Today we’re going to be taking a look at a situation where you are friends with an ex you still love.
However, we’re going to be approaching it with one fundamental goal in mind,
To help you be more than “just friends” with your ex.
We’ve put together a simple step by step process for you to follow to help you achieve this,
- Take A Look At Our Being There Method Concept For Inspiration
- The Importance Of Letting Go Before You Try Anything
- Locate Which Of The Six Commitment Factors You Are Lacking
- When They Pull Back, You Pull Back (Mirroring)
- Implement The “Friend Zone” Best Practices
Step #1: Take A Look At Our Being There Method Concept For Inspiration
Traditionally the being there method is prescribed for people who are in a situation where they want their ex back but their ex has moved on to someone else.
As you can see here, Chris talks a lot about it in this video,
While the aim of this article is to look at a situation where you are still in love with your ex while being “friends” with them. I feel like since the being there method is essentially friend zoning yourself with the intention of “playing the long game” to get your ex back (in an arguably far more difficult situation.)
It lays out a potential foundation for how we are going to approach this particular situation.
Basically the main point I want you to take home is to work to move your insecure attachment towards a more secure one while you are stuck being friends.
How do I know you have an insecure attachment?
Chris’ internal polls kind of see to that,
But the question now becomes,
How do you do that?
Well, without going too much down the rabbit hole, here are some of my best tips for becoming more secure:
- Understand Your Own Attachment Style (Try this quiz to diagnose what attachment style you are)
- Seek Therapy or Counseling
- Develop Self-Awareness
- Build Self-Esteem
- Practice Effective Communication
- Set Boundaries
- Foster Independence
- Manage Anxiety and Emotions
- Focus on Secure Relationships
- Be Patient
Step #2: The Importance Of Letting Go
The one common theme I see amongst success stories is that each one got to a place emotionally where they “let go” of their breakups.
In other words, they got to a place where they were ok not wanting their ex back anymore.
It’s important that if you do want your ex back you need to find that place emotionally.
Once again, we come to that age old question of “how?”
Well, probably the most effective way to do this is two fold,
- Working on your Holy Trinity Pillars
- Having the Ungettable Guy/Girl mindset
I lumped these two together because there’s an interesting cause and effect that occurs.
By working the trinity,
Crash Course: The holy trinity is a concept we have here at Ex Boyfriend Recovery where you divide your life into three categories, health, wealth and relationships. Then you work to put these aspects of your life in balance.
Anyways, by working the trinity you start to achieve this “ungettable status.”
What’s someone who is ungettable?
I think our members actually said it best when we asked them,
- Someone who is Confident
- Loving Yourself
- Being Treated With Respect
- Not Being Second Choice
- Setting Goals & Obtaining Them
- Living Your Best Life
- Being cool in any situation
- Being Positive No matter what life throws your way
- Being true to yourself
- Blowing Other Peoples Expectations of you out of the water
- Being the best version of yourself
- Upgrading your life in all areas
- Being happy and doing things for you
- Finding inner peace
- Being okay doing things alone
- Not easily caught
- Playing hard to get
- Finding joy in life no matter what
And once you achieve this “ungettable status” you start to let go of the hurt that you carry from the breakup.
It’s important to understand though, that letting go of the breakup is not the same as moving on from your ex,
Letting go of the break up is about not focusing on the loss of the relationship, the wrong doing either party did and that you are no longer together. Instead, it’s about focusing on how to be happy being single for the time being.
And the coolest part about letting go in this way is that if you have achieved that ungettable swagger then you don’t sit there anxiously worrying about being alone. You know that your next relationship is on the horizon.
Step #3: Locate Which Of The Six Commitment Factors You Are Lacking
Now that we have the internal stuff out of the way let’s take a look at some of the tactical things you can do to move yourself out of the friend zone (because let’s be honest, that’s what you really want.)
Chris wrote this really great article a few years back about what makes humans commit to one another.
In it, he identified the six core commitment factors:
- Satisfaction – How satisfied is your partner?
- Alternatives – Does your partner believe there is a better alternative out there for them?
- Investment- How much time, money and energy has your partner invested into the relationship?
- Scarcity- Does your partner believe you are “one of a kind?”
