By Chris Seiter

Updated on April 5th, 2021

Let me ask you a question.

What if I told you that there was a way that you could dramatically improve the odds of making an ex initiate contact with you.

And it’s actually a lot easier than you think.

As it stands, many of us want to see our ex reach out to us first because it makes us feel powerful and today, we’re going to talk about how to do just that.

But first, I’m going to dispel one of the biggest misconceptions you probably  have about how to get your ex to contact you first, and then I’ll teach you what actually works to make that happen.

Let’s begin.

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The Biggest Misconception About Getting An Ex To Reach Out To You First

Let me start by saying something equally important as this misconception.

If any of you have read my other articles or watched my videos, you probably already know that to me, getting your ex to contact you first isn’t as valuable as ending the conversation first.

But we’ll get back to that because that’s not what I’m talking about here.

This misconception is even bigger and something I’ve fallen for too.

It’s the notion that giving your ex the silent treatment by ignoring them will make them contact you first.

In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you probably won’t get that result at all if you ignore your ex and expect them to contact you first.

I know that probably sounds weird coming from a huge proponent of the no-contact rule, but my idea of the no contact rule has always been different than my peers.

Here’s the truth;

Almost everyone I’ve ever met who’s trying to get their ex back looks at the no contact rule the same way.

They all think about what the rule can do to make their ex contact them or miss them.

While that’s a symptom of the no contact rule it’s not the entire point of it.

Technically that doesn’t answer our question, though – why is it that silence will not make an ex reach out to you first?

If you know me, you know that I always aim to back my claims up with facts and real-life examples.

I didn’t always do this, especially when I started ex-boyfriend recovery because I relied on my assumptions rather than polling my clients to see how breakups unfolded.

My assumptions were great for writing articles but not great for helping you move forward.

So, I decided to collect hard data and challenge my initial assumption about using silence to make a man contact you.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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I used my private Facebook support group for this.

This isn’t a pitch, but I want to give you more context.

So, we basically have a private Facebook group for people who purchase the ex-boyfriend recovery program – my flagship course on getting your ex back or getting over your ex – so they can help and hear each other out. I often do Facebook lives (my wife and other coaches/moderators make appearances too!), and I put out several polls to get accurate information about bouncing back from real people’s breakups.

My polling question regarding this topic was: “How many of you who have completed a no contact rule have had an ex contact you during it?”

The results were a little shocking to me.

Out of 47 people that answered my poll, 29 of them said that their ex did not reach out during the no contact rule.

What does this tell us?

Almost 62% of participants in this poll did not have their exes reach out to them when they gave their exes the silent treatment.


Quite simply – I believe that men are stubborn.

This is the main reason why they don’t want to break the silence during the no contact rule, and they want you to be the first to reach out.

Their ego needs to be stroked at least for a little while before they start initiating conversations.

So, How Can You Make Your Ex Reach Out To You First? 

Well, remember at the beginning of this article when I said that it doesn’t really matter who reaches out first but who ends the conversation.

That’s very relevant here.

You need to master two psychological factors if you want your ex to reach out to you first.

When I say you want to “master” these factors, it’s not really about mastering a special technique or saying a specific thing that’ll make them reach out; it’s more about fostering an environment where it’s natural for them to want to reach out to you first.

So, what are these two psychological factors you need to have.

  1. First you must create a conversation that satisfies them
  2. End conversations consistently utilizing the Zeigarnik Effect

Allow me to dive in a bit more.

Factor #1: Engage In A Satisfying Conversation 

What I’m about to say totally goes against everything you’ve ever been taught but I always recommend my clients to reach out to men first after the no contact rule.

Why so?

Often my go-to saying is that it’s more about who ends the conversation than about who starts it, but really, what I’m not telling you in that quote that when you reach out, it then allows you to create and control a satisfying conversation.

In fact, I would actually argue that this is the number one area where people struggle.

Yeah, a lot of people (around 80% according to our research) fail the no contact rule at some point, but that’s not really where they struggle the most.

They struggle to get back in touch with their ex, build rapport, and make conversations satisfying.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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The trick is if you want your ex to initiate contact with you is that you need to get in a state where you guys are having consistent, satisfying conversations.

Defining What A Satisfying Conversation Looks Like

Well, satisfying conversations are different depending on the individual.

For some, a satisfying conversation is a ten-minute conversation, while for some, it’s an hour-long conversation.

Read my article about the kind of texts you should send your ex to stimulate their interests and have great conversations.

The key to a satisfying conversation is always making sure it satisfies your ex and not just you!

