Are You Reading Too Much Into Your Ex’s Interest?

Question: Yangki, my ex says I was more into him than he was into me. In the beginning, he seemed more into me but I think I became needy and pushy and he lost interest. During he breakup he said he did not have much to give to any relationship and that I needed someone who would love me back the same way I loved them. I tend to get more into men than they are into me and push them away. I am working on myself and at the same time trying to get him back and following your advice in the book. We reestablished contact 10 days ago and we are now texting several times a day. Is there something I should be doing differently?

Yangki’s Answer: Yes. I understand that you are working on yourself, so I’ll be gentle.

Several texts a day for people who re-established contact 10 days ago is way, way too fast.

  1. The chances of your ex thinking that you want more than they can give, and at some point (which he is likely to do sooner than later) withdrawing are very high. Even if he’s the one initiating the several contacts, and seems more into to you in the beginning, you have seen it happen before.
  2. Too much contact in the initial stages gives a false sense of interest and momentum, and when he withdraws (which he will), you will most likely act needy because you are still working on not being needy and pushy. it takes time to get rid of an old habit.
  3. You can’t sustain that level of contact in the initial stages of the process. You have to build up the connection slowly. If you start too fast, there is nowhere to go from there than down. In the book I say, what feels good in the moment is not always right for long term.

Given that you tend to misread the other person’s interest and get more into them than they are into you, I advice you to be extra careful when using the advice in my book. Like most needy, desperate people and over-thinkers, you will most likely misread the stage you are in the process. I see this a lot in the comments here and with some clients. They are like, he/she is interested when their ex is just being polite or mildly curious. I have momentum when all their ex is doing is responding but not initiating any contact. I am being friend-zoned, after only 3 – 4 weeks of contact, etc. They read a lot more into the situation than the average person.

Without much information about your situation, I would put you at stage 2 of 10… meaning, all you have now is communication and some emotional connection. You still have a long, along way to go. Don’t “misread” this one too and push him away, again.

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  • My ex and i had a great 9 month relationship but broke up pretty mutually after a few weeks of us drifting apart. Weve been speaking again for 1.5 months, had some good convos and a phone call. I initiated almost all contact except 1 time and her liking my social media posts. She did say yes to meeting up for breakfast this week. i know she tends to be a little shy so im not surprised about her not initiating much contact, but am please she said yes to meeting up. thoughts on her interest level?

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    • What’s working to your advantage is the open lines of communication. Whether it means there is interest or whether she’s being polite and friendly especially because there was no animosity before, during or after the break-up is hard to tell without any insights to why and how you drifted apart. Some differences can be resolved, and others can’t.

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  • My ex and I have been speaking again for 2 months. We were spending time together, and things were going really well… but we were then in different cities for a month so couldn’t see eachother. In that time I started to feel insecure about his feelings for me, and acted on these insecurities… Arguments kept occurring, and now he says he feels different and ‘pushed backwards’. We are still speaking daily, but he seems hesitant to meet up. I regret acting needy and insecure.

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    • I hear what you are saying. Needy and insecure is not attractive. But regret does not get an ex back, you have to consistently show him it’s not going to happen again. Him wanting to meet up will happen once he begins to believe there is a chance for a better relationship. As of now, he does not believe…

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      • My ex and I agreed that we’d remain friends but it’s getting harder and harder for me when she tells me what a wonderful date she had. I don’t think she’s intentionally trying to hurt me, she’s not like that. I just think she does not realize how much it hurts hearing her talk about other guys and seeing that she has moved on when I’m still not completely over her.

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      • Your ex sounds like a caring person, so why not just be honest and tell her that you want to be happy for her, but you’re human and it hurts to hear her talk about other guys. If you don’t speak up she might think you’re okay with it. You on the other hand will be stewing with hurt and anger until one day you just can’t take it anymore and blow up. Talking calmly about what is bothering you keeps you in control of your emotions and gets you a calmer and kinder response.

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