By Chris Seiter

Updated on April 9th, 2021

I can’t tell you how often I receive an email like this,

“Chris, I am trying your text message strategies out on my ex but I’m only getting “neutral responses” back. How can I keep him engaged while texting me?”

That is certainly what Becky thought when she sent me a voicemail.

You see, Becky is in a really difficult situation.

Her boyfriend broke up with her and didn’t speak to her for a few weeks. In a moment of panic she penned a letter to him (which I never recommend) and followed up with a few text messages. He has received both the letter and the messages but has only replied in a neutral way which is far from ideal.

This of course leads her to wonder if neutral responses are a good thing or a bad thing?

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Important Topics Covered In This Episode

  • If neutral responses to your texts are good or bad?
  • Pairing your text messages with Facebook Posts
  • Charting all of your text messages to see what he is responsive towards
  • Making sure you are talking about things HE is interested in

Important Links Mentioned In This Episode

Interview Transcript

What to Read Next

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29 thoughts on “How To Keep Him Engaged While Texting”

  1. Danielle

    August 21, 2019 at 12:56 am

    I’m also in a confusing spot. I have stayed on my no contact for what has been exactly a month, and my ex messaged me. On Instagram it says when you’re active or *online* and I was up late one night on there, and after a month of no contact, my ex messaged me “what Keeps you up?”

    And it startled me bc he broke it off with me, and I just thought he is not the person to message first. So we messaged back and forth for quite a bit, and he admit he made a mistake, regretted it, but also wants to “be friends and see where it goes”

    He has since still been contacting me, and it has been friendly. But I know he’s not ready for a relationship, but it seems he wants to keep me around as well? But then I made the mistake of having a hook up with him…

    I feel like I’ve messed things up, but he’s still texting me like when we first dated. What do I do?!

  2. Sara

    July 4, 2017 at 6:23 am

    How can I fix the mistake I made begging him before no contac?

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      July 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      the solution to all your worries is to be active in your life…be active in improving yourself and in need to do that because that’s your indirect way of showing that you’re improving and have your own life and that you’re not going to chase

  3. Sara

    July 4, 2017 at 4:30 am

    Hi, Amor.
    well, I’ve had 29 days of no contact and I’ve been improving, but not posting that much. I’m worried about these things:
    1. he knew I didn’t wanted to talk, so I’m not sure about if he missed me or worried (at least the 24 first days, then he texted me for my birthday, I just said “thank you”, and he replied with a “ok”, no more)
    2. I don’t use to post so much, so it’s been kind of weird to me…
    3. He wants to be friends, I know it shouldn’t be a problem, but what if he just friendzone me? like, I’m scared about giving him my insterest when there is no compromise, because some people have told me he has to miss this, and he has to work to get it back…
    4. I’m not sure, but I think there could be another girl. The thing is that even when I know him more and everything, if he just left me and as he said “I took the right decition, I’ve been ok these days”, then I’m scared of thinking my effort could not be enough.
    5. Before no contact we had a fight, and I’m not sure of how much it affect my chances to get him back, I wasn’t kind and even if the next day I told him I was sorry, I don’t know what he could think about it.
    6. I don’t know if maybe his proud could be bigger than what he could feel again for me…
    Anyways, I’m sure that I want him back, and I want to give my best. I’m just worried about these, because I really want to do everything the best I can…I also begging him, so I’m not sure about how to get close to him again without he thinking I want him back…

    1. Sara

      July 5, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      Yeah, but I mean, we had 24 days of no contact until my birthday, then It was just like “happy birthday”, “thank you”, “ok”…and it was 6 days ago…Should I restart the count or it time to start talking?

    2. EBR Team Member: Amor

      July 6, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      restart nc of 30 days, be active in improving yourself and in posting in social media sites where posts lasts.

    3. Sara

      July 5, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Thank you, just one more question, how long should I keep the no contact? He hasn’t text me since my birthday…should I wait more or should I start to talk with him while posting?

    4. EBR Team Member: Amor

      July 5, 2017 at 6:50 pm

      You’re welcome! Do at least 30 days of nc..

    5. EBR Team Member: Amor

      July 5, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      the solution to all your worries is to be active in your life…be active in improving yourself and in need to do that because that’s your indirect way of showing that you’re improving and have your own life and that you’re not going to chase

  4. amanda

    June 26, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Hi Amor, so I decided to reach out to my long distance ex who broke up with me nearly two months ago, 12 days ago. We’ve been talking back and forth. At first, he took up to ten hours to respond, but now his replies are more frequent and I even make him laugh with funny pictures. It’s definitely a great start, but I have some questions: 1. could he still have feelings for me? 2. how long should I keep it friendly like this, because I obviously don’t want to be friendzoned! I haven’t called or facetimed him yet either. Thanks for helping!