Talk about your exes’ passions to engage them on a deeper level, so they’re surprised at you sharing their likes.

Now that you know you need to strike satisfying conversations; how should you end these conversations when they become satisfying?

That’s where point # 2 comes in.

Factor #2: The Zeigarnik Effect

This psychological concept was created by Dr. Bluma Zeigarnik, who said that,

“People remember interrupted or incomplete tasks better than completed ones.”

In other words, people are addicted to cliffhangers.

If you’ve ever noticed your favorite tv shows and the particular reason behind you binge-watching them, it boils down to the episodes ending on a cliffhanger – always leaving you wanting to know more.

Let’s talk about Netflix because it’s an odd scenario (because it releases all its content at once) that’s superbly popular these days.

How many of us have gotten so sucked into a Netflix show that its 2 AM, we know we have work the next day, yet we still say those fatal last words “just one more episode.”

The cliff hanger at the end of the episode causes you to watch that extra episode, lose sleep, and have a miserable day at work the next because you just HAVE to find out what happens next.

That’s the Zeigarnik effect.

It interrupts the story at the most exciting part, so you think, “Hey, I wanna find out what happens next.”

By the way, I’m watching this amazing show called The Last Kingdom from Netflix that does this perfectly. Check it out!

Anyways, back on topic, when we started recommending that our clients do this in conversations, we noticed immediate results!

But how do you do this with your ex?

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Well, the first part is having a satisfying conversation with your ex, so he’s engaged with you.

Usually, there’s a point in that conversation where it becomes less satisfying and more longish and boring.

You want to make sure to end the conversation before it starts going downhill.

This is usually where there are lots of awkward silences because you’ve already talked about everything you could.

I tell my clients that this all comes down to a gut feeling when you think, “I don’t want this to end.”

That’s the precise moment to end it because your ex probably doesn’t want it to end either!

Of course, everyone always gets caught up in the details and obsess about specific ways to end the conversation. Here are some of the best ways.

  • Work has suddenly called and you need to tend to a problem
  • Your child interrupts the conversation (if you’re a mom)
  • Your phone accidentally dies

The truth is that you can have a lot of fun dreaming up ides like this.

Here’s the main thing, though: You want the conversation to end abruptly and prematurely because you want your ex to want more.

What happens when you combine satisfaction and the Zeigarnik effect?

Well, nothing immediately.

A lot of people expect their ex to reach out to them the very next morning to finish the conversation or to talk about something else, but it doesn’t always work that way.

We’ve learned that if you have a satisfying conversation with your ex that you end at the high points of the conversation, it’s usually not enough to get your ex to initiate contact.

What you need is to have a LOT of consistently satisfying conversations that you end prematurely because the more you develop this pattern, eventually, they’ll have to interrupt and start a conversation first because they need to find out what happens next.

Eventually, they will want to reach out to you the very next day to continue a conversation. So, keep having those satisfying conversations and ending them first! That fosters the environment needed for them to initiate a conversation.


Aiming to have your ex reach out to you first really isn’t that important as long as you’re ending the conversations at the high points.

If you keep having satisfying conversations with your ex and ending them before they get boring, your ex is bound to desire to talk to you so he will reach out first eventually.

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19 thoughts on “How To Get Your Ex To Initiate Contact With You”

  1. Anya

    September 1, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    So I broke up with my bf almost a month ago and we dated for 4 months. It was a real quick breakup and led to many many misunderstandings which I just wanna right. I do regret breaking up with him but yes it’s true he started putting his ego first and avoided me like he didn’t wanna deal with me and that made me feel very lonely. But still I wanna give it another chance but idk how cause he still prioritises his ego and I followed the no contact rule for 30 days and now I wanna talk to him but idk how to initiate conversation cause I can’t be the only one reaching out to him everytime. Please please reply 🙁

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 10, 2020 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Anya, you need to start following the program, part of this program is with you reaching out to your ex most of the time for a while, to get them engaging in conversations and re connecting with you. Over time the more interesting conversations you have and end at its peak is where he then starts wanting to talk to you more nad more and eventually he will start reaching out himself

  2. Hannah

    June 23, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    Hi Chris,

    My ex recently broke up with me, 5 days ago. We were together 7 months. Previously he broke up with me in March which lasted only a few days as he said he made a mistake. He used the same excuses with me both times, he doesn’t see a future with me and he won’t change his mind. I asked him many times if he was happy in the relationship and he consistently told me/showed me that he was. Then out of the blue both times he broke up with me. I have been doing no contact for 2 days now. He hasn’t tried to contact me and hasn’t removed me from his relationship status on Facebook.
    I’m so confused, I don’t know what to do. I want to be in a better place before I consider whether I want to try and get him back. I just don’t want him to forget me whilst we go through no contact.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 26, 2020 at 11:16 pm

      Hey Hannah, it takes much longer to forget someone than a 30 or even a 45 day No Contact, in which you are going to be working on yourself so that you are feeling better in yourself and know what it is you want for yourself too.

