Is your ex responding to some of your texts but ignoring the rest?
Well, today we’re going to really talk about why your ex only responds to some of your texts and if you stick around until the end of this article you’re going to learn,
- Why your ex is doing this
- What to do about this situation
- How the 7/38/55 rule could be the key
You ready to dive in?
Why does your ex not seem fully engaged in a conversation with you?
There are a lot of reasons why your ex might not respond to every single text message you send and it’s important to understand those reasons because this can be a huge hiccup in our process. At exboyfriendrecovery, we teach a value ladder concept where you gradually build value and rapport over different types of conversation.
You can’t exactly do that if your ex keeps tuning out of your text messages!
Here are the three main reasons why your ex is not engaging with you the way you’d like:
- Function of the actual texts your sending (Meaning they haven’t been that engaging)
- Function of timing (you haven’t done a no contact rule, nothing has changed)
- Doesn’t want to be rude because they are seeing someone else
A function of the actual text messages you are sending
This is extremely easy to diagnose as long as you haven’t deleted your text message with your ex. I want you to look through your text messages and see if there are any specific types of messages that your ex does not respond to. If there’s a clear pattern of text messages that they don’t vibe with, you can just reduce eliminate those discussions going forward.
This point is a huge issue for most of the men and women we teach because they never really learned what a “good” text message is or what it’s supposed to do.
The goal of a text message is to make your ex engaged and interested.
Think about it – what kind of conversations will keep your ex hooked? Conversations about things they’re interested in. If you start conversations centered on your ex’s interests you’ll notice that it flows a lot better and they will be much more enthusiastic when replying.
A function of timing
This relates to an integral part of our ex recovery process – the no contact rule. We’ll get into the details of the process in a bit but let’s look into the reasoning and psychology behind why we believe it works.
A lot of times you’ll send your ex a text message without doing a no contact rule or following any of our other suggestions and then you’ll find your ex not interested in the conversation. Well, why would your ex be suddenly interested? What has changed?
Nothing has changed. If you didn’t a break from your ex or spend time on yourself, there’s no reason for your ex to respond to you properly because to them you’re still the same person they broke up with.
Your ex doesn’t want to be rude because they’re seeing someone else or are considering seeing someone else
This one is really easy to diagnose as well.
If you have an internal gut feeling that your ex is just responding to you to be nice, there’s a high chance you’re right. They’re probably responding out of courtesy and some guilt because they don’t want to hurt your feelings by the fact that they’ve “moved on”.
Your ex might only be responding to some things and not others because his interest is in the conversations with the new person in their life, but they still don’t want to completely ignore and hurt you.
This can seem like a helpless situation if you think your ex is only responding to you to be nice. Let’s look at how you should respond when your ex only responds to some of your text messages because of any of these three reasons.
What should you do if you find yourself engaged with an ex who is not engaged with you?
Here are the three actions to take if your ex is only responding to some of your texts:
- Outgrow Your Ex With A No Contact Rule
- Empathy for their point of view
- 7-38-55 Rule
Let’s dive deeper.
Use the no contact rule to outgrow your ex before you talk to them
So recently on my website ex-boyfriend recovery, I’ve been going over some of the very first articles that I wrote.
Some of them make me cringe now because we’ve made so many changes and improvements since those 2012/2013 versions. That’s why I decided to re-write the article about the no-contact rule.
My gigantic no contact rule article was originally 3000 words but I’ve updated it to around 16,000 words now so it represents all the new and improved advice that we’ve seen work in real-life scenarios.
In the past, we always looked at the no contact rule as a strategy to make your ex miss you but we’ve learned that’s not a very productive or effective way to look at it.
If you enter the no contact rule only with the intent of making your ex miss you, you’re missing the entire point of no contact and your ex will catch on to that too.
The entire point of a no contact rule is to use that time so wisely that you outgrow your ex before you talk to them.
By doing that it can have the benefit of making an ex miss you or realize what they’ve lost.
It doesn’t always work out that way but it’s still important to remember because most of the time if your ex is not engaged in a conversation with you it’s because you came into the conversation without outgrowing them so nothing has changed. You didn’t use the no contact rule to improve your life or get over your ex so they have no reason to want to talk to you properly.
Now you might be wondering what does outgrowing your ex have to do with them not being engaged with you.
The best way to explain this is to look at our countless success stories who all have one common trend – they got their exes back after they adopted a secure attachment style and thought “I didn’t want to lose my ex but I was okay with losing them”.
Achieving this mindset of truly not caring whether your ex comes back is the key to the level of confidence you need when talking to your ex again. If you’re not coming into the game willing to lose your ex forever it can creep through your text messages and turn your ex off.
