My Ex Says We Want Different Things – How Do I Attract Him Back?

Question: My boyfriend of 7 years told me he was breaking up because we do not want the same things. I’ve asked him to reconsider and may be just take a break but he said he was sure the relationship would never work with us wanting different things.

I’m so heartbroken. I feel I’ve been cheated of 7 years of my life. I should have seen this coming but I trusted that he cared deeply for me. Now I don’t know what to think. He has really messed me up. I admit I’m angry with him for what he has done to me. But I’m even angrier at myself because I still love him and want the relationship to work.  My question to you is, given your experience where do you see this relationship going? Do you think he’ll change his mind and want me back? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Yangki’s Answer: I understand how this must be hard for you and empathize with how you are feeling right now.

I have to start by saying, I can’t 100% predict the future. Even after many years of doing what I do, I’m still amazed at what love can do when we least expect it.

Based on what you’ve written alone, without trying to read into the future, I think he was being very honest with you by telling you that the two of you want different things. When after 7 years of being together someone tells you that he does not want what you want, they’ve had enough time to think and test the relationship to see that it’s not what they want.

This is what dating is all about; trying to figure out whether or not you and the other person want the same things and are heading in the same direction. In a sense you could say, dating worked for you. You figured out that the two of you do not want the same thing.

If there was a reason why he thought that there is a remote possibility that at some point, he would want what you want, he might have said “I’m not sure we want the same thing. I need some time apart to figure this out for myself”. But that’s not what he said. He said he has already figured out that you want different things.

What he said must be difficult to hear, but it’s better to hear the truth. He could have strung you along for many more years or made you believe that he wanted what you wanted but he at least cared enough to be honest.

I have my doubts that he’ll change his mind and come after you. The reason being that you mentioned that even the times you’ve gotten back together it was always you who went after him. I don’t see that changing especially after he said this time he wants a clean break. Sounds to me like “this time, do not try to get me back.”

Let go of the idea of what you think should have happened, you wanted to happen or hoped might happen. Accept that this is what it is, at this time. Acceptance helps you to stop struggling with the situation, and open yourself to whatever journey that this is offering you to embark upon.

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  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Latisha

    My ex also told me that he does not feel we’re right for each other. I find this extremely painful because in my heart I believe he is the one for me. How do I move on?

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

      It hurts when someone you want to be with doesn’t want to be with you. From your comment I see that you have decided to move on. My advice is take your time to properly grieve the loss of your dream. Sit with things for a while – do not try to rush the pain. Complete acceptance of what is makes moving on easier than if you try to force yourself to move on.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Renee

    After being broken up with my ex of two years for almost a year now, we finally began talking more normally to each other. He was always very bitter towards me after the breakup because I had hurt him, but I have always wanted him back and have also been very hurt by the breakup because it made me realize how much I love him. He recently asked me to meet him so that he could give me back some clothes that I left at his place, so I did and we ended up hanging out for a few hours and having a great talk just like old times. The next night, he suggested we meet up again, so we did and after a few more hours of great conversation things grew intimate. Since that night, he has reverted back to his bitter self. When I asked him how I could fix things he replied, “Maybe you should change the past, but I don’t know how you’d do that.” I understand that he is still hurt, but I truly feel that he still has feelings for me that he is trying to push away. Do you think it’s possible that our nights together made him realize he still has feelings and that scared him away? What should I do? I’d give anything to make things work with him.

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

      It’s possible that the nights together was about feelings… but it’s also possible he just wanted to have sex with you. Ex sex is very tempting 1) It’s familiar, no surprises there and 2) it can be easy to get.

      I highly doubt this is a case of “scared him away” more like remembered why the two of you are broken up. His statement “Maybe you should change the past” is more like something someone who is angry, doesn’t trust you or doesn’t like something about the “past” would say.

      Stop trying to “band aid” the old relationship and start things afresh. Start dating him again and show him you are not the person he broke up with. Anything else is just a waste of time.

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Rob40

    How can I accept when I still want her back? It is hard to let go of someone you still have feelings for but at the same time I‘m really hurting because of not giving up. Everyone I know says I should but my heart says there is still hope.

