This Is How Letting Go Helps You Get Back Your Ex

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!

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20 Comments

  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Sarraha

    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.

    1. Yangki AkitengYangki Akitengsays: Yangki Akiteng

      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!… 🙂

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Laurie

    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.

    1. Yangki AkitengYangki Akitengsays: Yangki Akiteng

      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.

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: May

    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.

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: elena

    Thank you so much for you taking the time to answer and for the insight!
    I have realized that each time I feel he is not enough in mind or that I am not trying to share happy thoughts/attract mentally, it’s not about letting it go but about obssessing, like when you try to remember a name and you know that if you intensively think about it vs. thinking about something different it’s NOT the solution.

    I wish I had the chance to read your book when I played hard to get even though I wasn’t in the position to do so and I use no contact even though I didn’t feel that is over, it was acting out of fear and I admit, manipulation.

    1. I hear you… but obsessing is inability to let go a thought or thoughts. Saying “it’s not about letting it go but about obsessing” is not seeing the forest for the trees (focusing on a detail so much that you can’t see the “big picture”). No wonder you’re feeling stuck. It’s funny how when you let go trying to remember something, you remember it.

      As for not reading my book earlier, I believe that everything happens in it’s due time. May be if you’d read it before going through your own self-reflection journey it would not have made as much sense.

      I think you are too much into your head (forgive me for the psychoanalyzing, I just couldn’t help it). You need to get out of your head and start living in real life, in real time. You’re going to drive yourself crazy all by yourself.

      Just reading your comments makes my own head start spinning. It’s like winding round and round with no end in sight, and I’m like, I can’t do this to myself…(: I can only imagine what’s it’s doing to you… let alone anyone you’re in a relationship with. It’s exhausting!!!

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: elena

    the part with “let it go” instead of acting out of fear and neediness is probably the most useful advice ever read it.
    The way I understand it, is that you let go the expectations, the obssesing, the fear of rejection and you act out of love.
    Correct if I am wrong…it’s not about running and stop showing and offering love but about acting out of love and not out of fear.
    Now, I am wondering if analysing this is not about letting go 🙂

    1. Letting go means many things to different people. My interpretation is releasing hold on the things you do not and can not control — but are trying to control anyway. The things we hold on to vary for each individual, and in different situations. When working with my clients, I warn them against generalizations i.e. you read letting go is “let go the expectations, the obsessing, the fear of rejection” and automatically conclude that that applies to you too. That may be true for someone else but may not necessarily be true for you. You have to figure out your own things that you are holding onto/trying to control when you have no control. These are what is causing the feeling of being stuck, which is why people obsesses and overanalyze. Obsessing and overanalyzing is a sign that you are stuck (and spinning your wheels).

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lois

    Sounds great, I do like your e-books and I could really do with some guidance on this matter.
    In the meantime I’ll keep checking this site and blog.
    Looking forward to the book!

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: nadia

    hello. tbh, i really like your article. but urmm, i just wondering how long should i let go? ( still feel insecure though)

    1. Letting go is not a deal you make with the person you’re letting go. If you make it about getting the other person on aboard your agenda, “I am letting go only to get something I think you will give me because I’ve let go”, you completely miss the magic and wisdom of letting go.

      Letting go is about giving up what you think you know or have for the possibility of what you might have. That means there are no guarantees for anything. The only guarantee you have is an inner calmness and centeredness which allows you to hear the other person and see the situation more clearly even when you have strong feelings inside.

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Joegodwilling

    This is a timely article for me. I was just feeling a bit down for the past few days thinking of an ex. She left me 3 months ago and I know I have let her go but sometimes I still feel the pain like it was only yesterday. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Tabitha

    My ex boyfriend (we only been broken up a week) said when he broke up with me that I was too controlling and always wanted to control him and the relationship. I admit I’m guilty of what you call emotional blackmail. I’d give him silent-treatment, ignore him etc. He’d beg me to speak to him but I’d be indifferent. Then he stopped trying to make things right and broke up with me. I don’t blame him because now I know I self-sabotaged myself. He tried but I did all these things which instead of bringing him closer ended up pushing him away.

    Since I started this process of letting go of the need to control the outcome, I’ve found that deciding to “let go” is easy, actually letting go is a lot of hard work.

    This is the best article on letting go that I have read. It is very simple but very well thought out and explained. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It is very true, letting go is not just something you decide to do and voila! It’s done.

      It’s a process, a hard one but VERY doable. The irony of it all is that most people even control how they let go off control. They understand the concepts of “letting go” and speak the language of “letting go” but it’s just in the head, an intellectual endeavour. Emotionally they are still pretty much intense and anxiety ridden (un-relatable!).

      If you find yourself still planning, scheming, playing mind games (e.g. emotional blackmail), over-analyzing, worrying and obsessing about the relationship or if you’re still motivated by fear of loss, rejection, defeat etc, it means that you are yet still trying to control rather than BE in control. Let go of the need to control!

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