How Can I Change My Ex’s Mind?

can-i-still-change-my-exs-mindIt’s is so much easier to say, just “let things happen naturally” than actually “Let. Things. Happen. Naturally.

Even for the most laid back and most patient of us, there comes a time when you want to “hurry” things up a little.

Although still open to contact and even going out on dates, your ex doesn’t seem able to make us his/her mind. You get the feeling that he/she is struggling with whether he/should give the relationship another chance or not.

The best thing you can do in a situation like this is determine if your ex’s difficulty making up his/her mind is because he/she thinks it CAN’T work between the two of you, or if he/she simply thinks the relationship WILL NOT work.

There is a difference between “it can’t work” and “it will not work”, and this difference may well be that little thing you need for it to “click”.

1. When your ex says the relationship “will not work”, he/she is CHOOSING not to give the relationship another chance. What they are saying to you is “I could, if I wanted to, but I’m choosing not to”.

In my experience, someone will often “choose” not to give the relationship another chance because he/she is judging you based on what he/she knew about you before the break-up — behaviours, habits, preferences, interests etc. Changing “I won’t” to “I want” not only means changing the old perception your ex has of you, but also convincing your ex that there is more you bring to the relationship this time round, and that the additional value will be worth it for him/her.

2. When your ex says “it can’t work” between the two of you, he/she is saying, if he/she could, he/she would give you what you want or agree to what you want, but for reasons beyond his/her control (at the time), he/she can’t give you what you want or agree to what you want.

Quite often the reason an ex will say “it can’t work”,  is because he/she believes that you are two different people who want different things. It maybe that you are in different places in your lives, your goals have changed over time or you are not the person he/she thought you were.

It’s much harder to convince someone that you are right for him/her or that you want the same things. It takes skill, patience and good ol good luck. But it can be done by breaking down those difference to wants and needs and coming up with solutions that address those wants and needs.

It’s a bumpy ride ahead but you aren’t going to get very far getting frustrated and cutting off contact with your ex, trying to force your ex to “make up” his/her mind or fearing to say this or do that and waiting for things to happen naturally. You have to carefully move things forward to make ANY progress.

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20 Comments

  • My ex and I have broken up 11 times within a 2 year duration of the relationship. The recent breakup is 7 weeks ago. We didn’t talk for 4 weeks, he contacted me first. We still have feelings for each other but I don’t know if it will work for us. Part of me believes everything will work out in the end, but another part of me says we’ve tried to make it work too many times and it just is never going to work. What do you think, give it another chance or just move on?

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    • 11 times in 2 years is too many times. I’m sure almost everyone has told you to move on already, but for some reason, here you are, still trying to make it work.

      Both parts of you are right.

      It is never going to work if you are doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

      It can work BUT only if the dynamic of the relationship changes fundamentally, and I mean FUNDAMENTALLY! That’s going to require a LOT of self-work on both sides.

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  • Yangki, I told my ex I was making changes to be a better partner and she said she was happy for me and that my next relationship will be better. What does she mean?

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    • It depends on the context in which she said it and where you are in the process of trying to get back together. It could mean she doesn’t want to come out and say the next relationship will be with her, or it could mean she wants you to think of your next relationship with someone else, not her.

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  • I broke up with her 6 months ago, then I realized how much I really love her. Losing her is tougher than I thought. I’m following the advice in your eBook and so far we are exchanging many fun texts, still no phone calls. She says she’s not ready to talk or meet me for drinks. You said in your eBook that your ex will test you, I’m I being tested? I want to be more real, be there for her and really make her happy.

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    • It’s possible that she’s testing you, but it’s more like she’s afraid of being hurt again. If you are serious about really being there for her and making her happy, give her time. Right now all she has as proof that the changes you’ve made are real and lasting is your word. When she sees for herself that you are consistent in being real and being present, she’ll feel safe to open up more.

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  • My ex and I broke up almost 2 months ago but since then we’ve seen each other four times and been intimate twice. I would say things are good between us. He says he loves me but he’s scared of getting back together out of fear that we won’t work out. After reading your book and articles I realized that I rushed things and haven’t shown him enough how the relationship can be different. So now I’m resetting the pace and doing more to show him the changes. I hope this is the right thing to do. What do you think?

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    • Yes, it’s the right thing to do.

      Sometimes when someone thinks it won’t work out, it is because you have continued with the old relationship. Use the advice on making things FEEL new to create a different tone to the relationship.

      Showing him the changes and making things FEEL new should speed up the process.

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  • We are still keeping in touch ever since and sometimes call each other endearing names we used while we were together. However he has told me a week after the split that he realized he needs to be alone and he doesn’t want to give me false hope that we will eventually be together again. It makes things even more difficult when we are both in different countries. Do you think it’s worth putting in the effort to change his mind? Thank you so much for all that you do Yangki, your work has helped me a lot in a journey of self healing and emotional growth.

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    • I am humbled by your kind words, and happy to have been of some help in your healing and growth.

      Whether it is worth putting in more effort or not is a decision only you can make. I don’t think it’s a good idea to outsource to me or anyone a decision that is about your heart and/or life because the only person who’ll have to live with the decision is YOU.

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