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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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. says: 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.