These 8 simple rules for contacting your ex based on a secure attachment model work for an avoidant ex as well as an anxious ex.
The break-up changes the rules of when, how and what to contact your ex. The secure attachment model used throughout my site allows you to approach your ex with confidence; and without anxiety (anxious attachment), fear of rejection (fearful avoidant attachment) or using rejecting behaviours (dismissive avoidant attachment).
Hopefully you’ll heed my advice and turn things around for yourself; and attract back your ex faster and with less pain and struggle.
1 – Make the first move
Someone has to initiate the process. It doesn’t matter whether you are the dumped or dumpee, if you want your ex back, you’ve got to make the first move. You may be waiting for your ex to make the first move while your ex is also waiting for you to make the first move. In the end each moves on thinking the other has lost interest.
Is there a risk that you may be rejected (again)? Sure. Life is a risk. Love is a risk. If you fold every time you think you may be rejected, you are guaranteed living a very lonely love-less life for in every relationship there is a chance that you may be rejected.
2 – Dial down your expectations (be realistic)
Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and of your ex. Going into this process thinking “I want things to go back to the way they were” is a huge mistake. Unrealistic expectations and demands produce fear, feelings of incompetence, dissatisfaction, unfairness and resentment.
Break-ups — and time — change people. Don’t be surprised if your ex isn’t the same person you used to know. Reality in this situation is acknowledging that there are and there will be obstacles in your way and things may not be easy or always go the way you want them to but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
3 – Show good intentions and good attitude
It is our attitude at the beginning of a task which will determine its outcome. One of the fatal mistakes you can make trying to get your ex back is give him or her the impression that you’re no longer attracted to him/her, you don’t care about him or her anymore, and as far as you are concerned, he or she doesn’t even exist anymore. In other words, “No Contact” is a very, very bad idea because that’s exactly the message it sends to your ex.
Making your ex feel appreciated is a powerful move towards a resolution to a conflict because a good attitude induces good feelings towards you. Find small ways to reach out to your ex with a “How are you doing?” or “How was your day?”. Send a birthday card to show him or her that you are (still) happy he or she is in this world. Forward him or her some information that you think they might like or find useful… etc.
4 – Follow the principle of proportionality
The best practice is to pace how often you contact him or her to correspond with how often he or she contacts you. Watch for how quickly your ex responds to your emails or phone calls. If he or she replies to your emails every three days, then three days it is. If it has been more than three days since you’ve been in touch, it’ll be decent (not creepy) to send him or her a “How are you doing? How was your day”. If he or she doesn’t respond or it takes him or her awhile to do so, lay off. Don’t call or send another email or text message — especially one that says “Why aren’t you responding to my emails/texts/calls?”
5- Take control of the emotions thermometer
Keeping a cool head and a civil tone is often the responsibility of the person who wants to get their ex back — and that would be you. In some circumstances it may be perfectly appropriate to express your frustration, but even this must be done in a calm, purposeful way, with some clear objective in mind. Always let the other blow off steam without taking it personally.
If all your interactions turn negative quickly, or one or both of you can’t speak to the other without emotions flying all over the place or negative tension building up, then may be the two of you are not ready to start the process of getting back together.
6 – Focus on the future rather than the past
Talking about the old relationship is therapeutic (that’s why it feels good). But make sure you are not just happy revisiting the past for feeling good’s sake but doing so in order to examine what went wrong and find ways to make things better — that’s if you really mean it about not wanting the “old relationship” back.
If the interaction gets stressful (reminiscent of the time just before, during or immediately after the break-up), smoothly bring the conversation to an end as quickly as possible — and on a positive note. Then contact your ex again, a couple of days later.
7- Never try to persuade your ex to come back
People don’t like being sold to, they want to be inspired. Telling your ex you want a better relationship won’t inspire him or her — of course everyone wants a better relationship and everyone says that, but not everyone is capable of a better relationship. HOW WILL IT BE BETTER AND HOW WILL YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN is what an ex wants to hear.
The formula is: I recognize where we had problems… this is what needs to change for things to be different… this is what I am doing to become a better partner… this is the kind of future I want for myself and for my partner (Note: It is not necessary for you to include him or her in the “future”, instead describe the future in such away that he or she can see him/herself in it — and want it).
Keep in mind that these are NOT (I repeat NOT) words you say to your ex, this is a mental formula you keep in your head and use in all your contacts with your ex.
8- Don’t give up too quickly
It is helpful to remember that in the initial stages you may find yourself doing most of the initiating contact, and that’s quite normal. In some instances, your ex will be happy to hear from you one day and the next day he or she is acting all indifferent even hostile. It’s possible your ex was lonely and happy to talk to you or your ex just missed the “good times” (but not you). But it’s also possible there are legitimate reasons why your ex isn’t responding to your emails or phone calls – reasons that have nothing to do with you.
Don’t take anything personally. Persist without being aggressive and annoying. The real sign of progress is when you feel there is a change – and your ex starts initiating contact.
But if after five or six attempts at initiating contact your ex does not respond at all, then may be it’s time to move on.
How Often To Contact Your Ex Based On Their Attachment Style
It’s been a few days since my ex and I started talking again. I am following your advice in your book and so far things seem good. She has not initiated any of the contacts but responds and asks me questions about my day and the projects I am involved in.
As mentioned in the book, that’s expected. Keep doing what you are doing.
Yangki, my ex responds when I text or call him but he has never once called or texted since the break up about 3 months ago. At first he blamed me for the break up but after I told him I fully accept my responsibility for the demise of our relationship, he apologized for not being a good boyfriend. We are from the same town and since I’ll be going to be with my folks for the holidays, I was wondering if I should ask him for a face to face meeting. Should I call him when I’m there or let him know in advance that I’ll be home for the holidays.
Since you are in contact, you don’t want him later asking why you didn’t tell him you’ll be home for the holidays, and use that as an excuse to start blaming you again. Let him know you’ll be in town and you’d like to get together, then leave it up to him to decide if he wants to see you, or not. If he doesn’t respond, call him when you get there. If he still does not respond or turns down your offer to meet, don’t pursue any further.
wow i wished i would of read all these post when i first split oh jeez i messed up so bad i did everything you can imagine the wrong way and pushed her away for good .. its been over a year and half and she will not speak to me aknolege me crosses the road when she sees me:(.. i know it is my own doing i just failed to accept what she wanted and got wrapped up in my needs. i know there is nothing more i can do unfortuantly
Thank you for the information. I am not smart when it comes to relationships by any means, and have realized by reading your pages that I have been going about trying to get my ex back in all the wrong ways. Sometimes when you are in a whirlpool of pain over the loss of someone so special and precious, you forget everything and your emotions rule your head. Reading the above information has informed me that if I continue to go down that path, he will be gone forever. Thank you very much.
I hear you! A break-up can leave even the most emotionally stable of us feeling uncertain and insecure, not to mention cause us to “act out of character!”
Personally I don’t think “emotions” are the problem. Emotions always, ALWAYS have a very useful purpose, besides giving us that “soul-FULL” vibe.
The problem is that most of us are not accustomed (not taught) how to “be present” with our emotions (pleasant and painful) in a healthy and empowering way. We think we’re being “ruled” by emotions but we’re really being ruled by our own lack of experience dealing with emotions in a healthy way.