Today we’re going to talk about the age old adage that if you leave your ex alone, they’ll come back to you.
We’re going to be discussing what that looks like and whether we actually see that happen in real life.
And we’re going to be drawing from our direct experiences coaching over 2,500 individuals from the past two years across our breakup websites, Ex Boyfriend Recovery and Ex Grilfriend Recovery so we’ve had a lot of different experiences coaching men and women going through breakups.
If You Leave Your Ex Alone Will They Come Back To You?
So, before we answer that I think we need to first point out what we see happen in the average scenario with our clients.
The number one problem we see our clients have is an inability to leave their exes alone.
They just can’t seem to give their exes space or time to work through their emotions.
This is probably because most of the people coming to us were broken up with, so they have an extra incentive to try to fix things immediately.
They figure they need to pull out all the works to get their ex back before their ex moves on to someone else.
Oftentimes our clients will come to us after they have literally blown their ex’s phone up with 45 text messages or 70 missed calls or 25 voicemails and these aren’t exaggerations – real people are doing this. We see this so much we’ve actually come up with a fun acronym to describe some of these people – GNATTING:
(This is a concept I’ve talked about a lot.)
This may or may not be mind-blowing news but here it is: This kind of obsessive and overbearing behavior towards your ex almost NEVER works in bringing them back to you.
If anything, blowing up your ex’s phone severely reduces your chances of successfully getting them back. The worst thing you can do when you’re trying to convince someone to take you back is to keep pushing and pushing them because all that ends up doing is making them more defensive.
People think that if they keep trying to contact their ex, they’ll eventually say the “right thing” that makes their ex rethink their decision and get back together. Sorry to break it to you but there is no magic phrase you can say that’ll make your ex come back and the more you keep trying, the more you will push them away. This has a lot to do with positioning.
Your ex most likely broke up with you so in their mind they’re positioned better and feel like they have more power over you. They probably think they can do better than you. So, when you keep blowing up their phone and are unable to leave them alone for a little bit, all you do is re-enforce their decision. They’ll think something like “See,
I knew she was emotionally unstable and obsessive like this.”
I know it might be hard to hear this, especially if you’ve engaged in this type of behavior but just put yourself in your ex’s shoes and imagine how you would feel if someone you were dating refused to leave you alone. You’d probably block them if they kept blowing up your phone because you don’t want that kind of energy in your life.
So, what’s the alternative?
Is leaving an ex alone the key to winning them back?
That’s going to be a solid yes…and a no.
Leaving an ex alone is important for making an ex come back to you but doing it alone isn’t enough. Simply leaving an ex alone and ignoring them won’t bring them back unless you utilize that time properly.
This is why we recommend everyone on ex-boyfriend recovery, ex-girlfriend recovery, and our ex recovery program to use a no contact rule after their breakup.
A no contact rule is a period of 21 to 45 days where you ignore your ex while working on improving yourself.
That last part is really the key to getting your ex back because you can’t just assume that your absence will be enough to make your ex miss you and get back together with you.
The act of ignoring your ex in and of itself is not going to be enough to make them suddenly realize they made a mistake in breaking up with you.
Something else has to happen during that time that you ignore them or leave them alone.
It took me years to pinpoint exactly what that “something else” was but after some research and talking to several success stories who reported their ex coming back after they had moved on, I found the perfect theory to explain this concept – attachment styles.
What are attachment styles and how do they impact your chances of getting your ex back?
Attachment theory dictates that the environments you experienced while growing up as a child influence your way of handling emotional relationships.
There are four main attachment styles:
- and fearful.
Today we’re only going to talk about two: the most common one and the ideal one.
The most common attachment style we see in our practice is the anxious attachment style.
The anxious attachment style can be described as the most emotionally needy of all attachment styles.
They always crave human connection and will try to fix things immediately because they can’t bear the thought of being alone.
It’s incredibly difficult for people with anxious attachment styles to leave their ex alone because they feel like their ex would leave them forever. These anxious attachments will often bind their self-worth to their exes, and this encourages the GNATTING kind of behavior that only pushes exes further away.
The Holy Grail Of Attachment Styles
On the other hand, a secure attachment style is the holy grail of attachment styles.
People with secure attachment styles are confident, calm, non-reactive, and resilient.
These people can reciprocate how to handle feelings and they do not link their worth to any other relationships. A relationship is a mere accessory or bonus in their life, but it is not the end goal by any means.
This kind of attachment style makes for healthy and mature relationships where they can give their partners breathing room to do their own thing.
Would you rather be with someone who’s secure attachment or anxious attachment?
Your answer is probably secure attachment.
So, ask yourself this… which one of these are you?
If you’re an anxious attachment style but you’d want to be with a secure attachment style, then you can understand why your ex would want the same. The real key to getting an ex back after leaving them alone is cultivating yourself during that time to go from an anxious attachment style to a secure attachment style.
When you’re trying to get an ex back, you’re probably exhibiting signs of an anxious attachment style so you need to start working towards a secure attachment. This is especially important during a no contact rule because it’s the perfect time to have that paradigm shift and start settling into a more secure attachment style.
Transitioning from an anxious attachment style to a secure attachment style is not an overnight ordeal so don’t be too hard on yourself if you find yourself slipping into anxious thoughts every once in a while. The trick is to start by mimicking a secure attachment style so that eventually you fully start thinking that way. The best way to work towards a secure attachment style is by changing how you see hurdles in the ex recovery process.
A cornerstone of secure attachment is looking at problems that others may see as world-ending events through the lens of problem-solving. They see minor setbacks in the ex recovery process as fun problems to solve and challenges to overcome. So, where an anxious attachment person might see getting blocked by their ex as the end of the line, a secure attachment will either give their ex some space or start brainstorming ideas to get unblocked. That’s what you need to start doing!
A lot of people report that their exes came back and tried to talk to them after years and the common thread in all of those instances is that the person had moved on or adopted a secure attachment style.
Exuding a secure attachment style is the key to getting your ex back because there’s this automatic magnetism to secure attachments that will pull your ex back. You don’t even have to be directly talking to them – the secure attachment can show itself from your random social media posts too.
Trust me, your ex will notice a switch from anxious to secure attachment.
Simply leaving an ex alone and doing a no contact rule is not enough to get your ex back. It rarely works and even in the cases that it does there are usually other reasons for why it did..
What matters is using that time to adopt a secure attachment style that naturally makes your ex want to be in a relationship with you again!