Think your ex is just being stubborn, playing mind games, stringing you along, leading you on?
A study by researchers from Florida State University will make you re-think your ex’s mixed signals.
According to assistant professor of psychology at Florida State University, Joyce Ehrlinger, there are two types of decision-makers; ‘maximisers’ who obsess over every decision before and after making one, and ‘satisficers’ who are content with whatever decision they make.
What this means for you trying to get back your is that, if your ex is a satisficer, and he/she decides that the relationship is never going to work, he/she is likely to stick with his/her decision. No regrets.
But if he/she thinks that the relationship may have future, that the two of you may actually be able to make it work, he/she is going to try to make it work.
Now if your ex is a ‘maximisers’, not to alarm you or anything… but Houston, you have a problem.
According to Joyce Ehrlinger, ‘maximisers’ want to be certain they made the right decision, but making that “right” decision is a never-ending process.
Maximisers spend months making a decision most people make in a minute. And even after they’ve made a decision, they are still not happy or satisfied with their decision because they cannot be absolutely certain they made the ‘perfect decision’. This causes enormous amounts of anxiety and stress, and some maximisers even go into depression over simple decisions.
And it’s not just relationships that they stress over. They second-guess themselves about buying a house, applying for a job, buying a coffee-maker, and even what socks to wear.
The study published in journal Personality and Individual Differences claims that this indecision and desire to make the right decision and right choice drives off partners. Because maximisers have a hard time making decisions, they also have a hard time making a commitment.
If you are right now dealing with one, you may be going crazy with their indecision. To be honest with you, I can’t blame you. I know some ‘maximisers’ and they literally “scratch” my brain with their agonizing obsession over decisions most people make with little or no problem at all.
They ask me for my opinion about something, then go to another friend/family member/expert and ask what they think about what I said. Then come back to me and ask me what I think about what the friend/family member/expert said about what I said. But even that is still not good enough.
Your ex may still love you very much but holding back because of his/her never-ending decision making process. If you are lucky, they’ll tell you what is holding them back from making a decision, but most of the time all they’ll tell you is that “something” is missing or “something” just doesn’t feel right. When you ask them what that “something” is, they can’t tell you what it is, or they tell you one thing one time and another thing another time.
Trying to understand your ex’s different reasons/excuses is frustrating and at times it may feel like your ex is leading you on, or playing you like a fiddle. But if:
- it’s not in your ex’s nature to play mind games or lead others on
- you’ve seen him/her worry (too much) about other decisions, or
- have had your “everything is going to be okay” moments with him/her (too many as a matter of fact).
That’s your ex being the maximiser he/she is.
So what do you do, walk away? That’s certainly an option. There is however another option. It involves a little bit of work, and patience.