Question: Hi Yangki, I am a fan of your advice and I think I have began to see progress and emotional momentum. We’ve gone from her responding ok, sure, really? no, yes, me too etc. to us talking about TV shows and the like. I would like to take this to the next level and get her more emotionally engaged. My question is, what are some of the questions to ask? I don’t want to seem too probing but I also don’t want to keep things at a superficial level which as you say may get me in the friendzone. Thanks for all your help.
Yangki’s Answer: First of all, good for you… any progress is a good thing. One step at a time, my friend.
You can ask just about any topic but what I have found works best in terms of getting more emotional engagement is asking about things your ex already has an emotional interest in or emotional attachment to.
You dated/had a relationship/married this person so you at least have an idea of what she’s emotionally interested in or attached to.
To open up a topic, start more generally, then if she responds positively, go deeper and ask something more specific. It’s also best to work your way from topics she’s emotionally interested in (job/work, hobby, interest) to things she’s emotionally attached to (family, pet).
For example, if she’s into a particular kind of music or band you can send a text: “Have you listened to Adele’s new album/sound track? As usual it’s a masterpiece (or “I listened to it a couple of times now, and it’s her best yet” or “You’ll love it”).
If she’s into Star Wars for example: “Have you seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it.” (then add comment about the movie that you know will peak her interest, or start a conversation).
Do not just keep forwarding links or pointing her to something related to her interest/hobby. Any random stranger can do that too. To remind her that you “know” her (and have a history together), add a comment or say something that triggers specific emotions.
Like I said, you can ask just about any question that shows that you remember what’s important to your ex or what he/she’s into, but ask in such a way that triggers an emotion or many of emotions. The more emotions you trigger, the more the emotional engagement.
One last thing: Focus more on what you want to see happen, not on what you want to avoid (i.e. I don’t want to seem too probing but I also don’t want to keep things at a superficial level). Whatever you focus your mind on is what you’ll create (see: Do Exes Really Ever Come Back?)