It’s come to my attention recently that many people don’t know how they should talk to an ex.

So, in this article, I put together the ultimate guide on how to do just that.

Really, it boils down to answering these two questions:

  1. What do you want?
  2. And how are you going to get there?

But first, if you are new to Ex Boyfriend Recovery, I highly suggest you take a few moments to complete the Ex Recovery Chances Quiz. Basically, it’s a quiz that will reveal your chances of getting your ex back.

You can take the quiz by clicking the button below:

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

What Do You Want?

So, what is it that you want when you talk to your ex?

Do you want to get them back or are you simply looking for some closure?

Believe it or not, most people do not know what they ultimately want when they talk to an ex.

So, my recommendation to people experiencing that limbo of uncertainty is to do some soul searching and truly think about the answer to this question before the conversation begins.

Honestly, figuring out WHAT you want out of a conversation with an ex should be the easy part.

Creating a plan or a strategy to GET what you want is the difficult part.

For Those Who Want Their Ex Back

Over the past decade, I’ve helped countless clients get over their exes and win their exes back.

This article is for those who want their exes back. And for those in this camp – you are in luck! After years of testing a multitude of strategies and observing what works, we are confident we have come up with the most effective strategy to re-attract an ex.

Simply put, re-attracting an ex happens one conversation at a time. So, let’s explore the types of conversations you need to have with your ex if you want to get them back – in other words, how you should be talking to them.

How To Have Conversations With Your Ex

“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” – Confucius

I think we can all agree on the wisdom of Confucius. Yet, so often people jump into conversations with their ex and hope for reconciliation but have no plan for how to achieve it.

Luckily for you, I have done the planning for you.

If you have watched the ExBoyfriend Recovery YouTube channel or spent time on the website, you have likely heard me mention the Value Ladder and the Value Chain.

It’s best to think of these two terms as an ultimate blueprint, guide, or plan for having conversations with your ex and even getting them back.

The Value Ladder is essentially the methods of communication you have with an ex. While the Value Chain is the types of conversations you have with an ex. Let’s start by talking about the Value Ladder.

Value Ladder

When I present the idea of the Value Ladder to clients, I tell them to think of it as an actual ladder they need to climb to re-attract an ex. After a breakup, they are at the bottom of the ladder and winning them back is the top.

Now, in order to climb the ladder, there are certain ways to communicate with an ex – and not all ways or types of communication are created equal. For instance, we communicate differently through text, phone conversations, video chats, and in person. You can see how each of these methods of communication would carry a different value when it comes to developing a relationship.

Here’s an example.

If done correctly, an in-person conversation with an ex can be more powerful than a text conversation. Notice how I said, if done correctly. I say this, because the biggest mistake most people make when using a strategy, like the No Contact Rule, is skipping a step and jumping right to an in-person conversation with an ex before building up their “value”.

So, when I say look at the Value Ladder as a literal ladder that you’re climbing to get an ex back, think of each step as an opportunity to enhance your value and also up the value of the method of communication.

Here’s what the Value Ladder looks like in when it comes to communicating with an ex ….

Step 1 – Text your ex. Spend time building up as much value as possible in this phase.

Step 2 – Call, Skype, or FaceTime your ex. Build up more value.

Step 3 – Meet in person with your ex. Keep it short and unromantic. Go for a cup of coffee. Build more value.

Step 4 – Go on a date. This is where the romance begins to flicker, but you do not ask them out just yet. You’re building more value.

Step 5 – Go on an extremely romantic date with your ex, pull out all the stops, and ask them back out.

Essentially, you’re climbing the ladder towards your goal.

Now, the mistake that most people make is they climb the ladder too fast without building enough value on each step of the Value Ladder. I get it, you’re eager to build value. But, how do you build value? That’s where the Value Chain comes into play.

Building Value Through The Value Chain

value ladder

You cannot build value with an ex – meaning, rapport or any type of attraction – without conversation.

Specifically, you should be having five different types of conversations with your ex, otherwise known as the Value Chain, to build value with an ex as you climb the ladder to win them back.

Five Types Of Conversations

Small Talk – The types of conversation you can have with anyone that are not too personal and more superficial in nature.

Telling Stories – Stories are often shared with friends or coworkers that you feel some level of comfort and familiarity. You would not, for example, tell a complete stranger a random story.

Sharing Opinions – Opinions are somewhat more personal, so these types of conversations usually only happen between you and people you trust.

Virgin Ground – This is a conversation over something you have never told anyone and your ex reciprocates with a similar secret.

Sharing Feelings – An intimate conversation where you expose your true feelings for your ex and they reciprocate.

