Get Your Ex Emotionally Engaged And Start Initiating Contact

If you haven’t created enough emotional momentum or your ex isn’t emotionally engaged (yet), letting your ex initiate contact is self-sabotage.

Emotional momentum is necessary to keep and and hold your ex’s attention long enough for them to begin looking forward to you reaching out; and to start initiating contact.

Your ex initiating contact is always a good sign. It means that they’re emotionally invested in keeping the lines of communication open; and maybe even interested in wanting to make things work.

But before you let your ex start initiating contact; you must make sure that there is enough emotional investment on their part. Your ex will not initiate contact if they’re not emotionally invested. What will happen is that if you don’t contact them, there will be no contact for days even weeks. The longer you’re not in contact, the more disconnected you become. It’s hard to get back together with very long periods of time when you’re not talking to each other.

If you want to get your ex emotionally engaged and start initiating contact, you need to follow these simple steps.

1) Identify what your ex feels emotionally connected to

We all have something we’re emotionally invested in; something that gets and holds our attention and interest. It can be something to do with family, work, a pet, a hobby or interest, a course, religion, politics etc. It’s different for everyone.

If you’ve actually been “present” in your relationship; you should know your ex well enough to know what gets and holds your ex’s attention. This is what you need to access and get inside your ex’s inner/emotional world.

2) Find the emotion and use it in an interesting yet authentic way

One you are inside you ex’s inner/emotional world, you have access to their emotions; and how they feel about things.

When people communicate, they give away a lot of information about how they are feeling. I’m not taking about how your ex is feeling about YOU, that’s the “Me, Myself and I” mentality. I’m talking about if your ex is happy/excited about an achievement, feeling sad about something, stressed out at work etc.

How your ex feels is very important if you want to be a part of your ex’s emotional world, make your ex look forward to your texts, and get them to start initiating contact.

How you do that is by connecting to the emotion your ex is communicating at any particular moment. This is one other reason why maintaining contact with your ex is crucial. It’s hard to know if your ex is happy, feeling sad or stressed out if you haven’t been in contact for weeks.

3) Make sure you do not force emotional momentum to happen

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to create emotional momentum that you end up undermining what you’re trying to achieve. “Trying too hard” will show as forced, unauthentic and manipulative.

  • Stay present (one conversation at a time).
  • Show that you’re genuinely interested in what your ex is interested in
  • Ask relevant questions that show interest/genuine need to know or understand
  • Make suggestions, provide additional insight, challenge etc,
  • Pay attention to how your ex is feeling and connect with that feeling or emotion

Do this over an extended period of time, and you will begin to build enough emotional momentum for your ex to want to initiate contact. They will start initiating contact because they feel emotional connection when they talk to you; and reach out to experience that connection again.

You can create emotional momentum just by text, email and phone calls alone — without meeting in person. In some cases it may even be best to hold off meeting in-person until there is enough emotional momentum to make the in-person meeting or date more likely.

If you are struggling with building momentum, I am happy to work with you one-on-one to develop a strategy/plan of action that’ll move things forward.

RELATED:

Emotional Momentum – How to Get And Keep Your Ex’s Attention

Should I Let My Ex Initiate All Contact? (I’m The Dumpee)

How to Emotionally Connect With Your Ex (The Right Way)

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37 Comments

  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Danine

    Yangki, I have been reading your articles for around a month now and finally bought your book a few days ago as i wanted more guidance. My ex and I talk on a regular basis and he responds to my texts immediately. However, I noticed that he responds pretty quickly to questions related to his work, family and dog. But when I ask him anything personal like what he is doing over the weekend he stops answering my texts or says something like “not much” or “going out”. Is there a reason for this? And how do I get him to open up more?

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

      It takes time for an ex to let you in on their personal life especially if you have been cut off from each other’s life for a prolonged period of time.

      As long as he’d responding and engaged, keep building emotional momentum and responding to his emotional bids for connection. He’ll open up as emotional safety is created. All that is in the book.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Isabella

    We were together for 8 months and he broke it off because he didn’t feel he was in love with me. After 3 weeks of no contact, I reached out to him. I used your advice and we’ve been on 5 dates. I initiated 2 and he initiated 3. We both have busy schedules but we try to keep in touch every day. My question is, should I now step back and let him pursue me? I don’t want to push him away but I also want him to feel he’s in love with me.

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

      With the information you’ve given, I don’t think that he’ll “pursue” you if you pull back, now.

