The process of getting back your ex takes time. It’s also a process filled with uncertainty and frustration. Many of my clients tell me they don’t know if things are moving at a slower pace or slowly fading out. They worry that while they are trying to get their ex back, their ex may be moving on.
This is a reasonable concern. You don’t want to waste time, effort and emotions on someone who is moving on, or has already moved on. But how do we know an ex is moving on or has moved on?
Many of us assume that when and ex has moved on or wants to move on, they will cut off all contact and want nothing to do with us, and some exes do exactly that. But if you had a relatively good relationship, if you had a strong friendship besides being lovers, if your ex still cares about you and even still loves you, or if your ex is securely attached (and can compartmentalize their feelings), they may not cut off all contact and want nothing to do with you even if they are moving on or have moved on.
They will usually send signals before they completely move on.
The signals each ex sends is unique to the relationship and to the individual. I have however found that there are two main patterns that most exes seem to follow prior to completely disengaging and moving on. The first one is what I like to call the “silently gone” and the second is the “presently absent.”
1. Silently Gone
The “silently gone” tend to respond less and seem less interested or “unusually busy” as time goes on. After a while they completely stop responding and just fade away from your life. Like many, you may panic and think you said or did something “wrong” and pushed your ex further away, but if all you did was contact them (not too much, of course) and you didn’t have any major disagreements or incidents that could cause someone to pull away, don’t torture yourself. Your ex simply moved on. Silently gone.
2. Presently Absent
Presently absent” exes don’t fade away. They maintain contact, respond to texts, but are emotionally “not there”. They are like a worker who reports to work as usual but does no work. Some of them even tend to be unusually loving and caring just before completely disengaging. It’s a weird phenomenon. Maybe it’s guilt, or maybe the anxiety of moving on.
If you feel that although your ex is responsive they feel more distant, or if your gut is telling you that your ex is only responding out of politeness, look into the depth of their responses.
- Even if they are responding immediately, are they opening up more or somewhat closed off?
- Do they answer your questions like they used to?
- Do they ask you questions beyond how are you and how is your day?
- Has their ‘schedule” suddenly changed so that they are unusually ‘busy’ or unavailable at all times?
- Are they talking about not being “ready” for a relationship, telling your not to wait for them or telling you to date other people?
The key to any relationship is ‘engaged communication’. By ‘engaged”, I mean give and take, almost in equal amounts. It doesn’t always have to be 50/50 as some people tend to want more contact than others or just talk more. Also, in the initial stages, as I have mentioned several times in my articles and book, the person trying to get the other back tends to do a lot more initiating contact and trying to sustain conversations. In many cases, it evens up when things pick up. But if over time, your communication is less ‘engaged’, your ex is sending you clear signals, they are moving on.