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 29, 2017 at 6:30 am

      It will really take longer than usual because you’re ldr.. You just have to keep talking until you can meet again

  5. Hopeful

    June 16, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Reading my ex these days is hard. As of today it’s been exactly three months since he broke up with me. By now I’m almost certain that any romantic feelings he had for me are gone, but I’m trying to keep things so we remain friends, like he said we could, while also maintaining improvements and socializing in my life (which has been hard due to health reasons).

    Almost everything seems like a neutral response from him, but he’ll have moments where he’ll surprise and confuse me. For example, I’ve been posting things I know he’s into, like games and shows we like, in addition to pictures of me getting out more and doing things. At least before he’d react to posts about things we’ve watched/listened to/both liked. Now he doesn’t acknowledge them at all. I say that, but after over a month of not liking anything I posted, he liked this status I wrote about me mourning my neighbor who had just died, and that people could offer their support but I might be quiet for a while due to mourning.

    Since then, he’s gone back to being quiet. I’ve still been initiating all of the conversations and have tried using videos and pictures of things he likes, as well as bringing up series he’s been watching. It’s hard because he’ll either give me pretty short answers and even got condescending with me when I brought up a game he likes that we both play (by trying to imply I wasn’t good/didn’t know what I was doing), or he’ll give me neutral replies that still somehow advance the conversation. It’s hard navigating through his neutral and rude responses, and part of me wonders if he’s intentionally being rude to push me away.

    I don’t really know what to do. Everyone I know is saying I shouldn’t even give him the time of day with how he’s acting, but I just want to talk comfortably with him. At the same time, it’s hard because I don’t know what mood he’ll exhibit and it doesn’t seem like he even wants to put in effort to stay friends.

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Either you rest for a week or two from initiating or move on..

  6. Patricia

    June 16, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Hello Amor,
    So I was in the building rapport stage and if he wouldn’t write back, I would wait until the next day to write him and not go to the next step of how many texts are allowed in the tide theory. Sometimes I would leave days out, just like the tide theory says, sometimes he would initiate conversation. In the past few days I didn’t want to start a conversation, since I don’t want to annoy him. Last weekend he was still very engaged and he would try to keep the conversation going, but now I’m not making the first step and he isn’t, so I’m not sure if he wants me to say something first. I figured maybe, he doesn’t want to talk to me. I don’t really know what to do from this point on.
    Best regards and thank you.

    1. Patricia

      June 22, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      But hoping he’ll come back is the only thing that’s keeping me sane. Giving up hope will make me have to stay in the clinic again…

    2. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      then go back to the clinic and that can also mean you’re not doing something else that has progress and growth. It’s ok to hope, but you have to be realistic. You can’t make your life revolve around him and this can’t go on forever. You have to set a limit.

    3. Patricia

      June 21, 2017 at 9:52 am

      I know you’re fed up with me, but I wanted to follow your advise, but when I initiate, his responses are either neutral or just downright rude, so I decided only to initiate once and I haven’t heard from him since. Of course I don’t point out his mistakes and he is autistic so he doesn’t know how to behave, therefore I don’t have the right to get mad at him. I can’t think of any interesting things to talk about anymore. So at this point I really need you to tell me what to do now. Thanks.

    4. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 21, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      of course not.. there’s a limit to doing this.. If you reached the point that you can’t think of any of his interests to use as topic and you received negative or neutral for 3 times already, then you have to move on..

    5. Patricia

      June 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Thank you so much! And what do I do when I can’t think of anything to say or have run out of things to initiate with?

    6. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 18, 2017 at 5:26 am

      if he started initiating, that means it’s a better time to start initiating in the next days.. since you didn’t for a long time now, you can do it anytime.

  7. Shae

    June 13, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Hey guys,

    I’m not a big poster on social media. I usually share videos or memes and very rarely post about myself. Would it not come across as forced if I all of sudden began posting everything?
    I’m afraid he’ll just think I’m trying way to hard to appear as if I’m fine when in fact I’m not. I do think linking social media with texts is a brilliant idea.

