Do Exes Come Back When You Let Go? (Yes, Here’s Why)

Do exes come back when you let go? Yes, sometimes when you let go they come back. Most of the time letting go  letting go of an ex doesn’t help get them back because many of us don’t actually let go.

What exactly does letting go of your ex mean?

Letting go is simply means allowing things to unfold and to naturally take their course. It’s a form of acceptance when you realize that you can’t force someone to be with you if that’s not what they want. It’s not fair to your ex and it’s not fair to you because in the end, you will both be unhappy.

1) Letting go vs. giving up on an ex – Giving up is walking away from your ex. It is saying there is no more hope, forget the relationship and move on. When you let go, you still hope to get back together, but you give up trying too hard and breaking your own heart, pushing hard and banging your head against a wall, abandoning all reason or respect for yourself and making a fool of yourself, and/or suffocating your ex to be with them. You stop:

  • Begging and pleading with them to come back
  • Creating drama and starting fights with your ex
  • Trying too hard to get back an ex who doesn’t seem to want you back
  • Chasing an ex who isn’t showing interest in you
  • Pursuing an ex who is not responding or doing no contact
  • Playing mind games and sending mixed signals
  • Calling your ex when you’re drunk etc.

2) Letting go vs. move on from an ex– Moving on is about opening yourself up to someone new. It’s saying, someone you once cared about and wanted is no longer there, and you need to find a replacement. Letting go is about opening yourself up to all possibilities (even the one you do not want).

  • It’s releasing the tight hold or grip on the outcome you want and allowing things to unfold without struggle or you trying to manipulate the outcome to your favour.
  • It is clearing away unnecessary thoughts, expectations, belief systems and releasing your attachment to how things should be or how you think the other person must and should act or be.
  • It is embracing what is while being optimistically open to possibilities, opportunities and to the (yet) unknown.

You are not walking away, and you are not moving on to someone new, you are just not trying too hard to make things happen how you want them to and when you want them to.

3) Letting go vs. never giving up attitude – A “never giving up” attitude and letting go are similar in that you still have hope. The difference is that when you have a “never giving up” attitude, you keep yourself trapped in a reality that you most wish to change because you still have the same unhelpful beliefs you’ve always had, are doing the same things you’ve always gone, pushing for things to happen and getting the same results.

Most people with “never giving up” attitude become emotionally intense, easily irritable, cold and/or bitter making them unattractive and not much fun to be around. You see rejection in every word, every action, every text and every no response. Even when an ex is interested and/or putting in effort, you don’t see it because you are “holding” negative beliefs, thoughts and attitudes that are blocking you from seeing how your ex is showing interest and/or trying to make things work.

Letting go is more about learning lessons from the experience rather than trying to right a wrong, about growth rather than trying to fix the past or a regret, about acquiring knowledge that’ll help you deal with your current situation better rather than scheming, trying to figure out how to manipulate or trick your ex into coming back.

How exactly does letting go makes exes come back?

When you simply allow things to unfold and to naturally take their course, it takes off the pressure to give up on an ex you still love, to move on when you’re not ready to walk away or start dating again, to lose hope when something inside of you is telling you that there is still hope, or to painting an ex in a negative light, retell your experience as if it was all bad, and/or angrily sever all ties with an ex in order to move on.

1) The choices available to you become clearer because you are more able to see more than one option to everything

For example, you see that your only choice is not ALL (overcontact, pressure and bother your ex) or NOTHING (go no contact). A better choice that will serve you in the long-term and help get back your ex is to learn to self-regulate and teach yourself to BALANCE connection and giving your ex space.

2) The actions that you must take towards what you really want, and need become more specific.

When you’re under a lot of pressure to either get your ex back or move on, you feel that your only chance is slipping through your fingers and there is nothing you can do about it. You naturally to feel powerless, overwhelmed and out of control so you desperately try to scheme or manipulate better, force and push harder; and when that doesn’t work, you complain, threaten them, get angry, give ultimatums and if that doesn’t work, you go no contact. But since you still love and still your ex back, you again reach out,

Your actions are unfocused, lack coherency and often backfire. Letting go and allowing things to naturally unfold gives you time and space to figure our what the right action for the moment is, the likely outcome or consequence of such an action and your next move if things go well and/or course correction if things don’t go well.

