Negative Reinforcement To Get Your Ex Back

Negative reinforcement to get ex back

In this coaching video, Coach Lee explains how you can use the right kind of negative reinforcement to get your ex back after a breakup.

Be sure to watch this important video all the way through and SUBSCRIBE to Coach Lee’s YouTube channel.

What Kind of Negative Reinforcement Can Get Your Ex Back?

Negative reinforcement is often a misunderstood psychological and behavioral-science term.

Many people think that negative reinforcement is a punishment for an undesired behavior from another.

For example, if your dog barks, smacking it on the backside is punishment for excessive barking.

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Punishment, however, is not negative reinforcement (even though it might work to curtail the barking).

True negative reinforcement is doing nothing or even removing the cause of the barking (food, loud conversation, etc.).

However, it should not to be confused with appeasement.

As I point out in the video above (be sure to watch it), you should not be trying to manipulate the behavior of your ex.

The positive side effects that normally happen from negative reinforcement are a result of you treating yourself with respect as well as treating your ex with respect.

In this case, your ex has broken up with you.

You respect your ex by respecting their decision and not acting as though your desire to stay together trumps their desire to go your separate ways for now.

You respect yourself by not begging, pleading, or bribing your ex to get back together with you even though you know that they don’t believe they want to at this moment in time.

Positive reinforcement of your ex breaking up with you would be you doing any or all of the following:

Giving your ex a gift (flowers, stuffed animals, money, candy, etc.).

-Flattery (“You are the most handsome man to ever handsome.” “You are the most beautiful girl in the world.”)

-Contacting them.

-Telling them that you will wait forever (even if you feel that way).

-Begging and trying to talk your ex into getting back together with you.

All of that provides some positive reinforcement in that it can cause them to feel above you in terms of desirability, attractiveness, and number of romantic options.

It’s rewarding them for breaking up with you.

All of that PREVENTS the negative consequences of the breakup such as:

-not having your presence or company,

-the fear of losing you,

-and wondering if they made the right decision.

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At the same time, it ALLOWS your ex to associate negative emotions with your presence because your behavior can be annoying.

It can demonstrate low value for you.

It can be lowering your dignity by begging.

It can be immature in that you demand to have your way without regard for what your ex wants or how he/she feels.

So while your ex gets the reward of a boosted ego and sense of attractiveness, she/he also associates unattractive behavior with you.

It’s the ultimate double whammy.

You get a double negative from that behavior, pushing your ex further and further away from you and lowering your own level of attractiveness.

That’s certainly not a successful plan if you want to get your ex back.

Negative Reinforcement of The Breakup Creates a Vacuum That Can Pull Your Ex To You

How To Pull Your Ex Back To You

There is immense value in direction.

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Though it’s a bit of an oversimplification, either your ex is moving away from you or he/she is moving toward you.

Your ex contacting you is evidence that they have moved toward you in their heart/emotions and decision making.

By refusing to reward your ex for breaking up with you, you create the room for your ex to miss you.

This is an especially important emotion within your ex and it can’t occur if you are providing positive reinforcement to their decision to break up with you.

In order to be missed, you must be absent.

There’s no getting around that.

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What magnifies this to the point of your ex re-evaluating their desires is when they fear that you are moving on.

This is where the No Contact Rule is such a strong concept.

It shows strength – that you are strong enough to move on at some point.

Your ex may wonder if you already have moved on or may feel that they risk you moving on from them very soon.

This prevents your ex from feeling that there are no consequences from the breakup as far as their relationship with you.

In other words, if you continue to contact your ex, flatter your ex, beg your ex, etc., you are demonstrating that there is no danger of losing you.

Therefore, your ex feels that there is no pressure on them to figure things out.

There’s no consequences to them dating other people.

Your ex feels that at any moment he/she could snap their fingers and get you back if he/she so desired.

That certainly isn’t a pull toward you and it doesn’t provide that fear of loss that can open their eyes to their true feelings toward you.

emergency breakup kit

The sooner that you provide negative reinforcement by removing yourself from the situation, the sooner that your ex can feel the consequences of the breakup.

Those consequences include:

-Not hearing from you.

-Fear that you could move on.


We want your ex to notice your absence.

If you continue to be present, by definition, that can’t occur.

Your absence causes your ex, even if he or she has said that there is no chance of the two of you getting back together, to remember and reflect on their past experiences shared with you.

It’s a way for their brain to make sense of your absence and the separation anxiety that goes along with it.

Their brain creates an imaginary version of you within their memories to help them cope with your absence.

This often intensifies your ex missing you and the relationship.

Again, you have to be absent to be missed.

That’s as much true as the earth revolving around the sun.

There has to be a negative in order for your ex to want to bring about change.

So negative reinforcement can help get your ex back.

That doesn’t mean that you are to be cold, mean, or vengeful to your ex.

That would be an example of punishment – even if you don’t intend for it to be.

It also shows that you are not very strong and that this breakup is still greatly impacting you.

emergency breakup kit

Show your ex that you are not only mature, but that you have not been hurt so badly that you are lashing out at your ex.

Lashing out at them shows that they are really getting to you.

Get your ex back with Coach Lee’s Emergency Breakup Kit!

Respond politely if and when your ex reaches out to you during no contact.

This also provides positive reinforcement for desired action.

If your ex is moving toward you, it should be a positive experience that also leaves them wanting more. (Don’t ignore your ex and you should not block your ex either)

That’s why it’s important to have a fun and polite chat with them before telling them that it’s been great catching up but you have to get going.

So that’s how you can utilize negative reinforcement to get your ex back.

Be sure to watch my video above all the way through to reinforce your understanding of this concept and to have a laugh or two as well.

Get my Emergency Breakup Kit or my Emergency Marriage Kit to guide you to getting your ex back based on my two decades in the relationship-recovery service.

Coach Lee
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About Coach Lee

Coach Lee, Master of Marriage & Family Counseling, helps people save relationships. He developed the Emergency Breakup Kit, a powerful guide to winning back an ex. Get information on the Kit by Clicking Here! If your MARRIAGE is struggling, get his free mini-course on saving a marriage.

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