When Do You Stop Reaching Out And Let Your Ex Reach Out?

How do you know when to stop reaching out and let your ex reach out? When do you give up trying to get back with 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. That’s all part of trying to attract back an ex.

Many tend to give up after just one or two attempts. 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 give up on getting your ex back?

In my experience as a coach, it all depends on a lot of factors. In some situations persistence pays off and in others persistence can be a major turn off. In some situations it’s your ex sending mixed signals and in others it’s you refusing to accept reality.

There are many signs that your ex does not want you back, and I have attached a link to some of these signs at the bottom of the article. These 3 signs however definitively tell you it is time to stop reaching out and let your ex reach out.

1. Your ex has not responded to your 5 attempts to reach them

If you try to reach out the first time and there is no response, try a couple more times. Many exes do not respond the first or even third time. There are also exes 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. Stop trying to reach out. Someone who is interested will at least try to give you some encouragement to keep persisting.

2. Your ex wants you to leave them alone

If you tried to reach your ex a few times or tried to get them back and they tell you to “leave me alone” stop trying to reach out. It’s best to accept that persistence is not going to pay off. There may be a chance that your ex will reach out, but for now they’ve made it clear that they want you to leave them alone.

This is not the same as when your ex says they need more time before they want contact which means there is still a chance. It may not be time to stop trying to get back with your ex, yet.

3. Your ex is in a relationship and it’s not a rebound

Your ex’s relationship may have started as a rebound, but if they’ve been together for over 6 months and still going steady, it’s no longer a rebound. Reaching out to try to get them back is not going to change anything.

Show yourself some respect and stop reaching out. If your ex is reaching out, responding, and showing interest, set boundaries . You are not giving up on getting back your ex, your ex gave up on you.

Letting go vs. giving up on trying to get back your ex

As mentioned earlier, when to persist and when do you give up on getting your ex back depends on a lot of factors. In some situations, the right action is to let go; not give up but let go.

Knowing the difference is very important if you are trying to attract back an avoidant ex. For example, with an avoidant, how quickly they respond isn’t always a good indicator of how they feel. When a relationship ends, most avoidants try to block all feelings of you, the relationship and the break-up. This may give you the impression they want you to leave them alone, when that’s not the case.

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 common 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

“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.


10 CLEAR SIGNS Your Ex Is NOT Coming Back (Any Time Soon)

12 Signs Your Ex Is Friendly And Polite But Doesn’t Want You Back

This Is How Letting Go Of An Ex Helps You Get Back Your Ex

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  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Fed

    My ex stopped responding after contacting me for 2 months straight. We have had no contact since August
    and at this point I have no hope that we will get back together and don’t fantasize about it like I used to. I would still be there for her if she felt that she needed me. This hurts sooooo much!

    1. Love Doctor Yangki AkitengLove Doctor Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      Sometimes no response it a response in itself. But with everyone saying “do no contact”, your ex may be doing just that and will contact you again at some point. It sucks and it hurts.

      The best you can do for yourself is focus on you, and if she does reach out, see how you feel then… if you still want her back or are happier without her and want to keep it that way.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ashley

    Me and my ex have stayed friends. We never fought, but one day he said the love was just gone. He insists that he wants us to be friends, and even flirts with me on occasion. When I bring up getting back together, its a no go for him. But he keeps staying in touch, and insists that he doesn’t want me to not be his friend. Is he just selfish? I strongly believe that he just freaked out about taking the next step, and wanted to focus on his career, but when do I quit? It has been almost 8 months since he ended it, but I still love him.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      I think that there is ‘something’ holding him back. May be you have not done enough to move him to a point where getting back together is an attractive proposition.

      Think of it this way, you are trying to sell someone something. They are saying no, but keep calling you (insists that he wants your in his life) AND shows interest in the product (flirting with you), a good sales person will ask himself, “What can I do to seal this deal?”, not think “he’s freaking out about taking the next step”. That kind of thinking is self-defeating. You are essentially saying, “there is nothing I can do”. his is why you feel like giving up.