Even more importantly, letting go takes away the pressure of thinking you have to be a certain way, say specific words or do things in a specific way to get back your ex. When you take the pressure off yourself, you also take the pressure of your ex.

With no pressure on either of you to get back together, and simply allowing things to happen naturally, your dynamics will change. For example, if instead of demanding for more time or feeling frustrated that your ex isn’t texting as much or asking you questions, you make the best use of the “little time” the two of you spend texting, or instead of using your first meeting with your ex “to sort and get back together”, you have such so much fun that they’ll want to see you again, and again, and again. You find that you’re spending more time texting or in person without trying too hard you to spend time together or putting pressure on your ex to spend time with you.

This is what I call “non-attached” persistence. “Non-attached” persistence means that you’re 100% actively engaged in trying to get your ex back, but your life and happiness is not dependent on things going the way you want them to.

Letting go is a choice – a very powerful and effective one!

If you move yourself (ego, unnecessary thoughts, expectations, belief systems) out of the way, the power of love will take over. You can only realize the power of love when you realize that to let go is not to give up hope but to be in control through conscious turning yourself over to something greater than your preconceived notions, limited perspectives, false beliefs and inconsistent optimism, and seeing clearly and listening to what it is you truly want and need. It’s that ability to be still and allow yourself to go with the flow of how things are right now – in the present.

In fact if you can fully master conscious letting go (moment -by-moment), you’ll realize the true control and power you have in all your relationships – and life!

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15 Comments

  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Laurie

    Yangki, I can’t thank you enough for this book. I bought “Dating Your Ex” which helped me make progress with my ex but I still struggled with letting go even though I knew it was something I needed to do. He broke it off with me after 2 yrs, because ‘something is missing’. He can’t fully open up, hence lacking an emotional connection. We kept in touch via text but agreed on not seeing each other for a a month. It was very hard because the old behaviors of pushing too had kept coming up. Things have changed since I received your book in the mail (beautiful book by the way). He has started to open up and initiate contact. We will meet up soon but I am more calm because I am in an emotionally good place. Whether I get my ex back or not I have learned a lot from both of your books and your articles.

    1. Yangki Akiteng, Love DoctorYangki Akiteng, Love Doctorsays: Yangki Akiteng, Love Doctor

      It’s good to read about progress… 🙂

      Using both books together as you’ve experienced moves things forward a lot faster and with more ease.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Joegodwilling

    This is a timely article for me. I was just feeling a bit down for the past few days thinking of an ex. She left me 3 months ago and I know I have let her go but sometimes I still feel the pain like it was only yesterday. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: elena

    the part with “let it go” instead of acting out of fear and neediness is probably the most useful advice ever read it.
    The way I understand it, is that you let go the expectations, the obssesing, the fear of rejection and you act out of love.
    Correct if I am wrong…it’s not about running and stop showing and offering love but about acting out of love and not out of fear.
    Now, I am wondering if analysing this is not about letting go 🙂

    1. Letting go means many things to different people. My interpretation is releasing hold on the things you do not and can not control — but are trying to control anyway. The things we hold on to vary for each individual, and in different situations. When working with my clients, I warn them against generalizations i.e. you read letting go is “let go the expectations, the obsessing, the fear of rejection” and automatically conclude that that applies to you too. That may be true for someone else but may not necessarily be true for you. You have to figure out your own things that you are holding onto/trying to control when you have no control. These are what is causing the feeling of being stuck, which is why people obsesses and overanalyze. Obsessing and overanalyzing is a sign that you are stuck (and spinning your wheels).

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Tabitha

    My ex boyfriend (we only been broken up a week) said when he broke up with me that I was too controlling and always wanted to control him and the relationship. I admit I’m guilty of what you call emotional blackmail. I’d give him silent-treatment, ignore him etc. He’d beg me to speak to him but I’d be indifferent. Then he stopped trying to make things right and broke up with me. I don’t blame him because now I know I self-sabotaged myself. He tried but I did all these things which instead of bringing him closer ended up pushing him away.

    Since I started this process of letting go of the need to control the outcome, I’ve found that deciding to “let go” is easy, actually letting go is a lot of hard work.

