Today we’re going to talk about why your ex always seems to cancel meet ups with you when you are on the cusp of making some serious progress with them.
By the end of this guide it’s my intention that you have a complete understanding of,
- The cancel gauntlet
- The biggest reason for why exes cancel meet ups
- The avoidant relationship death wheel
- How you should respond to them cancelling on you
- How to handle them rescheduling (assuming they try to do that.)
Let’s just jump right into it.
Putting Your Ex Through The Cancel Gauntlet
I’m sure I can come up with a list of seven or eight reasons for why exes cancel a meet up but I actually think that’s counterproductive because every single one of those reasons usually stem from the same seed.
Later I’m going to argue that the most common reason for why an ex cancels a meet up revolves around them having their avoidant tendencies triggered.
Of course, there are two “prerequisites” that we need to talk about first before we start talking about the why?
Think of this as the gauntlet that all exes should be put through to determine if they are cancelling legitimately on you or if they are falling victim to their avoidant tendencies.
So, what are the two prerequisites?
- Is their reasoning for cancelling a valid one?
- Is there a consistent pattern of cancelling
Let’s look at that first one.
Is Your Exes Excuse For Cancelling A Valid One?
What’s a valid reason for cancelling?
Well, I want you to pay attention to specificity. I can’t tell you how often exes use the same excuses of “not feeling well” or “being too tired.” Just looking at our private facebook group is enough to prove that,
Not feeling well,
Has a cold,
These literally sound like excuses I would use because I didn’t want to see my ex. In other words, they are vague enough that they can’t technically be verified and social custom dictates that the “kind” thing to do isn’t to call them out about it and demand proof.
Of course, there are some legitimate last minute things that can happen but usually they’ll pass the smell test.
So, what are some legitimate things?
- Your ex sending you a picture of a positive COVID19 test
- A family member suddenly passing away
- Them being in the hospital
However, I will admit that most of the time for the average person whose ex cancels on them won’t be using a legitimate reason. Rather, they’ll prefer to use excuses.
Which leads me to the next gauntlet test.
Is There A Consistent Pattern Of Them Cancelling On You
Let’s make this super simple.
The more they cancel on you the more they are usually falling victim to avoidant patterns.
If your ex has a history of cancelling on you then it’s highly likely whatever excuse they are giving you isn’t legitimate.
Not really much more to dig in with here so lets move on to the biggest reason that most exes will cancel a meet up with you.
The Single Biggest Reason That An Ex Will Cancel A Meet Up With You
After polling our audience over the years it has become clear that there are two truths everyone reading needs to learn.
Most of our clients exes veer avoidant,
And most of our clients fall victim to their own anxious attachment style,
So, what does that mean?
Well, I find it’s best to pay attention to the core wounds of these individuals as it will explain their behavior away.
The Avoidant Core Wound: Terrified that a relationship will take away their independence.
The Anxious Core Wound: Terrified that they will be abandoned in a relationship.
So, on the one hand you have this ex who is fiercely independent and on the other hand you have this client who is terrified of losing that fiercely independent.
The result is like oil and water which is why so many anxious and avoidants go through break ups with one another. They are in direct opposition.
But what’s interesting is if you look at the typical person who has a history of cancelling meet ups you can actually draw a lot of similarities to an avoidant person.
The Avoidant Relationship Death Wheel Is Back
Yep, my favorite graphic is back, again.
This is what the typical relationship will look like between an avoidant ex and one of our anxious clients.
There are eight stages to it.
- They start out wanting someone to love them
- Then they find you, and at first, things are great
- But something about your behavior sets them off (we will talk about what that is in a minute)
- They use that as an excuse to think about leaving you
- Then they actually decide to leave the relationship
- Then of course they party and are happy they left the relationship
- But there is a loneliness in the silence and they start to grow depressed
- They ultimately sit and wonder why this always happens to them. Why can’t I ever find the one?
The reason I call it a death wheel is because they get caught up in all these relationships (either with you) or with someone else and the wheel just ruins that relationship over and over again.
A prison of their own making.
So, how does the death wheel relate to our purposes?
Well, where it’s particularly relevant is between stages 7,8 and then the revolution back around to 1.
We know from studying when avoidants begin to miss their exes,
That Avoidants 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, revealing their long-suppressed attachment and switching their operating attachment wound from the fear of engulfment to fear of abandonment.
So, there’s this point where they can actually fall victim to nostalgia and I think that happens right here on the wheel,
After they’ve been left alone and become convinced that you don’t want them back. They start missing you and can fall victim to the moment.
That’s why we see so many exes seemingly reach out when you feel like you’ve moved on from them and of course what do they want to do?
- Grab a cup of coffee
- Let’s go for a walk
- You get the idea
Ah but the roller coaster isn’t over. You see what tends to happen is after some more time goes by their avoidant system gets triggered.
They start realizing that being around you is a threat to their independence and they need to do everything they can to retain it.
So they cancel on you. But they can’t tell you the real reason. They aren’t a monster so they’ll lie.
- I’m tired
- I got a cold
- I’m feeling under the weather
The more vague the less real the excuse is and how you respond to their white lie can make all the difference in the world.
How Your Response To Them Cancelling Makes All The Difference In The World
So, what’s the best way to handle being cancelled on?
One of the things I’m really big about is this idea of finding something you care about more than your ex.
I call this my “outgrowth mindset.”
Through interviewing success stories we noticed that the individuals who tended to do best with exes are those who sort of got past the breakup and didn’t really care about getting their exes back.
In other words, they outgrew them.
My “go to” for helping people achieve this mindset is to talk about the magnum opus concept,
But none of this really helps you figure out how to handle getting canceled on. Well, think of it like prep work. Someone who has outgrown their ex isn’t going to freak out if they are cancelled on. They are too busy and can easily find a better use of their time.
That’s the vibe you need to put forth.
To take another quote from the Facebook group,
- Show sympathy
- Be considerate
- Be calm
- Be mature
In other words, don’t get overly bothered by the the cancellation. You are supposed to be too busy to let it bother you that much.
How To Handle An Ex Rescheduling
Most of the time when an ex cancels a meetup they’ll throw you a bone by insinuating that they want to reschedule the meetup.
Our experience has shown that 50% of the time they are being authentic and 50% of the time they have no intention of doing so because they’ve fallen victim to their avoidant nature.
So, how do you handle the rescheduling attempt?
Well, I’ve always been partial to the “jump through hoop” approach.
Instead of immediately saying yes actually decline the meetup. You are busy that day but instead, this other day will work. You’ll get back to your ex.
Take control of the situation.
Make it seem like your time is at a premium.