  3. Tony

    June 14, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    me and my boyfriend broke up about two months ago and for about a month after the break up he would initiate contact and text me like once a week to “check up on me” and even went as far as to come see me and go for a walk, but after the walk he stopped reaching out so i got kinda impatient and reached out to him and asked him about a movie site that he used and he responded and told me the site had been shut down, i then texted him again a week later telling him to be safe with all the protest and stuff going and he didn’t respond so i immediately went into no contact and am starting the 3rd week of no contact..and i don’t know what to do when no contact is over where do i go from there?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      July 4, 2020 at 10:53 am

      Hi Tony, when your NC is over you need to start reaching out yourself, using the text suggestions that Chris has put in his articles and videos.

  4. Nikki

    June 11, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    I blew up my exes phone after seeing him with another girl and he told me if I contacted him again he would press charges on me. He seemed very angry with me, at the same time he also sent me a message saying He ended it with her because she doesn’t deserve to go through the hell I put him thru that weekend. I had only blew up his phone that night into the morning. That seems like a lame excuse. Thoughts?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 12, 2020 at 9:10 pm

      Hi Nikki, if your ex has threatened legal action then you need to leave him alone. Regardless of why he ended his relationship with the new girl you need to follow the No Contact rule

  5. Claire

    June 9, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Chris,

    What should you do if your stubborn ex has figured out what you’re doing? (texting him to get back together). We have been broken up now 3 months and I’ve tried texting a few times. All have been very polite but neutral responses, he has always replied but then will stop after a few texts. The last time he called me out and said that I was texting for another reason. I gave quite a good reason for texting and then didn’t receive a reply after that.

    I really don’t want to text again and would rather him reach out.

  6. erica

    June 2, 2020 at 10:08 am

    hi please help.i was broken up with 6 months ago and he started pursuing another girl and followed nc straight away. when it was over I sent a message the next day at the end of our shifts he told me he doesn’t know if he’s done the right thing etc etc. I told him imkinda over it but at the same time a part of me still wants to be with him. he messaged me that night saying he’s called everything off with the girl. a few days later he said he doesn’t want anything withe me because me saying I’m over it makes him feel like he should be. I stupidly start begging for him back and we meet and this carries on for a month or so. he calls it off and chooses her. a few weeks later I’m meant to leave for travelling so I say good-bye at the end of my shift. he says its the biggest mistake and he doesn’t like her and just wants me. he asks to meet and we do a few times but then we go into lockdown. a month into lockdown he says he’s not sure and he has messed me around too much. I fear I was too needy and made myself too available. we agree to meet when its lifted to see if there’s still a spark. a week later its lifted so ia ask to meet. all goes well. I ask to meet again a few days later. after he says its not the same and he’s not sure but he still wants to meet me. however its alway me that asks so I feel like I need to pull back. so I suggest to leave it and he agrees. what should I do and is there any hope

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 13, 2020 at 9:22 pm

      Hey Erica, so after your conversation you would need to do a No Contact again for 45 days and this time you need to focus on your Holy Trinity, where you learn to live your best version of yourself becoming Ungettable. If he has someone else in his life by the end of the 45 days, you then have to start following the being there method too

  7. Marie

    May 31, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Hi, i have a pretty complicated situation. I’m still afraid to start the text. It’s been almost 60 days and I feel like we lost that “closeness” already for me to be starting to text him randomly after 60 long days as if we’re “in touch”.. what should i do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 1, 2020 at 11:57 pm

      Hi Marie, giving that you have done 60 days NC you need to reach out with a text that Chris suggests in his articles