    This is the best article on letting go that I have read. It is very simple but very well thought out and explained. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It is very true, letting go is not just something you decide to do and voila! It’s done.

      It’s a process, a hard one but VERY doable. The irony of it all is that most people even control how they let go off control. They understand the concepts of “letting go” and speak the language of “letting go” but it’s just in the head, an intellectual endeavour. Emotionally they are still pretty much intense and anxiety ridden (un-relatable!).

      If you find yourself still planning, scheming, playing mind games (e.g. emotional blackmail), over-analyzing, worrying and obsessing about the relationship or if you’re still motivated by fear of loss, rejection, defeat etc, it means that you are yet still trying to control rather than BE in control. Let go of the need to control!

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Sarraha

    Yangki, first of thank you for such an insightful book. My ex and I broke up exactly 5 months ago. I tried no contact but it felt wrong. I was looking for advice on staying in contact and that’s when I found your site. I bought your dating ex ebook and it helped me establish communication but I still struggled to get things beyond a text here and there. After reading your Its Not Just A Break-Up book, it dawned on me that I was doing emotional connection but because of my expectations I was trying to control the experience. Since truly letting go and focusing my energy and actions I have seen a big change in his attitude. He seems more relaxed and open and i think that’s because he feels no pressure to respond.

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

      Smart decision to use both books…! Makes a big difference.

      You are right that when you let go and ‘refocus” it translates as “no pressure”. What made the difference is not just you letting go of “expectations”. What made the difference was 1) letting go and waiting to see what action you need to take and 2) refocusing your attention, energy, effort and action in away that you move with the natural flow instead of fighting the current. As emphasized in the book, the keywords are “clarity” and “refocus”. Don’t lose sight of that and the progress you make will surprise you!… 🙂

    1. Letting go is not a deal you make with the person you’re letting go. If you make it about getting the other person on aboard your agenda, “I am letting go only to get something I think you will give me because I’ve let go”, you completely miss the magic and wisdom of letting go.

      Letting go is about giving up what you think you know or have for the possibility of what you might have. That means there are no guarantees for anything. The only guarantee you have is an inner calmness and centeredness which allows you to hear the other person and see the situation more clearly even when you have strong feelings inside.

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: May

    Letting go is the best advice I read from your Just a Breakup book. I was afraid to let him go because I was afraid to lose him. It already had been 5 months and he was slipping further and further away. I begged, pleaded, and wrote him love letter. I even did no contact but on advice of his best friend abandoned the idea. My ex is full of pride and would completely cut me out of his life and I felt the future was completely out of my control. After desperately trying to hold on, I bought your book and started practicing letting go. When I sent a text I was not attached to him responding, and slowly but surely he started to text more. When it came to dates, I didn’t show anxiety or react when he cancelled. We eventually got back together and 2 months counting still together.

    Attracting back your ex really does happen, but you have to let go. Its hard actually because its scary, but let yourself go with the flow and have faith.

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: elena

    Thank you so much for you taking the time to answer and for the insight!
    I have realized that each time I feel he is not enough in mind or that I am not trying to share happy thoughts/attract mentally, it’s not about letting it go but about obssessing, like when you try to remember a name and you know that if you intensively think about it vs. thinking about something different it’s NOT the solution.

    I wish I had the chance to read your book when I played hard to get even though I wasn’t in the position to do so and I use no contact even though I didn’t feel that is over, it was acting out of fear and I admit, manipulation.

    1. I hear you… but obsessing is inability to let go a thought or thoughts. Saying “it’s not about letting it go but about obsessing” is not seeing the forest for the trees (focusing on a detail so much that you can’t see the “big picture”). No wonder you’re feeling stuck. It’s funny how when you let go trying to remember something, you remember it.

      As for not reading my book earlier, I believe that everything happens in it’s due time. May be if you’d read it before going through your own self-reflection journey it would not have made as much sense.

      I think you are too much into your head (forgive me for the psychoanalyzing, I just couldn’t help it). You need to get out of your head and start living in real life, in real time. You’re going to drive yourself crazy all by yourself.

      Just reading your comments makes my own head start spinning. It’s like winding round and round with no end in sight, and I’m like, I can’t do this to myself…(: I can only imagine what’s it’s doing to you… let alone anyone you’re in a relationship with. It’s exhausting!!!

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