Should You Stay In Contact With Your Ex Or Do ‘No Contact’?

When a client comes to me with: I don’t want to push her away, I don’t want us to be just friends, I don’t want this and don’t want that. I know I am talking to fear, and I have a huge problem on my hands.

Avoiding something undesired or unpleasant is a very strong motivation. But if you are trying to avoid pain, rejection or unpleasant outcome and at the same time trying to get back your ex, you are going to have an internal conflict that may paralyze you or cause you to come across as emotionally unstable.

The conflict:

  • Contact your ex and risk rejection OR avoid contact and risk creating more distance.
  • Continue reaching out and risk being seen as needy OR don’t reach out and risk nothing happening because they are not reaching out.

PROS:

Contact: You will keep the lines of communication open, keep you relevant in your exe’s life, and your ex can see how you are changing which improve your chances because they are more likely to believe you have changed than if you reappear out of no where claiming to have changed,

No Contact: Your ex may miss you, you will avoid making more mistakes, and avoid feeling rejected again when your ex does not respond or responds but is cold and distant.

CONS:

Contact: You may over-contact your ex, be seen as needy, make mistakes that make things worse. You may also contact your ex and your ex doesn’t respond.

No Contact: You may send the wrong message (i.e. you are angry, hate your ex or you have moved on). You may also grow further apart, and/or your ex may move on and/or meet someone new.

Both sides have an upside and a downside, how do you resolve this conflict?

1. Choose moving towards what YOU WANT over avoiding what YOU DON’T WANT

The saying “There are so many ways to run away from something, yet only one way to run towards something” is so true when it comes to attracting back your ex.

Fear and avoidance may seem like a ‘safe’ option but it doesn’t get you what you want. When you are focused on trying to avoid what you don’t want to happen (i.e. rejection, getting hurt, used or taken advantage of), you are not doing anything to make what you want to happen happen. You have to be proactive in getting what you want or you’ll end up with nothing or settling for less than what you wanted.

Just like getting accepted into a college or getting a job, there is always a chance that you will not be accepted into your college of choice or get the job of your dreams, but there is also a chance that you might. But if you don’t apply to college or for the job because you are so afraid of getting rejected, the chances that you will not get into that college or get the job are 100 percent.

In addition to making you unattractive as a long-term partner (very few people are attracted to someone who runs away from difficult situations), fear of and/or avoiding dealing with problems head-on doesn’t help you grow emotionally. You don’t develop emotional resilience if you are always avoiding emotionally difficult or painful situations and experiences.

2. Change how you think about CONTACT and NO-CONTACT

You can still have contact with your ex and not make things worse or be seen as needy by:

  • Taking things very slow and not rush to try to get back together;
  • Focusing on starting a new relationship instead of trying to recover the old relationship.

It’s very hard to go from “we’re not together” to “we’re back together” without spending some time getting to know each other again (dating your ex). It’s possible, but it’s a lot harder. In addition, the chances of breaking up again are very high when you have not “test-driven” the new relationship and see how it feel, and/or work on potential problems before officially getting back together.

Bottom line: When it comes to what you want, there should be no other option other than doing what you have to do to get it. That means reaching out and creating the environment that makes your ex want to come back to you.

Ask yourself, how much do I want this?

If the answer is something like “badly” or “so much”, then start with DOING something. Everything worth anything begins with someone doing something and the most successful people are not the ones that avoid failure but ones that try.

You might find this interesting: How Staying In Contact Triggers You, Triggers Your Ex (Attachment Styles)

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12 Comments

  • Hi Yangki,
    My ex and I broke up about a week ago and we have not spoken since. He said he no longer knows how he feels about me after a big fight. I would like to work on us but I am not sure how to ask for another chance. I want to initiate contact again and ask him to reconsider, but I don’t know where to start. But I don’t want to live in fear of rejection! Where do I start?

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    • Start by reading articles here on how to initiate contact, emotionally connect and create emotional momentum before asking him to reconsider. There are many articles on how to do all that depending on your situation.

      If the advice here is not enough, you can also get my eBook Dating Your Ex. If you feel your situation is so unique that you need customized advice, I am happy to work with you one-on-one. Just sign up for a package of your choosing, and send me a message.

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