Is Low Contact The Same As Pressure-Free Contact?

how-to-get-him-to-start-initiating-contactI’ve received many comments and emails asking if “low contact” is the same as “pressure-free contact” (which I advocate in my eBook Dating Your Ex). I thought it best to write a brief article to explain the difference.

First of all the two are not the same.

1. Quantity vs. Quality

The assumption behind “limited contact” is that if you contact your ex just the right amount of times, they’ll think you are not needy and clingy and will want to come back.

Not true. People don’t fall in love because of how well you time your contacts. People fall in love because of how well you emotionally connect and how you make them feel. You can spend all your time and energy trying to figure out how often you should contact your ex, or you can spend your time and energy trying to figure out how to make your ex feel loved the way they want to be loved.

Pressure-free contact is about quality. The focus is NOT on “number of contacts” but in the “effectiveness of communication”.

Some people need many contacts or constant communication to feel that feeling (of safety, closeness, importance or excitement), and some people need just a few emotionally powerful words to feel that they are in love. So, instead of putting all your energy trying to get just the right number of contacts, pressure-free contact allows you to work with the needs (safety, closeness, importance or excitement) and communication style of your ex.

2. Doing Vs. Being

Just like “no contact”, “limited contact” is about how long you can sit on your hands to stop yourself from picking the cookie you are not supposed to be eating. It doesn’t say you have the mental toughness to not pick up the cookie, it says you are “trying too hard”. This can help if you have no “self-control” and have a tendency to get anxious and go off contacting someone needlessly. It may make your ex feel less overwhelmed with your number of contacts, but it still doesn’t get you closer to your ex emotionally.

Meaningless “Hi, how are”, “Hi what’s up?’ “Hi, how is your day?” every few days or once a week and “I’m doing fine”, “My life is good”, “I’m on my way to the gym” etc. replies every few hours or days is just that… meaningless and superficial!

Shallow gets you as far as shallow does. After sometime, you run out of things to say and contacts become further and further apart. Next thing you know, you are panicking and over-contacting again.

Pressure-free contact is focused on the energy you emanate and is sensed by your ex. I think it was Anthony Robbins who said ” The quality of your communication equals the quality of your life”. If you don’t have a quality life, no matter how “perfectly” you time your contacts, the quality of your communication will always be poor. That’s the bad news.

The good news is: “quality of life” means different things to different people. For some people it means you are going to so many parties and having great fun. To others is might mean you are doing very well financially or your career is riding high.  And to others it might mean, you are growing more spiritually and maturing emotionally. Because you’ve dated your ex before, you have an idea (hopefully) what “quality of life” means to him or her. If he or she can sense through the energy in your contacts that your life is in line with what he/she considers “quality of life”, you are making headway — in big strides.

3. Calculating Vs. Flexible

Limited contact is focusing on a particular outcome. That is “I’m doing 1+1 to get to 2”. There is a lot of fear, anxiety, and worry there. You not only spend a lot of time, energy and emotion trying to figure out how to do it “perfectly”, you also also spend just as much  time, energy and emotion second guessing yourself and beating up yourself for your “mistakes.”

The real smacker is that you can’t get it “perfect” every time. And because you keep making “mistakes’ (which you will, because you are human), you conclude that things aren’t working and walk away — or muddy it up some more (with desperate pleas, emotional outbursts, over-reactions etc).

Pressure-free contact implies just that – no pressure to get the desired result. 1+1 might get you 0, 1.5 or 3 — and that’s okay. You take that into consideration and make your next move based on what is happening as things unfold. Instead of always trying to get the result you want, you operate from a place of transparency, openness and trust (self-trust and trusting the goodness of the other), and let things add up how they will.

There is no fear, anxiety, and worry because you are not busy scaring yourself with what might happen if you don’t do things “perfectly” or torturing yourself for what you didn’t “do right”. Your times together are relaxed, easy and more fun — in a very natural way. Even if there is someone else, there is no fear, anxiety, and worry because you are not jumping up and down screaming, “choose me! choose me!” but allowing your ex to “choose you” (on their own free will).

