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 move away from 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 vacillate so much that you come across as emotionally unstable.
- Contact your ex and risk rejection OR avoid contact and risk creating more distance.
- Continue reaching out and risk being seen as needy OR stay away and risk not being able to see or talk to your ex ever again.
Upside of staying in contact: You will keep the connection alive, keep you relevant in your exe’s life, and improve your chances.
Downside of staying in 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.
Upside of not contacting your ex: Your ex may miss you, you will avoid making more mistakes, and avoid possible rejection when your ex does not respond or responds but is cold and distant.
Downside of not contacting your ex: 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. Just like getting accepted into a college, getting a job, buying a house etc, you have to be proactive in getting what you want or you’ll end up with nothing or settling for breadcrumbs.
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.
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 and;
- 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 and spending time together. It’s possible, but it’s a lot harder. In addition, the chances of breaking up again are very high when you are repeating the old relationship.
Bottomline: 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 not with someone doing nothing.
You may also be interested in reading: How Much Should You Contact Your Ex? (Attachment Styles)