This is a complete guide to the stages of getting back together with an ex.
In this in depth guide you’re going to learn about,
- The No Contact Stage
- The Attachment Gravity Stage
- The Crossroads Stage
- The Texting Stage
- The Phone Call Stage
- The Meetup Stage
- The Romantic Date Stage
- The Asking For A Commitment Stage
So, if you’re ready to go all in on learning what a successful get your ex back campaign looks like then buckle up because you’re in for a treat.
Stage One: The No Contact Stage
Before we get into the no contact stage I’d like to explain a bit to you about the value ladder concept and why it’s a key component to grasp throughout this guide.
Take a look at the graphic below,
This is known as our value ladder. Each of the stages we’re going to talk about today fall within this graphic.
The way it works is simple. You are going to look at each step of the value ladder as an opportunity to build value with your ex and bring you one step closer to a healthy reconnection.
The keyword there being “healthy.”
The no contact rule stage starts, as you might have guessed, at the beginning.
I’ve written about the no contact rule a lot throughout this website but just to give you our official definition,
The No Contact Rule: The no contact rule refers to a period of time where you cut off all conceivable communication with an ex after a breakup. The intent of this tactic should NOT be used to make your ex miss you but instead should be used 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
Essentially the no contact rule is the very first thing you should do after a breakup.
And yes, that includes those of you who aren’t interested in getting back together with an ex.
Yet the way we teach the no contact rule is a lot different than our peers. You should be using the time apart from your ex to focus on outgrowing them.
It’s one of life’s ironies that they key to getting an ex back may be in training yourself to let go of them.
The no contact rule is the first step you take in that direction.
Let’s move on to the second stage.
Stage Two: The Attachment Gravity Stage
For your reference this stage still takes place on the no contact rule phase of the value ladder,
Here at Ex Boyfriend Recovery we are big believers in attachment theory.
Here’s the basic crash course of how it works.
Everyone falls into four main attachment style categories.
- Securely Attached: The healthiest attachment. When going through a breakup they allow themselves time to grieve and eventually move past the breakup in a healthy way
- Anxiously Attached: An insecure attachment. Usually people who have this style put too much of themselves into relationships and are prone to begging for ex back and other common anxious behaviors.
- Avoidantly Attached: Another insecure attachment. The polar opposite of an anxious attachment style. Generally classified as someone who values independence and pushes those away who they deem as threating their independence.
- Fearfully Attached: A combination of anxious behavior and avoidant behavior. Sort of a worst of both worlds.
After running polls within our private facebook support group we are pretty confident in saying that most of our clients tend to be anxiously attached while their exes tend to be avoidantly attached.
Now, I’ve talked in depth about how to handle avoidantly attached people.
What I’d like to talk about is what you should be using your no contact rule time for.
The north star for everyone who comes through our program is generally the same.
We want anxious individuals to take on more secure attachment tendencies.
It seems easy when I put it in broad terms like that but I assure you it isn’t as simple as I’m making it sound. However, there’s a reason we are such fans of helping you exhibit more secure behaviors.
That’s because the secure attachment acts as gravity towards the other insecure attachment styles. In other words, if you’re able to shed some of your anxious behaviors during no contact towards being more secure behaviors you put yourself in the best position for positive results post no contact.
Of course, a paradox often lies with shifting from anxious to secure.
Usually you aren’t sure if you want to get your ex back anymore. This leads us to our next stage.
Stage #3: The Crossroads Stage
This stage is typically going to be happening at the end of your no contact rule.
By now you’ve gone through the no contact rule.
- You’ve “outgrown your ex” and hopefully found a purpose greater than them that has interested you.
- You’ve learned about attachment styles and shed some of your anxious behaviors
Yet you face a crossroads.
This is the stage that I can’t really advise you on as it’s a personal choice.
Here’s what I will say.
If you decide you want to continue to try to get your ex back there are more stages for you to go through. Nevertheless, if you decide you want to try to move on then the stages pretty much end here.
Your journey is over.
All you need to do is keep disciplined on the secure attachment behaviors.
Again, I’m making it sound overly simple when it’s far more complicated. Of course, from this point on I’m just going to operate under the assumption that you’ve decided to try to get your ex back.
If that’s the case then stage four commences.
Stage Four: The Texting Stage
However difficult you found the no contact stage I tend to notice clients say the texting stage is even more difficult.
This stage takes place here,
The name of the game is to slowly rebuild rapport via a low risk medium of communication.
Everyone has a different way of building rapport but I’ve always found employing the value chain strategy to be pretty impactful,
- Engage in small talk
- Advance to telling stories
- Start sharing opinions
- Tackle virgin ground topic
- Start sharing feelings
In the same way that you climb the value ladder to get an ex back you can do the same with the value chain. Slowly building rapport by focusing on one topic at a time can be helpful.
But perhaps one of the best explanations of the texting phase came from a moderator of our private facebook support group named Kirsty who created an entire guide of how to text an ex within our facebook support group.
*For those wondering the private facebook support group is available to all those who are a member of our program.
Now, while I would love to give you all the texting secrets I actually feel like I did that already within this massive guide and I don’t want to sound derivative.
Let’s move on to the next major stage of ex recovery.
Stage Five: The Phone Call Stage
The phone call stage has evolved since I first began Ex Boyfriend Recovery in 2012.
