The Words You Use To Communicate With Your Ex Matter – A LOT

All exes not only want to know that you know what you are doing, they also want to be convinced that the relationship will work. They want to know that there will be a pay-off for them trusting you enough to give you another chance.

The words you use to communicate why your ex should trust you enough to give you another chance is more important than most people realize.

The words you use can create unnecessary conflict, escalate already existing feelings of resentment, or they can defuse conflict, prevent an argument, or warm up your ex’s heart, again.

The problem is that when you are needy and clingy, most of the time what you say or do is not received by your ex the way you intended. Often times, the more you try to explain what you actually meant, the more needy and clingy you appear to be. What started as a text to explain a previous misunderstanding ends up with 30 texts that made things worse.

To avoid these kind of “misunderstandings”, identify the ways in which your language contributes to your ex’s defensiveness or resentment towards you. This is not easy as those words you shouldn’t have said often come out in the heat of emotion.

What I’ve found works for my clients is thinking back to a more recent argument, fight or situation that unintentionally went from bad to worse. What did you say that made your ex more defensive or unresponsive? Try to avoid using the same words or tone of voice.

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57 Comments

  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Pamkey

    my ex came back a month ago after almost one year breakup. i came across your site several years ago when tying to get back with another ex but ultimately that didnt work out and for good reason. i would never have met the love of my life.

    he ended with me because of my insecurities. i came back to your site and right away started working on me and keeping the lines of communication open. i worked on showing him i was working on me and working on emotionally connecting.

    there were days that i thought it was never going to happen. it was over and he had moved on. but i had invested too much to give up. my chances looked bleak, but anything was possible if I took small progressive steps and never wavered on my love for him. I got that internal motivation and strength from reading your books and site. thank you yangki for all you do!

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Enn

    Me and my ex got back together after 4 weeks of no contact. However, we broke up again 4 months later. We had a love-hate relationship and I honestly wish I never got back with her because now I realize what a manipulative person that she is. Every time we had a disagreed which was every other week, she did not talk to me until I begged, bought her flowers and took her to expensive dinners. She did this or the entire 3 years we were together. Like a fool, I still loved her. I finally came to my senses and broke it off. Two weeks later she was with another guy. I hear they broke up a couple of weeks ago and yesterday I received a text from her. I am not going to respond nor give her any attention. I am done. I feel like the lucky one that got away.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Good for you for recognizing emotional abuse and taking yourself out of the situation.

      Whatever excuse people give… silent treatment, intentionally ignoring someone to hurt them, distancing yourself from someone to get your way, cutting off contact to manipulate someone into missing you… is emotional abuse.

      In my opinion, anyone who accepts such behaviour deserves what they get.

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Miscott

    11 months have gone by and we are still not together. All my attempts to try to get her back have been in vain. I get He mixed signals where she says she still loves me but does not wants to be with me. I feel hopeless and foolish because I tried everything and now I am back full circle. All the books seem useless. I want to buy your book, but I am not sure it will help. What is your advice? Will your book help?

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      I understand your frustration. Unfortunately, books and/or advice can only do so much. The person who holds the key to your success is YOU.

      There is a reason why she loves you but does not want to be with you. Until that reason is no longer an issue (for her), all the advice in books will not help.

      Make sure that YOU have done the personal work that makes you someone she wants to be with. Blanket change because some “expert” or “guru” says that’s what “women want” is a complete waste of time. You don’t want to be with “women”, you want to be with this particular WOMAN. The change that makes a difference is one that makes HER want to be with you.

      Dating Your Ex eBook will help you start a NEW relationship with your ex, but only when you are ‘better’ than the person your ex broke up with.

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Peter

    I recently came across your site. I’ve done everything wrong including blowing her phone, crying, pleading and nc for 5 weeks. Last evening I sent her a text apologizing for the way I handled things and she immediately wrote back saying she understood. I’m going to follow your advice and hope that I didn’t wait to long to start making all the right moves in trying to win her back.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      If she’s still open to contact and responds, it’s not too late.

      I suggest not talking about how you handled things or the break-up again. Use the advice on here to help you move things forward slowly and steadily.

