By Chris Seiter

Published on June 11th, 2023

Today, we’re going to talk about the top tips for asking your ex to meet up.

There are a lot of different ways to handle this particular topic, but I think ultimately what people want to hear about is what gives you the best chance of having your ex say ‘yes’ to a meet-up, as opposed to just completely ignoring you, ghosting you, or just saying ‘no.’

So, I’ve racked my brain for the past hour to try to figure out what criteria need to be present and ultimately found that there are seven things—seven tips, if you will.

  1. You’ve Outgrown Your Ex Via No Contact
  2. You Have Climbed The Value Ladder
  3. Use Big Talk Throughout The Value Chain
  4. Taking The Pressure Off Of The Meetup
  5. If They Left Items Behind That Can Work
  6. Stairstep To The Actual One
  7. Work Related Thing

If these tips are present, they’ll give you the best chance of having an ex agree to meet up with you.

Let’s dissect!

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Tip #1: You’ve Outgrown Your Ex Via No Contact

We start with arguably the least interesting tip on this list, but also arguably the most important.

If you’re not familiar, the no contact rule is, without a doubt, the most popular ‘get your ex back’ strategy online today.

There are a lot of different definitions for it, but I’m going to fall back on our own personal definition,

The no contact rule refers to a period of time during which you cut off all conceivable communication with an ex after a breakup. The intent of this tactic should not be to make your ex miss you, but instead to rebuild your own life so that you outgrow your ex. By doing this, the no contact rule can have the added benefit of making an ex miss you.

So, the key thing with the no contact rule that I want to convey is: if you are using it solely to make your ex miss you, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening.

One thing that most people don’t recognize is the fact that, according to statistics from our community poll, most exes don’t reach out at all during the no contact rule.

So, this idea that an ex will miss you so much during the no contact rule that they’ll start begging for you back is not based on science; it’s conjecture.

What does seem to work, though, is using that time to literally outgrow your ex.

I can point to hundreds of different success stories that all say something along the lines of:

‘It was only after I moved on from my ex that they were interested in coming back.’

And to illustrate that point, I want to highlight one specific success story that occurred about a year ago.

This individual said,

‘I’m successfully back with my ex. It was a chaotic and dramatic story, but what worked was outgrowing him.’

And then she goes on to tell the story (I’ll leave it up to you to read it,) but the key takeaway from her perspective was:

‘Once I outgrew him, that’s when things started to click.’

This individual has it right!

That’s how you should be using your time during the no contact rule.

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Tip #2: You Have Climbed The Value Ladder

If you’re not familiar with what the value ladder is, I’m going to put up a graphic that explains it.

What always interests me is this idea that people misunderstand the difference between the value ladder and the value chain.

The value ladder is best understood as the methods in which you’re going to communicate with your ex.

You obviously have the no contact rule, but we covered that in the previous tip.

Then you’ll have a texting phase where you communicate with your ex, followed by a phone call phase, a meet-up phase, a romantic date phase, and so on.

This is the value ladder, and the way it’s supposed to work is that you build value on each rung of the ladder.

So, when you’re in the texting phase, your goal is to build value.

Before you can advance to the phone call phase, you have to build enough value in the texting phase to warrant the progression. It’s a rinse and repeat process from there on.

That’s the value ladder.

The value chain, on the other hand, is all about how you build value — the types of conversations you have that cause you to build value.

We’ll talk about that tip in a minute, but I really want to emphasize the value ladder here.

Often, the single biggest mistake I see people make when they ask their ex to meet up is asking too soon, before any value has been built.

It’s a little different if the ex asks to meet up because they’re the ones indicating that it’s okay.

But if you’re dealing with a highly dismissive-avoidant ex, which we found that most of our clients’ exes tend to have dismissive-avoidant tendencies,

You’ll find they typically won’t be asking to meet up.

In fact, they’re typically not going to be reaching out to you at all.

You’ll have to be the initiator, the one asking them to meet up.

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But it’s essential in these cases not to overstep the boundary.

If your ex isn’t ready to meet up, don’t force the issue just to make yourself feel better.

Instead, fall back on the tried and true method of the value ladder.

