When Do You Stop Trying To Get Back Your Ex?

Anyone who has tried to get back their ex knows too well that this is not something you can achieve with a single action or random number of actions. It takes time, good strategic planning, and sometimes it’s one step forward and two backwards. Other times you feel like you’re getting mixed signals.

Many tend to give up after just one or two attempts and others stubbornly persist to the point of becoming so annoying that their ex is frightened of them — and even gets a restraining order.

When do you persist and refuse to take “no” for an answer, and when do you just quit and move on?

I personally believe that it all depends on a lot of factors. In some situations persistence pays off and in others, persistence can be a major turn off.

If for example, you try to reach out the first time and there is no response, try a couple more times. Your ex might be out of town or in a place he/she can’t call/text back. There are also people who take a “let’s see” approach because they don’t trust that you’ll follow through and not just give up. Kind of like a test. A little persistence may pay off.

But if after 3 or 4 attempts and still no response of any kind, then you get the message; they’re simply not interested. Someone who is interested will at least try to give you some encouragement to keep persisting.

If on the other hand, the response is rude, mean or says “leave me alone”(this is not the same as I need some space), no amount of persistence will pay off. It’s best to accept that it’s over and move on.

In some cases the response can be very random and far and in-between. In such situations the extent, manner, and frequency with which you persist has to be moderated by a realistic assessment of the situation and a commons sense approach. You can choose to be persistent sometimes and other times it’s best to step back, let go and allow things to be as they should. 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. If you take two steps forward and get pushed a step back, that’s okay. You keep going until it’s very clear that there is no path ahead, then you give up.

Try it and see how far you can get. You just never know. Just keep your heart and mind open to the fact that it may go the way you want it to, and it may not.

More from Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng
Offering Support to A Depressed Partner
It can be tempting to pull back when your romantic partner shows...
Read More


  • Well I didn’t even get the chance to ask the question. I tried to restore contact six weeks after the break-up, but after some small talks she told me she didn’t want to talk and blocked me. Two weeks later I send her a message on facebook telling her that I was sorry if I overwhelmed her for contacting, that I’m ready to for contact again if she was ready for this and want to give her the time she needs. She ignored and blocked me right away. Should I do something about this or is she sending a clear message?

    View Comment
  • My ex broke up with me via text. He said he doesn’t see a future for us and since then he ignores my texts and doesn’t respond at all. I’m very hurt and want to tell him how I feel, but how do I do that if he does not want to talk to me? I’ve tried sending him a letter and he has not replied. I also called him 2 times and he ignored my calls. Any advice on how to let him know my feelings of anger and hurt. I have pride and don’t want to make a fool of myself.

    View Comment
    • Breaking up via text is cowardly, and you have every right to feel the way you feel.

      Sometimes though, there are reasons why some people prefer not to respond at all. If for example, based on past experiences, they know that talking to you face to face might end up in drama or emotional outburst that they are not ready to deal with, they’d rather break-up from a distance and stay away.

      May be if you stopped trying to “let him know your feelings of anger and hurt”, he might be more willing to talk to you. At this point he may feel guilt for how he broke it off with you, or just trying to avoid your emotions.

      View Comment
  • Yangki, Your articles have helped me a lot but my situation is a little different and I need your advice. My ex and I were best friend for 3 years before we started dating. We dated for about a year and a half. We broke up because we were arguing all the time about nothing. We still care about each other very much and still talk almost every day. She says she still loves me and is open to getting back together but not soon. We have apologized for the harsh words we said to each other and have managed to avoid arguing as much as possible. My concern is that she rarely asks what I’m doing or how I am.

    View Comment
    • Some exes continue to be interested in how you are and what’s going on in your life even after the break-up. But most exes tend not to ask many questions to avoid being seen as too interested in what you’re doing. Others think that asking questions might make you think they want to get back together.

      Try volunteering some “new” information and see if she shows interest. You might have to do this a few times to get her to take notice.

      View Comment
    • … hobby/interest, new knowledge or insight (e.g. book you recently read), travel/trip, job, project… just about anything can be new information if it’s “new” information, and if it’s of interest to your ex (one of the perks of dating an ex is that you already know what’s of interest to them).

      But “new information” alone isn’t necessarily going to create interest. For information to be well received, you must first create an environment that communicates good-will. If your ex thinks you have a “hidden agenda”, everything you say will be scrutinized and looked at with suspicion.

      View Comment
  • I was in no contact for 2 months. When I contacted him he seemed surprised but not interest. I’ve since contacted him 3 more time but he’s not responded. I really, really want to talk to him but I’m afraid he’s lost the attraction and love. Do I contact him and tell him I’ll not be bothering him again? Do I leave him alone completely, not contact him and wait for him to contact me?

    View Comment
    • If it makes you feel good to have “closure” contact him and tell him you’ll not be bothering him again. But that’s all what contacting him will do, give you “closure” (hopefully!).

      Waiting for him to contact you is unrealistic. They say the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour… he didn’t contact you for 2 months and when you contacted him he didn’t seem interested and hasn’t responded to any of your 3 contacts, what makes you think he’ll contact you?

      My suggestion is that you let this go… meaning you stop actively trying to get him back and focus your attention elsewhere. You can try again later if you are still up to it, but for now more contact is useless.

      View Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *