“So, I made it through No Contact. And I’ve started the Texting Phase. I’m getting ready to set up a face-to-face and I have no idea how to talk to her.”
I hear this and statements like this from both of our sites. And it’s a perfectly normal reaction to the idea of meeting up with your ex.
Most people get there, in the moment, and wind up saying whatever comes to mind, which is usually just a ton of emotional stuff. This can range from being whiny to being combative.
Believe it or not emotional word vomit is basically a mood killer.
Go figure. Right?!
So, let’s talk about how to talk to your ex going forward to avoid killing the mood.
Communicating with an ex is easier said than done.
It becomes even more difficult when the breakup was particularly messy.
So, how do you win her back?
Most guys think that they can get an ex back by begging.
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Others might try and discuss the issues surrounding the breakup.
Neither of these is a good idea.
But no matter what I say to you, you are going to get the urge to do the EXACT opposite.
You do want your ex to feel comfortable enough with you to get back with you and stay with you right?
Fighting the Urge and Figuring out Where Her Mind’s At
Before you have a sit down with your ex and stir up EVEN MORE emotions than you are dealing with now, you have to learn how to reign them in. Otherwise, the emotions that are overwhelming you now will move on to overwhelm her and drive her away. And the whole point is to get her to come back closer.
Men tend to process their emotions differently than women. I mean, women exhibit a full range of those emotions… usually publicly. And while guys experience the same range of emotions, too, they tend to exhibit them in one of two ways, by shutting down or getting aggravated. The only way to keep your emotions in check is to learn to recognize them before they take over. Guage the situation, then readjust the level of intensity. Get up and go to the bathroom or step outside to “make a phone call.” Use the moment to real it in and calm yourself.
Then, when you return you can change the subject to something more… comfortable to talk about. And go from there.
As for recognizing your ex’s mindset, there are three different ways that can go.
A Negative Mindset – Fueled by aggression and disdain. Go figure this one is pretty obvious. You can see it from a mile away. It comes after a messy breakup, the kind with a lot of fighting. Trust me, if she is in a negative mindset, you will know the second she responds to that first text. This is marked by an angry response to you trying to reconnect at all. Another form that a negative mindset can take is by playing the victim. Instead of being directly aggressive at you, it almost seems as if she is campaigning against you, trying to make everyone see you as the bad guy. This one is hard to recover from, but if you are set on getting her back, it takes a lot of time for this level of anger and hurt to dissipate. So, don’t be surprised it it takes a while.
An Indifferent Mindset – This can go one of two ways. Either she just doesn’t respond at all or she responds with a “thanks but no thanks” type response.
A Positive Mindset – This is the one we want. It is the easiest to work with. She’s responded to your texts. She is willing to carry on conversations with you. She might even start instigating them. When you ask to get together for coffee or something, she will seem to jump at the chance, possibly even excited about it.
Prep work: It’ is important that before you get started you understand that every single person is afraid of rejection. It is human nature to want to be accepted. So, when you make them feel like you are overly invested in getting them back, you basically calm any concerns that they might have about your interest. Being nervous and making it obvious that you want her back will make her either reject the idea or undervalue the attention. However, when you seem to communicate and be around them easily, their subconscious will lead them to feel like they need to win back your affection. Think about it this way, people who use weight loss medications are more likely to gain the weight back plus some after they stop taking the medication. Why?
Well, people are far more likely to do everything they can to hold onto something if they have to work for it and continue working for it.
That includes getting partners back.
It’s why playing hard to get is so effective.
I’m not saying to assume that your ex is playing hard to get. I AM suggesting that you fight the urge to pour out your soul. It’s similar to playing hard to get from your end.
Think about it this way. Once you receive overt affection from someone, part of you expects to always have it. When it seems as if it has been withdrawn, your subconscious will lead you to work to reestablish that connection.
It’s what makes you try to stay connected to someone even when you have perfectly good reasons to let them go.
So, the prep work to communication is to be aware of that fear of losing attention and affection that resides in everyone. That is why being relaxed and friendly is so important when you first start your face-to-face contact.
Strategy One: Using the Fear of Losing You Against Them
Did you know that fear is the number one reason people have for choosing whether to do something or not?
It’s called the Scarcity Principle.”
We want what we are afraid we can’t have. It is as simple as that. If you can maintain a friendly relationship while denying her the overt romantic attention she probably expects, she will find herself wanting you without realizing that that was your plan all along.
