Will telling your ex ‘I love you’ make them feel pressured? When is it too early to tell your ex you still have feelings for them? How do you make your ex feel loved without coming across as needy? All these are reasonable questions to ask if you don’t want your ex to feel pressured and pull further away.
Showing your ex you still have feelings for them right from the start is the right move. You don’t want them to think you only want to be just friends. But the mistake many people make is they think that telling their ex “I love you” over and over will make their ex want to come back. What they don’t realize is that unrelenting confessions of love too early in the process makes their ex feel pressured to get back together.
Why telling your ex “I love you” is pressuring them
Telling your ex over and over that you love them is really about your fear and anxiety pushing you to seek some kind of reassurance that your ex still loves you as much as you love them.
When you don’t get “I love you” back, the fear that your ex may no longer love you, or has moved on pushes you to act even more needy and desperate.
Instead of “I love you”, what your ex hears is “Please, please take me back”. The more “I love you”, the more pressure your ex feels to take you back. Your ex’s response, even if they don’t tell you directly is “Why should I?”
How do you take off the pressure your ex feels?
Stop the “I love you” pleas and start showing your ex that the relationship can work. Putting emphasis on the relationship not only makes you less “self-interested”, it also takes off the pressure that comes with your ex feeling like they have to “love you back” because you love them so much.
Trying to show your ex that the relationship can work isn’t as easy as telling them, “the relationship can work” or “I have changed/making changes. Your ex will not believe you even if you show them you are willing to fight for your relationship.
You have to have actually changed for the changes to show. Your ex may even still have strong feelings for you, and may tell you they love you; but if their perception of you is still the old you, it doesn’t matter if you tell them you love you so much. If you can’t see that you have changed, they will not want to get back together.
How do you make your ex feel loved without making your ex feel pressured?
First and foremost by taking care of our emotions. As mentioned earlier in the article, telling your ex over and over that you love them is really about your fear and anxiety. It’s about you seeking reassurance that your ex still loves you as much as you love them.
Your anxiety, fear and worry shows up in the way you contact your ex (timidly or aggressively). It shows up in your choice of words, in your actions (e.g. failing to recognize or turning away from your ex’s bids of connection); and in your inability to emotionally connect. As I always say, “How can you connect to someone else’s emotions when your own emotions are jumping up and down trying to get your attention.
Unfortunately when your anxiety, fear and worry shows up, it creates pressure for your ex. When you get upset, frustrated, discouraged, triggered, hurt or angry you not only lose your ex’s attraction, you also lose momentum – and in this process momentum is everything.
One of the things that can do to stop your ex from feelings pressured to take you back is take more control of your own feelings and emotions. Note, I didn’t say suppress how you feel, rather manage your emotions so that they work for you instead of work against you.
The more in control you are of your own emotions, the less stress you’ll feel
The less stressed you feel, the more calm and hopeful you’ll feel. The more calm and hopeful you feel, the less pressure-inducing your interactions with your ex will be.
When you say “I love you” it will mean much more because there is no pressure for your ex to say it back because they can feel that it’s coming from a place of calm not fear or anxiety.
How to Get Back Your Ex With Pressure-Free Contact
I was sort of seeing this woman for three months before she decided she wanted us to be just friends. I told her I want her as a friend better than not have her in my life at all. A couple of weeks ago, we had a disagreement which ended badly. She told me that if I stopped pushing too hard we might actually have a chance. I have not called/texted her because I don’t want to make the mistake of being needy/clingy. Whenever we are at odds with each other, I’m always the first one to email/text/call to make things right. She’s probably waiting for me to contact her. I’m just wondering, do you think that because I haven’t contacted her she’ll feel she’s losing me and want me or may be she’ll think it’s not worth the trouble?
I don’t think that just a one time effort not to appear needy/clingy will change anything. For her to say that if you’d stop pushing too hard you might actually have a chance says that this is something you’ve done over an extended period of time and has been/is a major turn off. You’ll have to consistently show — over a period of time — that you’re not needy/clingy for it to have a desired effect.
I do not think not calling/texting after a major disagreement is the best way to start showing that you’re not clingy/needy. It’s more like you’re angry/sulking/immature. The best time to show you’re “no longer clingy/needy” is when everything is fine and the person can see/appreciate the change.
I just wanted to say thank you for this site and for your ebook. I suffer from anxiety disorder which also makes me needy at times. I’ve been following the guidelines in your ebook on how not to overcontact my ex and they have really helped. She’s becoming more relaxed and even initiating contacts a few times. She knows I suffer from this disorder and I have been on and off medication. I appreicate that she wants to keep in contact with me after she had said she can’t give me the attention I need and feels worn out. You have really helped me. Thank you.
Over-contacting is problem even for those who do not suffer from anxiety disorder. With anxiety disorder it must have been more frustrating for you and for your ex. I’m glad things are better between the two of you and pray that they get even better. No pressure…(:
Yangki, I know you say in your book not to talk about the old relationship and I didn’t bring it up, he did. I was careful to stick to the facts as you advice and I think it made a difference. He noticed I was not being emotional and defensive and made the comment that he wishes I was “this person” when we were still together. I asked him what he meant and he said I seemed more mature than when we were together. He wants to see me again. My question is, should I wait for him to ask me out or ask him out? I asked him out the last time.
First of all good for you for showing maturity. It paid of in that he wants to see you again.
Wait may be a week or so, and if he doesn’t ask you out, ask him out. It’s important to keep the momentum going to move things forward.
Within 9 days of no contact, my ex sent me a text “I don’t think this silence is doing either of us any good.” I didn’t respond because I was still hurt. After 3 weeks I was feeling good again and texted him “I felt like I needed some time to cool off before we talked”. I was hoping he’d call me, but I didn’t get a response from him. After 4 days I sent him another text “Can we talk.” I didn’t get a reply for that either. I then sent him another text 3 days later “Can we talk and get this behind us”. No response. I am sad and feel neglected. What do I do?
Sad and neglected was probably how he felt when you didn’t respond until after 3 weeks. He may be giving you a taste of your own medicine, or may he decided it’s best to move on.
After 3 attempts with no response, it may be best to wait and see if he contacts you. Then decide if you want to re-establish contact or not.
You are right, she’s not a terrible person. That’s just me trying to move on. In fact she’s the most wonderful person I have ever met and I’d give anything to have her back.
I’ll follow the advice in the ebook as you suggest. Thank you very much.
She broke up with me but still texts, calls and wants to hang out. It’s like we are still together except that she dates other men and no sex for us. I initially agreed to us being friends hoping that she will see how I’m changing but I’m now wondering if she’s just using me. It’s killing me that we are not together but it’s what she wants. She wants all the benefits of a girlfriend without really being my girlfriend.
I’m tempted to say what a terrible person she is, but the fact is that you are just going along with what she wants. She broke up with you, that means she gave up the right to expect girlfriend benefits.
It’s not just what she wants that matters, what you want matters just as much. You don’t have to text or talk or go out with her if you do not want to. But if you do, it’s up to you to negotiate the terms of whatever it is that you have between the two of you. I see that you have my eBook, please refer to Pg. 179 for “Ex can’t make up her mind” and Pg. 197 for negotiating the “friends zone”.