At some point in the process of winning your ex-boyfriend back you are going to have to speak to him. Usually that means that you are going to have to call him when you are ready, giving you control over when the call happens. You calling him first is a great approach because you are in the driver seat which mean’s you can be prepared.
But what should you do if your ex-boyfriend calls you first……. Should you answer or ignore it?
This article is going to help you figure out if you should answer the call or not, and how you should behave when you speak to him.
The topics we are going to be covering are:-
- The benefits of the No Contact Rule
- The rule of four
- How to behave on a call
When you are trying to win your ex-boyfriend back the general plan involves you reaching out to your ex. Normally you will start with texts and build enough rapport to progress onto phone calls and then eventually face to face meetings and dates.
However things don’t always work that way, sometimes an ex-boyfriend might call you first but the big question is…. Is it better to answer it or let it go to voicemail?
The Benefits Of The No Contact Rule
Everybody knows that I love the No- Contact rule. I love it because it gives you time to get yourself back, settle your head, and work on improving yourself. After a breakup emotions can run high and this is the case for you and your ex. Having a period of no-contact allows your ex’s negative feelings towards you to subside leaving behind a sense of nostalgia for the relationship that will make him miss you.
The deeper into the no-contact period you go, the stronger those feelings of nostalgia become, finally peaking at around the 21-30 day mark. Because your ex-boyfriend’s negative feelings and sense of nostalgia balance out between 3-4 weeks, we usually recommend to our Ex-Boyfriend Recovery community that they maintain a strict no contact period of no less than 21 days.
During those 21-45 days of silence your ex-boyfriend will see you going from strength to strength without him, wonder why you have not contacted him and become frustrated by the lack of attention you are giving him. This is exactly the effect you want to have on your ex-boyfriend if you want him to chase you and invest his time, money and effort into you…. All key components in the strategy to winning your ex back.
The no-contact period will be confusing for your ex, one moment he might feel happy and free, and the next moment he is feeling depressed. It is common for an ex-boyfriend to start calling and texting you for attention, validation, or even to start a fight amongst other reasons. It is better to let your ex continue to wait until the end of your 21-45 day no contact period to avoid falling into a make-up/break-up scenario, a friends with benefits relationship or having arguments that will damage your chances further. For this reason I believe staying in no-contact and ignoring your ex is often the best option if he calls you.
There are some exceptions where I think it is advisable to break the no contact rule and we are going to cover these next.
If you have children with your ex then I definitely think you should answer if he calls. This reason is no brainer, his call could relate to anything from a breakdown in childcare right through to some kind major accident.
If you have children with your ex, always remember that a child has a right to have two parents if the opportunity allows. Maintaining low contact with your ex-boyfriend is permissible if you have children together, however you should keep correspondence to a minimum for at least 21 days.
If you still live with your ex-boyfriend then ignoring him for 21 days will be incredibly difficult and also make for an unpleasant living arrangement. If you live with your ex then I recommend low contact, rather than no contact for the sake of being civil. Your low-contact would allow saying hello, smiling, being pleasant and respectful….. The key point to remember however is that you are not friends. You are aiming to give off the impression that you are happy and unfazed by the break-up in all of your interactions but that you do not want to be his friend.
Because you live together your ex-boyfriend might need to call you in an emergency, when he does you should let it go to voicemail. Pick up the message and if it is an emergency then call him back. If he is calling for general chat, then you should ignore it and speak to him briefly when you get home.
Other Administrative Purposes
This would include things such as working together, sharing classes or needing to settle financial matter.
If your ex calls for any of these purposes I would generally class these as less urgent than having children together. If your ex-boyfriend calls I would let it go to voicemail and pick it up later on in the day. If your ex has a genuine matter than needs to be resolved then you can text him or email him back a few hours later in the day.
The Rule Of Four
There are several criteria that I would consider reasonable grounds to break no-contact……. BUT……. you are going to need to meet at least four of those criteria to accept your ex-boyfriends phone call. This is because on their own each of these criteria is not strong enough justification to break your no-contact rule.
I know you are going to be tempted to cheat here ….. so I am putting a lot of trust in you to show some discipline…. Don’t let me down
1. How long were you together?
If you and your ex-boyfriend were together a long time and this is your first breakup then I would say you have grounds to break no-contact.
If you and your ex-boyfriend had a relationship lasting less than a few months, then the fact you have broken up so soon is probably an indication that there are some bigger underlying problems to be addressed during your no-contact period. Where this is the case I recommend ignoring the call.
2. How many days into no-contact are you?
If you have only just started your no-contact period, then it is probably not a good idea to go ahead and break it straight away….
Remember your no-contact period is there to help you improve yourself, if you skip the time you have for self-improvement, the new relationship may well suffer from the same problems as
before…… and we don’t want you getting back together only to break-up again.
If however you are nearing the end of your no contact period and your ex-boyfriend reaches out to you, then you can consider answering his phone call.
If you are unsure whether you have completed enough of your no-contact period, I would suggest that if you have done ¾ of the time then you can answer his call.
3. Have you broken up before?
I want you to ask yourself a question…. Are you stuck in a make-up/break-up cycle?
The make-up/break-up cycle would be where you are constantly splitting up and getting back together but never really making any improvements in your relationship. Think of your typical on again, off again relationship….
That is exactly what the make-up break-up cycle is.
If you and your ex have had several breakups already and are stuck in an on/off relationship…….. then it is time to break the cycle. If you can identify with this then I strongly recommend that you undertake your full no-contact period and do not take his call as it is important to show your ex-boyfriend that you mean business.
However if this is your first breakup and your ex reaches out to contact you during your no-contact period, then you would have strong grounds to answer his phone call assuming you meet three other criteria.
