By Chris Seiter

Updated on April 8th, 2021

Hey, hey, hey, and welcome to another episode of the Ex-Boyfriend Recovery Podcast, where we’re going to be talking about everything from getting an ex back, to getting over an ex, to just men in general, and how to have the dating life that you deserve.  

Today, we’re going to be talking about one of the most asked questions that I get, and that’s what to do if your ex always responds to your texts, but never initiates.  

How can you get that opposite effect to occur?  How can you get them to be the ones to reach out? 

I want to preface this by saying that if you’re even interested in getting an ex back, this isn’t the first place that you should be starting. The first place you should be starting is by going over to my website, and taking my special quiz there.  

It’s a quiz that will basically teach you the approximate chances you have of getting your ex back, so that you know whether or not you’re wasting your time in your particular situation. So, taking that quiz is simple.  

All you got to do is pause the podcast, go onto your phone, click open the Google Chrome or Safari apps, type in Ex-Boyfriend Recovery, and literally, the quiz is on my website.  

Take the quiz, and then come back and listen to this podcast, so you can figure out how to get your ex to actually initiate conversations.  

Today, we’re going to be hearing a question from a woman who wants to remain anonymous, so let’s play that question right now. 

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The Listeners Question 

Hey, Chris. I’d really love your advice on this situation, as it’s not in your book or in any of your podcasts.  

My ex and I broke up in the beginning of September. It was a super normal breakup. I’ve been doing the program, and so far, have been super successful, made it through no contact, got onto texting and then phone calls, and about a week ago, he started asking me to hang out with him and, like, meet up.  

I waited a week, as I was busy, so we finally met up this week. The date ended up being amazing, but it ended up going a lot longer than it was supposed to, so it was basically date three on the first day, and that’s probably because we had a little too much wine.  

He ended up staying at my apartment, and we did not have sex, because I refused. 

But anyway, so on the date, his behavior was super complimentary, apologetic, like very loving, and he was telling me how much he missed me like over and over and over again, talked about making plans for this weekend, and then inviting me to his sister’s birthday in two weeks with him.  

Since then, he’s been a little distant, in the sense that I’ve had to make first contact with him, and I feel like it’s day three now, and I kind of think that he should be doing more of that contact, so I’m a little concerned in that sense.  

So, I wanted to get your feeling on the situation, and the rules for after you start hanging out with an ex? 

Why Did Her Ex Go Cold?

 All right, so we’ve heard from the woman who wants to remain anonymous, and I always find it’s best when you’re dealing with things like this to recap the situation.  

This woman, so far, has done the no contact rule, and everything seems to be going well, so well in fact that her ex actually initiated and wanted to hang out with her.  

Now, the date, according to her, went extremely well, but they did not have sex, so now she’s noticed an interesting change in dynamic, and that’s she’s always making the first contact, and he’s never reaching out first. 

She gets this feeling that he’s a bit distant, and is probably worried. Ultimately, the question she wants answered is she wants to figure out how to get him to contact her first.

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When you look at her situation, honestly, there are two questions embedded here; 

Why did her ex go cold? What are the reasons for that?  

And how can you get him to reach out and respond to him, or initiate conversations with her?  

So, let’s answer those two questions

 Let’s first tackle the more psychological one. Why did the ex go cold? 

I’ve got three potential reasonings for why this happened. Exes who are hot and cold are really common in this situation, because breakups tend to make people act a little crazy, and it tend to confuse people on how they feel.  

So, my first initial thought when I heard about your situation was that your ex maybe went cold because he’s potentially bummed that you aren’t as easy as he thought.

Don’t put it past your ex to want to engage in a friends with benefits situation after a breakup.  

It’s something that we’ve seen time and time again. We have dealt with literally thousands of situations, and when you deal with that many situations, and you’re talking to the people, you start to begin certain patterns emerge. 

Now, I am not the type of person that can say, “Yes, you can distil a human being down to patterns, and that’s how they always are.”

No, there’s always variables that you just cannot account for, but one of the interesting patterns that we’ve noticed has emerged is that exes, given the opportunity to be friends with benefits, and this is only really.  

Because we don’t have enough data yet on how women react in this circumstance, this is only dealing with men who’ve broken up with you, but given the situation between being friends with benefits with you or getting into a relationship with you,

They will pick friends with benefits seven out of 10 times.  So, don’t put it past them to be above something like this. 

What I’m thinking maybe happened here is he went a little bit cold on you, anonymous, because he was thinking maybe you were a little bit easier than you actually were.

