By Chris Seiter

Published on September 9th, 2022

Today I’d like to take a look at what the typical journey looks like for an ex when they come back to you from their perspective.

Now, it goes without saying that we are going to be looking at two of the most important “strategies” in the ex recovery,

  1. The Anxious/Avoidant Wheel
  2. The Value Ladder

And the real challenges comes into play when you start having to plot where the value ladder falls within the anxious/avoidant wheel.

But that’s what I’m here for.

By the end of this article I’ll have done my job if you understand exactly why our approach is the ideal one during a breakup.

Let’s begin!

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The Anxious/Avoidant Wheel

Alright let’s start with the boring bit first.

After researching our client base we’ve learned two important details.

Most of our clients have exes that are considered “avoidant” as you can see below,

Now, if you don’t know what this means it’s essentially a personality description.

  • They are resistant to getting close
  • Will run away when things get too serious
  • Fiercely value their independence

On the other hand, our average client tends to be anxious by nature,

This means our clients are terrified of being abandoned in a relationship.

So, on the one hand you have an avoidant, who often abandons relationships and on the other you have an anxious who is terrified of being abandoned.

You see where I’m going with this?

Our average relationship pairing is,

Anxious (client) + Avoidant (ex.)

Which means the entire lifecycle of the relationship looks like this,

This is done from the avoidants perspective by the way because that’s what we are really interested in here. We want to understand what the experience of the avoidant ex looks like before, during and after a breakup.

  1. So the avoidant starts by wanting someone to love them
  2. They find you and feel like they found that someone
  3. Then something about your anxious style potentially triggers them
  4. They start thinking of leaving.
  5. They actually decide to leave the relationship
  6. They feel happy that they left the relationship
  7. They begin to feel lonely
  8. They wonder why this always happens to them

Then they start the entire cycle over again usually by coming back to you or moving on to someone else. Now, the most likely time that they are going to “come back” is during this part of the circle,

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According to Avoidant resource, Free To Attach, this is the point in time where they

Are free to long for an ex once that person is unavailable out of the relationship, and typically out of contact so they are untouched by actual engagement and their deactivation systems aren’t triggered.

But this cycle doesn’t really come alive until you combine it with my value ladder concept.

Introducing The Value Ladder Concept

This is the value ladder,

It is essentially the game plan I give to people who are going through a general breakup and don’t know what to do.

There are really only five main phases to it,

  1. The no contact phase
  2. The texting phase
  3. The phone call phase
  4. The meetup phase
  5. The ask phase

The premise of the value ladder is actually quite simple. Rather than trying to “get an ex back” all at once you are going to take your time and rebuild attraction.

At the same time you are going to be putting yourself through an internal gauntlet where you are going to ask whether or not you even want this person back.

So, each step of the ladder is meant to accomplish two things.

  1. Help you build value with an ex
  2. Give you an opportunity to move on

So, once you enter the texting phase you aren’t really supposed to climb the ladder until you’ve built enough value. If you have then it’s time to move up the ladder to the phone call phase, so on and so forth.

But where this whole conversation gets really fun is when you combine both the cycle and the ladder together.

Which is what we are going to do now.

Combining The Wheel And The Value Ladder Together

The first thing we need to do is take a look at when the value ladder would begin within the wheel.

In this article, where I was trying to figure out when an ex would reach out to you on their own accord I created this graphic,

I divided the wheel in two and basically said that there are two phases that the wheel goes through.

  1. There is the relationship phase
  2. The breakup phase

The value ladder starts during the breakup phase and lasts throughout the entirety of it. So, the red part of the circle you see above is where the value ladder would come into play. Of course, when you engage the different “rungs” of the ladder is almost always where everyone messes up.

In a perfect world it would look something like this.

The No Contact Rule (Purple)

The no contact rule ideally should only last through stages five and six. On average we find this stage lasts between 30-60 days for most exes. So, that’s why I’m usually more of a fan of longer no contact periods like 45 days (when in the past I wasn’t always such a big fan)

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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And this is where most people run into issues. It seems counterintuitive to leave your ex alone during this phase but it’s essentially. Remember, avoidants are on high alert to any “anxious” behaviors from you so if you simply leave your ex alone you won’t trigger them.

Additionally it gives you the opportunity to ask if you really want to be trying to get them back.

Our research has indicated that it can take anywhere from,

5-7 months to “win” an ex back.

Is that really a time frame that works for you? Will you be able to be that patient?

The other reason I think the no contact rule should be done during these stages is that these are the stages where your ex is the most unlikely to respond to a text message from you. Why not wait to give yourself the best shot of even opening up communication with them?

Speaking of communication.

The Texting Phase (Green) + Phone Call Phase (Blue)

The texting phase really should start when your ex begins to feel a bit lonely/depressed.

But notice how I haven’t colored in the entirety of the seventh stage. That’s because really as you are building value in the texting phase the end goal is to slowly expand so that you are climbing that ladder to the phone call phase,

When that loneliness begins to clear up from your ex they’re a lot more likely to enter the, “why can’t I ever find the right person” stage.

Once that happens that’s when you want to start seeing them in person.

The Meetup Phase (Yellow) + The Ask Phase (Red)

These final two phases have more to do with what’s come before. Generally, if you’ve done a good job in the buildup before these stages then going on dates is seamless and your ex isn’t so much thinking, “why can’t I ever find the right person.” Rather, it’s more of a situation where they start thinking,

I’ve already found the right person, why did I let them go?

But it sort of goes without saying that this is assuming you’ve been properly building value.

How is value built?

  • Meaningful conversations
  • Having them admire you
  • You finding something else that you care about more than your ex
  • Flirting
  • Etc

Now the obvious question I know I’m going to get is how long this whole thing will take.

Well, that’s dependent on your situation but on average to fully get to the top of the ladder it’s going to take 5.2 months.

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