      I think that you should do more to address why he didn’t feel he was in love with you. If you don’t, you’ll get to a certain point (like before) and he’ll again break it off because he’s not feeling “it”.

      Why he’s not feeling “it” may have to do with you trying to “manage” the relationship a little too much (like you are doing now), instead of letting things happen more naturally. Just a wild guess…

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Max

    Hi Yangki, I have been following your ebook and also had 1 hr session with you. Your advice has been very helpful. She has initiated 2 conversations in the last month. Should I now step back and let her initiate more?

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

      It’ll set you back. Two conversations doesn’t seem like balance has been restored, I am sure you have initiated a lot more. See if you can get to a ratio of one for one or even one for two, before you change anything.

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Evan

    Starting last week she began not responding to my texts and sending one word answers. She even turned down my requests to speak over the phone. My first response was to give her space and not contact her for a few weeks. But this has pretty much been the pattern so I decided to try your approach. I asked some very specific questions. At first I got the same one word responses, but after a couple of texts she opened up more. She even sent me a couple of links and followed up with asking me what I thought. Is this emotional momentum?

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Kristen

    Yangki, I had momentum until last week. I went to a party and got completely wasted and sent him a drunk text saying I really missed him. The next morning I regretted it and wrote him one back saying that I missed him as a person and that he shouldn’t get freaked out. He didn’t reply until the next day, “I understand :)”. I thought well its over and so called him for closure but he didn’t answer. This morning, two days later, I received a text from him “I was with family over the weekend. How was your weekend?” His family lives in another state. I replied “Weekend was good 🙂 thanks for asking. Hope you have a good week :)” and that is it. What do you think?

    1. I agree, some momentum was lost there. Your impulsive actions may have given him some concern. It’s almost like you’re subconsciously trying to sabotage yourself and any possibilities of a relationship. But he’s still responding, that’s always a good sign that all is not completely lost.

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: katieNJ

    Yangki–I am following your advice and working on building momentum. I think I am making progress since we are speaking longer on the phone and he initiates communication equally. My question is, how can I stay in contact with him and handle the hurt I feel? I don’t want to go NC because I want to work things out. But it hurts to talk to him and not be with him. I almost understand why people do NC because this hurts so much. How can I deal with this while working to build momentum with him?

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: vicki

    How do I build emotional momentum. My ex and I talk about every two weeks, but I feel like the relationship is not moving forward. I need help build the momentum. what do I say???

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

      Momentum is not about “what to say”. Momentum is created from a series of actions/steps consistently taken over a period of time.

      I’m happy to be of help. You can learn more about working with me here. Looking forward to working with you.

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Charles

    Thank you, Yangki. I showed my exs texts to my therapist and my therapist says my ex is just trying to tie up loose ends. She says its best if i dont respond and let it go. Also there is one text my therapist says she is trying to make me jealous. Ive been cool and confident and not needy but Im so confused.

    1. I haven’t seen the texts… it’s possible that your therapist is right.

      As I said before, the detached game you are playing isn’t helping the situation. You can’t know what your ex is upto if you are not communicating, and you can’t make any progress playing the passive role.

      You keep this up, and she might think you are not interested.

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Charles

    After 2 weeks of no contact she sent me a text asking how im doing. I waited a week then sent her a text saying I was doing fine. The next week she texted me again and i waited 2 days before replying. She texts me 1-2 times a week. I dont initiate any contact and don’t rush to respond when she texts me. I keep it pleasant but light and dont divulge any information about me. A couple of times shes tried to talk to me about the breakup but I cut the conversation short so it doesnt turn ugly. She even said maybe she made a mistake but when I pressed her on what she meant she said to forget it. Is there hope in her coming back the way Im doing things? Sometimes I feel like Im making progress and other times I dont know.

    1. At some point you’ll have to communicate beyond superficial texts. As the first and second part of the articles says, a text or call once in a while is just that, contact. Until you start really connecting on a deeper level, you won’t see much progress.

      As for the rest of your strategy re: not initiating contact, I think you are making a mistake that could potentially backfire.

      Here is an article you’ll find helpful. Should I Let My Ex Initiate All Contact?

  10. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Scarlet

    My ex and I have text conversations every other day. He is responsive and positive but after three or so exchanges he just stops. In your book you say sometimes conversations end naturally and I understand that but I feel like sometimes he just ends it abruptly. Any explanation for this? I guess I am still adjusting to the change in the pattern of our communication.