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mitta

    Yangki, since applying your methods my ex is texting me more asking about how things are with me. We send each other videos and pictures of things we both like. He still calls me by the pet name he did when we were together. All indications are there that he still has feelings for me but he told me the other day that he likes to spend time with me but is not thinking of us getting back together. It seems that he just wants to be friends.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      It’s possible he just wants to be friends but it’s also possible that he wants to take things slow. Just because he is not thinking of getting back together now doesn’t mean he won’t change his mind weeks or months from now.

      If I were you I wouldn’t give up just yet.

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Nansi

    Yangki, you are my God-send. There have been a few times when it looked like it was over, and I read your advice and was motivated to keep going. Things are good between he and I right now and I am hopeful, but I also understand that it may not work. In the event that it doesn’t work, I want to know that I tried everything. We were together 14 long years, and that’s too long a time to just walk away without a big fight.

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Myrna

    I have gained clarity through reading your articles and book. I was a little selfish and did not really think about how my actions affect my ex. I since reached out to him but he is still guarded. I know in your book you say it takes time to get him to open up, so I’m doing this eyes open and with no unrealistic expectations.

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Gloria

    We got back together and I thought we were okay but we started having problems again just like what happened before. I have given him 3 chances before this and nothing got better. Should I give him another chance?

    1. Whether to give up or not is entirely up to you. But if you do decide to keep trying to make it work, I strongly suggest that you have a long and honest talk about what needs to change, both make commitments to change, and take time to date each other to see the red flags show up. If you do not commit to doing things differently, chances are you’ll end up back where things ended.

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Paige

    I really blew it with my ex. He broke up wit me then texted me 2 days later saying he wanted to see how i was doing. I got this advice not to text back. Then 3 days later i felt really bad for not replying his text and texted him saying i was doing fine and everything was so great. He texted back right away saying he was glad to hear that and apologized for hurting me. I was at my friend’s party when i got the text so I texted “i’m really having a good time at the party”, he texted back “great, enjoy” I texted back “sorry it was for someone else” and he texted back “it’s ok. take care.”

    I texted him 2 more time and he never responded. I again texted him the next day no response. What should I do? I love him and I don’t want to play these games again. Please help.

    1. I think that when he texted you he really meant what he said but then realized you wanted to play some stupid game instead, and was put off. You’ve texted him too many times already, give it a few days and he doesn’t contact you, contact him with an apology (that’s if you really mean it about stopping the game playing). Sometimes when we come clean we get a second chance… it is a risk but one worth taking.

  10. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Somar

    Hi. My ex broke up with me 4 months ago. We reconnected after a month with no contact, and send messages to each other now and then. We had a great talk sunday of the last week, and on friday she said that she wanted to miss me. Should I stop contacting her? Or keep in touch with limited contact? Also, I want to point out that is the best website about imporivng yourself I have seen. I has helped me a lot. Thank you so much.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I’m not sure how much of the website you’ve read because you asked: “Should I stop contacting her?”

      Here on this site we DO NOT approve, support or endorse “no contact”. This site is specifically designed for people who agree that “no contact” as a strategy to get your ex back is manipulative, unhealthy and immature. So may be you are on the wrong website.

      I strongly believe and with good reason that if you want to have any relationship, let alone get your ex back, you have to stop withdrawing and re-engaging as a strategy to keep the other person interested/in the relationship. That works for some people and not others; and even when it works, at some point it stops working.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if withdrawing and re-engaging is why things are where they are.

  11. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mike-Mike

    Yangki, I’ve never done this dating your ex. I always just moved on, so this is kinda new to me. My question is, how do I know I’m making progress?

  12. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Kinga

    My ex and I met today for the first time. We had not seen each other since we broke up 2 months, ago but text and talk to each other everyday. She says she still has strong feelings for me and that she can’t rule out us getting back together someday, but right now she’s not ready because she doesn’t want to get hurt again. I’m not sure if she’s letting me down gently, but she did say she wants to be friends. I’m okay with being friends, I have read many of your articles on being friends and have your ebook. I’m still worried tho and looking for some reassurance, I guess.

    1. I don’t think she’s letting you down gently if she’s saying she’s open to the possibility of the two of you getting back together. What you need to do is prove to her that she’ll not be hurt again and that things will be different if she does decide to come back.

