective, and realistic.

  62. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Myles

    Yangki, I told my ex that I had spent so much time thinking about why we didn’t work out and wanted us to start afresh. She said we could start as friends but that friendships takes a while to build up. I am working on making her feel attracted to me again and she’s showing all the 5 signs you wrote in your article about an ex becoming interested. In your book, you said to test to see if she wants to get back together before asking her, but since we’re technically still friends does the advice still apply in my situation?

    1. The 5 signs in the article are signs of interest. Showing interest doesn’t necessarily mean the person wants to get back with you.

      The signs in the article are different from the signs under section/step “Is It time to talk?”. These tell you your ex is thinking about getting back together, or at least ready to talk about it. If she’s showing all the signs listed, then go ahead and use either the “direct” or “soft” approach depending on what you are comfortable with.

      In my experience however, if you are still technically “friends”, chances are she’s not showing all the signs. You’d be risking undoing everything you’ve worked hard to achieve up to this point if you rush things before she’s ready.

      Instead focus more of your energy and time on moving things out of the “friendship zone”, using the advice in the book. You’ve got to complete that step before you can go to the next one.

  63. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Pat

    Its been almost 2 months since my ex and started speaking again. She seems to want to take things kind of slow this time but I feel like I’m getting mixed signals. Last Friday, I tried to kiss her and she said she was not ready, but later the same night we fooled around a bit, she initiated it. Here is where it gets confusing. I sent her a text Saturday morning and she didn’t respond. She usually responds immediately or within an hour. I sent another one in the evening ,”hey, I hope everything is ok.”. I didn’t get a response to that one either. I didn’t send anything on Sunday. This morning I get a text from her, “I need some time to think about what I want.” I sent her back, “I understand”. She texted back asking me how was my weekend. We are texting again like nothing happened. I don’t know what to make of all this. Please help?

    1. If this is a one-time thing, she probably just felt bad about fooling around after she had said she wasn’t ready.

      You are back to the level of contact you had before, so let it slide. Don’t bring it up unless she does. Going forward, don’t get physically intimate for a while, even if she initiates it. You’ve seen what can happen. Move to the next step only if there is a change/momentum.

  64. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Hoober

    This article is very helpful. My ex and I started talking again a month ago. Things are going really well. We text each other several times a day and see each other every other day. She acts normal around me and we have fun together. We’re definitely more than friends because sometimes conversations get flirty and very sexual. Obviously, it’s still early to tell, but we want to take it slow and rebuild our relationship slowly.

    1. It’s great that you reconnected and things are going really well.

      Texting each other several times a day and seeing each other every other day after only a month of contact however, isn’t taking it slow. Unless you are spending 90% of that time working on what drove you apart, those unresolved problems will creep up again once the excitement of reconnecting settles down.

  65. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lillycup

    My ex broke up with me but is acting the same way he was when we were together. He still calls to check up on me and is there for me when I need someone to talk to. The reason we broke up was he wasn’t happy with the way his life was, I didn’t support him and became very needy. We chat over a text almost everyday and a few times on the phone. He initiates contact over 80% of the time. I should also mention that he is seeing a therapist about some issues from his past, just bought a home and also looking for a better job. I don’t think he’s ready to get back into a relationship right now.

    I don’t want to do no contact. I want to give us the best chance we’ve got. I’ve read so much advice on getting your ex back and your approach resonates with me best. I also just bought your book and started reading it. My question is, do I let him initiate most of the contacts and when do I bring up “maybe we should try again”?

    1. There are many positive things going for you, and I think your ex genuinely cares about you.

      Continue letting him initiate most of the contact, but try to strive for 60/40. You don’t want him to start feeling like he’s doing all the work and give up in frustration. Also don’t let things get “too familiar” that it feels like the old relationship. You will find the advice on how to make sure things feel new and fresh in the book.

      As for the “maybe we should try again” conversation, I have listed in the book some indicators that tell you “it’s time”. Based on what you’ve written here, that time is not right now.

      For the time being, keep working on getting closer and showing him that a better relationship is possible.