    1. There are various reasons, e.g. he’s busy, he doesn’t want to have long text conversations, he doesn’t know what to say, the topic of conversation at the time is not something he’s interested in or comfortable with, etc. All these are things that lead to dropped conversations, that and the fact that you are not in a relationship so he doesn’t feel he has to communicate with you in any particular way.

      What important is what happens when you reconnect. Do you feel more connected or less connected.

  11. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Melia

    Hi Yangki, thank you so much for everything you’re doing on this blog. It has been helping me much since my breakup 3 weeks ago.
    Out of curiosity, what have you seen in terms of those who have been straightforward in laying the cards on the table, and being sincere in the apologies and expressing hopes for reconciliation (and then going into NC/LC if it doesn’t work out) VS slowly building emotional momentum like what you’re advocating here (and hopefully translates into something substantial)?

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t have experience or interest working/coaching people who are in NC/LC or considering it, and therefore can’t give you any perspective on it.

      Slowly building emotional momentum is not just something I advocate, it’s what has worked for my clients.

      I say this with humility… the difference between my advice and much of the NC/LC advice on the internet is that I’m not just advocating theories or ideas I think will work, I share what HAS WORKED for my clients. It’s up to the reader to decide if they want to use my advice or do NC/LC.

  12. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Kenny

    This has been the case for me for the last 3 months. Regular texts and long talks on the phone every other day but she still says something is missing. She still loves me but wants to feel it. I’m definitely going to take your advice and appeal to her emotions. Any ideas how to do that? Thank you.

  13. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Victoria

    My ex and I met for the first time tonight, thanks to your advice and help. I was very excited to see him but also nervous. After a while I relaxed and we had a great time. We didn’t talk about the breakup but at one point he was very quite and seemed distant. I asked if he was okay and he said he had missed me. He walked me to my car and gave me a long hug. How soon should I organise another catch up?

    1. Congratulation on your first date!… (:

      There is no “right” number of days before you ask your ex out again. The most important thing is not to rush anything.

      More dates don’t necessarily mean a better chance of getting back together. I’ve seen too many people rush into “dates” and after the initial excitement of seeing each other again, their ex begins pulling away.

      In the very initial stages, it’s best to take things very slowly so you can rebuild a strong connection and get him thinking of giving the relationship another try.

  14. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ulrich

    Made huge progress but then just this week I feel like I have seriously regressed. It took me a long time to get her to meet up with me. When we finally did we both had a great time. Until this week, everything was great. We saw each other every weekend and I even stayed at her place. Then we had a fight and she has completely pulled away. My gut is telling me to not give up and keep trying but my head tells me I’m wasting my time.

    I did coaching with you and read your blogs and feel like I let myself down and also let you down.

  15. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Foxy

    This article is extremely interesting to me. Learning the language of emotional connection is very important to me and I believe I have been successful with the emotional connection part mainly due to reading your material. But building emotional momentum has been a challenge. I understand it but didn’t really know how to put it into action. I feel like I’m finally beginning to get momentum with him.

  16. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Sakla

    I had built emotional momentum but whatever was there seems to be gone. My bids for connection have been largely ignored but after reading this article and your response to Lynn, I have determined that I am largely to blame. I need to be better at being present and responding to the specific ways my ex is connecting.

  17. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Daleanne

    I did everything just as you advice in your book and it worked for a while, then things went south when I saw a photo of him and a woman he posted on his FB and I totally lost it. He still responds to my texts but it is pretty awkward now, not like before. I think I really messed up and now don’t know what to do. Please help. I would give or do almost anything for him.

    1. Yes, you messed up for sure. But since he’s still open to contact, it may not be completely over.

      Your best chance is to re-boot and start building that connection all over again. You did it before, you can do it again.

      Just don’t mess up again. It gets harder and harder each time.

  18. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jakka

    It’s funny how things click sometimes all of a sudden. I was thinking about this because my conversations with my ex sometimes feel forced. Thanks to your amazing posts the silly arguments have stopped and we seem to like each other better. I am definitely going to take some pointers from this to change things.

  19. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: EricF

    Since we started talking again I noticed that my ex is nervous talking to me and it does get awkward at times because we were each other’s best friend for so long. I am trying to be careful not to say or do the wrong things.

    1. Not saying the wrong things help, but as the article says, it’s not enough if
      you want to move things forward. You have to hold your ex’s attention for
      extended periods of time for her to look forward to your texts or calls, and
      start initiating conversations.

      Just avoiding saying the wrong things doesn’t create enough forward movement.

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