Should I Be Concerned My Ex Is Pulling Further Away, Or Is This Normal?

Question: I need expert advice. Should I be concerned my ex is pulling further away, or is this normal? What can I do if I feel my ex pulling away?

I have been reading your site for the past couple of weeks. As you can tell, I obviously still want my ex back. We had a wonderful relationship but I started to get jealous and needy and he pulled back; which made me even more needy and clingy leading to him breaking up with me. It’s been 5 months since we broke up. Our conversations are mostly light and friendly; but I feel like he is pulling further away from me. In your experience is there a certain time after which no matter what you do, you have no chance?

Yangki’s Answer: In almost every case of trying to attract back and ex there is a pull-push dynamic. This is because you have a history together and before someone comes back, they want to make sure it is safe to come back. They pull you close when they feel safe; and pull away when they don’t. Sometimes an ex will pull  further away is because of something you said or did; and sometimes, they pull away on their own. This is normal.

But if 1) there is more pulling/pushing away than pulling close; 2) the pulling/pushing away happens too frequently or; 3) the length of time they pull away is way much longer than the length of time you are close, it’s usually not a good sign. It usually means your ex it is the normal and expected pull-push dynamic; it’s your ex pulling further and further away, and you should be concerned.

It’s hard to put a timeline on how long it takes to get your ex back. Most people get back within 2 – 4 months of the break-up. But there are so many factors at play that may further delay getting back together .e.g.

  • The reason(s) for the break-up;
  • The emotional state of both parties;
  • If you’re doing no contact (that’s 1 -3 months of not doing anything to attract back your ex)
  • Other things unrelated to the relationship going on one or both people’s lives (e.g. job search, relocation, illness etc);
  • The confidence level of the person trying to get the other back. Most people operating from a place of fear, e.g. I don’t want to scare my ex further away, or I don’t want to come across as needy etc, usually take much longer to get their ex back. The majority never get their ex back.

The first 1 – 2 months after a break-up are the most crucial in terms of your chances of getting your ex back. However, hurrying back to get your ex often does not work. In cases where it does work, the relationship usually doesn’t last because you are continuing from where the old relationship ended. This is when you get the on-and-off-again type scenarios.

What I’ve noticed is that if you’ve been actively trying to get your ex back for 6 plus months and there is no progress, the chances of you getting back together are dramatically reduced. It doesn’t mean you can never get your ex back, it just means it’s harder as more time passes.

Remember the saying “time heals all wounds”? Not completely true. Time does not heal all wounds, some wounds we learn to live with. Given enough time, even an ex who still hurts, misses you and longs for you can learn to live without you.


Will Contacting Your Ex Push Them Further Away? (Bitter Truth)

Fearful Avoidant Ex Is Hot And Cold Should I Reach Out?

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  1. says: Momad

    I’m with everyone here. This is not easy, but I love my ex so much that I’m willing to be patient. Knowing that many people are going through the same helps.

  2. says: Sandy

    I broke up with my ex because he said he hadn’t been happy for a while and wanted space. I mistakenly interpreted it to mean he wanted to breakup and I told him not to contact me. After I read your site, I contacted him and he responded positively. Is it a good sign that he responded positively although he still wants to be alone for a while? We’re both in our 40s.

    1. It’s always a positive sign when someone responds. However, just a few positive responses doesn’t say much about whether he is interested or not.

      Reach out to him but also give him the space he needs. That is, don’t actively try to get him back yet. Take it one day at a time.

  3. says: Alexy

    Thank you for this article. I’m confused by my ex’s behavior and need some guidance. When we are together, it seems like he’s very interested. He flirts and calls me baby. But when we are not together, he doesn’t initiate contact and doesn’t reply to my texts until I text him asking him if he got my text. He replies, yes and asks how are you. He does not explain why he did not text me back.

    1. If he’s not a natural flirt, he is probably just trying to get laid.

      But it could also be that you have never given him the opportunity to act. You get anxious when he does not respond when you want him to and text him. When you keep nagging people about replying to your texts, most ignore you or act passive aggressive.

      I suggest that you send him a text, then give him a day or even 3 to see if he texts you back. If he doesn’t… then you know.

  4. says: Zak

    I’m in the same situation with my ex, asked her if she wanted me to stop contact and she said, is all up to me, it always has been. But when I contact her she always responds right away. I’m trying to communicate better and hopefully she will open her heart to me again.

  5. says: Loui

    I agree with Cally, there is a different tone to this website, more hope than gloom. I had been planning to quit and give up because everything I tried was not working. Two days on here and I was sold to the idea of starting over. Bought the dating ex book and things have been improving. I still screw things up mainly because of being overly defensive but working on that too. Whatever happens, I will know I gave it my best. Thank you.

  6. says: Cally

    I really needed to read some positive advice about getting my ex back. I feel like all the advice I have encountered on the internet is negative and predicts failure and disappointment. It’s good to finally read advice that reassures me that there is light at the end of this winding tunnel.

  7. says: Jaef

    I’m in the same situation. My ex/gf ended it because she “needed to figure” out what she wants but wants to work things out at a later date. We keep in touch everyday but while my heart tells me to give her time to figure out what she wants my head tells me she is just using me.

  8. says: Jerry C.

    I called her up and told her I will try to be understanding and she said thank you. About 5 minutes later she forwarded me some funny stuff and we had some very pleasant exchanges. She said she had to go and again said, “thank you.” This is the most communication we’ve had in 2 weeks. Usually she’s just answering only the questions I ask her. I know it’s not much but I feel better than I did before. Thank you.

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