- Urgency- Does your partner have an urgent reason to commit?
- Fear of Loss- Is you partner afraid of losing you?
His argument was simple.
If you want to get a commitment from someone locate which of the above six factors you are lacking with your partner and then make sure you do a better job of exhibiting it.
For example, let’s say you believe you score low in the investment factor,
Then that means to garner a better chance for a romantic commitment you need to get your partner to invest their,
- Romantic energies
Into you a bit better.
Step #4: When They Pull Back, You Pull Back (Mirroring)
The best way to approach your interactions with your ex who is a friend is to mirror their behavior.
This means that when they pull back you pull back.
Again, something Chris talks a lot about,
(This means that if you sense they are getting distant, then you must give them some space.)
It also means when they aren’t’ pulling back you are good to continue not pulling back as well.
When they feel vulnerable or believe they have become too close to you, they may need to withdraw.
This behavior is particularly common among avoidants, who are likely to pull away when a certain emotion or memory is triggered during your interactions.
Step #5: Implement The “Friend Zone” Best Practices
There are eight best practices you should be implementing if you are stuck in the friend zone and want to get out.
- Avoid sleeping with your ex
- Avoid confrontations
- Leave the past behind you
- Be less interested
- Get them to invest their time
- Create some competition
- Rewards are ok
- Don’t be afraid to spend time alone
Let’s tackle these really quickly one by one,
Avoid Sleeping With Your Ex
This one should be pretty obvious,
Under no circumstance are you to sleep with your ex.
Spending time with your ex and interpreting their flirtatious behavior as a sign of interest can be confusing.
It’s crucial to remember that being intimate is not appropriate when you’re just friends, no matter how much time you spend together.
You should avoid crossing this boundary until you’re officially back together. Crossing this line can turn your relationship into a friends-with-benefits situation, which is incredibly difficult to escape from.
And if you don’t believe me then all you need to do is take one look at our community to see the staggering amount of men and women who have made this mistake and are still “just friends” with their ex.
Except they aren’t just friends, are they?
The ex is always gunning for more.
And it isn’t romance, I can tell you that.
When your ex starts spending time with other potential love interests or is unable to spend time with you for a short period, try not to take offense or cause issues.
Often this disconnect is happening because they are your first priority, while you are not theirs.
Chris has talked a lot about the dangers of revolving your life around another person completely and even created a handy graphic for it,
Adopting a positive and laid-back approach will demonstrate to your ex that you are secure and not desperately chasing them when they have other plans.
Leave The Past Behind
Avoid bringing up past relationship issues before you established your newfound friendship.
Letting go of those issues shows that you have moved on from the heartache.
Bringing up past problems will only reinforce their decision to not be with you.
Demonstrate that you have moved past any negative memories from your previous relationship.
This will help your ex trust you again as a friend and lower their guard when it comes to re-establishing a connection.
Show Less Interest
Indicate to your ex that you are less invested in them compared to others in your friendship group.
This signals that you are moving on from them and you may notice a shift in the dynamics of your friendship.
Your ex might start seeking your attention or trying to impress you in some way.
Encourage Them To Invest Their Time Into You
Riffing on what was stated as an example with regards to the “commitment factors;”
Make sure your ex is putting more effort into your interactions, whether it’s meeting up individually or as a group.
Engage in conversations, texting, phone calls, and share positive memories and jokes from time to time.
Create Some Competition
Let your ex worry that you may have met someone else and are moving on from them.
However, be careful not to rub it in their face.
Foster a healthy competition for your attention.
If your ex makes an effort with you, acknowledge and reciprocate it.
Match their efforts in the same way.
However, be cautious not to overinvest yourself. Pay attention to their actions and words.
Do their actions align with their words?
If so, take note of that.
Spend Time Alone
Once your friendship reaches a comfortable point without any awkwardness, start initiating meetups with your ex, just the two of you, in safe locations for the time being.
Go out for coffee or have a drink at a bar.
Gradually increase the romantic possibilities with each meetup.
Remember, this process cannot be rushed. Take your time and avoid making your ex think you’re trying to get them back. Allow the connection to naturally build. Eventually, your ex will also start considering that you belong together and that there is more than just friendship between you.