Make sure that you have built enough value from rung to rung, and only then, when it’s time to get to the meet-up phase (and remember, the meet-up phase means you must have had a successful texting phase and a successful phone call phase), should you consider meeting up.’

Tip #3: Use Big Talk Throughout The Value Chain

With the value ladder, we’ve created the framework you need to follow to ask your ex to meet up.

For the third tip, we’re talking about using big talk throughout the value chain.

So, what is the value chain again?

Weren’t you paying attention to my amazing explanation above?


Ok, basically it’s the types of conversations that you’re going to be having with your ex: small talk, telling stories, sharing opinions, exploring virgin territory, and sharing feelings.

Or put simply it’s the purple circle in the graphic below (while the value ladder is the blue one,)

The idea is that as you build value throughout each rung of the value ladder, you’ll be having these different types of conversations.

As you get further and further into the value ladder, as you climb higher and higher, you’ll be dipping into more meaningful conversations.

There was a really great TED talk by a girl named Kalina Silverman, who is spearheading an intriguing movement called ‘big talk’.

We’re all familiar with small talk, the kind of conversations you can have with pretty much anyone.

But with big talk, you aim to discuss bigger, more meaningful topics.

I talked about this in an article a few weeks ago and gave a few examples of what big talk conversations look like.

These are usually open-ended questions aimed to incite more conversation.

For example,

  • ‘What’s the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far?’
  • ‘Can you share a personal challenge you’ve overcome and how it has shaped you?’
  • ‘What is something you are passionate about and why?’
  • ‘What does success mean to you?’
  • ‘How do you handle stress and pressure in your life?’

The idea is to take these big talk concepts and adapt them to your situation to spark more meaningful conversations with your ex.

I recently talked about this in a live stream with the community.

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I passionately believe one of the best ways to build rapport is through these big talks.

However, I may not have been clear enough for some listeners, who thought you had to start every single conversation with big talk, no matter where you are in the process.

Like, going through a no contact rule and then immediately sending a big talk question as your first contact text message.

Generally, that’s not the case.

You usually want to build up to the big talk conversation.

Sometimes it can be effective to jump right in, but generally speaking, it’s best to only introduce big talk after you’ve already established a bit of rapport. If you’ve already started a conversation and you feel it might be stalling, that’s usually when you want to introduce big talk.

Tip #4: Taking The Pressure Off The Meetup

This is actually one of my favorite things to discuss.

Often, I talk about how dismissive avoidants have specific trigger points.

Throughout a relationship, you’ll notice anything that threatens an avoidant’s independence often triggers avoidant behavior.

For instance, you discuss getting engaged and then you don’t hear from them for weeks. Or, you talk about moving in together and suddenly, they go cold. In some cases, you move in and they change their behavior.

This aligns with the concept of the trigger point.

If you understand anything about avoidants, it’s that their core wound revolves around a loss of independence.

I’ve noticed this especially when looking at the value ladder graphic, which I will attach again here.

As you progress from rung to rung, from the no contact phase to the texting phase, then to the phone call phase, and eventually to the meetup phase, each transition can potentially trigger an avoidant.

This is particularly true when transitioning to a meetup phase. Therefore, the key is to convince your ex that this is not a romantic meetup.

We often focus on the meetup phase, dividing it into three distinct parts:

  1. Meetups
  2. Medium dates
  3. Romantic dates.

The aim is to implement a mini value ladder within the meetup phase itself.

Your goal with the initial meetup is to alleviate the pressure.

So, invite them to a group hangout.

I remember, this is how I got my first girlfriend. I invited her to play laser tag with a bunch of other kids from high school. This took the pressure off.

Sometimes, it can be as simple as inviting your ex to a baseball game because you’ve won an extra ticket.

The main idea is to take the pressure off the meetup by removing the romantic aspect.

Sometimes, the location can be important. I often suggest a walk as a great way to meet up with your ex. Invite them for a workout, or coffee in the middle of the day—something casual and quick.

Because, if you understand anything about an avoidant’s psychology, it’s that they won’t give themselves permission to miss you until they believe you don’t want them back anymore. So, if you invite them to a group hangout and appear to be just nice, they’re much more likely to accept.

