In my article Why Is No-Contact When You Need Space A Bad Thing?, I compared cutting off all contact, deleting your ex’s phone #, unfriending him/her, blocking them from all social media, ignoring any attempts to make contact and/or acting like they don’t exist to moving out and taking all your stuff and even the furniture and pots, claiming you are doing so because you need “space” (or time to heal).
Someone who just needs “space” doesn’t completely erase you out of his/her life. They don’t remove all reminders of you, and disappear you. Someone who erases you out of his/her life wants you gone (without a trace).
So when they contact you saying they want you back into their lives, it’s like someone who moved out all their stuff (and pretended they never knew you) knocking at your door and when you open, they are standing there with all their belongings – and some.
Not so fast. Your ex wanted you gone, erased. Your ex treated you like someone they used to know, a stranger. You are not being rude if you tell the stranger at your doorstep “not so fast!”
If your ex wants you back and you want to be back in his or her life, take your time. They were quick to erase you out of their life before, what happens if they again “want space”? Do you AGAIN get erased and treated like a stranger?
Start slowly with texts first, then phone calls, then dates etc.
As discussed in my book and on the site, the level of contact MUST reflect where you are in the process of getting back together. If the frequency of texts, phone calls, dates feels like you are back together when you are obviously not together, you are moving way too fast.
If you are contacting each other like a couple in a relationship, it’s not a good sign. If you are seeing each other so frequently that it feels like you never broke up, it’s not a good sign. If your ex gets upset because you are not ready to get back together (yet), it’s not a good sign.
Someone who really cares about you (and not just going for their agenda) will want to make sure that you feel safe enough to want to get back together. When they evicted you from their life, they made you feel unsafe. If they want you back, they have to make you feel safe.
Before you give them another chance, make sure you know how things are going to be different (if you do get back together). What do they own up to or take responsibility for? What changes have they made to ensure that things will not go back to how they used to be? What should you expect going forward? What happens if things don’t go their way (again), will they want you gone, disappeared again?
Remember: People don’t change UNLESS they want to (and take action to change).