My ex-boyfriend is asking me to hang out? This week? Really?!
What do I do?
What do I wear?
Are we gonna get back together?
But we’re so early in the texting phase that I don’t know if this is a good idea.
It is a good idea, right?
Yeah, no, it is a good idea.
But then why am I freaking out?!
Does this sound familiar?
If you’ve been in this situation before, you know that your internal dialogue goes exactly like this – though more or less exaggerated.
And I get it — I totally do! Sometimes when you wish for something and it actually happens, you just start to freak out because you’re not sure what do with your recent stroke of luck. And that’s probably why you’re here, huh?
You got what I like to call the magical text from your ex asking for a day to hang out, and now you’re busy mapping out your next step. Or hopefully, you’re reading this article in anticipation of getting the magical text) or at the very least before you’ve typed in,
“Yeah sure! When?!”
The only reason I’m hoping you’re still calculating your next move is because I don’t want you to jump the gun with this.
In fact, before I even jump into giving you advice about how you should proceed in hanging out with your ex, I want you to consider if you are even ready or not.
And I’m not even talking about if you’ve already planed out:
- what you’re gonna say
- what you’re gonna wear
- which coffee shop to hang out
- what you’re gonna do
No, girl, I’m not talking about the superficial. What I’m talking about goes beyond that.
You need to ask yourself,
“Am I emotionally ready to hang out with him again?”
If you’ve gone through the EBR process or have already started, you know that even before reaching out to your ex, you need to take care of yourself by focusing on you own personal Holy Trinity.
If you’re not familiar, the Holy Trinity is your
- and relationships
Basically, your goal before you get into contact with your ex is to be a better version of who you were before dating him if not the BEST.
I’m not going to get into that because that’s a totally different topic for a totally different article, so all I’m saying is that before you go and hang out with your ex, make sure you’re emotionally ready to accept a different kind of reality than you’re imagining.
Remember to keep your emotions in check and be ready to just “be friends”…for the time being.
He Wants to Hang Out… As Friends
Let me just say this before we start…
Hanging out with your ex =/= date.
Why is this not really considered a “date”? Well, it’s right there in the subtitle of this section.
Y’all are hanging out as just friends.
Hate to break it to you, babe, but you and your ex are still broken up. Right now, your relationship status is “amicable” at best. While it’s a very good sign of things getting better for you both, nothing happens overnight.
Rebuilding a relationship, just like starting one, takes a lot of time.
In Ex-Boyfriend Recovery Pro, the book outlines a simple 3-date plan to follow in your entire Mock Trial (refer to the EBR Pro book for more information on that.) The 3-date plan includes:
- Small date – AKA the “non-date” because you’re going to keep it platonic.
- Medium date – AKA a bigger deal than the smaller date because you’re planting more seeds to lead up to the…
- Romantic date – AKA The time to ask about getting back together (if that is your M.O.)
You’re obviously going to start at the small date because, like I said, this things take time. In the small date, you’re catching up with your ex face-to-face and rebuilding your friendship again. You really have to separate the idea of this being an actual, legitimate date because it really is going to be platonic. To help you focus on keeping the small date platonic, here is what I suggest:
- Think small, but have fun – The idea of this date is to maintain a healthy friendship with your ex, but to also plant seeds of attraction back in his head. The easiest way to do that is to keep the atmosphere of the date fun. If you’re having fun, naturally your ex will, too. And if he ever had his guard up, seeing you have fun and enjoying himself will allow him to relax and enjoy himself, as well.
- Location, Location, Location – Just like real estate, location is key in this first meet-up with the ex. You don’t want to pick somewhere too romantic or any place that would stir up emotions the first time around. Pick somewhere neutral where you both can talk for a while to catch up face-to-face.
- Keep non-romantic – Keep the conversation light and fun, steer away from heavy “I miss you’s” and the controversial, “Can we get back together?” Save that for another time. Just have fun.