Tip #5: The Items They Left Behind

Tip number five is using their left-behind items as an opportunity.

This idea is actually my wife’s.

As I was planning this article, she noted that people in our community sometimes secure a date because they still have items their ex left behind.

So, I went through our community posts and found this particular story.

They write,

‘I feel so anxious right now. My ex has finally texted me about his things. I don’t have everything ready because many items are still packed up from my last move. I don’t know how to respond to his text like a ‘UG.’ His text seemed cold and distant, so different from our last conversation. We’ve been broken up for almost four weeks, and I’ve been doing no contact for 12 days. He texted, ‘Hey, I’m back from my trip. Would like my things. Text me and let me know,’ and then two hours later he added, ‘I’d like to get them back today. How should I respond? Thank you for any and all help.’

So, sometimes having your ex’s items can lead to securing a meetup.

This doesn’t mean you’re holding their things hostage. I chose this particular story because she had to break her no contact rule to return the items.

However, let’s imagine she wasn’t in the middle of no contact.

Let’s say her ex mentioned wanting their things back after they had already resumed communication.

Or she could have mentioned something like,

‘Hey, I have your things. When would you like them back?’

We’ve found this to be an effective way to see your ex in person. Once you meet, you can do the item exchange and then say something like, ‘Hey, I’m going on a walk. Would you like to join?’

Thus, presenting them with an option.

Tip #6: Stairstep To The Actual Date

Let’s suppose you have a dismissive avoidant ex who is not agreeing to a meetup.

Remember, it’s all about building value, and sometimes the value ladder itself needs more rungs added.

However, many people struggle with how to do this, particularly when they’re at the phone call phase.

Things go well during the texting phase and the phone call phase, but they can’t seem to get over the final hurdle.

So, sometimes you have to stair-step towards the actual meetup, essentially building your own mini value ladder within the existing one.

There are great ways to do this, such as having ‘mini-dates’ via FaceTime.

Phone calls usually involve exchanging voice notes or having direct conversations, but with FaceTime, you can see each other, which lightens the load. In fact, this is how my wife and I, who were long-distance for a while, managed to bridge the gap before meeting in person.

Of course, Zoom is another option.

Interestingly, a friend recently explained the concept of the ‘metaverse’ to me.

Though I initially didn’t see the appeal, he made it sound like a space where you can hang out with someone from across the world, watching a movie within the metaverse and sharing reactions.

This could be another interesting way to stair-step towards an actual meetup.

Online gaming is another possibility.

Although I don’t game much myself these days, I remember my college days when my best friend and I had a standing date every Friday to play Halo online.

We would chat through our headsets while playing and it bonded us. Something perhaps you could experience with your ex?

Some of our clients have replicated this experience with games like World of Warcraft or other MMORPGs, making it feel like a meetup without actually being one.

Ultimately, your goal is to start monopolizing their time.

As we know from commitment psychology, the time your ex invests in you is the most significant factor in their decision to ultimately recommit to you.

Tip #7: Work Related Meetup

This might not always be relevant, but when it is, it can be quite useful.

Let’s say you work with your ex, and you both are required to attend a work event. In such a case, it could be beneficial to invite your ex to join you at this event, especially if it’s a group setting.

A work-related gathering helps to alleviate the pressure of the meetup since it’s not seen as a romantic encounter but rather a professional obligation.

The beauty of this approach is that it offers a neutral ground, making the invitation less personal and more about the shared responsibility or interest.

This context also gives you a valid reason to interact with your ex, which can reduce any awkwardness they might feel about meeting up with you after the breakup.

Moreover, these work-related settings can be an excellent opportunity for your ex to observe you in a different light, perhaps appreciating your professional skills or your interaction with others.

However, as with everything, there’s a caveat: while work-related events can provide an opportunity for interaction, they should be handled with care to avoid any potential conflicts or discomfort in the workplace. Always ensure that your actions remain professional and respectful.

Though there’s not too much more to explore in this tip, it’s worth keeping in mind for those who find themselves sharing a professional environment with their ex.

Remember, it’s all about creating comfortable situations to foster meaningful conversations, and a work-related event can sometimes be a suitable avenue for this.

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