A new problematic trend I’ve seen emerging in my clients’ lives and on social media that of a “Clean Slate” message or letter.
I’ve never spoken about this idea much because it’s never been this common. Still, I’ve always seen it as a dangerous thing, and now that it’s becoming so popular, I feel like I NEED to share why I think it’s one of the most dangerous things you can do when trying to get your ex back.
Now, what exactly is a clean slate text message?
So, this idea stems from having an argument with your ex and then sending a message apologizing for your behavior to somehow “wipe the slate clean.”
I’ve seen a lot of “experts” recommend this clean slate maneuver right before a no contact rule.
I don’t think that’s the way to go.
This situation is more like a “blind leading the blind” one, and I picked that up almost a decade ago when I started in this line of work.
I still decided to give it a shot, though, because if so, many experts are talking about it, there must be some logic behind it, right?
When I tried recommending this technique in the early stages of creating my website and starting my business, the results from this were NOT even close to being good.
If you see some of my peers’ videos still recommending these text messages, you will often find comments from people getting poor results when they try this.
What does a “poor result” exactly mean, though?
Simply put, they send a clean slate text, and the ex either says, “Well, Bye, Felicia. Good luck with the rest of your life” or does not respond at all. That’s not exactly what you want when you’re trying to get your ex back.
WHY does a clean slate text message fail so much?
Over the past ten years, we’ve found there to be six primary reasons for why the clean slate text message is bound to fail.
Here are those 6 reasons.
Reason #1: It uses words as opposed to actions.
I hate using this analogy, but let’s be honest- it works when it comes to most men.
So, my wife and I have been watching this TV show called the dog whisperer.
It’s about this guy who comes in and instantly clicks with “troublesome” dogs and trains them really well.
Watching that show made me think of how I always assumed that the way to deal with a bad dog was to stand firm and raise your voice. Interestingly, the dog whisperer does not do that at all.
Instead of using words, he uses actions. He comes up to the dogs, and he disciplines the dog by touching it a little bit, never actually harming the dog, though.
The main takeaway is that we should emphasize ACTIONS, not WORDS.
This guy gets the most amazing results with this method of using actions as opposed to words. That’s how I operate and advise my clients too. You need ACTIONS to get your ex back because words don’t hold much meaning without actions to back them up.
So, my game plan for getting an ex back will always be more involved than merely sending an apologetic text message that requires zero effort.
Actions like the no contact rule are almost always more effective if you go right into them instead of prefacing them with words first.
One of my biggest issues with the timing of the clean slate message is when others recommend it right before a no contact rule. The no contact rule is supposed to create anticipation and give you the upper hand when it’s over.
You lose that chance when you give your ex a warning first because it takes away most of the suspense and desire to talk.
Wiping the slate clean is like making a formal announcement of the no contact rule, and that’s a big NO if you are trying to get your ex back.
Reason #2: The clean slate text message makes YOU feel better, not your ex.
Now you might be a very forgiving person, but generally speaking, it takes much more than a simple text message or letter to make someone forgive and forget after a breakup causing fight.
In fact, for the most part, all the clean slate message does is make you feel better for your actions or words.
If you really think about it, though, that’s the opposite of what a sincere apology should do.
This kind of message is supposed to make your ex feel better and reset your relationship, but it rarely works out that way.
Your ex might just look at your text message and scoff at the idea that you’re bringing it up again because you just can’t let it go. The way most clean slate messages are written further reinforces the idea that it’s all about you and your need to be absolved of your mistakes than about actually making up for them.
So, if this kind of message doesn’t make your ex feel better, why would they want you back after reading it?
Short answer: They probably won’t.
Reason #3: Timing for apologies needs to be right.
The point of an apology should ideally be to be forgiven so you can move on, right?
But for that to happen, the timing must be perfect for both parties. So, you can’t just apologize when it’s convenient for you and expect things to be back to normal.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying apologies are a bad thing, or there’s no time for it. There absolutely is a place for an apology on the road to getting your ex back.
But I only like apologies when the time is right.
The clean slate text message has you apologizing at the worst moment when your ex is at his most emotional and angry state. How can you expect any positive response at that stage?
Timing matters, and so does the WAY in which you apologize.
The clean slate message is a very indirect and impersonal way of apologizing so it could easily come off as insincere or rushed. I believe apologies are MUCH more impactful when they come directly.
Perhaps the best time to apologize is right before you get your ex back or right after you’ve gotten them back, not before you’ve tried anything.
Reason #4. It warns your ex before a no contact rule
Now I know I’ve touched on this in reason one but it’s SO important that I felt like it deserved a special shout out again.
The clean slate text message/email/letter warns your ex before you implement a no contact rule.
I just told you how important timing is, so the same applies to the no contact rule.
For it to really work, it needs to be executed at the perfect time.
Rather than giving your ex a cue by apologizing and saying you won’t be talking for 30 days; you should try to end it all abruptly without giving them any hints to what you are doing.
Abruptly jumping into the no action rule takes your ex aback and makes them pay more attention to you as opposed to reading your apology and then feeling like the conversation is settled.
Reason #5: Apologies need to be direct, not indirect.
Again, I already said this, but it is one of those things that needs to be repeated to make sure that you all get it!
An indirect apology will never have the same “oomph” as a direct one.
What’s the difference, you ask?
Have you ever received a written apology from someone? Did it change your opinion of the person or situation? Maybe so, but that’s incredibly rare!
Apologizing in person is almost always more effective because it shows genuine effort.
Reason #6: Sometimes you shouldn’t apologize.
Here’s one thing I’ve learned in my decade of doing this – if people are upset, it’s probably for a reason.
If you’ve acted crazy or angry, you probably did it because your ex pushed you to the edge.
If that’s the case, it is NOT okay to reinforce that negative behavior and let them think they “won” by making you apologize.
That sets a dangerous precedent of your ex expecting apologies and patience from you when you get back too.
How do you judge if it’s time to apologize, though? Honestly, you can answer this best because you know when you stepped over the line and when you just responded like any normal person would when agitated.
You should not have to apologize for something your ex considers wrong if you don’t consider it wrong too.
It’s totally okay to get a little emotional when it comes to breakups, so there is absolutely no need to become a doormat by apologizing if that’s all that happened. Literally every person I’ve worked with has had some emotional outbursts during breakups, so it’s perfectly normal and expected.
Just be honest with yourself – did your behavior warrant an apology? If yes, maybe go for a direct apology. But if not, no need to embarrass yourself and give in.
I’m hoping this article made you understand why the clean slate message is NOT a good idea if you want your ex back but just to make sure you remember it all, here is a quick recap of the 6 reasons why it’s a bad idea:
- It uses words instead of actions.
- It makes you feel better, not your ex.
- Apologies need to be timed right.
- It warns your ex before a no contact rule, thus reducing its effectiveness.
- Apologies should always be direct.
- An apology is not always necessary.
So yeah, put yourself in your ex’s shoes and imagine how and when YOU would like to be apologized to. Chances are you’d want an apology in person after you’ve had time to process the argument, so maybe your ex deserves the same!