Question: Yangki, I like that you are not offering the usual one-size fits all no contact advice; but instead asking each couple to choose what’s best for them. My question is about how long it takes for my ex to emotionally open up?
My ex and I have kept very minimal contact 3 – 4 days a week for a few months now. Our relationship wasn’t bad, but we were each going through some personal things; and didn’t know how to deal with it and be together in the relationship at the same time. There were no hard feelings both ways.
We mostly text message and talk on the phone every now and then; but we haven’t seen each other since the breakup. I have a sked once or twice, but she said she wasn’t ready.
After reading many of your posts and eBook, I realized that my contacts were mostly superficial, nothing emotionally effective as described in your eBook. I’m now trying to make the contacts more connecting emotionally and wondering how long it will take before I see results.
Yangki’s Answer: How long it takes for an ex it takes for my ex to emotionally open up depends on each ex. It can take weeks, months or years in some cases.
What is most important to understand is that people open up because they feel emotionally safe. How long it has been since the break-up or how long you have been in contact is irrelevant if your ex doe s not feel emotionally safe. Open lines of communication, frequency and consistency of contact helps, but it has to be accompanied with:
1) Emotional connection and sense that you are on the same page emotionally
2) Sense of fun, and interesting and uplifting interactions
3) Willingness to change or do the self-work, and what one brings to the relationships this time round
4) Effectively communicating what has changed and what your ex can expect in a better relationship
It’s best to try to do all the four together, if you can; but you may have to prioritize emotional connection in each one. For example if you broke up because:
You had stopped paying attention and the relationship had lost it’s sense of fun; exchanging funny videos, sharing jokes and generally uplifting interactions will help your ex emotionally open up.
The relationship had so many problems; emotionally connecting on self-work and self-development will have more impact.
Your ex asked you to change specific things before and during the break-up; talking about the work you are doing to become a better version of yourself will help your ex see you are making an effort. The confidence that things are moving in the right direction will slowly make you ex emotionally open up.
The most important thing is that they feel the two of you are more emotionally connected than before or during the break-up. So take advantage of the fact that she still wants to talk to you to make her fall back in love.
Your ex’s attachment style plays a big role in how long it takes for them to emotionally open up, or even if they can open up emotionally. Exes with a secure attachment style and anxious-preoccupied attachment style are more likely to emotionally open up than an ex with an avoidant attachment style. It doesn’t mean avoidants can’t emotionally open up, they just have a harder time emotionally opening up.