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

      I agree… it’s hard. My advice is listen to your heart until it says otherwise. But don’t be in denial, look at the facts of your situations for what they are.

      Acceptance is not the same as resignation or giving up. Acceptance simply means ceasing the pointless spinning of our wheels long enough to see more clearly what options we have. There may be some other option out there that you have not considered – but when you’re resisting and flipping about, it’s hard to see the way forward.

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Patt

    Yangki, thank you so much your book. I didn’t handle myself well in the beginning and cried and begged for another chance. She always told me “I will always love you, but this is for the best.” I was in no contact for only a couple of days but I missed her very much and reached out. We’ve talked and met and text and now she says “I can’t promise you things will work out between us but I don’t want you out of my life”. I’m doing my best to work on myself keep good positive communication and follow all your advice. I know I may never be with her but I don’t want to look back and regret not giving it the best shot I could.

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Chelsea

    You say to start dating him again and show him that I’m different from the person he left but I have reached a point where I completely lack the courage to do anything more. You are right Love Doc, I have to accept and give up the situation with my ex. He doesn’t want me anymore. I’m miserable and my life feels empty without him but giving up hoping that he’ll want me back is the most honest thing for me to do.

    1. Having or lacking the courage to do something is entirely up to you. I’m the last person to try to push forward someone who doesn’t want to move. It’s a lot of work. You do what you believe is the best for you.

      I have to correct something though… when I talk of acceptance I’m not talking of “giving up”. Giving up is admitting helplessness. Acceptance on the other hand is recognizing that things are not working out the way you intended or wanted but that doesn’t mean you’re helpless. Sometimes acceptance is as simple as choosing to give up being miserable and resigned, and changing the way you are trying to get what you want.

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Adella Gonzales

    I wish I would of read this a long time ago. Tried to work things out with my ex, with no changes in myself, did everything wrong including agreeing with the second heartache. We were together 7 years. I want to try again, but I have to make changes and I have to move forward. What we had is gone, and it should be, it wasn’t what we both wanted it to be. Mostly because of my pattern of not being able connect in real ways in any relationship. He’s the one!

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Bree

    I want to thank you for such a great informational website. I told my ex I wanted no contact. He has not contacted me in 4 months, not once. People are telling me “If you love someone let them go, if it was meant to be they will come back.” But I know my ex, even if he wanted me back he’d be too scared to contact me. I’m afraid that we are both sitting around just waiting on the other one to initiate contact. Do you think it’s too late for us?

    1. There is only one way to find out…. Contact him! It may or may not work out, but at least you won’t be in limbo “wondering”. But if you are still too scared to contact him after 4 months… chances are it may be too late.

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lillian

    I totally hear you. My ex and I were together for 5 years in a LDR. He said he didn’t feel happy to see me anymore.. it hurts a lot but I still find myself loving him and missing him all the time. I took Yangki’s advice to not disappear in the radar, we’re emailing each other on a regular basis and see where things will take us to in the future! Never lose hope! I’m trying to move on but not to give up.

    1. I’m happy for you that you chose not to disappear. Most exes are very suspicious of someone who goes off the radar and reappears out of the blue expecting to be welcome with open arms. They may even be happy to see you but deal with you — and rightly so — very suspiciously.

      You wrote, “trying to move on but not to give up”. Move on means just that…. MOVE ON. Once you orient your sub-conscious/energy towards moving on… that’s exactly how things will go.

      Try “letting go” instead. That means letting things be as they are… taking it as it comes… letting the future unfold without trying to force it either direction.

      Letting go not only keeps you in the present (realistic and connected), it also protects you from emotional anxiety, worry, etc.

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Bryan

    She broke up with me almost 5 weeks ago. We were together for 3 extremely happy years. We planned on getting married after we both completed our studies but I think the stress of studies and work got to both of us. When she broke up with me, she said that now she isn’t sure of anything in her future, and couldn’t even tell me if she sees me in it. I was at a complete loss. I did all the desperate things like begging and pleading with her to no avail. I read about no contact and realized all the mistakes I was making to try to get her back.

    No contact hasn’t been easy but it is getting to the point where I can go through much of the day without crying. As long as I don’t lose it and start contacting her, she’ll realize what she has lost.

