Question: Yangki, I like the rest of your advice but disagree on continuing contact if your ex does not want to try the relationship again. I did 90-day no contact program and contacted my ex. He responded and we started talking again but when I asked him if he wanted to get back together he said no. I stopped contacting him again. He reached out two weeks later about something unrelated to the break-up. We chatted for 15 minutes. He ended the conversation with I’ll talk to you later, I told him to contact me only if he wants to get back together. It’s over a month now and haven’t heard from him.
The mistake I made was to respond when he contacted me because he obviously wasn’t contacting me about getting back together.
Yangki’s Answer: I hear you and understand why you disagree with continuing contact if your ex does not want to try the relationship again. This is your experience and I can’t argue with that. But it is not everyone’s experience.
Sometimes, exes especially fearful avoidants reach out about something unrelated to the break-up as a way of reaching out and reopening the lines of communication. Also if you look up on the internet, some ‘get back your ex” experts advice exactly reaching out in this manner, and your ex may have just been following their advice.
In my opinion and based on many years of experience, the mistake you made was giving him an ultimatum: Contact me only if you want to get back together.
In our teens, this is how we think about relationships…
Q: What do you want?
A: I want to be your girl/boyfriend
A: Because I love you.
Q: Why do you love me?
A: Because you are beautiful/good looking.
A: Okay, I’ll be your girl/boyfriend.
But as we grow older, we realize that relationships are more complicated than that. And if you still have a teenage (immature) mindset, you will find relationships really confusing/hard.
Getting your ex back is even more complicated. They’ve tried being your girl/boyfriend, and it didn’t work. Asking them to try it again without a strong basis for it will get you a “no” answer.
What you should have done before asking him to get back together is first and foremost is get the two of you comfortable with being in each other’s lives again. You can’t disappear for 90 days then out of the blue contact your ex to ask if he wants to get back together. You have to get him to get interested in talking to you again before asking to get back together.
After re-opening the lines of communication, the next step is emotionally connect with your ex again. Break-ups are essentially a breaking of the bond you had. That bond needs to be mended and strengthened. This is a process and it takes time.
Thirdly, show your ex that if you got back together, things will be better, because you are better (words, actions, new/better memories and experiences). This takes time too.
This three things are only a start in laying the foundation for a new start. Asking to get back together before these three things are solidly in place will be seen as pushy and needy.
If you do the above three things right, things will fall in place. You may not even have to ask your ex is he wants to get back together, he’ll ask you because he feels it’s the right thing to do.