This is a true story.
An old friend I knew 20-some years ago heard about me from another friend and decided to re-open lines of communication.
I get this email from a name I recognize, but I was hesitant to open it because you know, it could be a hacker. And it’s like what?… 20 years?
But curiosity got the best of me, and of course I was excited just in case it was really her. We had some really good times back in the good ol’ days.
I open the email and it was… “Hi, remember me?” and then a link.
So I click on the link and it was an article about a concert featuring an African musician I had never heard of. I still have fond memories of my friend… but seriously?
No word from her in over 20 years, and she thought this was a good way to re-open the lines of communication?
No “how are you” or how’s Canada, or if I have children, how many, how’s my mom, is she still alive…. nothing. Nothing about me and nothing about her. Just some cold impersonal link.
But I wasn’t going to be rude and not respond, after all she had made an effort to reach out. So, I responded.
“Hi, I remember you.” Then sent her a link about the 2018 Summit and G20 leaders pledging to fight climate change. That’s where my mind and emotions were at the time. Something I am passionate about and my Liberal “Woke Self” is emotionally invested in.
The next day she responded. I am not kidding, she wrote, “WHAT?”
She had no clue what I was talking about. She remembered me from 20 years ago, but that me had grown up and moved on to “more serious” stuff like climate change and attracting back exes.
I asked her to send me her phone number. I then explained to her why I responded the way I did. We spoke for 3 longs hours and it felt really good to reconnect.
My point is: Sometimes exes don’t respond or respond but seem cold not because they don’t want you to contact them, want “space” or want to be left alone. They don’t respond or are cold because you sent them a link to an article or video with a question that does not trigger any emotions and/or isn’t where their mind is at the time.
1. Say “hi” and have a few exchanges before you start sending links to articles and videos
If you are going to send someone a link to an article or video, make sure you first establish that they want to hear from you. Maybe they don’t want to hear from you, and your clueless self thinks sending a link about something equally clueless is going to make them want to talk to you. Not.
Establish where your ex is at mentally and emotionally before you send them a link. Maybe they are going through some personal stuff or a really difficult patch in life, and here you are sending them links to movies or “funny videos”.
2. Links to articles and videos are impersonal
These are someone else’s words or work and just sending links without any “personal input” from you is a lazy way to communicate. And if you haven’t been in contact with someone, sending them a link says that you put very little effort into re-opening lines of communication. It’s not a good feeling and don’t be surprised if you get no response at all – or an impersonal one.
Add something “personal” to what you are sending like a comment, personal viewpoint or thoughts about whatever it is you are sending.
3. Don’t assume that your ex is still interested in things they were interested in
Life goes on after a break-up, and especially after a break-up. Many people throw themselves into changing, learning new things and going to new places as a way of healing and bouncing back better. The persona you knew may not be the same person anymore. They may have rearranged their ‘broken pieces” differently.
Maybe they have been hoping you’d reach out, but now that you have, they are like “WHAT?” Seriously? They have no idea why you are sending them that particular link.
Even if your ex is still interested in movies, food, music, art, the gym etc., at that particular point in time, they may have other things in mind and not interested in talking about whatever it is you are sending links about.
4. Put some emotion into the links you send
Don’t just send a link because you are scared of saying the wrong thing, don’t know what to say or are trying to hide the fact that you are not a good communicator.
Say something meaningful enough to make an emotional connection. “I thought you’d like this” or “I found this interesting” is not emotional connection. Say something about the article or video that you know your ex will emotionally connect with.
Also using ‘feeling words‘ like “happy”, “excited” “angry”, “surprised” etc,. arouse like emotions in others.
If you are not sure how you are doing on emotionally connecting with your ex, this article will help.