- Leave early – Zeigarnik Effect is in full effect here! You’ll want to leave early because your endgame in this first date is to make your ex want to hang out with you again. If you’re both having so much fun throughout this small date, and you decide to bounce early, your ex is gonna a) wonder why, and b) be open to hanging out again because he was genuinely having fun. Choose a good, high point to tell him, “Sorry! I have to go now, but I had a lot of fun! We should this again!” Plant the seed in his head and watch your plan grow into fruition when he says, “Yes! How about next week?”
He Wants To Hang Out… All Of The Time!!
If you relate more to this scenario, you might need to kick things up a notch so things don’t get stale or too platonic between you two.
Upgrade your small date to a medium one. Basically, in this medium date idea, you’re planting more seeds in your ex’s head to get build him up to getting to ask you on an actual romantic date.
To do that, follow these modified “small date” suggestions:
- Think bigger, have more fun – Change up the location to change up the vibe and the atmosphere. Remember: HAVE FUN. So go to the amusement park or go bowling. Hell, if you idea of fun is going to an art exhibit, do it! Diversify your location to match what you both like to do to have fun. Every time you hang out with each other, change the setting to keep him (and yourself!) entertained.
- Invite a group…or don’t – In EBR Pro, Chris suggests leaving one of the dates by inviting your ex to a group outing. Then, when the date draws closer, conveniently tell your ex that everyone else cancelled and gently encourage your ex to still come out by saying you still want to go. You could do it this way, you sneaky minx…OR…you could really invite your ex and a group of friends for a group date. It can take a load of pressure off your ex, being in a group environment, Also, seeing you in a group setting might elicit your ex to just want to hang out with you and you alone, especially if you’ve been mostly hanging out alone prior to the group outings. He’ll probably be like, “Hey! I like hanging out with all these people, but I miss just hanging out with her.” And lo and behold, a seed is planted.
- Leave early – Yes, leave early again. Plant another seed to hang out again.
- Touch Strategy – I didn’t mention this in the last section, but you can implement the touch strategy with your ex. Hug him when you greet him, hug him when you leave early. The book suggests hugging for at least 20 seconds, just to get him to get used to your touch again. But I want to remind you not to be hurt if he pulls away before the 20 seconds, or any time you attempt to touch him. Instead, see it as an indicator of how great or bad the date is and you can adjust from there.
He Wants To Hang Out… But He Doesn’t Want To Get Back Together
So…he wants to hang out with you, but he clearly doesn’t want to get back together? This is the part of the article where I put on my Oprah glasses and get really serious with you.
I want to reiterate my hope that you’re reading this article after having gone through the EBR process already – reading the books, implementing No Contact, etc. If you have, you’re in a good place.
If you haven’t, you’re not necessarily in a bad place, but you’re off to a rough start. Here’s why…
Basically, you don’t want to hang out with your ex without giving each other an adequate amount of space between you two.
Remember what I mentioned way earlier about using No Contact to balance out your Holy Trinity?
Well, get that sorted out first before you hang out with him.
You see, if you keep stagnant in your post-breakup process – not making any significant improvements when it comes to the the relationship and also yourself – then it will be harder for your ex to revisit the idea of getting back together.
You basically want to be the kind of a woman we at EBR like to call an “Ungettable Girl” or we shorten it to “UG. ”
An Ungettable Girl has taken her shortcomings from WITHIN the relationship along with any unattractive actions she took AFTER the breakup. You want to be that girl. And as a UG, if your ex isn’t showing any kind of initiative to ask you out on a bigger, more romantic date…then you might have to step up and take the initiative.
On the other hand, though, if no progress is being made at all, then you might have to ask yourself if you’re willing to be just friends with him knowing that nothing will ever happen. If your ex explicitly states that he just want to be friends and/or doesn’t want to get back together, you’ll have to decide if you’re okay with that or if it’s better to cut your losses and move on.
If that’s the case, then make sure you’re a strong-as-hell UG who won’t be too cut up about things turning this way.
He Wants To Hang Out… After Two Or More Years
So he sends you the magical text but you guys haven’t been together in a long time? Probably feels something like this:
Well, first things first, girl. Start slowly from the beginning. Like waaaaay in the beginning. Let’s face it, two years is a long-ass time and one helluva No Contact period.
Start with texting, then work your way to phone calls before even meeting in person. Because like I said, 2 years is a long time to go without updates and contact. You two could be totally different people by now!
