My Ex Wanted A Break – Should I Respond If She Contacts Me?

Question: My girlfriend of 2yrs decided 5 weeks ago that she wanted “a break” with no contact. A couple of weeks before the breakup she said she felt she was losing the attraction and after talking to her, she agreed it was no reason to breakup. We both promised to work on the relationship but she surprised me with wanting “a break” with no contact. I was a little bit surprised that she asked for no contact but I told her I loved her and wanted her to be happy, then gave her what she wanted and did not contact her.

After 3 weeks of no contact, she texted me, “Hey there! How are you?” I haven’t replied yet, nor am I sure I should. I want her back but don’t want to jump in too needy. Any help on how to respond is much appreciated.

Yangki’s Answer: It can be confusing for someone to say one thing and do the exact opposite. Sometimes it’s just not worthwhile trying to figure out why people do the things they do. Anything you read into it may be just that — your thoughts.

If you want her back, yes respond. Remember, you are on a break, and not officially broken up. Technically, she’s not even you ex, yet.

I suggest you reply her text but only answer her question. Something like, “I’m doing as best as I can. I hope you’re okay too”.

“I’m doing as best as I can” is kind of neutral. It does not say you’re “falling apart without her” nor does it say you’re “better off without her”. If the only reason she’s contacting you is to stroke her ego and make herself feel good that you’re missing her, she’s not going to get her ego stroked with a neutral response. If on the other hand, she’s contacting you because she misses you and wants you back, it’ll tell her she still has a chance to try to get you back.

As you may have read on this site, I am not a fan of ‘no contact’ unless you need it to move on. But people do it, and if you are on the receiving end of ‘no contact’, you just have to deal.

If you want her back, you have to find ways to move past the fact that they chose to do ‘no contact’ when you would have rather stayed in contact. If by the time they contact you and you do not want them back in your life, then let the no contact continue. You don’t need to respond, it was their decision to have no contact in the first place.

Go slow, let her take the lead, but don’t let her do all of the initiating contact.

1. That’s giving her all the power. Sounds counter-intuitive but being a passive participant in a relationship means that you end up doing what the other person wants, and not what you want. In this case, if she doesn’t contact you, all you can do is wait.

2. People lose interest and attraction if they are the only ones trying to keep the lines of communication open or make the relationship work.

So yes, let her take the lead but after her initiating 2 – 4 times, start initiating contact too. Just make sure you don’t do a lot more than she does, especially in the beginning.

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17 Comments

  1. says: Dennis

    2 months of silence and last night she texted asking if we can be “just friends.” I was very happy to hear from her after trying for so long to get her to talk to me again. She said she received all my texts and emails but wanted space to figure out what she wants. I still love her but at the same time I don’t want to end up just her friend. I want her back. I don’t want to be the guy whose shoulder she cries on when another guy breaks her heart. How should I respond?

    1. Something along the lines of happy to hear from her, talk a little about your life (highlighting the new positive changes/happenings, but don’t over do it), then ease into asking her what she means by “just friends” and end with you’ll keep in touch (your own words/style so it sounds somewhat familiar and reassuring).

      When she responds, see how the terms fit with your long term goals and if necessary negotiate the terms of the “just friends” zone. Always aim at keeping the lines of communication open, so you can find out her true intentions and /or feelings.

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