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jas

    Yangki, I’ve been trying to get my ex back for a year. We have times when we get very close then he pulls away saying he does not want to give me false hope. He has had one rebound but continued to have sex with me. She found out and broke it off. I am wondering if a year is too long to keep trying.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki C. AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki C. Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki C. Akiteng

      It does get harder to get back together with the passage of time, and I agree with you that a year does seem pretty long. That said, people do get back together after a year or more. It’s not about just how long you’ve been trying to get back together but WHAT you do in that time that makes all the difference.

      Many of the people I’ve seen that take a year or longer are 1) in denial (the relationship was over a long time ago), 2) are doing something wrong or 3) are too afraid to do anything that moves things forward.

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jenna

    Your website is so helpful and spreads such a positive message. Thank you for helping those of us out there who need it.

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Sal

    I want to believe that we will get back together but everyone keeps telling me to just move on. This are the same people who told me the no contact strategy will make my ex miss me and want me back.

    I’ll take your advice and be optimistic that she’ll respond. I just feel so angry that I followed wrong advice and now may she does not want to hear from me.

    1. I don’t think being angry helps anything. The people who gave you the advice were most likely looking after what they thought was your best interest. They were more concerned about your emotional well-being than the two of you getting back together. Like most “No Contact” advocates, they were probably hoping that “No Contact” would help you heal and move on.

      At this point you have only 3 choices to choose from. You can wait for her to respond, call it quits now and move on or, contact her one more time and see if she responds.

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: anthony

    Hi Yangki,
    I pushed too hard with my ex to the point she ignored me. We have been broken up now for 19 months now. I tried one last time to make contact, which i asked her via her mother since she knows our situation best if she was willing to meet up so i could apologise for the mistakes i made throughout our relationship. Unfortunately the response was no as she said it brings back too many memories and she still gets upset by it all. I made alot of mistakes and unfortunately have to learn the hard way but i thankyou for your wonderful site and great advice it has provided me with some great tools for personal growth.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki C. AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki C. Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki C. Akiteng

      I can only imagine how much it must hurt that she won’t talk to you at all. May be if instead of asking (via her mother) to meet in person, you’d tried to ease yourself back into her life first, it might have been different (just a thought). Asking to “meet” was probably too much too soon. A text or email here or there in the beginning makes a whole lot difference. Also mentioning “apologize” sometimes makes people unwilling to go through all the emotions again.

      You may still be dealing with all the raw emotions of the breakup but if she’s moved on from the painful emotions, I’m sure you can understand why she wouldn’t want to be dragged back into it.

      This may not have worked out, but your personal growth is not wasted. Keep your heart open, love has away of surprising us!

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Daniel

    So if she said “Please leave me alone. I dont want to have comunication with you. I feel like i dont know you anymore. I dont know what you are trying to achieve with everything you do. leave our friends alone and forget about me. I am in another road and I feel very good with what i am living. I never wanted it to end this way but you leave me no other choice”. She was my girlfriend for 10 years we were planning to get married. We move to europe together, one day she went back to visit and never came back. I was devastated I want to get in touch with her again. What can I do.

    1. What else do you think you can do but leave her alone? Sometimes the “pushing” and forcing things to work in your way, time and schedule ends up making things worse. The part about “forget about me” and “you leave me no other choice” says you’ve pushed hard and she’s more frustrated or even angry with you now than she was when the two of you broke up.

      Stop pushing. 10 years is a long time and if you made good of those years, it’ll be hard for her to just walk away and not look back. You may still have a chance — I said “may” because I do not know the details of your relationship, the circumstances around your breakup and what you’ve done to try to get her back. But I do know that if you go along this “I’m devastated I want to get in touch with her again” way of doing things, the 10 years will mean nothing.

      Just leave her alone. Let go. Not give up, but let go.

