You may have heard and read that letting go of an ex who doesn’t want you can actually help you get them back. But what exactly does letting go of an ex mean? How do you let go an ex who doesn’t seem to want you back? And how exactly does letting go of an ex help you get back your ex?
What exactly does letting go of your ex mean?
When you feel like what you worked hard to build (and keep) is slipping through your fingers and there is nothing you can do about it. You feel powerless, overwhelmed and out of control so you desperately try to hold on to it and regain a sense of control.
The sense of having control (and power) in a relationship is very important. But in order to BE in control you have first to let go the need to control.
Doesn’t make sense, right? It actually does when you think of letting go as releasing what no longer fits or works; or what doesn’t advance you towards your goal in order to create space for what fits or works; and what brings you closer to what you want.
In other words, letting go of your ex means stop:
- Begging and pleading with them to come back
- Creating drama and starting fights with your ex
- Trying too hard to get back an ex who doesn’t seem to want you back
- Chasing an ex who isn’t showing interest in you
- Pursuing an ex who is not responding or doing no contact
- Playing mind games and sending mixed signals
- Calling your ex when you’re drunk etc.
These things don’t work and don’t advance you towards your goal of getting back your ex. You need to let them go if you want your ex back.
Why is letting go of someone you love so hard?
Letting go of what no longer fits or works is scary because if feels like you’re giving up on your ex; and giving up or giving in is just not an option. When it seems like an ex is slipping away, you try even harder, scheme better, manipulate, force and push harder; and when that doesn’t work, you cut off all contact and all lines of communication (basically run and hide).
But since you still love and still want them back, you again reach out to your ex, but with the same attitude and reactions. You play mind games, demand your ex takes us back, complain when they don’t text back, threaten them, get angry, give ultimatums and if that doesn’t work, you again go no contact.
It’s hard to let go because you haven’t let go of old habits and old ways of holding on. You haven’t created space for new ways of:
- Being with your ex without begging, pleading and acting needy
- Staying contact with your ex without being pushy, and cutting off contact when you don’t get your way
- Taking things slow and not trying too hard; or chasing your ex when they pull back
Holding too tight and refusing to let go pushes your ex further away
In holding on to what no longer fits or works, or what doesn’t advance you towards your goal, in manipulating the outcome of things, in pushing harder and/or resisting the inevitable, you keep yourself trapped in a reality that you most wish to change.
Most people become intense, easily irritable, cold and/or bitter making them unattractive and not much fun to be around. You see rejection in every word, every action, every text and every no response. Your ex may even be interested and putting in effort; but you don’t see it because you have all these “holding tight” negative beliefs, thoughts and attitudes blocking you from seeing how your ex is showing interest; or trying to make things work.
You don’t even realize that your attachment to how things should be; or how you think and want your ex to act or be is pushing your ex further away.
How do you let go an ex who doesn’t seem to want you back?
Letting go does not mean giving up or giving in. Giving up is walking away. It is saying there is no more hope, forget the relationship and find someone else. Giving in on the other hand, is accepting defeat and/or foregoing what we want for less.
Letting go means releasing the tight hold or grip and allowing things to unfold without too much effort, struggle or you trying to manipulate the outcome to your favour. It is clearing away unnecessary thoughts, expectations, belief systems and releasing our attachment to how things should be or how we think the other person must and should act or be. It is embracing what is while being optimistically open to possibilities, opportunities and to the (yet) unknown.
You are not walking away and you are not settling,. You are just not trying too hard to make things happen how you want them to and when you want them to.
How exactly does letting go of an ex help you get back your ex?
When you let go of old habits and old ways that are holding you back, and of things you’re attached to that don’t add or take away anything valuable from the relationship, a new reality appears. The choices available to you become clearer. The actions that you must take towards what you really want and need become more specific. Even more importantly, it takes away the pressure of thinking you have to be a certain way, say specific words or do things in a specific way to get back your ex.
When you take the pressure off yourself, you also take the pressure of your ex. When you take the pressure of your ex you change the energy you’re working with; and in turn change your reality. This is what I call “non-attached” persistence.
“Non-attached” persistence means that you’re 100% actively engaged in trying to get your ex back, but your life and happiness is not dependent on things going the way you want them to.
Letting go is a choice – a very powerful and effective one!
If you move yourself (ego, unnecessary thoughts, expectations, belief systems) out of the way, the power of love will take over. You can only realize the power of love when you realize that to let go is not to give up control but to be in control through conscious turning yourself over to something greater than your preconceived notions, limited perspectives, false beliefs and inconsistent optimism; and seeing clearly and listening to what it is you truly want and need. It’s that ability to be still and allow yourself to go with the flow of how things are right now – in the present.
In fact if you can fully master conscious letting go (moment -by-moment), you’ll realize the true control and power you have over all your relationships – and life!
When To Hold On Yo Your Ex, And When Let Go Or Give Up
Yangki, first of thank you for such an insightful book. My ex and I broke up exactly 5 months ago. I tried no contact but it felt wrong. I was looking for advice on staying in contact and that’s when I found your site. I bought your dating ex ebook and it helped me establish communication but I still struggled to get things beyond a text here and there. After reading your Its Not Just A Break-Up book, it dawned on me that I was doing emotional connection but because of my expectations I was trying to control the experience. Since truly letting go and focusing my energy and actions I have seen a big change in his attitude. He seems more relaxed and open and i think that’s because he feels no pressure to respond.
Smart decision to use both books…! Makes a big difference.
You are right that when you let go and ‘refocus” it translates as “no pressure”. What made the difference is not just you letting go of “expectations”. What made the difference was 1) letting go and waiting to see what action you need to take and 2) refocusing your attention, energy, effort and action in away that you move with the natural flow instead of fighting the current. As emphasized in the book, the keywords are “clarity” and “refocus”. Don’t lose sight of that and the progress you make will surprise you!… 🙂
Yangki, I can’t thank you enough for this book. I bought “Dating Your Ex” which helped me make progress with my ex but I still struggled with letting go even though I knew it was something in needed to do. He broke it off with me after 2 yrs, because ‘something is missing’. He can’t fully open up, hence lacking an emotional connection. We kept in touch via text but agreed on not seeing each other for a a month. It was very hard because the old behaviors of pushing too had kept coming up. Things have changed since I received your book in the mail (beautiful book by the way). He has started to open up and initiate contact. We will meet up soon but I am more calm because I am in an emotionally good place. Whether I get my ex back or not I have learned a lot from both of your books and your articles.
It’s good to read about progress… 🙂
Using both books together as you’ve experienced moves things forward a lot faster and with more ease.
Letting go is the best advice I read from your Just a Breakup book. I was afraid to let him go because I was afraid to lose him. It already had been 5 months and he was slipping further and further away. I begged, pleaded, and wrote him love letter. I even did no contact but on advice of his best friend abandoned the idea. My ex is full of pride and would completely cut me out of his life and I felt the future was completely out of my control. After desperately trying to hold on, I bought your book and started practicing letting go. When I sent a text I was not attached to him responding, and slowly but surely he started to text more. When it came to dates, I didn’t show anxiety or react when he cancelled. We eventually got back together and 2 months counting still together.
Attracting back your ex really does happen, but you have to let go. Its hard actually because its scary, but let yourself go with the flow and have faith.
Congratulations, May!… 🙂
You will be just fine… I know it. All the very best.