Essentially, these conversations build and progress in a similar way as the Value Ladder.

You begin at the bottom of the chain with small talk and try to progress your way up to sharing your feelings with an ex, while using different methods of communication.

But how do you know it’s OK to move up to the next step in the Value Chain?

Well, a good rule of thumb is that it is OK to progress when your ex reciprocates or even adds value themselves.

Ahh, but there’s still one small fly in the ointment here. What happens if things do not progress according to the plan?

When Plans Go Awry

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” – Winston Churchill

Sometimes, no matter how hard you plan – no matter how much you think through the conversation you will have with an ex – things may not go according to plan. For whatever reason, things don’t work out as you envisioned.

When this happens, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind – your overall game plan and not the specifics. Because, in the end, we have found that organic conversations are most affective. This way, nothing seems forced or planned, and things progress naturally through the phases.

A Personal Story

Let me tell you a story. When I was in college, I took a Biology class, which basically consisted of three hours of lecture every week. As you can imagine, Biology was not my cup of tea and I was bored out of my mind. I would entertain myself by scoping out the girls in the class.

One day, I noticed a cute girl across the room, and it wasn’t long before my daydreams centered around me asking her out. There was just one problem. I was a massive coward and too afraid to make a move.

What’s interesting is that we shared a friend. My new crush’s friend was a girl I knew from high school who also happened to be in our Biology class. Every day, this friend would say hello to me, because we knew each other. Still, I was too cowardly to strike up a conversation with my crush. That is, until my best friend called me out and urged me to come up with a plan to speak to my new crush.

So, I spent a few days coming up with my strategy. My plan was simple – it just required some courage. I would wait outside of our Biology class next week and, when I saw my crush and this high school friend, I would strike up a conversation and see what happens. I would ask them a question together and get them both involved in the conversation.

The more I practiced and rehearsed this scenario in my head, the more confidence I gained. I was ready.

A week passed and there I stood, outside of our Biology class, waiting for the girls to arrive. I thought it would be creepy for me to simply sit next to them, since I never sat there before. But the unexpected happened.

It was minutes before the start of class and the girls hadn’t arrived yet. Then, just before class began, my crush appeared. The only problem was she was alone – her friend was not with her. I froze and let her walk right by me.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. My plan was blown, but I could hear my best friend urging me to go for it. So, I did probably the creepiest thing possible. I gathered my things up, walked across the classroom, asked “is this seat taken?” and sat right next to her.

I could see the look of horror on her face. I tried striking up a conversation with her by saying that we went to the same high school, but I could tell the interaction just didn’t feel natural and she was getting more creeped out by the moment.

Be Authentic And Adaptable

Needless to say, it didn’t work out with this girl. I took the wrong approach, for sure. But it did teach me an important lesson in life — no matter how much you plan, there is no guarantee things will work out the way you expect.

If only I had thought of a more natural contingency plan – a plan b — because so many things went wrong that I did not anticipate. Her friend wasn’t with her and I let her walk right by me into the classroom. Instead, I should have caught up with her after class to make a snarky remark about the boring class.

This form of small talk tends to be a more acceptable or natural way to approach a stranger in the Value Ladder.

But I didn’t have an organic conversation with this girl, I had a forced one.

She could tell it wasn’t a natural conversation, and as a result it created distance between us.
So, if you want to know how you should talk to your ex to get them back, my advice is to be authentic.

It is of vital importance that you let things progress naturally up the Value Ladder and Value Chain. Sure, you can plan the broader strokes of what you want to do and have a strategy.

It’s important to know where you want to go in your relationship with an ex. But, don’t plan specific conversations, because more times than not things will not go exactly as planned.

What to Read Next

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26 thoughts on “How To Talk To An Ex After A Breakup”

  1. Avatar

    Jill

    March 20, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Chris, Ive come to the end of the no contact period with a guy I work with, Ive been very good with maintaining no contact eventhough he wanted to stay friends and has tried to chat to me at work. I maintained the no contact and now ive come to the end ive allowed for a little bit of interaction but im finding it hard to not be awkward or get internally upset. Its hard because one of the main reasons he broke things off was because I had become quite hard to talk to, i was pushing him away but i couldnt stop myself because i have mental health issues and i couldnt control my emotions, i would get angry and frustrated and just block him out eventhough i didnt want to. Anyway Ive read all your info and im going to try follow it, I just wondered if youve any additional advice on how to avoid falling into friendzone, could i make it worse for myself?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 20, 2020 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Jill so you just make sure that you flirt with your guy, but pull back and make him question if he can still have you, and then flirt again making him think he can. This will get him interested in you. Make sure you are following the texting phase outside of work so that you can build rapport