Strategy Two: Regain Their Trust
If something you did played into the breakup in the first place, then it is up to you to earn her trust back before she will ever consider getting back with you.
As kids, getting back in someone’s good graces was as simple as saying you were sorry and hugging it out.
Strangely, even fully grown adults think that it is still that simple and expect people to forgive them after one grand gesture or apology.
No, if you truly want your ex to get back into a relationship with you and STAY in that relationship, you have to be willing to keep earning that trust for the rest of forever.
Regaining trust works like this:
Step 1 – After establishing rapport, and a grounded friendship, and the conversation has moved toward a possible reconnection. Offer a sincere apology. You can’t just say “Sorry.”
It should be more like,
“Hey, I just want to say something. I know that I made some mistakes in the past and I want you to know that I am truly sorry for the part I had to play in everything back then. I care about you and you deserve an apology.”
You have to know what it is that you did wrong and be able to explain why it was wrong and why you are sorry in case it becomes a bigger conversation. Remember, you aren’t trying to start an argument. You are trying to put her at ease. Be aware that this is only a gateway to getting her back. If you don’t follow through on the rest of the steps, you will find yourself stuck in the situation you are in now, with no possibility of getting back together.
Step 2 – Make an obvious effort not to hurt her again.
Step 3 – If you make a mistake ( you’re human, it’ll happen), be upfront with it and have a solution for the problem ready.
Step 4 – Rinse and Repeat for the duration of the relationship.
The one thing you have to realize is that, if you betrayed or broke her trust in the past, you are going to have to be willing to put in the work for a long time.
Strategy 3: Set an Example
Mirroring is an effective tactic.
If you find that your ex has a positive mindset about reconnecting and being friendly, that is when this tactic is most effective. You can’t really affect someone who is being combative or indifferent with mirroring.
So, if your ex is carrying on and eve instigating text conversations and seems receptive to the idea of getting together, you can effect the way that she sees you without saying anything. I mean, you can still talk and carry on friendly conversation while you use this strategy.But, if she is feeling uncomfortable
But, if she is feeling uncomfortable you can know by looking at the way that she carries herself.
Sitting back in her chair (maximum amount of space between you)
Holding purse or jacket between you
Turned away from you.
Checking Phone Constantly, Distracted
Leaning Forward and Attentive
Body Facing You
Mirroring is how you turn Non-Receptive Posturing into Receptive Posturing.
You go into the face-to-face interaction prepared to be just friends with your ex. You make friendly and comforting conversation. Meanwhile, you use this strategy in the background.
Once you sit down across from her, you need to mirror her posture EXACTLY, even if it is negative.
Once you get a comfortable conversation groove going on, you can slightly adjust your posture and see if she follows suit.
If she does, then… success! Continue adjusting until she is in a more positive posture. More receptive posture, more receptive mind.
If she doesn’t follow your example, you go back to mirroring her and then, after a while, adjust to positive again. If not, you end the interaction on a high note. Then, plan another face-to-face after a few days have passed and you can try again.
If you don’t have success with this after a few tries, you need to accept that maybe your ex isn’t receptive to mirroring and used a different tactic.
Strategy 4: Time
This “strategy” is a perfect addition, nay a necessity, for the other strategies we’ve discussed here.
The reason it is still a stand-alone strategy is because it is so often overlooked in lieu of being too ambitious. The biddest mistake you can make is going after everything all at once.
Chris often compares communicating to chess. And it is exactly like chess. When she moves a pawn, you want to move a pawn as well. When your ex takes a step forward toward being positive, you match it with an equal effort. Don’t go too overboard too quickly. If you overstep, she’ll step backward…If you largely overstep, she’ll run.
The point is to keep a healthy back and forth going. Don’t be too overzealous. I know how strong the urge to double and triple text can be.
So, pace yourself. Don’t rush things. Bear with it. (Terrible pun… I know.)
A Final Note on Communicating
If it seems like she’s over it, or not picking up what you are putting down, that’s okay, too. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought that I was completely over a guy only to end up in the same room as him only to realize that I wasn’t. I mean, all it took was spending some time together and getting even the slightest inclination that he had changed. Then seeing enough evidence to prove it.
It is that simple.
Now, take all of this into consideration, and USE it.
Listen to what she has to say.
See how she responds to what you say and do.
And make her feel safe and comfortable with you.
Do good things!
Let me know how it goes.