Texting an ex boyfriend after a breakup is always a really difficult thing. In fact, I would say most people in our community struggle with it the most.
So, when it comes to texting an ex that you miss them I have some definite thoughts.
I personally believe that you should not tell your ex that you miss him.
Well, if you text your ex when you miss them, you’ll actually be more likely to engage them in a conversation that is probably going to be too emotional, not to mention it’s a direct tip off that you want them back.
But why is it such a big deal if your ex knows that you want them back?
Why It’s Such A Big Deal If Your Ex Knows You Want Them Back
I believe it harkens back to avoidant psychology.
As I’m famously known for saying, most of the exes of our clients, as per our studies, display dismissive avoidant tendencies.
If one understands avoidant psychology, they would recognize that a dismissive avoidant’s actions center around their personal independence.
Anything perceived as a threat to their independence can provoke them to avoid or flee.
What becomes intriguing is the factors that lead an avoidant individual to miss someone.
An excellent resource on avoidant attachment is Free To Attach, If you haven’t explored it, I highly recommend it.
According to them, Avoidants might long for an ex once that person becomes unavailable and out of contact, ensuring they aren’t engaged in real-time, and their deactivation systems remain untriggered.
I discussed this in detail in a video a few years ago on making an avoidant ex miss you.
What I discerned was that the most effective way to make an avoidant miss you is to convey that you’ve moved on.
Only then will they indulge in their nostalgia.
It’s crucial to comprehend the paradox within every avoidant: they desire independence but also yearn for the intimacy of a relationship, leading to an internal tug-of-war.
They often find solace in loving people from a distance.
This is why dismissive avoidants are prone to create the concept of a ‘phantom ex’, a person they idolize as ‘the one that got away’, comparing all subsequent relationships to that ideal.
This mechanism can inhibit their current relationships from flourishing, as no one can live up to the standard set by their phantom ex.
Interestingly, from my research, especially with avoidants who flit from one relationship to the next seeking perpetual honeymoon phases, they may oscillate between multiple phantom exes.
They discard the previous one, replacing them with a new idealized version.
Even more perplexing is when they oscillate in a cyclical relationship with the same person, comparing the relationship’s past highs to its current state, using that disparity as an excuse for a breakup.
Consider this: if you deeply miss your ex and yearn to reach out, by doing so at the moment of longing, you might inadvertently push them further away. This is a common occurrence.
By succumbing to the urge to text their ex, individuals inadvertently reinforce the pre-existing negative beliefs their ex might hold about them.
So, Can You Ever Text An Ex To Tell Him You Miss Him?
No, that’s not the case, but you need to be smart about how you approach it.
Here’s the general mantra I tell my clients:
When he pulls back, you pull back; but that also means that when he pulls in, you pull in.
This applies not only to the types of conversations you’re having but also to the length of time between conversations.
Essentially, you’re mirroring their actions.
So, if you’re texting your ex and you notice that they’re not engaged or they’re giving you one-word responses, this is usually a clue that you need to pull back a little bit.
But if you’re texting your ex and they’re really engaged, this is a clue that you need to pull in a little bit more.
You can delve deeper.
But, essentially, what I’m saying is: I wouldn’t ever text an ex that you miss them until they do it first or offer something of similar value.
So the question becomes, how do you get them to do it first?
Having A Texting Conversation During Nostalgic Reverie Period
I believe the answer is to have a texting conversation during this nostalgic reverie period.
In my research on avoidance, I’ve devised something called the “avoidant death wheel.”
This maps out what a relationship, from start to finish, looks like from an avoidant’s perspective.
And you’ll see there’s a significant “separation elation” period, usually around stages five and six.
After reveling in their regained independence following a breakup, this elation eventually gives way to anxiety, depression, sadness, grief, and all the emotions one would expect them to experience.
Around stages seven or eight, they’re most likely to succumb to nostalgic reverie.
Recall the concept I mentioned earlier: when you move on from your ex, it grants them the freedom to miss you.
