You re-established some form of contact and your ex is responding to your texts. It’s not clear if it’s a sign he/she wants you back, but since he/she’s not blowing you off, you think… well… may be I have a chance.
A week, may be two go by, and you think, why not ask him/her out. Nothing serious, coffee, a drink, or just hang out with friends. But when you ask, he/she gives you some excuse or reason why he/she can’t go out with you.
You’re patient. So you wait a few days or may be a week or two. You’re still texting, emailing and even talking on the phone. He/she seems interested in talking to you but when you ask him/her out again, the answer is, “No, I can’t!”. You are confused, but persistent. So you wait, then you ask again. But the answer is still “no” or “some other day”.
Do you give up because he/she’s not interested? Do you wait for him/her to initiate a date/dates? Do you cut off all contact because he/she is playing you/stringing you along?
Most people when they do not see the results they want get frustrated and push harder (more pressure), or completely pull back and do nothing because they’re too afraid to say anything, or do anything that will seem like pressure. In my opinion, either reaction to things moving too slowly is a mistake.
- If you get frustrated and start pushing too hard for more contact, for a face-to-face meeting too early in the process or ask your ex out on too many dates too soon, he/she will feel that as “too much pressure” and pull away.
- If you wait for him/her to initiate all the contacts or ask you out on a date because you’re afraid that it might cause him/her to pull away, he/she may never contact you (and then it’s really over), or ask you out (and that means no dates or hanging out).
- And if you completely pull back or cut off contact, you find that when you reconnect there is a feeling of “distance”, and most times, you have to start the whole process of re-establishing contact all over.
The first thing to remember when your ex is stalling is that most exes do not want to show you that they are eager to get back with you, even those that are.
While some exes keep you in limbo for their own selfish reasons, an ex stalling does not automatically mean they are not interested, or that that they are playing you/stringing you along.
Sometimes stalling signals a conflict within the individual. Your ex may not be ready to see you yet, or he/she may not think it’s a good idea, but he’/she is not completely against it either.
The second thing to remember when your ex is stalling is that there is nothing that you can do to force your ex to make a decision.
If you find yourself unable to get your ex to see you in person or go out on dates, the best thing you can do is remain rational.
Thinking rationally allows you to look at the situation more objectively, and not just from your own position. Thinking rationally also allows you to hear the (real) reason why your ex can’t see you face-to-face or hang out with you. When you know the reason behind the reason, it’s much easier to put in place a plan of action because then you see the complete picture.
In some instances you may have to ask your ex why he/she is stalling, but that should be done very skillfully, or else it will backfire and completely derail you.
It helps to keep track of the reasons, excuses or objections your ex gives you for not seeing you or going out with you. This way you are more prepared with a better responses next time the topic comes up in conversation.
Your plan of action should establish some momentum which will make it easier to get a more positive response.
In short, the response to an impasse in the process is not to push even harder or completely pull back or cut off contact. The response is to 1) keep an open mind about possibility and 2) understand the emotions that have brought things to a standstill and 3) tweak something in your approach to get the desired outcome.
Related articles: Understanding Your Avoidant Ex