  8. JackieN

    May 27, 2020 at 4:53 am


    We broke up 4 months ago and went into no contact for about 3 weeks.i initiated dialogue, talked a bit,and the conversations were the casual hello ,how’s work and the went on like that ,and I would cut contact for about 5-8 days before reaching out again.the only time he initiated contact was last month on my birthday.So last week I reached out and asked if we could have a call,since texts were a bit difficult.i was almost running out of what to initiate because he would not respond to anything else other than work related,or pandemic related questions anda few on investments.Initially he asked why I wanted a phonecall and I was honest enough,I told him to talk about us hoping we can work things out and he said he can’t talk about it and also that he loves me very much but he is nolonger pursuing a relationship because he cannot get past some things and that’s just him.i said it’s okay,I just wanted to talk about some of the issues.I even said I we can be friends like we used to for the past 10 years before we made it a relationship,but never commented on that part .I repeated again if we can be friends he ignored again.So an hour later he said he was free to talk,I called him and we spoke for an hour and half,he says he was hurt ,I apologized but he can’t forgive me and says he doesn’t believe any of my explanations as to why I did what I did.So he said I will give you all the time to talk .I was
    ulnerable and honest during the call.but I don’t really know how he took it.He usually comments after some weeks to says ohh that call or that text was a waste of time .butt we had to cut the conversation because he was with his baby nephew and the baby was now crying so he had to take him back to his sister for feeding.he said I can reach out any time.After the call I said thank you for making time,he didn’t respond.the next day Itold him about some challenges I was facing at work,I had started this conversation on the call but we had to cut it in order to care for the baby So I was finishing off by text.he didn’t respond.The conversation was about my supervisor at work who is making advances at me and I have been refusing and making it
    difficult for me to work.I am free to my ex we used to tell each other about our lives in detail so I found comfort in telling about this challenge.Its been 3 days no response.So to be honest I don’t know how to reach out.He made it clear that he doesn’t want to to reconcile,but loves me.and I also have run out of texts,I prefer calls.should I ask for another call and just talk in general?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 16, 2020 at 7:52 am

      Hi Jackie, so because of your phone call and asking him back. Him explaining that he was still hurt by the things you did and does not want a relationship. It would mean that you go back into a No Contact for 21 days at least. And work on your emotional control and your Holy Trinity

  9. Amelia

    May 27, 2020 at 4:13 am

    When ending a conversation should we always end with an excuse (something along the lines of “oops my phone is about to die and my charger is in my car – message you later?”) or should we sometimes just drop out of the conversation? Also my ex responds to messages immediately and will talk for a while but then randomly disappears – I don’t think I’m boring him but it happens almost every time we talk at random points (sometimes three texts in, sometimes fifty). What is going on?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 3, 2020 at 10:19 pm

      Hey Amelia, it is going to be more about what he is doing at the time. Something more interesting comes around he’s dropping out of conversation and giving that his attention instead

  10. JackieN

    May 26, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    It’s 4 months since the final breakup.I had a period of 3 weeks no contact, then I reached out and the conversation was general,like asking about work.Then I would go into subsequent no contacts again for about 5, 7 10 days before initiating another was only one week where I did a space of 2, days and send my greetings,try to ask some questions.he would respond to some especially about work,current crisis,,and some joke about a former mutual boss,but to others he would be so guarded and would ignore.He has never initiated dialogue since break up except last month on my birthday.So on my birthday,a month he sent me a birthday message wishing me a well and to take care.he sent it at 1 am,I responded politely aprrecuating.In between I was saying hie again.Then a week ago i asked if we could talk over the phone about us ,and try and work things out.because even our breakup was via text. Initially he refused saying though he really loved me,he cannot get past some things that I did.i told him it’s okay,I just wanted us to talk over an issue.However,two hours later he said he was free to talk,I called ,we spoke,he was still upset but was not shouting.he would say his side and I also was explaining ,but without shouting and he said I will give you all the time to explain.we spoke for close to one and half hours.he says he is not convinced with some of the explanations.he sounded very hurt and I don’t know if he will ever forgive or believe me.We had to cut it short because he was with his nephew, a baby so it was now crying and he had to go back with him to his sister for feeding.He said feel free to talk to me if you need to talk about anything.I was very honest and Vulnerable during the conversation,I apologized as he was saying what I did was wrong,after that and on a different note I just decided to open up about some challenges I’m currently facing at work,we didn’t dwell much on it as the baby was in need of feeding so we cut off so that he could go back.After the conversation ,I sent him a message thanking him for making time for the call,he didn’t respond.But I don’t know what to do next.He doesn’t believe all my explanations and yet I’m being very honest.i lied to him during the relationship and that was one of the reasons he called it off.He says he is nolonger interested in pursuing a relationship but says I do love you and I’m finding it difficult to move on but I nolonger want to pursue a relationship because I cannot get past some things and this is just me and even a phonecall won’t change anything. So I don’t know how to further reach afraid of initiating another conversation.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 13, 2020 at 10:43 am

      Hi Jackie, I would suggest that you read some texting articles to help you compose a few reach out texts and help you work through how to initiate conversations with your ex