Question: Let me first say, your advice in on point. After two months of me reaching out and initiating contact, my ex has started initiating contact. He reaches out every 3 – 4 days and responds immediately or within a few hours. The other day he apologized for replying the next day. This is good for us, but I am confused by him being hot and cold. Some days it feels like we are very close and he is fully engaged and responds with long text messages and other days he is distant his responses are short and discouraging. For example, last week he said he does not want to hurt me if down the road he decides to date someone else but then that night he texted me ‘Good night, babe.’
I’m not contacting him every day, and I have not brought up getting back together. He has also said he sees how I have changed and is proud of me. This is confusing to me. I really have no idea what goes in his head when he says these things. I’d really appreciate if you can shed some light on my situation?
Yangki’s Answer: You seem to be doing all the right things and not doing anything that would feel like pressure to get back together. The hot and cold behaviour is likely something to do with him than it to do with you. It’s not possible to know exactly what is going on inside another person’s head. It is possible that:
1) Even if he wants contact and initiating it himself, he still struggling with some emotions from the old relationship and/or the break-up, especially if the break-up is recent, if there was betrayal or anything that may have caused resentment.
2) He genuinely cares about you and may even still love you but is not sure if he wants to get back together. He may be initiating contact and doing his part to keep the lines of communication until he is sure if he wants to get back together or not.
3) He wants to get back together at some point but right now feel that he is ready for things to go further than where they are and is using distancing to slow things down a little bit.
4) He notices the changes you have made but does not think it’s enough to make him want to get any closer or is waiting to see if the changes you have made are permanent.
5) He needs some amount of distance and space to be able to do his own self-work
6) It’s something as basic as him being a fearful-avoidant and doing what fearful avoidants do. You can read more about fearful avoidant’s hot and cold pattern here: Fearful Avoidant Ex Is Acting Hot And Cold – Gets Close And Pulls Away.
My advice is to be patient. You can’t do much if the hot and cold behaviour is something that’s coming from within him, except wait and see if things change. But just in case it has to do with you or the relationship, you want to make sure you are doing your part right.
1. Keep the lines of communication open with you initiating contact almost as much as he does, and mirroring his response time. This is to make sure he does not feel pressured for contact. If he is a fearful avoidant, it will help feel safe and not needing to pull away even more.
2. On your own, see if you can identify any potential areas for change that could possibly make him feel hesitant to get even closer. Keep showing him that you have changed, therefore things will be different.
3. Set a time for yourself in which you can keep doing this, 1 to 3 months is reasonable. After this time period, re-evaluate if you want to keep doing the same things or if you need to change strategy.