How Do I Get My Ex To Become Emotionally Engaged?

open-fun-couple-emotionally-engaging-with-your-exQuestion: Yangki, I love your advice. All the other advice as you say encourages disconnection rather than connection. I know, I followed that advice and treated my now ex badly, and he completely disconnected from the relationship. I’m trying to rebuild that connection we lost and your advice has been very helpful. My question is, can you elaborate a little on the differences between accessibility, availability and engagement. How can I be accessible but not too available, and how do I get my ex emotionally engaged? Is this something covered in your ebook?

The Love Doctor’s Answer: I’m happy to answer any question about how to connect to one’s ex, as opposed to how to disconnect (no contact).

Yes, accessibility, availability and engagement are all covered.

Accessible is when your ex needs you (or you need your ex) you can be reached by phone, email, text etc.

Not too available means that you can be reached, but that doesn’t mean you are there to serve your ex’s every wish or need, or even have to respond to his/her every text, email or call.

You can be accessible but not too available by choosing when to act or respond, and by responding in ways that are appropriate to the situation, and create a strong connection.

Engaged means emotionally interested.

In my experience, getting your ex emotionally engaged is half the work done. Here’s how to do it:

1) make yourself accessible;

2) make it easy for him/her to talk to you;

3) create an emotionally safe environment for him/her to open up to you;

4) ask the questions that show interest in things that matter to him/her;

5) do not push him/her to respond or say what you want to hear, or rush him/her to make a decision;

6) make the small moments of connection count/create a unique sense of history, and;

7) create a sense of compatibility (or wanting the same things in life), etc.

This can be a challenge for those who are concerned about any display of vulnerability. But if you want your ex engaged and responsive, you must allow yourself to become emotionally exposed.

If this is something you haven’t done, then start doing it. You’ll rebuild that connection more quickly than if you are holding back.

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  • I spoke to you a few days ago. I think the things you said I need to be asking myself are very true. I worry too much, about things I can’t change. I imagine if I could let go of that worry I’d be a much happier person, and so I will strive to do so. I think I’m most afraid of the unknown–I have no idea how he’s going to react and so I don’t tell him things (which of course is absurd because then I just wind up worrying about what I THINK he would say, and that’s often nowhere near as bad as what he would actually say). I have had a nice talk with him and voiced some of my concerns and I hope that I’ll be able to open up to him more readily in the future, instead of worrying myself into a hole in my head as I did this time. Thank you again, truly.

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  • Yangki, what does it mean when she says “we’ll see how things go with you in a couple of months”? Neither of us wanted the breakup. I have since improved myself a lot and she has noticed. The break-up was such an eye-opener.

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    • It means that she’s not sure the changes will stick. May be you’ve tried to “change’ before and slipped back into old behaviour, or she’s just that “wait and see” type of person.

      It also means that you’ll still be in each other’s lives in a couple of months.

      Don’t rush her. Just keep showing her that the changes are permanent.

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