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Randy

    We broke up due to a little misunderstanding. She hasn’t deleted me on social networks and still replies to my texts. Even though she says nothing that’s promising. Do you think i have a chance?

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Not deleting you on social media and replying to your texts says she open to communicating and to having you in her life, it doesn’t say much about whether you have a chance or not.

      In my book, as long as the lines of communication are open, anything is possible if 1) there is still love to build on, 2) the reason for the break-up no longer exists/things have changed, and 3) if you use the opportunity wisely to move things forward and create a better relationship.

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Alex32

    Yangki, I’ve been coming back to your site everyday for the last 7 days and your articles have made me realize I am immature and have personal issues I needed to deal with. All in all, she’s moved on and not interested in talking to me anymore. I still love and miss her but I also know that our relationship wasn’t a waste because I learned so much.

    Thank you for the wise words, because of you I will in the future be able to build a stronger and happier relationship.

  10. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Joyce

    Yangki, I wish I had found this site earlier. He ended things back in March because I was needy and he could not make me happy. Said he still loved me but cannot be with me. He asked that we stay in contact but I said I couldn’t do it. So three weeks ago I reached out to him. He said he heard things I said about him and it upset him. I asked if he still loves me and he said yes but it’s best if we go our separate ways. I know he still loves me and has told several people but for now I think I have come to the end of the road. What do you think?

    1. I agree. For now you have to let go. There is a difference between letting go and giving up: How Letting Go Helps Get Back Your Ex

      Even as you let go, keep in mind that when it comes to love, nothing is ever written in stone. Relationships end, but sometimes love lingers on for months and years and at the right time and under the right conditions it can spring up again.

      The reason many don’t get back their ex is because they assume if it’s not working in their timeline, it’ll never work.

  11. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: George

    Just what I needed to hear! I’m still very much in love with my ex, I can’t deny it. But it was a toxic relationship and I know that nothing good would have come of it. May be some time down the road we will again reconnect, but for now, I need to focus on me. Thank you, Yangki.

    1. Good for you for like leaving the door open for love to come back in. You do not have to sit at the door holding it open just in case she walks back in, but instead use that time to make yourself more attractive and ready for when love (whether it’s her or someone else) walks in.

  12. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lucy

    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?

    1. 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.

    1. … 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.

  13. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Stilloveher

    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.

    1. 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.

  14. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Fielo

    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.

    1. 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.

  15. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Thom

    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?

    1. I don’t think she needs “more time”. You gave her six weeks, she blocked you off. You gave her another 2 weeks, she again blocked you off.

      I think she doesn’t want you trying to “talk” to her, hence the blocking every avenue of contact.

  16. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Elyna

    My ex and I broke up over a misunderstanding. I tried to cut him off, but he always texted me saying he still loves me. I have feelings for him despite what has happened and we really care about each. I asked if there was a chance we could get back together and he said may be. We’re trying the whole “friends” thing and so far it seems to be working. Occasionally there are some tense moments but mostly it’s all good.

  17. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Sal

    My ex dumped me 5 weeks ago and I told her not to contact because I needed time to get over her. Two days ago she posted on fb she misses her best friend. She always said I was her best friend so I reached out to her but did not get a response. Im thinking shes not going to respond since I told her not to contact me. I know she does not play mind games and was trying to send me a message but then why does she not respond? I’m confused.What should I do if I do not hear from her? Is this a case of her sending mixed signals?

    1. She did not directly tell you that she missed you. You read her facebook message and concluded (right or wrong) that it was for you.

      Even if the message meant that she was missing you, it not does not necessarily mean she wanted you to contact her.

      In my opinion, you are the one sending mixed messages. You tell her not to contact you, then contact her and complain that she’s not responding.

      She may respond at some point, but it’s going to be on her terms. So be patient.

      Next time, don’t tell someone not to contact you if you want them to contact you. You might get what you ask for.