4. Ineffective Vs. Effective

Low Contact is like showing up at work exactly when you are supposed to, but doing absolutely no work. You check in and sit back waiting for the day to end so that you can show up again tomorrow – on time as expected.

Showed up alright, but achieved ABSOLUTELY nothing!

Pressure-Free Contact is about moving things forward at the pace that is comfortable to your ex. It’s about achieving results!

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  1. says: Shakira

    Hi Yangki, your advice has been most helpful. My ex and I have had several good conversations on phone, but when I text him he rarely responds. We used to text each other “have a good day” but now he just ignores my morning texts. He also has not initiated contact. But when I call him, he sounds like he’s happy to hear from me and we talk for 10 – 30 minutes. I don’t know what to do to get him to reply to my texts.

    1. He may be ignoring the morning texts because it’s something you did as a “couple”. You are not together anymore.

      It’s also possible that he’s avoiding any possible miscommunication that’s typical with texts. This is especially true, if it’s something that’s happened before.

      What is important is that you are making progress. For now, go with what he’s most comfortable with… talking on the phone. Over time… and if you are connecting… he’ll become comfortable communicating by text, and will start to initiate contact.

  2. says: Brooke

    Yangki, since reading about the bids for emotional connection in your date back ex book, I have started noticing some of the examples you give. To be honest, I used to get frustrated with him sending me photos of his dog because I thought we should be talking about us not the dog. The last time I responded to his bid for emotional connection, the conversation slowly shifts to him asking questions about me. He’s also initiated contact a couple of times. My question is, how long do I have to do this? Do I also send him bids for emotional connection? What are some examples of things I should be saying?

    1. Connecting emotionally is something you do throughout the course of any relationship. There is no start and end date.

      Yes, you should be not only be appropriately responding to his bids for emotional connection, you should be sending some too. I don’t know what it is you want to say, so I can’t come up with any examples that apply to your specific situation. My advice is to use the general idea behind the examples that I give in the book. Send different ones at different times. It works!

  3. says: Prissy

    My ex and I broke up because I pushed him too hard to get married. We’d been living together for 3 months and my parents wanted us to get married. We remained in contact. but at first i was the one mostly initiating it. he started to initiate more and things are really going well. My question is, when do I tell him I want us to get back together? My parents apologized to me when we broke up and said it is my decision when I want to get married. I told him and he seemed happy about it? Is it the right time to talk about getting back together? Btw, I’m 38, he’s 32.

  4. says: Wanda

    I’ve had my share of relationships where I felt like I was the only one putting in the work, compromising, and making personality adjustments. And now I feel that I’m doing the same trying to get my ex back. I’m doing most of the initiate contact, he always responds but does not initiate. I don’t want to give up on the relationships, but at what point do I realize that he does not want me back, and move on.

    1. It’s normal in the initial stages for you who wants the other back to be initiating all the contacts. To get your ex to start initiating contact you have to do more than just contact him.

      But if this is a pattern in your relationships, may be you should be asking yourself why this keeps happening to you.

      My experience with clients is that, people who “give too much” do so to try to control a relationship. It’s hard to think of “giving too much” as a control strategy, but it is. It’s mainly born out of fear — fear that if you don’t say this or do that, you will not get the outcome you want.

      Try stepping back a little and see what happens. Stepping back means “stepping back”, not stop all contact. It can’t be all or nothing. There has to be balance!

  5. says: Jane

    When doing pressure free contact with a ex? Is it fair to expect that communication should be going both ways. I am the dumpee. I.e if he was happy to hear from me and said he call me. Should my expectation be that he does? Or take it as it comes? Thanks

    1. It doesn’t matter if you are the dumper or dumpee, if you are the one who wants the other back, in the initial stages, you are the one who’ll do most of the heavy lifting. But as I mention several times in my articles and eBook, contact for the sake of contact doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t inspire the other person to respond and after sometime he/she just stops contact altogether.

      Your contacts have to be emotionally effective for you to be able to move things forward.

      I’m sure your next question will be…”how do I make my contacts emotionally effective?”. There are many articles on my blog and website on how to do that, and also in my eBook. You have to have a plan, just winging it by asking questions on blogs isn’t going to get your ex back. You have to have a plan — and a strategy.