  2. Avatar

    Christina

    March 2, 2020 at 6:40 am

    Hi, I texted my ex that I’d seen someone like in a fair and if that was him. He replied back with that he’s been in bed for few days. So I went to visit. It was midnight but I couldn’t as he didn’t pick up the phone call. (He didn’t know that beforehand, I’d texted him upon reaching and later called). He called back after an hour but I was already home then. The call got disconnected before we could talk so he followed up with a text ”What’s going on?”. I called him back and then we talked for about an hour over phone until I ran out of credit. He didn’t call back. The following morning, I texted him that I’m coming to visit him but asked me not to, so I asked if he intentionally didn’t pick up the call last night. He says, he wasn’t around and he wouldn’t have called back if that was intentional, however he doesn’t want me to come visit him. I texted back, I won’t if that makes him uncomfortable, and how’s he doing? but he didn’t reply back. Shall I still check up on him or let him be?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 2, 2020 at 10:22 pm

      Hi Christina, I am confused what is it you want to achieve? Do you want him back then you need to follow this process starting with the No Contact

  3. Avatar

    Clo

    February 26, 2020 at 3:46 am

    Hello,
    We dated for a few months, a short relationship, and the last few weeks he got very busy and stressed with work (which I think it is genuine) he broke up saying that ‘you deserve someone that has time for you, it’s not that I don’t want to see you it’s just that right now I don’t know when’ I responded saying that he was right and to give me a call when things calm down and he wanted to meet up again and he said ‘thank you for your message, I really appreciate it’ and I went into no contact.
    Is there a chance to get him back? Should I reach out after 30 days?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 27, 2020 at 10:42 pm

      Hi Clo yes reach out after 30 days with a text that Chris suggests

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous

    February 26, 2020 at 3:16 am

    Hello,

    Me and my girlfriend had been dating for almost 3 years. We are both around 21. We were a match made in heaven. She loved the hell out of me, and even though sometimes I played it cool, I loved her dearly too. We were both pretty set on having a future together. However, in the first month of our relationship, I was dumb and immature and was inappropriately texting another girl overseas. After I did that, I felt so ashamed and disgusted in myself and immediately deleted all contact with that person and devoted myself to my girlfriend. However, she feels strongly about cheating, and this same girl from overseas messaged my girlfriend and told her that we were sexting while I was dating my gf. She confronted me, and we were unable to recover our relationship. She broke up with me the next day. I know she still loves me because up until this incident, she was crazy for me. I still love her and want her to see the changes I made and how special our relationship actually was. I’m almost a day and a half into no contact, but I was thinking of just sending one text apologising and reminding of the good times, saying that I hope we can work through our problems together and rekindle what special relationship we had before. I was also going to mention that I was improving on myself and areas that she had historically pointed out as needing attention. Is this not a good idea? Should I message just a short apology? Not message at all? Message that heartfelt paragraph about wanting to work through our problems and reconnect over coffee after 30 days? Need help…

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 6, 2020 at 10:02 pm

      Hi there so no you do not reach out with a heartfelt apology, you reach out with a casual text like Chris suggests, one that is going to get her attention and make her curious to what you are talking about “Guess what I just did!” and focus on somethign that you both always wanted to do or said you would do one day.

  5. Avatar

    Stephany

    February 25, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Hello, my ex broke up with me about two months ago, his reasoning for breaking up with me was that he felt he feelings for me became stagnant and that I fell short with important relationships in his life( his two kids and family). Ever since the breakup we have been in contact and have hung out a few times. Even so he still felt that his decision in breaking up with me was the right one. I then decided that it would be best if him and I did not communicate for a while and he agreed to give each other that time and space. I ended up making a new Instagram and posted a new picture of myself, he texted me AFTER we spoke about not being in contact and he said he liked my picture etc. We spoke briefly but he then decided he wanted to tell me have a good night as in cut the conversation short which upset me. After a while I did not answer his texts, because he didn’t understand why I was upset (since he was trying to cut the convo short). Any who I am really trying to do the no contact to see if it will help him realize that he wants to get back with me. What do you suggest I do? We didn’t leave off on the best of terms.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 6, 2020 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Stephany, so you need to complete a No Contact where you do not reply to him for 30 days so if you reply to a message from him then you start again from day one. But each time you re start the no contact loses its effectiveness. I would make sure that you show on social media how you are doing well with life and also show interest in children and family activities. If you want him back then you are going to have to have a good relationship with his children otherwise your going to have that strain and probably repeat the break up again.

