Question: My ex is open to getting back together but he wants things to happen naturally. “Let it happen” naturally is what he says. He ended the relationship saying we are too different, and we can never make each other happy. He is right that we are different, but I think our differences work for us not against us. I admit that I have sometimes pushed him but that is because he is capable of so much more. In my defense he procrastinates and sometimes talks himself out of doing something that advances and expands his business. He appreciated it when I pushed him but now says it made him unhappy for a long time.
Also during the break-up he said he has done things he did not want to because I pushed him. One of the incidents he mentioned was a trip we took which we planned together. He procrastinated and I stepped in to make it happen. We had a good time, and was surprised when he said he pretended to be happy for me.
I love this man to death and want to marry him. I don’t know how to make him see that we are good for each other. We agreed that we would be friends and be in each other’s life. Things were good for a while. The last couple of weeks I have noticed him responding less and not reaching out at much. I confronted him and he said I need to stop pushing to get back together and let things happen naturally and organically. I’m afraid that if I don’t contact him, we will grow apart. Advice Please? Thnxs.
Yangki’s Answer: I’ll answer the easy part first. He is not complaining about you contacting him, there is therefore no reason why you should stop reaching out. What he wants you to stop doing is pushing to get back together. You pushing just confirms what he said about you pushing him to do things he did not want to do.
When somebody says, “stop pushing”, stop pushing. It doesn’t mean he needs ‘space” or wants you to stop contacting him unless he specifically says that’s what he needs.
Someone who has been unhappy for a long time isn’t ready to jump back right in only two months later. Whether the happiness was from you pushing him, or from his own personal issues that have nothing to do with you, or both, he probably needs a break from being unhappy and pretending to be happy. A break from being unhappy and pretending to be happy means being able to be himself without you pushing him to do things he does not want to.
Whether that will make him happier, I don’t know. But at least it will give him the feeling that things are happening naturally and organically.
You obviously have attachment anxiety that’s why him needing to find his own happiness feels like a threat to the future of the relationship. It’s what’s making you feel that “stop pushing’ means “stop contact” and stopping contact means you will grow apart.
But it could also be that your past experience with him has been that if you do not “step in”, nothing happens. A good example is the trip where you had to step in to make it happen. The difference is that trying to attract back your ex unlike planning a trip involves many conflicting emotions. There is so much uncertainty and push-back. The harder you try to make it happen, the more resistance you will get from your ex and the less your chances of getting back together.
Everyone has their own definition of what it means to “let things happen naturally” or organically. What I understand it to be is giving each other both the time and space that you both need to feel comfortable that things are what you want them to be and getting back together is the right decision for both of you. It doesn’t mean you should not put in any effort in trying to get back together, it just mean the effort you put in should feel effortless (not forced, stressful or trying too hard).
To get to the place where both of you feel comfortable that things are what you want them to be and getting back together is the right decision for both of you, make sure that you are doing the right things to make it happen.
What you need to do to attract back your ex naturally and organically is starting now:
1. Don’t push, don’t force ad don’t chase.
It seems that he is not against the idea of getting back together at some point, he just doesn’t want to be pushed to doing it. He may be thinking of all the other times when he has done something to make you happy but wasn’t happy about it. So for now, don’t again ask to get back together, at least not until you have created enough momentum for the answer to be a definite “yes” or even an optimistic “maybe”.
2. Keep the lines of communication open.
Nothing happens when you are not talking to each other. You can’t just sit back and do nothing and expect something to happen; even the plants in the Amazon forest that grow naturally need water and sunshine.
How often you talk depends on your ex and on their attachment style. If you are on good terms and have good communication, have a conversation about what is comfortable for both of you.
Do a site search on “attachment styles” and see how you can make sure your ex feels safe enough to want to give the relationship another chance.
3. Work on strengthening your emotional connection and bond
Unhappiness in a relationship often means that there was/is an emotional disconnection. One or both people stopped checking in to see how the other was feeling. You stopped emotionally connecting with each other’s feelings and emotions on a regular basis.
Letting things happen organically is consciously looking for opportunities to emotionally connect but not forcing it to happen. Do a site search on ’emotional connection”. There is a whole category on this topic alone.
4. Create new, happy and positive memories
Constantly reminding your ex of old good memories is lazy and unimaginative. It is good to bring up good memories to remind your ex of what you had, but if all you have is “nostalgia”, you will come across as stuck in the past, after a while boring.
What’s new, what’s interesting, what’s exciting, and what’s happening NOW is what creates attraction.
5. Show your ex that you have changed.
Your ex needs to see and experience you as ‘not pushing”. He needs to see that you accept him for who he is, and can let him be himself. This seems to be very important to him.
Do a site search and you will find articles on how to show your ex you changed.
6. Don’t force what your ex is not comfortable with.
Always make sure things are comfortable at the stage you are in. Before you ask for more or take things to the next stage make sure the timing is right. For example, ask for a date only when your ex is comfortable with texting, email or phone contact. If they are not even comfortable being in contact via text, chances are they are not comfortable with face-to-face meeting. If on the other hand your ex is more comfortable seeing each other in person, don’t try to force them to text more because you think it will create more momentum. It will do the opposite, slow things down.
7. Take it easy
The word to keep in mind when you think of “letting things happen naturally” is effortlessness or ease. If you feel that you are working too hard to make things happen, you are not letting things happen naturally. The harder you work on trying to make a relationship happen, the less time you both have to enjoy it.
Focus on the journey (present moment) and not the destination (getting back together). As they say, if you take good care of the “present/moment”, the future will take good care of itself.
It’s important that you keep the lines of communication open. This is the only way he can see that you are changing. People believe change they can see happening than when you reappear a month later claiming to have changed.
Keeping the lines of communication open also gives you the opportunity to build up momentum. This is impossible to do if you are not in contact.
In keeping the lines of communication open you will be creating a new experience that’s different from when he was ‘not been happy” and you were pushing him to do things he did not want to.
Last but not least, keeping the lines of communication open allows you to spend time together. Spending time together is an opportunity to test-drive the new relationship to see how it feels like both of you. If there are things that still need work, you can work on them so that both of you to feel that getting back together is what you both want.