You are asking, “Should I contact my ex?” because you are hoping to get them back.
Let’s talk about that.
It’s possible you haven’t thought that far ahead in terms of what will actually happen when you contact your ex.
You might have a vague hope that your ex will see your text or hear your voice when you contact them and be overwhelmed with the desire to get back together with you.
Or maybe you just think that “opening the lines of communication” by contacting your ex will be a step toward getting back together with them.
My question for you is, why do you think that communicating with them will help?
Think about it:
If your ex has said that they no longer want you in their life, how is forcing yourself into their life going to change their mind?
Believe me when I say that rather than make them want you back, such selfishness will just annoy your ex and push them away!
You will make things awkward and make yourself look bad!
This isn’t theory or what my favorite aunt told me. I’m speaking from nearly two decades of experience in the relationship recovery business when I tell you this.
I’m not operating on good-sounding theory or how I think things should be. I’m telling you how things are.
Should You Ever Contact Your Ex?
Sometimes I recommend never contacting your ex again as far as it is up to you.
In other words, you don’t initiate contact but you may communicate if your ex reaches out to you (Open my article “Should I Break No Contact” in a new tab and read it after this one).
Situations where I suggest permanent no contact include breakups where your ex left you for someone else or where they are currently with someone else (it might be a rebound relationship which could mean you just have to wait it out).
The reason for that is not only because you run the risk of your ex being in a relationship with that person or another when you reach out which makes you look extremely pathetic, but also because it makes you look incredibly weak and even unstable.
Think about it, if you reach out to your ex and they are in another relationship, it’s likely they will tell their new significant other that you reached out.
This sets up the very real possibility that your ex will talk bad about you so as not to worry the new person. So you could very well become a joke to them!
Do you think that helps or hurts you get your ex back? The answer is that it hurts your chances a lot.
Another reason you shouldn’t reach out if your ex is with someone else is because in that situation, your ex should come crawling back to you asking forgiveness.
While that is basically true in most breakups, it is especially true when an ex leaves you for someone else.
In that case, your pursuit of them should be over.
It’s usually true that the only way a relationship can work long term in that situation is for the one who left to do the pursuing and be the one to ask to be taken back.
If you were to do the pursuing in that case, even if they were no longer with that person, you demonstrate low value and create doubt in the mind of your ex that can and usually will surface in the future.
What is this doubt?
It’s doubt in the balance of the relationship. After all, they will know that even after they left you for someone else, you pursued and chased them.
They will realize the desire to get back together didn’t come from them. The desire to get back with you was never strong enough for your ex to reach out to you and ask for you to take them back.
Rather than appreciate you as it seems they should, they’ll look at you as more interested in them and of lower value. They might even see themselves as having done you a favor which is extremely bad to the odds of the relationship lasting long term.
It will also set up a precedence that suggests you won’t value yourself in the event of them leaving you again and, because of this, they are easily tempted to repeat their actions since it cost them nothing.
Your ex will figure that they can leave you for a fling and if they change their mind about the fling, you will still be a backup plan since you waited around on them before and even requested they come back.
What’s worse is that seeing you as a backup plan if they leave again will make them more likely to leave again and less likely to come back because their attraction for you is almost certain to fall.
When Should You Contact Your Ex?
I’ve explained why you should not ever contact your ex again if they left you for someone else.
Now I’ll talk about when it makes sense for you to reach out.
Here’s the deal:
At some time while you are in no contact a point is reached when it’s likely your ex will move on.
That’s usually between 3 and 5 months after they broke up with you if you two were together for 3 months or more.
At that point, if they had not left you for someone else, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to them.
Sometimes an ex will start to think that you wouldn’t have them back or that you have moved on.
So, since you make your own decisions anyway, if you want to reach out, you might as well. Though I question the long term potential in that situation since your ex never missed you enough to reach out, it could work if you are able to build attraction.
There are certainly more effective ways of doing it than others, and we can talk about that on a coaching call, but at some point the situation is reset and the possibility exists that your ex is ripe to take you back or to reconsider now that they have been without you for so long.
When in doubt about whether you should contact your ex or not, don’t do it. If your ex left you, they need to be the ones to figure out that they want you in their life. If you try to spur that or keep them in your life, you are going to push them further away and prevent them from being open to you if you reach out in the future.
Consider what I say in my article, “Is This Breakup A Test From Your Ex?”
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 realize that if you contact your ex instead of them contacting you, you take a risk that they will see your contact as something they will have to endure again if a breakup happens again. And this could cause your ex to reject the idea of getting back together with you even if they miss you.
I don’t make this stuff up to sound profound. I’m telling you this because it’s true and I care. I want you to get your ex back if they are good for you and you are good for them. The reason I wrote this article is because most people’s first instincts in how to get their ex back after a breakup are completely wrong and will serve the opposite purpose. To get my advice on your specific situation and a tailored map to getting your ex back, Schedule A Coaching Call With Me!