      I strongly suggest that you first read the book to the end, then come back to those sections that apply to your situation. It’s easier to implement the steps when you know how they build on each other.

  66. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lee

    After reading countless posts on this blog i just had to say that I disciplined myself to put the words into action and have successfully rekindled with my ex. After a month of very light contact and another month of the two step forward-one step back dance, I built up enough emotional momentum for us to agree to start over, work on fixing anything that troubled us from our last relationship, and build a new one.

    Two years and nine months was worth fighting for, especially since we were friends for so long beforehand

    1. Congratulations on getting back your ex, Lee.

      You really took the message of “emotional momentum” to heart and it paid off.

      You are so right. It’s all about being disciplined enough to see it to the end.

      I’m very happy for you…(:

  67. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Marty

    What do you mean by “my experience is that if someone feels strongly things will not work out, they are usually right?” I want things to work to between us so badly, I just don’t see how when she keeps going hot and cold

    1. What I mean is that in my experience when someone is afraid that things will not work out, they usually don’t work out. It’s hard to see a way out because all you see is “obstacles”, and your actions and reactions follow suit. Even when the opportunity to actually take things to a different direction presents itself, you will fail to seize on it because all your focus, energy and time is on why it will not work out.

      The real tragedy is that, the things that stress us out the most are usually things we have no control over. The things we can actually control and can change, are ignored or do not get that much attention — often to our own peril.

  68. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Candy

    My ex and I were best friends before we became a couple and remained best friends after we broke up over a year ago. The breakup has had no effect on our friendship. It seems that we actually have become closer. For the last couple of weeks we’ve talked about giving the relationship another chance. The feelings are obviously still there on both sides. My concern is that it didn’t work out before, how do I know it won’t work out again?

    1. Unfortunately, you don’t. Like everything else in life, there are no guarantees when it comes to relationships.

      The beautiful thing about yours is that even if it doesn’t work out again, your wonderful friendship will remain intact.

      I say go for it. I actually think things will be much better this time round. That is, hoping that you know why it didn’t work out before and have done what you need to do to make sure the new relationship will be better than the old one.

  69. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mayuron

    My ex and I were together I yr as friends and 3 yrs as a couple. In the last year of our relationship, she emotionally checked out on me. I did everything I could to try to make the relationship work but she just wasn’t interested. It’s been a yr and some months since we broke up and she says she wants another chance. She acknowledges that I did the best I could and says she wants to work at the relationship as hard as I did. I’ve dated 2 other women since breaking up with my ex, but it’s always been her. I was thinking of telling her I want us to take things very slow and see what happens, but all my friends and family say I should not take her back. Am I just being led by my emotions? Please be honest with me, I really need independent advice from someone I trust and respect.

    1. Normally, I’d say that’s up to you… your heart, your life. But if you still have feelings for her and she’s willing to put in the work needed to make a relationship work, I say give it a chance. But don’t just say “okay, let’s do it”. Take it slow and communicate a lot about how things will be different, how she plans to make them different and how it’s all going to work.

      If it’s just empty words she’s giving you (has no plan on how to make it work and has not made the necessary changes for things to be better), be rest assured that after you get back together, things will go back to you doing all the work. Not worth it!

  70. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ted

    I have been trying to get my ex back for 2 months. I tried all the other advice including “no contact” and nothing seemed to work. I came across your blog and read that you can’t just pick up where you left off. Now I’m trying to ease into things again and I’m seeing a lot of difference. We are getting to know each other again and it seems that she’s willing to take time and talk to me about everything. I however still go through the occasional frustration when I wish things moved a lot faster. Is this normal?

  71. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Carly

    Yangki, what about when your ex says he loves you but doesn’t know if he wants to get back together with you. How do you know if he just wants to take it slow or is playing mind games?

    1. Someone who just wants to take it slow is engaged — responds, initiates contact, is open to spending time with you, they are just not ready to commit to anything yet.

      Someone who is playing mind games does none of that, and if they do, it’s so random and without any sincere engagement. You get that feeling in your gut that you are being used somewhat… for whatever.

      This might help: 5 Common Signs A Man Or Woman Is Playing You

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