This is the optimal time for a conversation.
So, essentially, my advice is to converse with them during their nostalgic reverie phase. Typically, for an avoidant, this period materializes around 45 to 55 days post-separation, provided you’ve given them space and appear to be moving on.
Only then would I initiate conversations, and not with the intention of expressing how much you miss them. Instead, aim to foster a conducive environment that encourages them to open up, ensuring they feel comfortable enough to be candid.
And how do you achieve that?
Creating A Good Environment Where They Will Tell You They Miss You
Now, if you want tips on how to start a conversation with your ex and slowly build up to creating this good environment, my suggestion would be to read our massive texting article or even follow our texting formula:
Hook + High Point + Payoff = Success
But I actually don’t have the time or patience to go over that again.
(Again, read the texting article I linked to above)
I’m far more interested in maybe the bigger mistake that I see people make.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make during the texting phase is their conversations don’t yield in-depth responses.
They do too much small talk. Now, what’s interesting is I’m also famous for creating the value ladder, which gives you the entire game plan for getting an ex back if that’s what you want to do.
And also, a concept called the value chain.
The value chain is all about the types of conversations you need to have to get your ex back.
On the value chain, I talk about small talk. Sometimes you’re forced to engage in small talk because it’s light and easy. And I do agree that sometimes you just have to do that.
But the goal of every texting interaction is to ask an open-ended question that forces them to engage.
That’s where big talk comes into play.
The Importance Of Adopting Big Talk
Big talk is not something I can claim credit for.
There’s a great TED talk from a woman named Kalina Silverman.
She emphasizes the idea of asking more open-ended questions that yield deeper, more meaningful conversations.
She really discusses the difference between small talk and big talk.
Small Talk Examples:
- What’s new?
- What’s up?
- How’s school?
- How’s life?
- How’s work?
- What’s your job?
These are all very basic, surface-level questions. Oftentimes, there’s no open-ended element to them. Typically, if you ask an ex a small talk question, they’ll take the path of least resistance and respond with a one or two-word answer.
- “What’s up?” might get “Nothing much.”
- “How’s work?” might get “It’s good.”
- “What’s your job?” might get “I own my own business.”
- “How’s school?” might get “It’s good.”
Do you see how these responses to such questions won’t yield meaningful conversations?
Instead, your best bet is, when you get some conversation flowing with your ex, to engage in big talk. Big talk revolves around open-ended questions that dig deep into the person you’re conversing with.
Big Talk Examples:
- “Hey, what’s been the best part of your day so far?”
- “What was the most interesting thing you learned at work today?”
- “What was the last thing that made you truly smile?”
- “What are you most excited to learn about right now?”
- “What’s the most interesting part of your new job?”
- “How do you maintain such a good work-life balance?”
You can’t really answer these questions with just one, two, or three words.
They compel engagement.
But here’s my quick alteration to it:
I don’t believe big talk alone will suffice. I think the best approach is to combine big talk with your ex’s interests.
Exes like to discuss themselves; we’re all self-interested beings.
So, if you ask a big talk question about, let’s say, their favorite book and ask, “Hey, why do you like that book so much?” That’s what will get them to engage. The more they engage and invest time, the better.
Looking At The End Game
Now, here’s the end goal:
The ultimate aim for you is to, in every single texting conversation, engage in these big talk questions centered around their interests and consistently seek to end conversations first.
I’m a staunch believer in the Zeigarnik effect.
Remember, people recall interrupted or incomplete tasks better than completed ones.
Your strategy should be to highlight the flow of the conversation, identify its high point, and then promptly end that conversation to create momentum.
Every interaction with you should be an engaging and delightful experience, without overstaying your welcome, especially since that might deter someone with a dismissive avoidant tendency.
What you’ll often observe is that by maintaining this approach consistently, not only do you increase the chances that your ex initiates contact with you first, but they also desire to engage longer. You become the person they desire but can’t possess.
And that’s when they’re more likely to express that they miss you or provide an opening for you to express the same.