How To Get Back An Ex Who’s Acting Hot And Cold

You feel like you are doing “something” to get your ex back, but it’s not moving your ex closer to getting back together.

They are responding and seem to want to keep the lines of communication open, but they are not emotionally open, they say they don’t want to lead you on, that they need to focus on themselves or that they are not looking to get into a relationship.

You feeling like you are being pulled in then pushed away. You’re thinking, if only you could contact them the right amount and if only you knew how to say things the right way, everything would work out fine.

The problem is not with the amount of contact, the problem is that there is no emotional safety for both of you 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 your ex back and the next you act like you don’t care about them.

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 their guard and risk rejection (or being played) when the person trying to attract them back is not willing to put down their guard and risk rejection? How can they be warm and open when you are acting hot and cold yourself?

Consistency is so important that I tell my clients: it’s better to risk coming across as needy than make your ex feel that they can’t trust you not to hurt them (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 your ex ending every conversation with you trying to hang on (please, please, please). Etc.

Being consistent in a way that makes your ex feel safe to put their guard down is:

  • Being the same regardless of what your ex chooses to do/does.
  • Reaching out when your ex’s responds and when your ex doesn’t respond.
  • Trying to emotionally connect when your ex is receptive and when your ex is guarded.
  • Showing your ex you care about them even when you feel they don’t care about you.
  • Staying emotionally calm even when your ex posts things on Facebook that upset you.
  • Making sure your words match your actions.

It does not mean you can’t get upset, show frustration, have arguments or mess up, it 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 they can’t trust you not to hurt them (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 they get bored or fall 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 they need.

The quicker you can get your ex to trust you not to hurt them (again), the quicker you can get them to emotionally open up.

The more they open up the more they respond, the more they more they respond the more emotionally invested they become, the more emotionally invested they are, the more they initiate contact, face-to-face meetings etc. The more time you spend in contact and on dates, the better your chances of getting back together.

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12 Comments

  • We had a falling out in August. I have been in no contact with him for 2 months until October in which I sent him a ‘thank you’ card (positive) for Thanksgiving. I received no contact. Then I wrote him a heartfelt letter telling him how I truly felt about him (positive) for Christmas/New Years. Still received no contact. I’ve been contemplating whether I should call him or not but I am afraid to call him. I don’t know what else to do.

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    • I feel bad for you, but I don’t know what else to do either. He hasn’t responded to any of your contacts, I don’t think a call will change anything.

      On the other hand, I don’t really blame him. You disappeared for 2 months… why would he want you back in his life when he’s adjusted to not having you in it? You’ve proven to him that you can “ignore” he exists for 2 months, he’s showing you he can ignore you too.

      Next time you break-up with someone… DON’T do no contact. Use this as a lesson learned.

      The TRUTH About No Contact No One Tells You

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  • I have been in low contact for almost a month and a half, out of the blue my ex sent me a text saying she was confused and doesn’t know if I was just checking in on her or if it’s more for me. I told her I cared about her and wanted to know she was okay but I also miss her. That’s the last I heard from her. I have sent her two texts and no reply.

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    • Unfortunately, this happens a lot with people in low contact. You keep contacting your ex every now and then, they respond out of politeness, but are confused about why you’re contacting them or what you want.

      You think you’re doing something to get back your ex, but most of the time all you are doing is postponing the inevitable.

      I know people who did this for months and had the nerve to be surprised/hurt when they found out their was with someone else. They’re like, “but why was she leading me on”

      How can someone lead you on when they even don’t know you’re trying to get them back?

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  • My ex broke with me because he lost feelings for me. Right after we broke up he started contacting me. I told him it would be best if we didn’t contact each other for a while. He stopped for 2/3 weeks and started contacting me again. I want him back but I’m afraid that if I am too forward by asking him if he wants me back that I might create more distance

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    • Being forward is a good thing, but there is being open and upfront and there is being too pushy/aggressive. Different outcomes

      Asking him if he wants you back at this stage would be too aggressive.

      Use the open line of communication to try to re-ignite those feelings he says he has lost. A person can’t miss what he doesn’t feel in the first place.

      Look back to the time just before the break up, what was missing? What did he say he’d want more of to feel attracted to you? Try to fill those gaps up. If you can INSPIRE him to feel those feelings of attraction again, you’ll not have to ask him if he wants you back. The new feelings of attraction will do the work for you.

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  • Thanks so much for this amazing detail! I didn’t speak to my ex for almost two months following a long distance break up (we broke up in person) but then I reached out, he’s very responsive, but then just stops randomly.

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    • That’s what happens when you don’t speak for 2 months. You grow emotionally apart. They respond but only politely until they get used to contact with you again, and sometimes the connection is lost for good.

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    • In my opinion and in my approach to getting back your ex, YES.

      Everything is straightforward, honest and open right from the start. No mind games, no trickery or manipulation.

      1. Your ex will know from the start that you accept that the relationship has ended, but you still love and care about him/her.
      2. You don’t want to be “just friends”, you want him/her back.
      3. You’re willing to take things slow, and build a better and stronger relationship.
      4. You have truly and genuinely changed, and things will be different this time around.

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  • Thank you for this thoughtful and thought-provoking blog. I honestly think I have been doing all the wrong things and feel frustrated. Sometimes I feel I made progress but other times I feel I am getting no where. Last week it felt like she let me in but since Sunday she has pulled away and emotionally shut me out. She responds but it’s very short replies and its giving me a terrible scare. I know I need to work on our connection and trust but I have trouble with where to put myself in relation to her!

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    • Until you’ve made that connection and established trust, it’ll always be more frustration than progress.

      Since you seem to have just found my site, my advice is to spend a little bit more time reading different articles and others’ experiences with these kind of situations (it happens a lot if that’s any comfort).

      As long as the lines of communication are open, there is always hope. It’s how you use and take advantage of the open lines of communication that makes all the difference!

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