Initially it was just focused on “phone calls” hence the actual name of the stage. However, with the advent of social media and other mediums of communication the phone call stage encompasses all of the following.
- Phone call conversation
- FaceTime conversations
- Skype conversations
- Zoom conversations
- Google Meet conversations
- Basically any video chat conversations
Now, there are two concepts that I find synonymous with this stage. The irony is that these concepts can be applied as early as the texting stage.
So, what are the two concepts?
- The zeigarnik effect
- The “7-38-55” rule
Let’s start with the 7-38-55 rule.
It was a concept originally founded by Dr. Albert Mehrabian that argued that meaning found through communication was divided into three percentages.
- 7% of meaning is found through words
- 38% is found through our voice and tone of voice
- 55% through body language
Where this becomes relevant for us is with the value chain itself. Believe it or not we’ve been using this throughout its existence as we build value.
Let me doodle and I’ll show you.
Literally as you’ve advanced up the value chain you’ve unlocked more meaning that can be conveyed through your communication. The phone call stage is where we really see that upped.
During the texting stage you’re only really able to convey 7% of the meaning behind your message.
All of a sudden with the phone call stage you’re able to convey 45%. Maybe even more if you end up doing a video chat.
The other concept that becomes extremely effective is the zeigarnik effect. My clients often get tired of my repeated efforts to push the ziegarnik effect.
It’s basically a psychological principle that states human beings will remember interrupted or incompleted tasks better than ones they have completed.
If you are able to locate the high point of a conversation,
And you are able to end the conversation a bit more prematurely than you would like around that high point,
You’ll find your ex is a lot more interested in subsequent conversations.
Don’t believe it works?
Well, not according to Oliver below,
I suppose I always loop the zeigarnik effect in during the phone call stage not because it can’t be used during the texting stage (it can and should be used) but in my own personal life I’ve found it has a greater impact when talking over the phone.
Also my wife used it on me when we were dating during the phone call stage so… there’s that.
Stage Six: The Meetup Stage
So, let’s talk a bit about the meetup stage and why I consider it to be different than a romantic date stage.
I’ve always viewed the stages of getting an ex back a little bit like a matryoshka russian doll,
Each part of the strategy can fit inside the other part of the bigger strategy. Each part is connected in this odd way.
The same can be said about the dating phase of the get your ex back stages.
Everything up until this point has been about building up enough of a connection so that you have a foundation for the in person interactions. Yet consistently the biggest issue I see my clients have is they try to go too fast too soon.
After working their way up to the in person interactions they just want to get the process over with and ask for their ex back right away.
Unfortunately your work isn’t done when you’ve gotten to the meetup phase.
There are generally three types of “dates”
- Small Meetups
- Medium Dates
- Romantic Dates
You have to earn your way up to the romantic dates and you do that much the same way you earned your way up the value ladder. Start off small and then slowly go bigger.
So, when I say start off small what do I typically mean?
Well, here are some examples of meetups,
- Grabbing a cup of coffee together
- A trip to the mall
- Working out together
Enjoy your time together but be aware that you are progressively building towards the romantic date stage.
Stage Seven: The Romantic Date Stage
The only time you should ever consider going on a romantic date with your ex is if you are literally on the cusp of getting back together.
In other words you’ve climbed your way up the value ladder brilliantly.
Only then are you allowed to go on a romantic date.
Generally speaking these are dates that have a romantic flare to them and will more often than not lead to one or both parties sharing their feelings with the other person.
Some of the best examples of romantic dates include,
- Watching the sunset together
- A moonlit stroll on the beach
- Theater or comedy show (both of you dress up)
- Private hot air balloon ride
- Museum (with wine)
- Horseback riding
- Watching an opera together
- Going stargazing
- Cooking a meal together privately
- Private wine tasting
- Private dance lesson
- Visiting a planetarium
- Intimate jazz club
More often than not if you’ve worked your way to this stage talking about “getting back together” will happen naturally.
However, on the off chance it does not that’s where our final stage comes in play.
Stage Eight: Asking For A Commitment
When I was 18 years old I got my very first girlfriend but we didn’t exactly have the most romantic “start” to the relationship. Mostly because I ended up never really asking her out officially.
(I was afraid of getting rejected.)
We just naturally fell into step and acted like a couple and I was content to exist in this grey area. Anything was better than the fear of rejection.
One night while we were on the phone talking she got really silent and asked me a question that would come in handy later in my life,
“So, what are we?”
I of course said that we were “dating” and “official.”
How does this relate to you?
Well, my ex girlfriend might have let you in on the secret to asking for a commitment from an ex. Now, I’ve been on record stating you need six core things to occur for an ex to say “yes” to a commitment with you,
Luckily, the value ladder concept is designed to help in that realm and usually if you’ve made it to the romantic date stage and have been on a few romantic dates together you are dealing with an ex who is afraid of rejection like me.
In cases like this you’ll find that you might have to be the one to take control and assert your will but you’ll need to do it in a clever way. Much like how conversations have a certain flow to them,
- Low points
- Middling points
- High points
So too do dates.
Your goal is to locate the high point of the date,
Bat your pretty eye-lashes (girl or boy) and then ask the following question.
“So, what are we?”
If you’ve done all the work with the value ladder correctly then you give yourself the very best chance of having your ex commit to you.