He was thinking, “Yes, we could have some breakup sex or makeup sex,” and that didn’t exactly happen.  

The other two reasons, I think, also apply to your situation as well, and that is that he still feels a little bit confused about how he’s feeling in general.  

We also have noticed an interesting pattern emerge between breakups where there’s this pendulum effect, where someone will go from extremely interested in you to extremely disinterested in you within the course of a day.  

Anything can tip the scales to create that dynamic

Sometimes, it is going on a date, and them feeling like, “Oh, I felt like I would be more into this,” and then sometimes it’s being away from you gets them to remember all of the great experiences that you had together.

That makes them kind of like, “I need to have her now.” Do not be shocked.  

This is a common behavior, so what we tend to find happens is immediately after a breakup, the pendulum will swing to being hot, and then it will swing to being cold.

But as time goes on, that pendulum swing becomes less and less, and they become more centred 

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That’s why we talk about timing.

It’s not best to try to get an ex back immediately after the breakup, because that’s when the pendulum was swinging at its most, and that can be extremely hard to deal with, because you’re dealing with a lot of different volatile emotions. 

The third reason for why I think he potentially went cold here is that he’s remembering the wrong experiences.  

We do know, based on our research, that human beings really, when they’re remembering the whole of experience, remember two distinct points, the peak of the experience, the most exciting part of the experience, and the end of the experience.  

Psychologists have coined this term the peak end rule, so generally speaking, when you think back on experiences, you’re not going to think about the boring details.

You’re going to think about the most exciting part, or the end.  

Now, typically with breakups, the end is among the most difficult to deal with, because it is among the most depressing aspects to deal with, the most angering. 

You want your ex to be remembering the right experiences, and there’s a lot of things that you can do to get him to do that.  

Namely, the most effective way that we’ve found is by using this concept called miss-attribution of emotions.

Going on a date, engaging him in something extremely exciting, so that he attributes the emotions, the exciting emotions that he’s feeling, onto you.  

You can create a new peak, so to speak.

Those are kind of the brief overview of why I think your ex potentially went cold here, why he’s sort of pulling back, or you’re feeling that he’s pulling back from you a little bit. 

But that leads us to the second question that we need to have answered today, and that’s how can you get him to reach out to you and respond?  

Well, we already know that he’s responding to you, so really, the question here is how can you get him to reach out?  

The Three Things

Keeping Conversations Interesting 

Number one, and this is a big mistake I see a lot of women making when they initiate conversations with their ex, or even have any type of conversation with their ex, is that they engage their ex in conversations that he is not interested in. 

This is where there’s a bit of a wavelength theory coming into play. Sometimes, two people are not meant to be together, because they’re on completely different wavelengths.  

You talk about things that only interest you. He talks about things that only interest him.  

What you need to understand is that if you want to get him to reach out to you first, you need to engage him in pleasing conversations.  

The conversations need to be satisfying to him, which means you need to take an interest in his life and talk to him about things that he is interested in. 

Now, this is where it gets difficult, because there’s a fine line that you need to walk here. If you only talk to him about things that he’s interested in, you’re kind of serving only to his needs.  

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There also needs to be some type of a reciprocation, where he’s asking you, or bringing up topics that you’re interested in. But more often than not, what we see happens is if you engage him in conversation that is interesting to him, it’s a topic that he is obsessive about…  

For me it would be books. I am a fiend for fiction, fantasy, science fiction books. Anyone who’s interested in me should talk to me about that. I will open up a lot easier than if you talk to me about the latest figure skating techniques. I do not care about that at all.  

So, you engage your ex in a conversation that is interesting to him.  

Think outside the box. Get outside of your own paradigm. 

End Conversations First

The second way, or mistake I see people make, is they do not end conversations first.  

Now, here’s where they kind of mess up a little bit. It’s not enough just to end conversations first. The timing of when you end the conversations is almost as important as the fact that you need to end conversations first.  

What tends to happen is when you engage someone in a conversation, through text, through phone, or even in person, and you really are in love with that person, I mean, you want that person extremely bad, you have a tendency to overstay your welcome.  

What I mean by that is, conversations have a certain flow to them, right? 

Usually, if it’s a good conversation, it will get off the ground, and there will be a high point to the conversation, meaning there’s a point where you will sit back and think to yourself,  

“I don’t want this conversation to end. If I could, I would make this conversation last forever,” which doesn’t really do anything for the fact that hey, you need to pull back from the conversation.  

In fact, all that does is make you invest more into the conversation, and cling to it so that you make sure that it doesn’t end. 