For example, you might draw out conversations much longer than necessary because you’re afraid of losing touch. You will not put out the necessary signals on social media either that show you are moving on from your ex and they will subconsciously pick up on this.
So that’s the first big thing I would focus on if I was you – learn to outgrow your ex before you talk to them.
Show empathy and address the elephant in the room – your breakup
The next big thing has to do with empathy and bringing the big elephant in the room to the middle of the room. When you’re talking to your ex who’s sometimes engaging with you and sometimes ignoring your texts, there’s an unspoken truth in the background that no one likes to bring up.
The truth is you two just had a breakup and it’s awkward to talk to each other and you no longer owe each other responses like you would in a relationship.
A lot of times people mishandle this situation in the worst way possible – they don’t address it at all. Instead of acknowledging the awkwardness most people will ignore it and jump right into a normal conversation as if nothing happened. But something did happen.. you broke up.
So if you’re trying to get back in touch with an ex you need to empathize with their point of view by saying something like: “I realize you’re going through a breakup too. You initiated the breakup and you’re worried about how I’m going to feel if you move on to someone else.” Your ex will feel super relieved the moment you get that out there because it breaks the ice and makes them feel validated and understood.
Empathy is the true key to building rapport, and text messaging is all about building rapport.
Think back to when you and your ex were in the “Talking” stage before being exclusive. That’s the kind of trust, friendship, and rapport you need to build when starting a conversation with an ex. A great way to open a conversation while acknowledging your breakup is to find something interesting to your ex and share it with them as:
“I know it must be really awkward talking to me but I saw this thing that interests you and I thought you might enjoy it and get value out of it.”
That’s a great way to bring the elephant into the room and disguise it in one of their interests. So if you’re finding trouble getting an ex to engage with you bring that elephant to the front of the room and just own it and be okay with it.
Understand the 7-38-55 rule
The 7-38-55 rule comes from a book called Never Split the Difference by Chriss Foss, an expert FBI hostage negotiator. You might think FBI negotiations and conversations with your ex have nothing in common but it’s really all about building rapport and value in the conversation.
The 7-38-55 rule describes the effectiveness of emotional communication through three aspects:
- 7% of emotional meaning is communicated through the spoken or written word,
- 38% of meaning is communicated through the tone of voice, and
- 55% of meaning is communicated through body language.
Right off the bat, you can see that text messages only use words to convey 7% of meaning so there’s a high chance that the text messages you send your ex will not be as effective as other forms of communication.
We’ve actually incorporated this into our program in the way we use our value ladder. The value ladder represents the incremental steps of building value and rapport through the four types of communication:
No contact rule
This is always the first step of the value ladder after a breakup because it gets you in that essential state of mind of outgrowing your ex.
Texting is the most convenient communication medium for people today and it allows you to engage your ex in 7% of the overall emotions of communication. It’s not much but it’s a good start, especially since you can plan your responses ahead of time so your words have the maximum impact.
Phone/video call phase
The next phase is when you call your ex over the phone either using only audio or video as well. You get the additional 38% of communicational effectiveness at this stage because you can read someone’s tone of voice and hear how they feel about certain things. Some might argue that video calls that allow you to see facial features and movements also start tapping into the rest of the 55% of emotional correspondence.
In-person interaction phase
This final phase of the value ladder unlocks 100% of the emotional effectiveness of communication as you’re using words, hearing your ex’s tone of voice, and fully observing each other’s body language as well.
Our value ladder process is structured in a way that you’re slowly stair-stepping your way up to the in-person interaction phase without your ex even realizing it. As you build rapport and value at each stage, eventually you will be able to get a commitment out of your ex if that’s what you’re going for. But there is a slight problem…
How can you advance up the value ladder if your ex won’t even reply to all your texts in the texting phase?
Since we only use 7% of effective communication in the texting phase it can be hard to keep your ex engaged in the conversation. And you can’t exactly jump around the value ladder and skip steps without building enough value in the first step. However, there is something you can do to cleverly cheat in the texting phase to engage your ex in more than just words…
If your ex won’t reply to your texts, consider sending a video communicating your message. A video from you will let your ex hear your tone of voice and see some of your facial cues so your message will have much more impact than a simple text message.
Think of the video message as a last-resort test to see if you can catch your ex’s attention to bring them back to texting you.
There are three main reasons why your ex might only respond to some of your texts: the content doesn’t interest them, the timing is off, or they’re just trying to be nice because they’re moving on to someone else.
- You can try to re-engage your ex in the following three ways:
- Always use a no contact rule to outgrow your ex before you reach out to them
- Employ empathy and call out how awkward it may be to talk after a breakup
- Use the 7-38-55 rule of conversations: 7% of emotions are conveyed through words, 38% through tone of voice, and 55% through body language