  6. Avatar

    Kelly

    February 23, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Hi. I have been dating a man for 9months. He is divorced and is a great father to his 3 amazing children. Only his two sons know about me, his daughter is only 7 and I didn’t want him to tell his daughter the same way he told his sons (14,12). To add more… he is a 41 yr old man, self made millionaire, has always been amazing to me. As a child his parents got divorced very young and him and his sister got split up, basically both of them endured terrible child abuse, from their parents new partners. He got married at 21, to prove to his parents that he can have a perfect marriage. Well that failed. He has still not gotten over his childhood and the fact that he is a single dad, exactly what he didn’t want to happen. His ex wife ended it. He doesn’t want her back. After a beautiful ski trip at the end of January 2020, he tells me he needs a break some space. Meanwhile I live in NJ and he lives in VA. I was blindsided. I’m still hurt. Why am I getting hurt because of what other people did to him? He told me that I am wonderful, loyal, someone he can trust, I’m the best sex he has ever had. I know the space has everything to do with him. We still talk. I asked him to set up boundaries, he doesn’t. He goes to therapy, but I don’t think he actually works on himself. I have never admired and been so proud to be with a man in my life. I need help. Help for my happiness. Thanks.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 26, 2020 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Kelly so with the fact that your ex holds on to his past trauma, even if he is going to therapy he is clearly still struggling so he may struggle to be close to you emotionally so when those feelings grow to a certain point hes pulled back. I would suggest that you take some time in No Contact, and read about the Ungettable Girl. It sounds as if he values work ethic and improving yourself career wise so make sure you are making positive steps that side of your life, he will notice. But working on your Holy Trinity is going to be essential to get this guys attention again

  7. Avatar

    moonlight

    February 23, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Hi, EBR Team!
    So 3 weeks ago my ex broke up with me. It was not bad actually. I stayed all calm(and one of the reasons of him wanting to breakup was that I’m too emotional/sensitive which he found hard to deal with). I sent him one last text to say thank you take care after the breakup talk, which he ignored. I went NC right away.
    I picked up a hobby and new makeup, started reading and learning more about myself(my love language and attachment style), lots of journaling, spent time with my family more. Of course I posted all of those on my social media. I was not sure at first if i wanted him back but at the end of my NC I decided I did.
    Last night(saturday) I texted him and he didn’t respond until around lunch time today. I got a positive response, we had a short conversation(2~3 messages from each) and I ended it by saying “okay i have to go now. hope you doing well!” and he texted “lol same! *heart emoji*”
    So my question is, do you think it went well? or is he just treating me like a friend now? I don’t want to read too much into that heart emoji and get my hopes up lol. Also I don’t know where to go from here now. I remember Chris said I should wait a few days before i start another conversation with him, correct? How should I start the convo?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 3, 2020 at 10:17 pm

      Hey moonlight, you are right that you have to give a few days before reaching out again and that would be a similar type of message as your first with a text that he would be interesting in talking about. I think your first conversation went well and shows he is open to talking to you so it is a positive sign that you will get a response next time. Let us know how it all goes

  8. Avatar

    Giada

    February 21, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    I’m in the “small talk” phase, it seems we’re stuck there… one per week or so, one or two texts, sometimes more but that, small talk and a bit updating about our lives… Only work and a bit more, but nothing about relationships, when he broke up with me he told me he met someone but that it could end up being something or not, he wasn’t sure… Our break up was a mix of being long distance and greener grass, probably. He didn’t mention her anymore, he is the one starting conversations to ask how am I doing, he is super nice but not affectionate, obviosly. He treats me like a friend. The thing is that he hates social media so I can’t play UG to reinforce my work. He had an idealised perception of me and our relationship when we were together but when I came back to my country (I don’t know for how much) and it became a LDR he started to think that I was too attached (I wasn’t, he was) and to have doubts and all. He told me that he didn’t know what he wanted (not only about relationships, he said that he was always changing his mind about plans with friends and things like that and that he has been in that phase for months).
    Any advice? I miss him, I want to get him back but I don’t know what to do.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 3, 2020 at 9:10 pm

      Hi Giada, so it sounds as if your ex is not willing to work on a long distance relationship is there plans of you being in the same country again? I would suggest that you still work your social media to appear UG as even though eh does not like social media you can still use that to give off the impression you want your ex to have of you and your life while broken up. If you have mutual friends you can talk about how someone has asked you out on a date etc. Just so word gets back to him that he may lose you

