If you’re clicked on this article, you’re one of the 95% of people trying to attract back their avoidant ex are through text messaging. No doubt, you’d have preferred face-to-face interaction for the simple reason that it is easier to emotionally connect when you can see your ex. You can see their facial expression, read their body language and feel their energy. You can’t achieve that level of emotional connection with text messaging even with the use of emojis.
The key is to learn how to work with the format you have and use it to emotionally connect with your avoidant ex.
If you’re struggling with understanding what emotional connection means, I suggest you read my article The Secret to Emotionally Connecting With Your Ex before continuing with this article. It’s important to make emotionally connecting with your avoidant ex a priority and engage with their emotions (or emotional experience) just as they are.
All the effort you put into “no contact”, “giving your ex space” and keeping it “light and relaxed”; will amount to completely nothing if you can’t emotionally connect with your avoidant ex. It’s like someone trying to light a campfire. You clean out the firepit, place in new dry wood, pour the lighter fluid on the wood; and then sit there waiting for the fire to start itself. It won’t.
Someone has to light the fire. Emotions is the lighter (energy in motion) and making an effort to emotionally connect with another person’s emotions is the act of lighting the fire in them (move them to action). That flow of “warm energy” that you feel between you and your ex is emotional connection. If your text messages feel superficial, cold and distant, you are not emotionally connecting. It’s that simple. (see: emotionally connection with an avoidant ex).
How do you go about writing an emotionally connecting texts to your ex?
1. Be clear about why you’re reaching out to your ex
What’s the purpose of your text and what are you looking to accomplish – is it to just to catch up, share relevant information, ask a question etc.
If you’re reaching out to share information, what do you want your ex to know? If you’re reaching out share something that happened, what do you want your ex to feel? If you’re reaching out to ask your ex to do something, what action do you want your ex to as a result of the text conversation? Etc.
Carefully thinking through what you want your ex to know, feel and possibly do helps cut to the chase and avoid unnecessary white noise, and create the desired emotion.
2. Choose your words carefully
Once you know the purpose of your reach out, make sure you communicate your intended message to match the emotion you are trying to convey or connect with.
Use emotion-related words – happy, excited, inspired, amazed, confused, worried, angry etc. Emotion-related words have a tendency to directly generate the intended emotion. For example, if you say, “I’m excited”, the person reading the message can relate and feel the emotion of excitement.
Obviously the emotions that we consider to be positive – happiness, excitement, joy, inspiration, awe etc., elicit more interaction and engagement but sadness or anger can elicit just as much engagement as happiness, excitement. But if your ex is communicating the emotion they’re feeling, it’s important not to try to change their emotion to something you consider a positive emotion, but instead connect with the emotion your ex is experiencing. This will make them feel good about the interaction.
3. Target a specific emotion or emotions
When it comes to attracting back an ex, not all emotions are equal. Pleasant emotions for example elicit pleasant feelings. If you are trying to text your ex for a nice friendly chat, then target pleasant emotions. This doesn’t mean you can’t connect on emotions that are less pleasant. For example, if you lost a job you liked, putting a happy spin on the emotional experience can be confusing to your ex. The normal reaction to losing a job you like is sadness, but if you are sending LOLs and making jokes to appear “light, relaxed and happy”, your ex will not know how to think or respond.
If you are texting your ex because you want them to act on something, target the emotions that you know from experience with your ex moves them to action. For example if both of you like eating out and a restaurant just opened that you think your ex might like, connect with the emotions eating out invoke in your ex e.g. frustration (having to go far to find a good restaurant), pleasure (taste for good food), appreciation (your ex doesn’t like to cook), inspiration (opportunity to learn new recipes), enjoyment (opportunity to socialize), awe (new cultural experience) etc. These are just examples of emotions and not necessarily your ex’s emotions. You know what your ex might feel based on what they’ve expressed before about eating out, invoke those emotions.
A text about not having to go far to find a Thai food restaurant might look something like, “Did you know a new Thai food restaurant just opened up on Yonge and Bloor Street? It’s only a 15-minute walk from your place. Now you don’t have to drive 40 minutes to find good Thai food. How cool is that?”
Keep in mind that the goal is to emotionally connect not manipulate your ex. Most people catch up manipulation very fast, and instead of emotionally connecting they emotionally disconnect. It’s a lot harder to get back an ex who does not trust you or your motivations.