  13. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Phil34

    My ex gave me hope that we were getting back together, but now says she just wants to have fun and not be serious with anyone. She says I upset her and make her anxious when I talk to her about getting back together. With her saying she does not want to be serious with anyone should I just begin again as friends and not rush things?

  14. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lowell

    Thank you for this article. I needed something like this to swallow my pride and have the courage to reach out to my ex. She did not reply to the first text I sent but replied to the second. She asked how I am doing, I replied I was doing okay and asked if she was okay with me reaching out to her. She said she doesn’t know what she wants and doesn’t know what to say. I have not contacted her since three days ago. I don’t know what to do from here on. Should I contact her again or accept this is over?

    1. She said she didn’t know what she wanted and or what to say, she never said not to contact her again. If you have been out of contact for a long time, she may have been surprised that you contacted her, and is wondering what it all means. So yes, contact her again.

  15. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Sanita

    I’m glad this website exists because NC just does not feel right in my situation. We are the best of friends and we are very attracted to each other but we can’t communicate well with each other. I yell when I am upset and he shuts down which makes me yell even more. He left saying we can’t be with each other like that anymore and I need help. I am seeing a therapist and he is very supportive, I’m just worried that the longer we are not together, the more we will grow apart.

    1. There’s that possibility. I’m not going to lie. But it’s a catch 22 situation. Therapy takes time, but if you don’t get better, you are not getting back together anyways.

      Keep the lines of communication open so he can see you changing. Have faith you being the best of friends, the attraction you have to each other, and his willingness to be there and be supportive will keep you close.

  16. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Josh

    In our relationship (before she broke off), I came across as a little obsessive. I still love her just as much as when we were together, and I do want her back. But I’m wondering how I could initiate contact without showing my “old colors.” I know a change had to be made within me, and I feel like I have made changes, but I’m lost as to how I could initiate contact but also at the same time show her I’ve “grown up…”

    1. You’re in the right place… this is what this site is for.

      Spend time reading as many articles as you can especially those on not being needy or pushy, and being more emotionally attractive. If you can, invest in my book, Dating Your Ex.

      It takes time, effort and dedication.

  17. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Christopher

    I’ve been reading everything on the internet about getting your ex back and I just want to say this is one of the best websites I’ve come across. Everyone keeps saying to do no contact and to change if you want your ex back, but no meat on how to change and what to change. I’ve only spent a few hours here and already have a good plan on how to improve myself. Wish me luck.

    1. You make a valid point. The stories of people who successfully got their ex back, and the stories of those that didn’t can provide good insight.

      However, relationships and break-ups in particular are very emotional experiences. Very often even when we mean well, we may not be objective or even rational.

      Also because of the anonymous nature of the internet, the majority of people who were unsuccessful getting back their ex are not interested in offering advice so others can get their ex back, instead they want to vent and/or discourage others from trying. The very opposite of what this site is for.

  18. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Charrah

    Yangki, I’m so glad I came across your site. My ex of over 4 years decided he did not want to be in the relationship anymore and dumped me. Like most people I was angry and went NC. For 3 weeks he sent me texts and called me constantly then he stopped. I did not know what it meant and to be honest I was scared he will forget about me and move on. After reading several of your articles, I contacted him. He told me he decided he was not going to contact me again and move on because he thought he hurt me so much and the best he could do is leave me alone. He was glad that I contacted him again, and so am I. I’m treating it as a new relationship and even if it does not work out, I’ll at least know that I tried and it’ll be easier for me to move on.

    1. Not only do I think you’re on the right path, I think that there are still strong feelings there, both ways. Give it your very best and see what happens.

      It’s much easier to move on knowing you did everything (right) that you could possibly do. Much harder if you are still wondering if… maybe….you had said this or done that.

  19. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mika

    I’ve been reading your blogs for several days and decided to contact my ex again despite everyone telling me never to talk to him again. I didn’t think he’d respond but he did after about 2 hours. He wants to see me again, so we are meeting this weekend.

    I want this to work but also understand that I can’t push. My plan is to have fun, get to know him again and take one day at a time. Thanks again for the helpful advice. I’ll post again when there’s an update.

    1. Good for you! Our worst regrets are usually things that we wanted to do but didn’t. You just never know… you just never know.

      It’s a good plan, but to get him back you need more than just have fun and get to know him better.The free articles here help a lot, but if you can invest in my Dating Your Ex eBook, your chances will be much better.