  9. Avatar

    Panni

    February 20, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Hello! I really hope someone answers because i am pretty confused about my relationship. He broke up with me a 2 weeks ago and we have been together for 6 months. He said we don’t have enough chemistry and he loves me so much but not in love with me. He had very strong chemistry with his ex and was in love with her. My problem is that he did not act like he wasn’t in love with me, but i always felt like he had walls up while we were together. It has been a long distance relationship since the beggining we saw eachother every 2 week for like 5 days or so. Lately he went to work abroad so he work for a month and comes back to me for 6 days. He has so much on his plate right now and this breakup came from nothing. Last time we met i felt like this is the best time of our relationship. He told me how important i was and loved every second with me. We had plans together to travel and things like that.After the break up i haven’t heard from him but he already said on the phone the he will come to see me in the weekend to talk. I don’t know what to do or say. I just do not understand this break up at all. Please answer i hope you can help me out.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 20, 2020 at 10:40 pm

      Hi Panni so when you are in a relationship with someone at the start it is exciting and fun where the “in love” part happens. But when you have been together for some time and things start falling into patterns and routine. The “in love” feeling dies down and thats when people often find that they feel they are not in love with you like they were at the start. 6 months is not a long term relationship on some levels but your ex seems to have these feelings. If you want your ex back I suggest that you read the Ungettable information and apply that to your life and make sure your ex can see all this through social media and mutual friends

  10. Avatar

    Demi

    February 19, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Hi. My Ex broke up with me 4 months ago. I’ve been in no contact for 3 months . I’m continuing to work on my self & planning on reaching out in a couple of months. However my mind is slightly haunted with a few things my ex said to me post break up, whilst I was pleading and begging stage. He was all over the place with his comments, but he did mention that “I wasn’t the girl he had pictured being married too, and that he believed he would be with someone bit louder and extroverted” but then said he wasn’t sure if that is what he wants either.
    I’m very confused, as we were together for 2 years, had lots in common and he did have strong feelings for me and said at other times he thought I was the one, so surprised why he said those comments after such a long time? We are both young in our early 20s, and I am the first girl he has seriously been with. So I’m giving him space, and allowing him to “test the waters more”.
    I’m just concerned those comments he told me are red flags?
    Or in my opinion, they were so other reasons why we broke up (we had started long distance, and both had a few intense months of work ahead of us) so I wonder if he just said these comments to just help himself justify his decision to break up in his mind? Should I give up?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 25, 2020 at 11:40 pm

      Hi Demi, so when someone breaks up with their partner they look for reasons that would appear “valid” reason to end things to the other person. So him saying that he imagined himself being with someone louder and extroverted was his way of trying to justify ending the relationship. So while you are broken up and following the No Contact rule make sure you read the Ungettable information and apply this to your life

  11. Avatar

    Depressed

    February 18, 2020 at 12:05 am

    Hi!
    I’m currently taking some time apart from my boyfriend. We have an incredible connection – truly unlike anything I’ve ever had before. The only problem? A few things have happened outside of him and me that have caused a severe depression in him. The past two months I tried so hard to hold on to us and be supportive of him that I began to unravel as well – I became so anxious and really just a mess. It wasn’t doing either one of us any good. I feel like the only way for a future with him is to give him time and space to figure his stuff out. I understand the no contact rule but is that the case for people with depression as well? I don’t want to abandon him. He has texted me every day. I keep it short. We agreed to talk on the phone once a week. I just don’t know what to do. I want to be with him and have it all worked out by tomorrow but I know that won’t happen.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 22, 2020 at 11:36 pm

      Hey there, I would recommend that you take some time for yourself so that you start to feel truly better and happier in life before worrying about what you are going to do about your relationship with your ex. When depression takes control of our lives the best thing you can do is work on your relationship with yourself so that you are happy.

  12. Avatar

    jaz

    February 17, 2020 at 8:03 am

    Hey there, so my ex and i have been broken up for just under 2 months. We stayed in contact regularly but he was always very hot and cold with me, i have tried no contact. So i decided I would cut ties with him a couple days ago, I’m not sure for how long though. I do really want him back but at the moment he wants time alone to figure himself out. What do you suggest I do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 17, 2020 at 10:18 am

      Hey Jaz, I suggest that you do a 30 day No Contact and work on yourself in that time. Read some articles about being Ungettable and how to follow the rules of No contact correctly

  13. Avatar

    Gillian Dalton

    February 17, 2020 at 6:23 am

    Hey there!
    Hope someone answers this.

    How long should I be in no contact for? Should I wait for him to contact me before initiating the first texting conversations?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 17, 2020 at 10:19 am

      Hey Gillian, so it really depends on the type of break up you have had. If it ended amicably then you do a 30 day no contact, but if you spent the break up begging arguing and calling names then you need to extend to 45 day no contact.