I was listening to two friends argue about which phone is better, an iphone or blackberry. I had heard and read well researched and informed logical and technical arguments for either side when deciding whether to move from my BB to an iphone. But what was very interesting about this conversation (and many similar “conversations” between iphone and blackberry phone users) is that the more either side argued for their preferred phone, the more “emotional” they seemed to get. Even my friend who boasts of being a “rational and logical” person seemed to get pretty emotionally worked up.
It reminded me of a quote I read somewhere that “When a person experiences an emotional bond with an object, this object triggers one’s emotions and conveys a special meaning. Consequently, people are reluctant to dispose of the products to which they feel attached.”
In other words, it’ not really about the “object” but about the special meaning we attach to the object. It’s the same thing with people we hold with high regard or feel so deeply about. It’s not so much about the “person”, but the meaning we have attached to who they are to us. The more they mean to us, the more emotionally we feel attached to them.
When it comes to attracting your ex back, that “special meaning” your ex attaches to you may be the difference between succeeding and failing.
As mentioned several times in my articles and book, most people spend so much time and effort on the “how to” of contact, and many don’t get their ex back because despite their efforts, they fail to trigger emotions that cause their exes to be reluctant to dispose them off because they feel a strong emotional attachment.
If your relationship was for a relatively short period of time (a few month to a little over a year) or had so many problems that you didn’t have enough time to create a stronger emotional bond, instead of cutting off all communication, getting angry because your ex broke up with you, or doing things that cause him/her to stay away from you, I encourage you to work on thoughtful and caring communication that makes your ex feel that he/she can’t let you go because you are too special.
Instead of counting days until your next contact (a.k.a. limited contact), rehashing past conversations or worrying about what to say next (over-analyzing), or nagging your ex about going out with you on a date, spend more time creating a strong emotional bond by text, email, phone, face to face — and everything between.
The feelings you should be working on strengthening include but are not limited to:
1) Liking or feelings of affection (liking is very different from love);
2) Emotional safety (or feeling that he/she can open up to you without fear of you using his/her vulnerability to hurt him/her);
3) Autonomy (feeling that he/she can be his/her own person and is free to love you without you acting all needy and clingy);
4) Consistency/Reliability (confident knowing that you will be there through the good and the bad);
If you were together for years and had developed a strong emotional bond, dig deeper into what caused your ex to lose that feeling that you are too special to let go, and once again make yourself “special” by enriching your emotional communications and experiences.
At the end of the day, it’s the strength of the emotional bond between you and your ex that makes all the difference.