Your ex reaching out to you can trigger a lot of emotions and confusion, especially if you don’t know why they want to talk to you or how you should respond.
So, today we’re going to take out most of the guesswork about what to do when your ex reaches out to you.
The first thing to do in situations like these is to determine exactly what you want.
Depending on the situation and whether you want your ex back or not determines how you navigate the conversation with your ex.
After all, if you don’t even want him back, what’s the point of responding?
I highly recommend that if you are at a bit of a crossroads on figuring out what you want with your situation you stop everything you’re doing at take my special Ex Recovery Chances quiz.
Doing so can help you understand what kind of chance you may have with your ex and from there you can make an informed decision on whether or not it’s a good idea to continue.
Why Exactly Is Your Ex Reaching Out To You?
From what my team and I have seen there are generally three reasons for an ex to initiate conversation:
Reason #1: They missed you.
This is perhaps the most obvious reason, especially if the breakup is still fresh because your ex misses the patterns and routines their life had with you in it.
Sometimes people try their best to ignore their ex right after a breakup, but other times they can’t help but reminisce about their routines and even romanticize them, conveniently forgetting all the bad parts.
They then miss you and want to get back in touch with you.
Reason #2: They want to see who’s winning the breakup
Every time I share this reason with a woman, she says something along the lines of “oh he would never do that to me because he’s mature,” but I hate to break it to you- we men are not mature.
We definitely want to win the breakup.
One of the things men want to gauge by reaching out is how much you’re suffering without them.
I know it sounds cruel, but now you know that if you ever have your ex constantly reach out to you and brag about their life, especially their sexual/romantic conquests, they’re just trying to be petty and “win” the breakup.
Reason #3: The pendulum swing
This is something I’ve been championing for years, but no one else talks about it. One of the best aspects of having a private Facebook community is getting to see how exes react in different ways after a breakup.
What I’ve noticed is that most people go through a pendulum of emotions where they either feel super excited and happy without their ex on one extreme, or they’re super sad and depressed.
So, how do you determine that your ex is reaching out because he’s going through the pendulum swing?
Well, the content of the message they reach out to you with should help figure that out.
If they’re reaching out to you and saying mean things but then suddenly switch to reaching out and saying nice things, they’re clearly a slave to the emotional pendulum swing.
They just can’t figure out where their heart and mind are because their emotions are in full swing.
Should You Respond To Your Ex When They Reach Out To You?
Now that you know why your ex might be reaching out, it’s time to see whether you should respond.
Responding to your ex is wholly dependent on the no contact rule.
In case you don’t know what the no contact rule is, here’s a quick crash course:
It’s a period of time where you ignore your ex on purpose with the intent of making them miss you but also intending to cultivate your personal life.
And if you’re more of a visual learner here’s a video,
If you’re in the midst of a no contact rule, which includes time frames of 21 days, 30 days, and 45 days, you may be sitting and thinking that you should respond back to your ex.
However, the primary reason the no contact rule works is that you’re not supposed to respond to your ex. If you don’t finish the no-contact rule correctly, then it won’t have the right effect you need, so do not respond to your ex in the middle of the no contact period.
However, it’s the exact opposite after your no contact rule ends.
So, from now, when I talk about responding to your ex, it’s under the assumption that you have already successfully completed the no contact rule.
Exactly How You Should Respond To Your Ex
Now, you know WHY your ex reaches out and WHEN you should respond, but what about HOW you should respond?
My idea of responding to your ex has been refined over the years as I’ve seen several real-life people successfully respond to their ex over text.
There are two key things to keep in mind when responding to your ex:
Key #1: The overall goal is always to start an organic conversation.
Key #2: Find a way to mirror his response or provide value/intrigue to continue the conversation
No matter how hard we try to script conversations for our clients, it almost always fails.
What works better is just trying to cultivate an environment where you can have a friendly organic conversation with your ex.
As a general rule of thumb, when your ex reaches out to you after a breakup, you’ll probably get one of two kinds of messages.
The Two Kinds Of Text Messages You’ll Get From An Ex
The first is a really emotional and needy one where they’re basically saying something along the lines of
“Hey, I’m really sad that we broke up, but I think it’s for the best…”
The end game here is them getting closure by bringing up highly emotional topics.
If that’s the kind of message your ex is sending, we do not recommend responding to him at all.
What we’re looking for is the second kind of message.
This is the message where your ex doesn’t really know what to say, but they just want to talk to you.
Think of a simple message that says, “Hey.”
So, how are you supposed to respond to that?
Well, you want to start an organic conversation and mirror his response or add value to the conversation to keep it going.
So, a great response to a “Hey” could be “Hey! I’m glad you reached out. Can I get your advice on something?
This response is great because you’re not only mirroring his hey with your hey, you’re also trying to find a way to provide intrigue and continuity for the conversation.
He’s going to wonder what you need his advice on, and that will trigger an organic conversation.
It even helps create the age-old damsel in distress situation, making him feel powerful and desired.
The trick on your end is actually to have something you need advice on. We recommend that you brainstorm some things during the no contact period that your ex is super interested in, and you’re not really knowledgeable about so you can have engaging conversations later.
It’ll make him feel like his interests are valid to you and that he is actually teaching you something.
Next thing you know, you’re having an organic conversation about something he’s passionate about.
Responding to an ex when they reach out is dependent on so many factors like where your heart is at, what their reason for reaching out is, whether the time is right, and what they say. You should consider replying to your ex is:
- You are convinced that you want your ex back
- He’s reaching out because he misses you
- You’ve successfully completed the no contact rule
- Your ex is genuinely trying to start a conversation as opposed to wanting closure.
If all these boxes are checked, it’s time for you to strike an organic conversation, preferably one about something that interests him!