Sometimes all it takes is one text, that one you know you shouldn’t answer, but it’s two in the morning, you’re sleepy and…
…there it is, the familiar notification, the blinding light shining in your eyes as you see his name. You heart jumps into you’re throat, suddenly you’re wide awake and you read,
“Hey. You up?”
You know what 2am texts mean from someone you aren’t dating. It doesn’t matter what other reason is given. 2am texts might as well say,
“I’m going home to an empty bed and I know you’re still hung up on me so… ?”
Heavens knows I’ve gotten them in various forms. I’d be remiss if I said I didn’t find myself tempted to give in occasionally. So, I need you to know that if you are tempted, or heck if you’ve even given in already, I understand completely and you aren’t alone in your temptation.
The idea is to keep from doing this
It’s easy to find yourself reading the situation wrong. I mean we all hear what we want to hear when it comes to sex.
And you hear,
“Us splitting up was a huge mistake. I want you back.”
I hear it all the time.
The thing is, most of the time, when guys do this, all they want is companionship for the moment. And then after that void is filled, they remember all of the reasons you split up in the first place.
And then it goes on, in a vicious cycle.
and you’re left there wondering what the heck happened.
It’s kind of like when I was little and I wanted something when my mom and I were out shopping, but I didn’t have the money to buy it. I would ask my mom if she would loan me the money till I mowed the yard again or till I got my allowance.
And what she always told me is something I apply to this situation.
If you can’t remember to come back and get it when you have the money, then you don’t really want or need it.
Why can’t we tell guys the same thing when they decide that they want sex?
The Reasons Women Give & Why They Won’t Work
It’s completely normal to try and reason with yourself.
Everyone does it.
And it’s not unusual to still be attracted to your ex and it isn’t unusual to hope that he’s inviting you to be a part of his life again. It’s also not unlikely that you wouldn’t want to admit this, to others and yourself. We hear what we want to hear when it comes to matters of the heart, no matter how reasonable we usually are.
I’ve heard so many reasons women give for wanting to have sex with their ex.
Cleansing the Palate
One last hoorah, cleansing the palate, or getting him out of your system; it doesn’t matter what you call it, it still isn’t sensible.
“But, I need to get him out of my system once and for all.”
Just like you don’t clean a cup by putting more of the item you’re cleaning into it, you won’t successfully “get your ex out of your system,” until you start being honest with yourself.
If you really think about it, this is a completely backwards way of looking at this one and it never works. There is even scientific reasoning behind it.
If you intend to have sex with your ex and walk away free and clear of emotional baggage, man, do I have news for you.
It will be like pulling a Band-aid off in slow motion. It is likely to hurt more than the actually breakup.
Why? Because any progress you have made towards getting over it will be trumped by the familiarity.
Physically being close to someone causes certain reactions withing your body that you cannot control. For example, even hugging someone causes our brains to release a neurotransmitter called Oxytocin. Oxytocin is commonly known as the “Cuddle Hormone”. It’s called this because it plays a significant role in the bond formed between people by simply being in close proximity.
You may feel like you can handle it now, but you haven’t buried your face in his chest and been swallowed by the familiar smell of his skin and his cologne. You haven’t felt the familiar safety that you once knew that made it so easy to allow yourself to be vulnerable with him. You can’t keep your guard up infinitely, and the likeliness that familiarity will set in is high.
Putting yourself in a situation where you once felt love and a strong emotional connection is nothing but making yourself vulnerable to heartbreak again. And it will hurt worse this time, because you chose to put yourself in that situation, when it could have been avoided.
But I do get it. Some of you will decide to give into this desire no matter what I say.
So, as a rule of thumb, it’s best to resign yourself to only going through with this if it’s on your terms.
That means no responding to late night booty call texts or giving into spur of the moment temptations.
Look at it this way, if you have a little sister, a niece, or a friend in your situation, and they were responding to their exes texts like you are, would you tell them to calm it down.
Make sure that you have given everything thought and feel comfortable with before you do anything. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache this way and possibly your self-confidence.
I Can Handle Being Friends With Benefits
A show of hands for everyone who thought they could handle FWB with their ex….
Annnnnd a show of hands for everyone who crashed and burned…
One of my exes and I used to joke a lot about “Catching The Feels.” His roommate constantly had a five woman tinder roster going. There was really nothing we could do so, we used to make bets about which ones would wind up being the girl that didn’t fully grasp the “no strings attached” type of relationship she had agreed to. I mean he told them all up front that, that was what it was up front, but sooner or later most of them “caught the feels.”
