By Angela Dorothy

Published on May 15th, 2023

One of the big things we’ve learned here on EBR (Ex Boyfriend Recovery) over the past few years is the importance of letting go of an ex before trying to get them back.

This is ironic because often it’s when you’ve completely moved on from an ex that they want to “try again.”

So today, I will take you through the many reasons why it’s in everyone’s best interest to move on from your ex (even if you want them back.)

  • What the best ways are to let go of your ex
  • You’ll learn why exes seem to come back after you’ve let go
  • The importance of no contact in the post breakup period
  • Why you need to find a magnum opus
  • What you can learn from the placebo effect

As always, let’s get started.

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Why Exes Seem To Come Back After You’ve Let Go?

Most of our clients believe that their exes are dismissive avoidants;

In case you didn’t know, dismissive avoidants are often scared of commitment and intimacy, so they keep trying to push away anyone that gets too close.

Our coaching team did an entire interview on this concept of core wounds,

 

Every “insecure attachment” has what is considered a core wound.

Core Wound = A trigger that causes the insecure attachment to emerge.

In other words, if something happens in the relationship that “triggers” the core wound, you will most likely experience that person’s insecure attachment firsthand.

  1. For anxious individuals, the core wound revolves around a fear of abandonment
  2. For avoidant individuals, it revolves around a loss of freedom or independence.
  3. For fearful individuals, well, they contain both anxious and avoidant core wounds.

But back to avoidants.

We know from the avoidant resource, Free To Attach, that avoidants tend to “push you away” whenever you get too close.

But here’s the twist: They also tend to “come back” when their partner moves away from them.

Chris talked about that in this video,

 

Only after you’ve moved on from the relationship will the avoidant give themselves permission to miss you. When this happens, they’ll go through this period of nostalgic reverie and romanticize your time with them.

Ultimately drawing them back to you.

If you need help with how this works with real-world applications, this podcast episode shows a great example.

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As well as this video,

 

So, now that you know it’s in your best interest to actually move on from your ex (even if you want them back) let’s talk about how you can actually do that.

What Are Some Of The Best Ways You Can Let Go Of Your Ex?

Letting go of someone who once meant the world to you is a challenging endeavor in its own right.

A quote I frequently return to perfectly encapsulates this:

“Sometimes, letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or holding on.”

From my relationship experiences, releasing a past love is often more difficult than clinging to it. Yet, the aim is to progress in life, to embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing. In that case, letting go is a necessary step.

Below, I’ve outlined some of the most effective strategies for letting go and moving on:

  1. Establishing a Period of No Contact
  2. Finding a Personal Passion (or ‘Magnum Opus’)
  3. Utilizing the Power of the Placebo Effect

Let’s delve deeper into each of these strategies.

Implement A Period Of No Contact:

Here we begin with the foundational strategy that pretty much everyone and their mother knows about with breakups.

Heck, even George Lucas knows about it,

 

“It really does come down to a simple rule of life which is, when you break up with somebody the first rule is no phone calls, the second rule is you don’t go over to their house and drive by to see what they’re doing, the third rule you don’t show up at their coffee shop….”

Word for word!

Of course, while Mr. Lucas is very intelligent, we’ve altered our version of no contact to be more nuanced and encapsulate our mission statement of letting go of an ex instead of manipulating an ex.

“The no contact rule refers to a period of time where you cut off all conceivable communication with an ex after a breakup. The intent of this tactic should NOT be used to make your ex miss you but instead should be used to rebuild your own life so that you outgrow your ex. By doing this, the no contact rule can have the added benefit of making an ex miss you”

The idea of this rule is that you take some time away from your ex, as it allows you to focus on yourself and become the best version of what YOU can be.

I often see people falling into the seductive trap of using no contact to trick their ex into returning.

They focus on the silence and how their ex might be “worried about that.” If you go into a no-contact rule with this mindset, you aren’t likely to get the result you want.

Usually, our No Contact rule has three different time frames (depending on situational circumstances and attachment styles):

  1. The 21 Day Rule
  2. The 30 Day Rule
  3. The 45 Day Rule

I’m going to point you in the direction of this article which will explain how to determine which “time frame” is best for you: https://www.exboyfriendrecovery.com/the-no-contact-rule/

Finding a Personal Passion (or ‘Magnum Opus’)

This is a strategy Chris Seiter has been preaching for quite some time. In one of his youtube videos, he explained:

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“The Magnum Opus is a Latin term defined as someone’s greatest life achievement. Often, it’s the highest intersection of talent, skill, and hard work.”

He believes that finding a magnum opus for yourself will help you take your mind off your ex and instead focus on something positive and worthwhile.

The problem with people who can’t get over their ex is that they overthink about that ex. It’s as if their whole world revolves around that ex, and nothing more.

It’s like poison to your mind.

It doesn’t help that, scientifically, going through a breakup can feel like you are going through a drug withdrawal.

According to Stony Brook University,

There is a direct link between those who have experienced rejection from someone they love (an ex-partner, for example) and those who have experienced withdrawal from addictive substances.

In our experience, the only way to slowly curb that addiction is to find yourself a magnum opus.

Of course, for that, we need to have a working understanding of the holy trinity concept developed by Chris Seiter.

Essentially it’s about taking stock of your life and dividing it up into three categories,

  1. Health
  2. Wealth
  3. Relationships

Refer to this graphic if you’d like a bit more of an in-depth look at what is comprised within the Trinity,

The magnum opus will be the intersection between those three elements.

What one thing can you do that can positively impact all three areas?

What one thing can earn you money, cause you to meet new people, and help your emotional or physical health?

If you find that one thing, you will likely find a worthy candidate for a magnum opus.

Practicing The Placebo Effect

This one is weird but works, so we will discuss it.

In 2017 researchers from the University of Colorado decided to conduct an experiment where they wanted to see if the placebo effect could be an effective way to deal with heartbreak.

“In the study, each participant received a nasal spray containing a saline solution. However, the instructions provided were tailored to stimulate specific treatment expectations. Those in the placebo group were informed that the nasal spray was a “potent analgesic, also effective in alleviating emotional distress and negative feelings.”

(Which sounds completely ridiculous, but I digress…)

The intriguing finding was that individuals reported feeling better after using the “powerful nasal spray” (which was, in reality, just salt water) when exposed to an image of their ex-partner.

This highlights the critical point that engaging in activities you believe will uplift your mood can be beneficial, especially after a break.

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The essential component here is personal belief. It’s necessary to partake in actions that YOU are convinced will enhance your well-being – and importantly, this shouldn’t involve contacting your ex.

Conclusion:

Letting go of an ex that doesn’t want you may sound to other people like an easy thing to do, but it’s actually not.

Interestingly, even when we find ourselves in an environment where we are unappreciated, we often become so accustomed to such treatment that leaving becomes an even greater challenge.

However, it’s crucial to remember that, despite the difficulty, with the correct determination and the application of strategies such as

  • Establishing a period of No Contact
  • Discovering your Magnum Opus
  • And harnessing the power of the Placebo Effect

Progress is achievable.

Setting high standards for oneself is commonly suggested, but the journey towards those standards begins within us.

How resilient are you prepared to be for your own well-being?

It all comes down to taking the necessary steps, pushing your personal boundaries, and, at the end of the day, you might surprise yourself with what you’re truly capable of.”

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