4. Pay close attention to the sensitivity of the topic
Some topics create more engagement, some topics do nothing (not even get a response), and some topics will trigger a negative reaction from your ex. Use the knowledge about your ex that you gathered while you were together (in the relationship) and what you know about what’s going on in their life after the break-up is help determine if the topic is something you need to communicate and how you should communicate it.
If you’ve been in contact for a while and have shared some good and emotionally connecting conversations, look at what connected you at that time and what has happened since then to get a feel for which topics create more engagement, which topics do nothing (not even get a response), and which topics trigger a negative reaction and even deactivation.
5. Keep text messages short and simple
The general rule is that a SMS text message especially to an avoidant ex should be two to three sentences long tops. You can of course send texts that are way longer than three sentences but if you want a response or for the conversation to keep flowing, keep in mind that avoidants in general are not “sharers” and have limited emotional bandwidth.
Novel-length text messages that go on for paragraphs in a single text message often don’t get read or responded to. You want to make sure that the few seconds an avoidant is willing to commit to read what you sent and take the next step – to respond or act, are used in the most efficient way. Basically, don’t make an avoidant work too hard to connect or make their next move.
Short, simple and direct texts that get the message across and don’t require a lot of emotional bandwidth to process accomplish their desired outcome. And if you’re sharing something that is requires more time to emotionally process, keep texts even shorter, even a sentence or couple of sentences at a time. What I call bite-size emotions are easier to digest and process than a load full of emotions.
6. Time your text messages to when your ex is emotionally receptive
It’s not uncommon, in the very initial stages of the process to struggle with emotionally connecting with an avoidant ex. Your avoidant ex like most may be guarded for a number of reasons and blocking your attempts to emotionally connect.
It’s hard to connect emotionally when someone is actively blocking emotional connection, is busy or distracted. Again, use the knowledge about your ex that you gathered while you were together (in the relationship) and what you know about what’s going on in their life after the break-up to time your text messages to when your avoidant ex is emotionally receptive.
And some exes are more emotionally open in the morning, others during the day and others in the evenings and night. Before you send your ex a text message, think about what they must be doing at that time of the day and how emotionally receptive they’re likely to be.
This is the one advantage among others of staying in contact with your ex. You have a rough idea of what their day or week is like and can a target your texts to when they most emotionally receptive and responsive.
7. Show you remember what is important to them
Always remember, emotional connection is simply the ability to feel the other person’s emotions like they were your own and reflect their emotions back to them in away that validates their experience. For example, if you are trying to emotionally connect with your ex on something they are happy about, it’s not enough to say, “I am happy for you”. And if the emotion you want to connect with is sadness about something, it’s not enough to say, “That’s sad” .
Reach further into what you know about the circumstances, thoughts, and feelings surrounding the event. For example:
— “I am happy for you. You missed your niece’s birthday for that project. Now you can buy her the iphone you promised her.”
— “That’s sad. Doug and Anne had their problems, but divorce is always hard on everyone. How are the children dealing with the news? It must be harder for Zach, he’s only 11.”
This reminds your ex, without being too intrusive or trying too hard that at some point, the two of you talked about the project they’re telling you about; or about Doug and Anne – and had an emotional connection.
8. Focus on the present moment
It’s great if you can emotionally connect with your ex right from the beginning of the process. But as mentioned earlier most avoidant exes are emotionally guarded in the beginning. So while the ideal would be to emotionally connect with your ex in every text, it’s not always possible. Don’t expect to strike gold with every single text, sometimes you have to try different topics to find what you emotionally connect.
This is why it’s really important to stay focused on the present moment. Focusing on the present moment helps you pick up on what your ex is feeling at that particular moment and information about your ex that they are not saying out aloud. Focusing on moment also creates head space for empathetic listening and for conversations that go deeper, are more meaningful, and emotionally bonding. Last but not least, being in the present moment can help you see when there is a shift in your ex’s level of engagement and the subtle clues they’re communicating about wanting more contact or less contact.
If you are in contact with your ex but struggling to sustain conversations or make an emotional connection, I can teach you how to create text messages that create a strong emotional connect, make your ex want to respond and to eventually come back.
I can also help review your text messages, your ex’s responses and tweak your next response to create the kind of emotional impact that will help you not only sustain conversations but also create strong emotional attraction.