Now, the issue, the big issue I’m seeing most people have, is they get caught up into this, “I don’t want this conversation to end,” mentality, and they stay in the conversations too long, and the conversation dies out.  

It’s kind of like a fire. Think of a fire.  

It takes a lot of energy to start the fire, and then once it’s going, you have to feed the fire to keep it going, but eventually, every fire will sort of die, and how long it lasts is up to what you feed… how many logs you feed the fire, so to speak.  

My point is what if you fed the fire, and made it as big as possible, and then walked away from feeding it?  

That becomes a lot more impactful, and that also creates a reason for why he would want to initiate a conversation with you next time. 

But, here’s the trick. How you end the conversation is also important. You can’t just all of a sudden say, like… You know, you’re texting him.  

You have this amazing conversation going, and disappearing. Sometimes that can work, but more often than not, you need to have a legitimate excuse.  

“Hey, I’m sorry. My boss is looking over my shoulder. I can’t talk.” Leave the conversation.  

The more times you do this, it’s kind of like paying it forward a little bit.  

You may not get him to initiate conversations with you first right away, but the more you do this, the snowball effect will occur, and you’ll notice he will start to engage in conversations with you and initiate. 

One Last Thing 

Now, there’s one more thing that I think you can do to get him to initiate conversations first, and that’s to embed strategic pauses in between your conversations.  

We all have heard that phrase, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” yes? Well, that phrase is highly dependent on the fact that you are absent.  

Your ex will have no chance to miss you, or think about you, or daydream about you if you are with him all the time, talking.  

So, what you need to do is embed these strategic pauses, where maybe you take a day or two off from talking to him, after an amazing conversation so that hey has time to miss you. 

My wife, when I was courting her, if I can say that, that was maybe six, seven years ago, would do this better than anyone I had ever met.  

We would have this amazing conversation, and then me being the stubborn person, I would sit there and say, “She’s got to reach out to me first.” But of course, she wouldn’t, so we’d have this amazing conversation. 

I knew it meant something to her. I mean, it meant something to me. Usually, I have a pretty good idea of sympathizing with people, and understanding,  

“Hey, this is how they’re feeling,” but then she would go cold, and slowly but surely, the annoyance would gnaw at me.  

I would sit there and think, “Why isn’t she reaching out to me? Why hasn’t she responded to me? Why am I sitting here? Should I just be waiting for her? Should I be reaching out to her first?” 

All of these doubts creep into your head, and eventually, I would break down and reach out to her, and say like,  

“Hey, what’s up? What’s going on?” Now, that wasn’t the greatest conversation starter, but she wasn’t my ex. She was someone I was pursuing for the first time.  

The problem is, when you’re dealing with people who are trying to get their exes back, embedding these strategic pauses are extremely difficult for them, because they want their ex almost more than anything. 

But it’s important that they do that 

So anonymous, if you do those three things, I think you can get him to reach out to you first, but don’t expect it to happen right away.  

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you’re not going to get him to reach out to you first in a day. It’s kind of like you have to put the energy in first to earn the right to get him to reach out to you first.  

So that’s going to do it for this episode of the Ex-Boyfriend Recovery Podcast. Again, if you’re trying to get your ex back, the best place you should always start is to go to my website and take my ex recovery chances quiz.  

It’ll give you an idea of an approximate chance you have of getting your ex back, so that you’re not wasting your time trying to get them back in a situation where you have no chance of getting them back. So, make sure you take that quiz.  

Again, all you have to do is go to my website, look in the navigation bar for the word quiz, and take the quiz. Pretty simple. I’ll see you guys next time. 

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11 thoughts on “My Ex Always Responds But Never Initiates”

  1. Emily

    June 23, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    I feel like I’m at a stand still. My ex NEVER initiates. I have tried to keep conversations interesting, I have ended 90% of them first, and have done pauses. Our ratio is good (1 to 1) and I would say the conversations are satisfying, but never super long. We have meaningful convos (with the occasional watered down feelings sprinkled in on both sides) and then I still have to reach out first the next time. Besides the texting phase, we’re also in the meet-up phase of the value chain and that goes great as well and he always tells me how much he enjoys seeing me and hanging out…and then it’s back to me having to reach out first. I feel like I am making no progress. I’m flustered and annoyed. I love him, but honestly just want to give up. I don’t know what else to do.