      …and please post updates. I like reading get back together success stories (a lot more… I confess).

      Also, updates and any success tips (what’s working) you can offer will help others trying to get back their ex.

  20. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Tray

    I’m adding my voice to the many who appreciate the work you do helping people get real answers to their questions. I was on another ex recovery site and all the admin said is, “have you implemented NC?” , “have you downloaded my guide?”, “just go into NC”, “get my guide”, “go into NC again”, “definitely do NC”.

    In my case I made the mistake of doing no contact for 2 months. I sent her an email telling her how I felt about her and she sent a reply telling me to move on. I should probably be trying to move on but if there is a chance we can get back together, I’ll not give up.

    I bought your book today and will spend sometime reading it. Hopefully your advice will help me change her mind. I really love this woman.

    1. No contact for 2 months does a lot of damage to your chances of getting back together, no question about that.

      But I think you also made the mistake of talking about how you felt about her in the very first beginning of contact. Put yourself in her shoes… you haven’t had any contact for 2 months, then one day someone reappears from nowhere talking about how much they love you or miss you or whatever…??? You’d be like “seriously… Are you kidding me right now?!”

      I agree, you should NOT give up just yet. As mentioned in the book, start from “hello…” and don’t give up on the very first try. There are all sorts of reasons why your ex may not respond the first or even second time.

      Post an update in a month or so, to let me know how you are doing.

  21. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Shivani

    We were getting close again but I messed up. I started questioning him about certain things and we started arguing and fighting again. We both said hurtful things to the other. He ended the conversation saying he was done this time for good. After calming down I sent him a text, “I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me”. He accepted my apology but has not replied to any of my texts since Friday. Should I leave it for a week, and then send a light and friendly text and if no response just accept that its over?

    1. I don’t know if waiting a week will make any difference. The reason he’s acting that way is not because you contacted him too much/he felt suffocated, the reason things got to this point is because of the arguing and fighting.

      Try to contact him and see what happens.

  22. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: GratefulT

    I realized all the mistakes I made only after everything came crashing down. We were both heartbroken by the breakup but kept in contact since we have a 5 year-old together. Over the course of the last three months I have been using the advice in your book and doing everything I can to show her that I am working on making myself a better man for her. Last week she agreed to start over brand new but only if I agreed to go to couples counseling. She says she wants to make sure all the issues that destroyed our relationship are gone. Although we are not “together” yet, I am hopeful. I will keep following your advice because it has worked so far. Thank you.

  23. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jo

    You are right, Yangki. I acted needy and desperate for a month after we broke up. Then I stopped contact for two months to give him his space. I have since contacted him three times and no response. He hates games and I made myself look untrustworthy of his love.

  24. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jo

    I have never had a relationship that I didn’t remain friends my ex until now. He has completely cut me out of his life and is unwilling to communicate. I miss him very much and really wanted to make it work.

  25. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Fellie

    Yangki, I also believe that you can have more than one relationship with the same person. My ex and I were feeling disconnected for sometime. We worked on reconnecting through sharing our feelings and needs honestly and openly and being supportive of the other. We were able to feel the love again and now working on strengthening our commitment to each other.

  26. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Wright

    Yangki, I have read your advice for a couple of days, and I GET it. No contact is not the right way to go about things, however, contacting someone who has dumped you is not easy. It would be better if she reached out first, you know what I mean?

    1. I know what you mean.

      No one says it’s easy to go back where you feel you are not wanted. But sometimes if you really want something, you’ll go back there… you know what I mean?… (:

      That’s what separates the go-getters from the do-nothings!

    1. O! yes. It happens a lot more than cases in which things go in a straight line.

      Even with someone who is open to getting back together, there is always that back and forth. The reason is that with an ex, there is some “history” there. They think they know you and know what to expect… until proven otherwise.

      This is one reason why you shouldn’t give up at the very first sign of pulling back.

  27. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Amope

    He says all he can be for me at the moment is friend. I don’t think I can handle being his friend. I can either be with him or not at all but I also don’t want to let him go. Any advice?

    1. Being his friends is all he can give you at the moment. He’s not ruling out the possibility of “more than friends” in the future, but right now, that’s all you are getting.

      You have two choices, take the friendship or let him go. You can’t have it both ways.

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