    1. Sorry to hear about your situation. But this is THE PROBLEM with much of “get back your ex” advice. Everyone is giving advice based on their own personal emotional situation. It’s hard to be rational, let alone give objective advice when your own situation is not what you’d like it to be.

      As for the people taking advice from anyone and everybody…. if you wanted to buy property, would you just walk to anyone on the streets, much less a homeless man on the street to ask for advice on buying property? I don’t think so! Ask yourself, if all these people giving advice knew how and could do it, why are they in the situations they are in?

      Whichever way one sees it, no contact is no way to get your ex back… nothing good ever comes from provoking a negative reaction (fear of rejection or abandonment, etc). No contact may indeed drive someone crazy but not because they “love” you but because they are reacting from their own issues. Not surprising that many breakup again soon after getting back together. No contact is a waste of time and you’re back to where you started: nothing understood and nothing resolved.

      Again I am sorry for your pain. I just don’t think that if you’re trying to get your ex back that you’re helping yourself. If you’re trying to move on… that’s a whole different scenario.

  10. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Bryan

    William, I don’t think its a good idea to contact her first. If she knows that you still care so much for her she’ll not value you. Continue with what your doing, no contact. It’s not easy but if you’re strong you can do it. Trust me on this she will come back, they all do. Maybe not right away but she’ll realize what she’s lost and come back. By that time may be you will have moved on and will not want her back. That in its self will make you feel better. Stay strong.

  11. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Prince Mohammed

    This is to William,
    If you still have feelings for her, then you should contact her or you will end up like me if she gets in another relationship. I waited too long to contact her and when I finally did, she was dating one of her other ex boyfriends. Its KILLING me because I want her back so bad.

  12. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: William

    Me and my ex broke up 3 months ago, or should I say she broke up with me. We had dated for 3 and a half years. It was so great! I followed all the material with NC but she still hasn’t contacted me. I’m afraid that she’s moved on but also don’t want to contact her. I feel that there’s something I can do, but I’m not sure what?

  13. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Marshall

    I bumped into your post yesterday and wish I had read it a year ago. Disappearing off the radar cost me the woman I cared for dearly. I learned my lesson. It has been over a year since she told me she moved on and I’m still thinking of her.

  14. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Chelsea

    Most books on getting your ex back say being invisible for a while will let him know I’ve accepted the situation. What makes you sure it’s the last thing he’ll think of.

    1. I’m not going to discuss what others have written in their books.

      Because I understand human nature… it’s our human nature in these kind of uncertain situations to think something is “wrong” before we think something is “right”. Also someone who broke up with you for a reason or reasons, and is probably suspicious of you or has their guard up, is more likely to interpret your actions (explicit or implicit) negatively than positively… that’s until you prove otherwise. You’re not going to be able to “prove otherwise” invisible.

  15. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Chelsea

    I’m not completely giving up. Withdrawing from sight for a while will show him that I’m no longer fighting the break up and I’m fine with things.

    1. Two questions…

      1) Are you really fine with things?

      Feigning acceptance by choosing not to reveal what you are really thinking or feeling is in itself is non-acceptance. When push comes to shove the fact that you are miserable (and whatever else) will bubble to the surface.

      2) How will you show him you’re no longer fighting the break up when you’re out of sight?

      You seem to be assuming he is going to spend all or even most of his time thinking about you. You’re also assuming that he will somehow psychic-ally “know” that the reason you’re out of sight is because you want to show him you’re no longer fighting the break-up.

      Someone “disappearing” off the radar can mean so many other things — angry and sulking, still hurting and unable to cope emotionally with what’s happened, playing mind games (almost every ex knows about the no contact rule), want nothing to do with the ex, moved on, met someone else etc…

      Trying to show him you’re no longer fighting the break-up is probably the last thing an ex will think of.

  16. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Stephanie

    To both ladies, I know exactly how you feel. I went through a break up in which he told me he had never felt deeply for me. It broke my heart and sent me into depression. Slowly I accepted that although I loved him he had never loved me as much as I loved him. I still miss him and will always love him, but I don’t feel the pain as much as I did before. Believe me when I say, it gets better with time.

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