In my article: Using Limited Contact To Get Your Ex Back, I explain why “minimal contact”, “limited contact” or “low contact” undermines the chances of getting back your ex. You feel like you are doing “something” to get your ex back, but in reality you are not doing anything to move your ex closer to getting back together. All you are doing is keeping the lines of communication open, and getting vague responses.
You think the problem is your ex. He/she doesn’t respond to most of your contacts. He/she is not opening up to you. He/she is doesn’t know what he/she wants etc.
If only you could contact him/her the right amount. If only you knew how to say things the right way. Everything would work out fine.
At some point you start feeling like your ex is drifting further and further away from you. Quite often, he/she is.
That feeling that your ex is pulling further and further away may not be you being “needy” after all. You may be starting to realize what’s happening. Your ex is drifting further away.
Your ex is not responding, opening up or emotionally investing in the relationship because there is no emotional safety in a relationship where contact starts, stops, and then start again after a few days or weeks. Where one day the conversation is really good and connecting, and the next day you’re like two strangers who don’t know what to say to each other. Where one day you act like you want him/her back and the next you act like you don’t care about him/her.
No consistency in contact. No consistency in connecting. No consistency in positive emotions. No consistency in anything.
Why would your ex want to put down his/her guard and risk rejection (or being played) when you who is trying to get him/her back is not willing to put down your guard and risk rejection? How can he/she help but be hot and cold, when you yourself are acting hot and cold?
Consistency is so important that I tell my clients: it’s better to risk coming across as needy than make your ex feel he/she can’t trust you not to hurt him/her (again).
Consistency should not be confused with being predictable.
Being predictable is doing the same thing over and over. It’s contacting your ex every x number of days (like clockwork). It’s sending “hi, how are/what’s up/how’s you day?” text every time you make contact (blah, blah, blah). It’s bringing up the old relationship/getting back together in every conversation (nag, nag, nag). It’s him/her ending every contact with you trying to hang on (please, please, please). Etc.
Being consistent is being the same regardless of what your ex chooses to do/does. It’s reaching out when your ex’s responds and when your ex doesn’t respond. It’s trying to emotionally connect when your ex is receptive and when your ex is guarded. It’s showing your ex you care about him/her even when you feel he/she does not care about you. It’s staying emotionally calm even when your ex posts things on Facebook that upset you. It’s making sure your words match your actions.
It does not mean you can’t get upset, show frustration, have arguments or mess up. It just means that even when you are upset/frustrated or when you have an argument, you do not say or do things that make your ex feel that he/she can’t trust you not to hurt him/her (again).
Just as you are afraid of rejection, your ex is too. And just as you fear you might get hurt, your ex has fears too. What if nothing has changed? What if it doesn’t work out? What if he/she gets bored or falls out love again? What if you are not “the one”? What if there is someone else out there?
The difference is you are more willing to take the risk that’s why you are the one initiating contact, trying to connect, trying to make the relationship work again, and trying to get back together. Your ex may not have the same confidence in you and/or in the relationship, that’s why it’s important to provide that emotional safety he/she needs.
One way to do it is to be consistent. The quicker you can get your ex to trust you not to hurt him/her (again), the quicker you can get him/her to emotionally open up. The more he/she opens up, the more he/she responds. The more he/she responds, the more emotionally invested he/she becomes. The more emotionally invested he/she is, the more he/she initiates contact, face-to-face meetings etc. The more time you spend in contact and on dates, the better your chances of getting back together.