Are you surprised?
Its human nature. That oxytocin kicks everyone’s butt eventually.
It’s easy to say you’re going to keep your emotions in check. But once you’re laying there in his bed with his arms around you remembering the first time you stayed over, or maybe the last time you stayed over, it’s not that easy to keep the emotions at bay.
It may be simple at first, and you may think you have a pretty good handle on the situation.
Then one day you’ll find yourself thinking about what he’s doing when he’s not with you.
That, my friend, is “the feels” rearing their ugly head.
Don’t worry, there is an easy test to see if you’ve still got the feels for your ex.
Used your imagination, you walk into his place. The two of you kiss and things progress. it all seems so comfortable.
Now, imagine everything he would do with you, he’s doing with someone else.
Does your heart drop into your stomach?
Does it make you want to punch something, maybe this imaginary girl I made up?
That would be jealousy, and guess what. It isn’t just a feeling that you’re feeling. It’s once of the strongest emotions there is and it causes you to feel more awful than you will ever imagine.
You’ve done caught the feels.
You see, if you can’t imagine him with someone else and not be completely fine with it… then you should avoid getting into the Friends with Benefits cycle. Because you will wind up wanting something that you won’t get from that kind of relationship… an actual relationship.
I’ll Show Him What He’s Missing
I mean if he’s down to get down, then he must miss you right?
There are tons of girls out there and there is a major possibility that he either tried and struck out or is afraid to put in the effort with someone new.
Either way, if you walk into his life, have sex with him expecting him to realize,
“oh yeah! I miss this,”
then you are in for a rude awakening.
If the two of you broke up for actual reasons (i.e. serious disagreements, abuse, or general lack of interest) those reasons don’t just go away because the sex is good.
If that was how it worked then the two of you wouldn’t have split up in the first place.
Besides, I’m assuming you had sex while you were together. So, unless you were having some really boring sex, I assure you… he remembers what he had.
So, be honest with yourself about what you want and the chances that you’ll actually get it this way.
Okay, you’ve been with me this far, so I feel like we can consider each other friends. I mean, I care about what happens to you. And you clearly think I have something worth saying. That’s a pretty good basis for the beginning of a friendship. right?
Well, since we’re friends of sort, I am going to be honest with you.
There is no good reason to sleep with your ex unless you’ve already gotten back together.
If you are telling yourself anything else, you’re just grasping at straws.
It’s like watching just one episode of your favorite show on Netflix. It’s a slippery slope and the only person you’ll be talking into something is yourself.
You’ve Already Slept With Him
How you should deal with this situation all depends on where you are in your journey.
Now, I’m not one to begrudge someone for enjoying sex or giving into temptation.
But what I will tell you is to stop sleeping with him… right now! Make a conscious decision not to sleep with him again unless he’s on board to get back together. As in, he’s no longer your ex.
Haven’t Done No Contact
If you slept with him and you haven’t done no contact, then that is where you should begin.
Here are some reference points to help get you started.
You can come back from anything as long as you understand one thing. It’s all about power. Whoever, has all the power is the one that decides where the relationship goes. That’s why a good relationship is a balance of power. No one person has all of it. But, in this case, if you want things to go a certain way, you have to stop giving your ex the controls.
That means refusing to let him have anything unless he accepts ALL of it.
When we were kids we got in a lot of trouble for running in and out of the house. It wasn’t uncommon to hear,
“In or out… it can’t be both.”
That’s what you should tell your ex.
Have Done No Contact
You’ve done no contact, and you reached out like Chris laid out in this Article about the perfect first text. But things went horribly out of control.
You meant to move slowly and keep the ball in your court. It doesn’t matter how it happened, that fact is it did. You moved WAY too fast and now you want to know if there is a way to take back control before you get stuck being your ex’s booty call until he finds someone else.
One of the key elements to getting back with an ex is to ease into it. You don’t want to jump right back into the swing of things like nothing ever happened anyways.
Well at the beginning of a relationship you have to put in effort to catch someone’s interest. 9 times out of 10 the reason your ex is hitting you up to hook up isn’t because he loves you and misses you, it’s because he feels like he’s already put in the work and he doesn’t want to have to work to get sex.
You’re basically being a doormat if you let him do this.
Is that hard to hear?
I certainly hope so. Because if we know anything, we know one thing. People value what they have to work for.
And you want him to value this relationship moving forward.
So, if you’ve already accidentally jumped in too fast, don’t fear. There is a way to come back from this.
Play hard to get.
You’re creating the space between the two of you that will make you seem more desirable.