If you haven’t been texting your ex, but he just randomly springs the magical text on you, then I would suggest the same for you. Build your friendship up again from the very beginning…
- Phone calls
- 3-date plan
I know it sounds tedious, but all great things take time and if you rush into it, you might run the risk of being disappointed. And I don’t want that happening for you.
He Wants To Hang Out… But He Has A Girlfriend
He wants to hang out but he has a girlfriend? Yes, you heard that right. I know what you might be thinking…
Okay, yeah, I agree. I wouldn’t be okay with it either, but hear me out. It could potentially be a good thing that your ex wants to hang out with you even though he has a girlfriend.
What does that even mean?
Why would he want to hang out if he has a new girlfriend?
Because it could mean that he’s putting more value in reconnecting with you than in respecting the relationship he has with his new girlfriend.
I know, I know.
It sounds a little bitchy and manipulative.
But I’m not advising you to take this opportunity to swoop in and steal him back right away. I’m actually going to tell you to do the opposite.
You’re not going to get your man back by hanging out with him and telling him straight up,
“Break up with with your girlfriend.”
He’ll probably end up cutting ties with you and you’ll never hear from him again.
Instead, take this opportunity to be his friend again. I know it sucks and it sounds like the premise to a pre-Reputation Taylor Swift song. But trust me. It’s better to gain his trust as a friend and confidant – someone he can vent to about when he can’t seem to talk to his ex.
Of course, you won’t be able to set up “dates” with him because hello — he does has a girlfriend! But don’t let that stop your glow. Like I said, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But you also have to keep in mind there are boundaries you need to set – like not implementing the Touch Strategy.
While you can’t do that, you can implement the Being There method.
Being There means you’re already in his presence and on his mind, but you’re not actively trying to get him back. You’re not hinting that maybe he deserves better in his relationship or that he seemed happier before. Uh uh, girl. UG’s don’t play that game. Instead, be the UG you are and flaunt it (for yourself, not for him. It will still plant seeds of attraction in his head.
Look at this case as waiting on the wings during his relationship, then being there for him if it ends.
He Wants to Hang Out… With You AND His New Girlfriend
So, he wants to hang with you, his ex-girlfriend, and bring along his current girlfriend?
If I could add sound effects, it would be of a trombone playing, “Whomp whomp whoooomp.”
I know…initially, it sounds like a crappy deal. But just like the last scenario, it doesn’t have to be.
After all, it means that you’re still in your ex’s life and he sees you as being an important aspect of it. Sure, it’s not in the way you want, but it’s a step.
True, you don’t get to hang out with him alone, but you get to also show that you’re not a threat to your ex’s current girlfriend or their relationship. Being seen as a friend and not a threat is good because you gain trust from the both of them.
If your ultimate endgame in this scenario is to be back together with your ex, I’d advise you do not actively pursue him at all in this case. Do not try to break him and his girlfriend up. If that situation is inevitable in your time hanging out with them, just let it happen naturally. Do not actively pursue him because drama will happen and inevitably they will both see you as a common enemy. This would only strengthen their bond and bring them closer together.
It’s tough, but stay away. Just be a friend. Because when and if a breakup occurs, you won’t be Suspect #1 for the ending of it.
But What Can I Do?!
The big takeaway from this is that patience takes a huge part in moving up in this 3-date plan ladder. It will take some time adjusting from text and phone conversations to an in-person one. If you think about it, it’s like starting a relationship with your ex all over again. And you didn’t do that by jumping in on the first date and telling him,
“Can we be official now?”
Instead, start with smaller, “non-dates” to plant the seeds of attraction and build your rapport. Then, work your way up to the medium dates to get the ball rolling, and eventually land yourself a romantic date and onto the road of relationship repair success.
Just remember that it will take some time and patience on your part, especially in cases where there is another woman or a lot of time has gone by between the two of you.
But also remember that patience is well worth it in the end.
That being said, I want to hear about your situation. In the comments below, tell me:
- a little bit about your breakup.
- what have you done since the breakup.
- and where in the EBR process.
From there our team of EXperts will help you determine where you need to go from here.