  2. isey

    January 30, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    HELP!….SO my ex and i recently added eachother back on fb after a long time of being blocked. I did see he posted a photo of him and his gf but 2 days later he reached out first and asked about a recent trip i made. after that, he didnt reach out so i initiated and he replied. Later that week, same thing but he hinted that he was with his gf. Well, a week ago, we were messaging eachother and it got super flirty and suddenly he said “we’re just joking around, ok. but i would accept a coffee invite for you as long as my gf doesnt find out.” – that was devastating. Then he changed his mind and said “you know what, it would probably be best to not go out forncoffee lol.” – i politely said i respected that. Then the next day i reached out and we just jokingly cleared up the convo from the day before. The day after, he posted a pic of his gf on his story and hasnt reached out (neither have i). Is all lost? Was my ex trying to make it clear he has a gf? should i still try and pursue this

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 30, 2022 at 8:15 pm

      Hi Isey, it sounds as if he got a guilty conscience about the attention he was giving you and backed off. Watch Chris videos and read the articles about the being there method. While flirting is okay you need to be mindful you do not push your ex to the point they feel that can’t “talk” to you as they know it would lead to flirting. Spend sometime researching the being there method and keep reaching out for friendly conversations.

  3. Bianca

    September 24, 2020 at 6:33 am

    Hey, there have been problems between me and bf for 6 months since lockdown as it is an LDR. We were the best when we were together and understanding but now if I try to talk to him about what wrong in our relationship, then he becomes highly angry and says he wants to talk but I always mess it up by asking stupid questions then he wants me to leave him alone and then I have to start impressing him again from scratch. And it’s me only who nowadays initiates calls and texts as I fear if I don’t initiate, he won’t talk either( he did not initiate any contact when I announced a break for.10 days to him so that he becomes less angry with me during this LDR phase but instead he said heenjoyed those 10 days without me). We had the best conversations ever in our relationship and I really want to get our zeal back, the chemistry back and also I want him to miss me and initiate conversations. He gets easily angry and is very stubborn. Please help. And at this point if I text him, he replies in one word like Yes No Okay don’t ask etc..
    Please please please give me some guidance to get my stubborn guy back who doesn’t like me the way he loved me earlier. Please help

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 8, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      Hi Bianca, I would suggest that you focus on yourself and your Holy Trinity for the total of your NC and read more articles to help you through the program and understand what it is you need to be doing to show your ex that you are becoming the best version of yourself without him around

  4. Simona

    March 23, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Hi, I got a fight with my boyfriend few days ago, he said we will forget about that and start over but the next day I asked him if he still wants me (maybe that was mistake) and he told me he will think about it, I told him I ruined everything and he said he’s just not in the mood to talk, now I’m afraid we broke up, he didn’t tell me, but it feels like. When I text him, he texts back but just simply, he talks with me, but they’re usually neutral messages, for example when I wish him good night, he wishes too but just type good night with no heart emojis like he did before break up and I’m afraid he has moved on, but he still responds to my messages. Do you know what does it mean? Is there a chance I can get him back? Please help, I’m desperate. Thanks.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 24, 2020 at 12:52 am

      Hi Simona I would allow your boyfriend some space, and if he does not get in touch with you in a week I would reach out again as he has not ended things with you right now. But allow him that time to think too. The less desperate you seem the better your chances are

  5. Sarah

    September 20, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    So, I met this guy on eHarmony and we really hit it off and ended up going on a date. The date was amazing. Let me also say that he had just uprooted his life to move to my state to take his dream job that keeps him extremely busy. Also, he has been divorced.

    I am going through a divorce and wasn’t exactly upfront with the fact that the divorce wasn’t final. I told him the next day and we didn’t talk for a while.

    Well, then we started hanging out and sleeping together and going on dates. Nothing too exciting. Just out to eat.

    Then I got too pushy to want more from him, because at this point we were just seeing each other and not official. He wanted to wait until the divorce was final.

    So, now he wants to “Break for now, still stay friends.” and start things back up again once the busy season of his job is over and my divorce is final. He did say that he cares, likes me a lot and misses me.

    Should I even hold out hope that we are going to get back together when the divorce is final and his busy season is over or should I just move on?


    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 21, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      Hi Sarah, yes there is a chance although it is a short relationship as such you need to make sure that you are open to speaking with him after some time doing NC and do not sleep with him again unless he is official with you.

  6. Jenna Holloway

    September 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Am I supposed to be posting on social media during the NC rule or do I start posting after the 30 days?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 19, 2019 at 5:10 pm

      Hi Jenna, you can post on social media, but not emotional posts or something that shoes how you’re feeling about the break up. Positive and interesting things that you’re doing with your life