If you were just dumped, your ex is testing you, even if they don’t know it.
Will you pass? Your ex doesn’t know what you’re made of! They don’t know that you can pass this test by showing strength, dignity, class, confidence, and maturity. In fact, your ex might not even know that they are testing you at all, but they will see how you did on the test after the fact – after you have responded to the breakup.
If you respond poorly to the breakup, you will likely fail the test.
By poorly, I mean that you behave childishly in reaction to not getting your way. You obviously didn’t want the breakup and your ex knows that. So how did you initially respond to not getting your way? And, even more importantly, how will you respond going forward?
When your ex looks back on how you handled the breakup, will they be impressed by your strength, maturity, and dignity? Or will they remember you being childish, angry, yelling, pouting, and not accepting their decision?
The Loving Response to a Breakup
Loving someone is not always easy.
In fact, loving someone is often difficult. The one you love doesn’t always have the same ideals, desires, opinions, and goals as you. Breaking up with you is an example of that.
So how do you respond to someone you love who wants to end your relationship? Do you only think of yourself? Do you try to force or manipulate them to giving you what you want?
The loving response is to accept their decision. It’s not what you want, but it’s what they at least think they want.
So while you might think that it is love that is compelling you to contact your ex repeatedly when they have asked you not to, or that it is love that compels you to bring up the relationship again and again when it’s clear they don’t want to talk about it, if we are being honest, you are actually being compelled by selfishness in a lot of respects.
While that might not be completely clear to you right now, it is almost certainly clear to your ex. Your refusal to accept what they want for their life will appear selfish and even manipulative to them.
Why Your Response To The Breakup Test Is So Important
If you fail the breakup test by behaving in the way that I described above, what happens is that the most recent memory your ex will have of you is how you reacted to the breakup.
Your ex will likely filter their older memories of you and the relationship you had through the lens of how you behaved after they broke up with you.
That means that if your ex has a moment where they remember a pleasant, special memory from the relationship, it is almost instantly downgraded or tainted by the memory of your response to the breakup and how that response made them feel.
So they could think, “Yes, we had a great Christmas together, but he is so selfish that I shouldn’t go back to him.”
Or, “Our trip to the beach was great, and I’ll always remember it, but she wouldn’t even leave me alone when I asked her to so she doesn’t even respect me.”
Feelings can be peculiar things can’t they? And I know that you certainly didn’t mean to appear selfish and/or disrespectful, but that is how your ex will most likely take it to some level or another.
And that intensifies the problem because if your ex starts thinking that they might give your relationship another try – that maybe it could work – your breakup response will raise its ugly head and they will think, “But if I go back and it doesn’t work out again, I’ll have to put up with all that drama, pouting, anger, begging, and the other mess…again.”
So instead of being able to rely on the great relationship you two had and those memories to encourage your ex to give the two of you another chance, your response to the breakup has wiped out much of the good and given your ex a reason not to get back together with you.
Do you understand now why I continually write about, and remind my coaching clients, how extremely important a breakup response is to getting an ex back? It’s a test, whether it’s intentional or not, from your ex and you must pass it!
What If You Have Already Failed The Test?
If you responded to the breakup poorly, your chances are less of getting your ex back. That’s a cold, hard reality, but it’s not impossible. Here is what you do:
- Apologize to your ex for your behavior. Do this via text or email because your ex likely associates you with the negatives of your breakup response and probably feels extremely anxious or worse at the thought of being around you so the odds are slim they would answer your call or meet with you. Texts/emails are more subtle and less intrusive. Say something similar to, “Hi Ex (use their real name), I’m sorry for the way I’ve been behaving. I realize now that I was being childish and selfish and that’s not me. I accept your decision to breakup and I wish you the best. Take care of yourself.” Then, do not add a further message to a potential response of theirs unless it is a direct question. That brings us to step number 2.
- Stop the bleeding! Stop texting, calling, begging, pleading, pouting, terrorizing, etc! Leave your ex alone so that they can actually experience the breakup and see that they don’t want it after all and miss you. That CANNOT happen if you won’t leave them alone. For more information on this, read The No Contact Rule To Get Your Ex Back.
- Number 3 only serves as a reminder, clarification, and emphasis that you should stop your pursuit of your ex (at least temporarily). Though it might seem counter-intuitive, it’s your best shot at getting your ex back and probably your only chance at getting them back. You might question how effective this strategy is, but how effective is what you have been doing? My guess is that it is not working at all since you are on this website. And I can tell you from 18 years of experience working with broken relationships at the time of this writing that reaching out to your ex at this point will only push them even further away. Your only hope is to back off so that they can actually miss you and, emotionally, move back toward you. Also see: “Should You Break No Contact?”
If you pass the breakup test, the odds are solid that your ex will find their way back to you. To get my advice on your specific situation and a tailored map to getting your ex back, schedule a coaching session with me!