No you don’t want to TELL him that you’re taking space. You just need to be unavailable for a couple of weeks. And then, after that time is up, when he texts you, turn it into a conversation about something interesting but arbitrary. and then end on a high note. From there you can pick up on the texting circuit that Chris has so kindly laid out.
Taking these tactics he’s laid out, you can create what is called “The Pull.”
I don’t know if any of you fish, but here in East Texas we grew up fishing with our dads early on.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are out on the lake.
You’ve been sitting here in this stupid boat for like 4 hours. You aren’t allowed to talk, listen, to music, or really do much of anything because you’ll scare away the fish. So, it’s safe to say, you are probably getting a little impatient and you’ll most likely be needing a bathroom sometime in the near future.
Then… you feel it… a tug on the line!!
You’re first instinct will be to real it in as fast as you can, because, let’s face it, patience isn’t exactly a common trait these days.
Well, as sure as you start reeling that bad boy in as fast as you can… he’ll slip the line and you’ll have to wait another hour or so before you get another bite.
The reason this works this way is because that first tug on your line is that fish just nibbling at your bait. You hook doesn’t get to establish a good enough hold and the momentum you generate in your excitement causes the force of the water around him to pull him right off the hook.
The correct way to do it would be to gently tug on the line causing your hook to pull a little bit. The fish will think that the bait is trying to get away and he will jump at the opportunity and grab it causing him to get hooked. Then you want to pull in short gently burst, because the water that you are pulling him through is constantly working against you.
In the same way, your ex will be leery of getting back into a relationship , especially now that he thinks he can have the fun part without having to put in the work that comes with commitment.
On the upside, you already know he wants to sleep with you, so you have that working in your favor. Chances are, he’ll reach out again, probably soon. If you simply, miss his text until the morning or find yourself busy without an explanation, he’ll start to wonder if you are seeing someone else, or worse, maybe you aren’t that into him anymore.
You want to create this mystery while also allowing him to get to know the you that made all of those improvements during No Contact.
The idea is let him get to know the new you without granting him access just yet.
In my experience, he’ll be confused and might ask why you are being so hot and cold.
This is a perfect time to go fishing…
BAIT: Tell him you don’t trust yourself to be around him.
He’ll either say one of two things. One, he’ll say he understands, which could mean he understands or it could mean he’s calling your bluff and expects you to start chasing him. It’s up to you how you take it. But, if a fish get’s loose from your line you don’t jump in and chase it, do you. (For you non-fishers, the answer is no… you don’t.) You cast your line again and wait.
The other common response would be, “Oh, well we can hang out without having sex.” Which can mean he actually thinks you can hang out as friends, but more often than not you can assume he’s going to use the fact that he knows you want him to sleep with you again. In fact, I am going to insist that you assume that that is the case, because I want you to keep that guard up.
I want you to make a promise to me, and to yourself that you wont sleep with him again until he’s fully committed to getting back together.
FYI, that doesn’t mean to give in just because he’s thinking about it… he has to be all in or nothing.
You Haven’t Slept With Him Yet
Fighting the desire to sleep with him is difficult. I mean he’s there, he’s willing, and well we have needs.
I understand I really do. But the thing is, if you actually want to get him back in the dating aspect, sleeping with him before that happens will make that significantly more difficult.
It’s like watching one episode of your favorite show without being able to stream the rest of the season, you know, like before Netflix, as Chris says, i”n the caveman days…”
Stop! No Contact Time!
So, back to the question I posed earlier.
Why can’t we just tell men to come back when they want a relationship along with the sex?
Do you want to know the answer?
You probably already know what it is…
Fear keeps us from asking questions that we already know the answer to.
If we draw a line in the sand there is a chance that he might not cross it.
And the thing is, you will come up with hundreds of ways to get him back as long as it doesn’t involve you flat out having to say,
“this is what I want and I’ll accept nothing less.”
Which, even if we did say it, it wouldn’t work without putting in the time doing No Contact and creating interest and desire.
Not to mention, after a breakup you’re brain is kind of broken.
The only way to make things go the way you want them to is to take back control.
So, I guess what I’m asking you is… Do you want to give into fear if it means that you have to settle for less than you want?
I suppose, depending on how you answered that question, you know what you need to do.
If you are wondering if No Contact works… well, here you go…
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, by Norah Roberts.
“If you don’t go after what you want, you will never get it.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”
So, will you let fear keep you in a cycle of giving your ex what he wants without getting what you want?
I hope you find the courage to go after what you truly want and don’t settle for anything less than everything.