  18. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Heartbroken

    My ex and I haven’t spoken in a month. I have reached out to her on several occasions but she refuses to take my calls, texts, etc. I really wanted to take the first steps in repairing the wrong I have done but she will not give me that opportunity.

  19. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Pargi

    She ended things with me over the phone and didn’t give me much explanation. We never fought or anything, I feel there is no closure. I have tried to contact her asking her if we could talk but she will not meet me or talk to me by phone. I just want some closure. Should I continue to wait for her to contact or should her give it a few more days and then try to contact her again?

    1. I’m not sure contacting her will change anything. She knows you want to talk and obviously refusing to have the conversation with you — for a reason.

      My advice is to let this go. You are not going to get the answers you are looking for any time soon. The more you keep waiting for “closure” from her the longer you will stay stuck unable to move on. That’s giving her too much power over your life. You can get “closure” on your own — and move on.

  20. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Cassy

    I gave my ex space. I didn’t bother him with texts, emails or calls for 5 weeks. Last week I texted him, “hi how are you” and two hours later got a reply, “fine”. I waited 2 days then texted him again, “would you like to hang out sometime?”, reply “no”. I asked him “why?”, reply “I have a girlfriend”. Okay, what to do now?

    1. What did you expect??? Reappear after 5 weeks and she’d be all excited because you texted her? A lot happens in 5 weeks…

      You narrowed your options by taking yourself out of her life in the name of “giving her space” which she probably never asked for in the first place. Now you have only three options left, none of which look good for you.

      1) Go back to no contact — and like most no contact believers hope that she’ll miss you and contact you. She didn’t the last time… and if past behaviour is an indicator of future behaviour, chances are she won’t this time around, too.

      2) Keep texting her until she responds positively. Given her responses, chances of that happening are like none

      3) Accept that you’ve lost her… and move on.

  21. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Gray

    My ex wanted to break up – but stay friends … it was hard, but I managed. Then she said she couldn’t be friends. Finally she sent “Please just let me go” by email. I tried but she is not responding at all – guess the message is clear enough.

  22. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Finn971

    Reading your blog has restored my hope that it’s possible to have a happy, fulfilled relationship. I’ve been so dependant on depressing negative advice and it just drained my willpower. She could not take it anymore and left me for someone she said is more positive and fun. I’m going to work hard and put your advice to work. Hopefully she’ll see me in a different light. I want her to see me as positive and fun because that’s who I really I am, but I allowed myself to be influenced with negativity. Thank you for bringing this kind of advice to the public.

  23. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lakra

    Yangki, I think that your advice for non-attached persistence has good intentions. The only problem is that it still involves emotions and emotions are always problematic especially in a situation where love is not being returned.

    The solution is indifference. Indifference works best in these situations. No positive or negative feelings. Complete control.

    1. I appreciate your point of view. It’s one that’s quite popular on the internet (a.k.a. “no contract rule”). I guess it has its benefits — for some people. If it’s working for you, and you feel “happy” with having no negative or positive feelings, who am I to tell you otherwise?!… (:

      This may not be your case, but I find that a lot of the time, “indifference” as used by many is sometimes confused with “letting go” or what some call “surrender” . But they are not the same thing. Indifference shuts out the vulnerable emotions and feelings of love. “Letting go” welcomes emotions and feelings but without being dependent on someone, a situation or outcome for our happiness….

      Emotions are only problematic (in any situation) if you haven’t learned to BE with them in a healthy way. For those who are OKAY with emotions, they’re very useful…. that’s in addition to bestowing upon us that “he/she’s got soul” vibe that so many of us are so drawn to. But that’s just my opinion.

  24. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Holly

    I’m applying what you suggest and although there has been no response from his end, I feel more at peace with the situation. I sent him a happy holiday wish, he sent me one back. Usually, I’d send him another one just to keep in contact but I didn’t feel it necessary and was okay with that. I was actually able to go a whole day without wondering what he was doing, well may be occasionally but not as before.

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