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      Well, at most you can do 3 posts a week..that wouldn’t be so obvious

  8. Lynn

    June 12, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Sorry for the long post

    Break up almost six months ago. Reason: too much fighting because I was being negative, needy and insecure. Different cities, not far away but “distance” (and he hated that due to bad experience in the past).
    After a good phase and a bad one, with he ignoring me, I went NC. When that month ended, we talked and he said that he has left last year behind but wanted to remain friends. I agreed because it was the only way… After that, we started to get better and talk (text) about common grounds once a week or so.
    Now we text each other in that way, once or twice per week and last weeks he even texted me after midnight (it may seem odd, but after the break up he never texted me at night, when we were together we texted each other almost 24/7 but the night were our special time). We use to talk about tv shows and movies but recently he asked several times about my health (I suffer from migraines) and last time he said “every time I remember it a little I try to ask you, to making you know that I don’t forget about you”. He talked (almost joking) about our connection too and a few weeks ago asked me if there are still familiarity and trust between us. I always try to act positive and happy but inside I miss him and I am suffering, because I am very afraid of not getting him back, I get jealous and worried if he interacts with another girls on social media… My friends say that he is getting closer to me and there is an evolution in our situation (before NC he was distant and cold) and told me to remain calm but it is very difficult… When we started it was so natural and easy that I can`t help feeling hopeless.

    Well, his birthday is coming (next month) and there are two issues:
    1. He used to love my self portraits when we were together. Well, like three weeks ago he asked me if I could send him one (or some) as a gift. It sounded strange to me but I joked and told him that he would have to earn it, Sincerely, I don’t have any problem and for me is even better, if he has my pictures…well, he should think about me. But I don’t understand why he would want my pictures…
    2. Since we broke up just after Christmas, I couldn´t give him one of the presents (it arrived late). So when the bday thing came up, I told him that I would want to give him that present for that, since it is something that I want him to have (he doesn’t know what it is but it is something very special and difficult to find, he told me that he wanted it when we started dating and I found it). I didn’t tell him but I would like to give him in person and I was thinking to going to his city in two weeks (I am searching for job there and I would carry some resumes with me) and asking him to meet. But I have these two weeks to get him in the mood for that before asking, I am afraid…what if he says no? I think that meeting in person could be a very important step to get him back, if I could…

    So…what can I do to make him more interested and build a stronger connection in order to get him back (including meeting in person)?

    Thank you

    1. Lynn

      June 24, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks Amor. I’ll do that. urthermore, that day I have a bday party in my city so I would come back soon, so he will know that there’s no need of spending too much time, just one hour or two. Less presure… I hope it works…

    2. Lynn

      June 19, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Thank you Amor. Yes, it sounds like that but the thing is…I would want to go Friday (next week) since he only works during the morning, but if I don’t ask him first, he could go to have lunch with his sister, or take his nephews to the movies or simply go home with his parents right from work (he doesn’t live in the city). He should know in advance that i’m going there because if not, he won’t be free at the moment’s notice.
      He have talked three days in a row, not bad. I would go next week, so I still have a few days for keep improving this… I don´t want to force anything because he seems to be feeling a little more comfortable each day, so I’m not sure about how t act this ays. For example, I won’t text him today, nor tomorrow, I don0t want him to think that I am chasing him just because we talked more during the weekend. And well, mid-week I could try, if he don’t text first… I don’t know…

    3. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Ok, just make it an open invite like..hey im having interview there, if you have spare time, let’s grab coffee so I can give your present too!

    4. Lynn

      June 14, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you Amor. The thing is that I should ask him first because if he can’t… And he told me to tell him if I go any day (and this was before NC, not exactly a good time). I have to tell him a few days early just to make sure that I have more possibilities. But I don’t know… I need to build rapport these days before asking him and I don’t know how to do that… He is confusing, for example, two days ago texted me asking something (that he could have asked to almost any other person) and after a few texts he left my last texts unread (I was explaining that question to him and giving him the feedback he asked). Still dind’t read and he is very active in social media and else. I don’t understand…so I’m scared because I never know if he would text me again or not abd what is happening on his mind. And I keep getting more and more jealous of his interactions with another girls and it hurts me a lot

    5. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 16, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      that means you know there’s a higher chance he wouldn’t meet with you because there’s not enough rapport and attraction yet.. can’t force it.. telling it earlier is like asking permission.. it looks and sounds awkward

    6. EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 14, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Maybe he did miss you.. You can meet up with him if you’re already in the area, so that it looks natural that you’re just giving the present since you’re already there