4. Where are you in your personal recovery
This factor is really important. Speaking to your ex before you feel mentally ready can set back your progress by weeks. The last thing you want to do when attempting to get back on track and rekindle a relationship, is suffer a major backslide that might trigger needy or angry behaviour on your part.
Take time to think about how you felt immediately after the break-up and compare that to now.
- Do you feel more emotionally stable?
- Would talking to your ex make you feel like crying?
- Do you feel capable to speak to your ex without begging to get back together?
Think about your own journey through self-improvement…. Are you able to say that you have significantly upgraded your lifestyle in a way that makes you happy?
If you feel that you can answer each of these questions positively (with no cheating) then you have good grounds to take his call. For those of you who perhaps are not yet ready, I would recommend staying in no-contact to avoid causing further damage by speaking to soon.
5. What caused the breakup?
This category is very broad, it covers the whole encyclopaedia of breakup reasons but I will attempt to cover the main ones.
In circumstances where your ex-boyfriend cheated on you then I would suggest you remain in no contact, think of your no contact period as a sort of punishment for his behaviour. If you break the no-contact period for an ex who cheated on you, then will teach him that you will easily forgive his infidelities, making him more likely to cheat again…. I think we can both agree that you definitely don’t want to give this impression to him.
If you broke up because of a long-distance relationship where the breakup was not so bad then I would suggest taking the call. My reason for this is that LDRs are very difficult and opportunities to talk or meet up are less frequent so you should take advantage of the situation if you feel ready to talk.
The last two types of breakup I want to cover are the Grass is Greener syndrome and the General Breakup. The Grass is Greener syndrome is where your ex-boyfriend grows disillusioned with the relationship and feels he could find a better girlfriend…… you and I know that is probably unlikely because you are awesome!
Finally, the general breakup is where you breakup for no particular reason, you just drift apart. Perhaps your ex felt that you weren’t suited for each other or he didn’t have time for the relationship, maybe he said “it’s not you, it’s me”…. Anything like that would be classed as a general breakup.
If your break-up was caused by either Grass is Greener syndrome or was a general break-up then I would recommend that you stay in no-contact as it is important that your ex recognises that there is a strong chance he could lose you; this is only going to happen if you are less available to him.
Other factors you might want to consider are how bad was the breakup….
- Was civil or did it involve tears and tantrums?
- Did you beg him to stay?
If your breakup was extremely painful then I would recommend staying in no-contact as the likelihood your ex is angry with you is much higher. This is because the level of pain experienced after a breakup is related to how much you felt for someone; the more you love someone, the more painful the breakup…. It makes sense really.
If your breakup was very painful then this indicates that the feelings between you and your ex were very strong…. these sort of feelings take a long time to settle down, so you should wait until the end of no-contact rather than answer his call as both your emotions will still be very raw.
6. Who initiated the break-up
This factor is all about power…. and believe me if you hold the power then your chances of getting back together are a lot better.
If you broke-up with your ex-boyfriend then you most likely have the upper hand in winning your ex back. However if your ex-boyfriend ended the relationship with you then the situation is the other way around.
This factor is a tough one because if you dumped him then you don’t want to bruise his ego too much if he is making efforts to get you back. However…. If you broke up with him then its worth remembering that you must have had a good reason. Ask yourself if you feel your ex has changed and if he feels remorseful.
If he broke-up with you and is reaching out then it could be he is regretting the situation or it could be that he is trying to hook-up so you will need to evaluate all of his behaviour before making your decision.
7. How often has your ex-boyfriend contacted you?
This one is probably the most telling sign that your ex wants you back. If your ex has reached out to you several times by text or phone call in a positive manner, then you are seeing the beneficial effects of no-contact. If your ex has done this a few times over a period of a few days and is making a lot of effort, then you can answer his phone call if you can meet the “rule of four”
Notice how I said that your ex reaches out in a positive manner…… if your ex reaches out to you in a negative manner, perhaps he is angry or rude towards you then I would definitely suggest that you stay in your no-contact period. Remainining in no-contact will give him time to settle down and also stop him from saying more hurtful things towards you which could kill your confidence.
To help you figure out quickly if you can answer your ex’s calls I have drawn up a flow chart for you to follow….. just try to avoid cheating the system!!!
If you feel you want to cheat the system, then you probably aren’t ready to talk to your ex yet.
How Do You Behave On A Call?
If you do decide to answer your ex-boyfriend’s call, here are a few short pointers on how to behave when you speak with him.
- Be positive and upbeat.
- Listen to what he has to say.
- Talk about his interests.
- Mention the exciting things you have been up to.
- End the conversation on a high point.
- Keep the call short .
- Don’t discuss the breakup.
- Don’t ask to get back together.
- Don’t get emotional.
- Don’t get into a fight.
- Don’t ask if he misses you or is seeing someone.
We have established there are three criteria which will allow you to answer your ex-boyfriend’s phone call if he rings. The criteria we discussed were having children together, cohabitation, and administration purposes. Anything that doesn’t fall into those categories isn’t strong enough justification on its own to break your no-contact period so you will need to pass the Rule of Four.
I’m trusting you to show some restraint and not try to cheat the system as the no-contact rule is designed to help you heal after a break-up. The no-contact rule is such a fundamental part of the Ex-Boyfriend Recovery programme that you should really only be breaking it in exceptional circumstances. If you feel in any doubt about whether you meet the criteria then I would recommend you stay in no contact as it is the safer option.
If you feel you meet the criteria to break no-contact and answer your ex’s calls, just remember to remain calm and positive on the phone to him. Try to avoid talking about the breakup, and finally end the call at a high point just as you would with a text message conversation.