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. says: 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.

  2. says: 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.

  3. says: 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.

  4. says: 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?

  5. says: 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.

  6. says: 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?

  7. says: 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.

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