By Chris Seiter

Updated on April 5th, 2021

Texting your ex is no easy task, so today, I’m going to take you through the text messages that almost no ex can resist.

You’ll probably notice that a lot of these sound very simple and intuitive, and that’s because people usually overthink when they are in the midst of texting their ex, even when the actual answer is right in front of them.

However, before texting their exes, people at the beginning stages usually have two questions on their mind:

  1. When Should I Text My Ex?
  2. Should I Reach Out To Them First Or Wait For Them To Reach Out To Me?

Well, if you stick around until the end of this article not only will I answer both of these questions but I’ll also show you real life text messages that exes weren’t able to resist.


Let’s start with the first question.

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Exactly When Should You Be Texting Your Ex? 

For the first question, the only time you should be texting your ex is after you’ve successfully completed the no contact rule.

Don’t know what the no contact rule is?

I know I sound like a broken record but here’s a quick crash course,

Or for those who learn better via definitions,

The no contact rule is basically a period of time after your breakup, usually between 21 and 45 days, where you purposefully avoid all contact with your ex.

Generally speaking, there is no valid reason to text your ex during this period, and if you do, you have to restart the whole process all over again.

(Side Note: If you do have a legitimate reason to break no contact then you should hop over to our article on the limited no contact rule.)

So, now that you know you should not be reaching out via text message to your ex until after the no contact rule we should probably figure out if you should even be reaching out to your ex first or not.

Should You Reach Out To Your Ex First Or Wait Until They Reach Out To You?

As far as who should reach out first- our studies have shown that it doesn’t really matter who reaches out first.

Shocking, right?

What matters the most, in the long run, is who ends the conversation first.

So, there’s really no need to think,

“Oh, I should wait for my ex to reach out first because he’s a man.”

In fact, most of our clients see success when they take matters into their own hands and reach out first because that lets them control how the conversation eventually ends too.

When you’re consistently the one to end conversations, your ex will want to reach out to you first eventually.

Again, I’ve talked a lot about this on my YouTube channel,

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I know you guys probably want more in-depth answers but I feel like it’s a little derivative to hammer home the same points in every single article so instead I’d like to switch gears and start talking about those irresistible text messages.

The Framework For Irresistible Text Messages

So now that we have the timing squared away, what is the framework that you should apply for texting your ex?

There are three things you want to have in every conversation with your ex:

  1. Catch your exes interest and get him to respond via a first contact message.
  2. Have an organic conversation. (This one is key because people often try to plan out conversations, but you can never truly anticipate the other person’s reactions, so it’s better to create organic conversations that flow naturally.)
  3. End the conversation first.

So, what exactly constitutes that perfect message to start a conversation?

Thanks to the data we’ve gathered via our clients’ experiences in our private facebook group,

We have narrowed down what kind of text messages exes respond best to and perhaps what has shocked me the most is that the most successful type of text message is something I would have never guessed.

By far, the most successful message techniques is the two part damsel in distress text message.

What Is The Two Part Damsel In Distress Text Message?

This kind of text message doesn’t just get your ex to reply; it goes a step further and gets them engaged in the conversation, so they stay in it for longer.

The classic two part damsel in distress message has three parts to it that gets your ex to initially respond:

  1. Hook your ex in with a pattern interrupt
  2. Engage your ex in his own interest
  3. End the conversation first.

Let’s talk about each of these elements.

Hooking An Ex With A Pattern Interrupt

First off, let’s discuss the pattern interrupt or hook.

A conversational hook is pretty much like a fishing hook, where you cast a line in with a hook and hope a fish takes the bait.

You employ the same technique with a pattern interrupt that’s basically a variation of anything that interrupts the pattern of a normal text message conversation.

Think of it like this. Throughout your relationship, you probably got super comfortable with your ex, so all your conversations started with something generic like “hey, what’s up?” Well, it’s time to switch that up.

Most women incorrectly assume that the situation after a no contact rule is the same as texting before their breakup.

That just won’t cut it.

If you reach out to your ex after 30 days with a “Hi,” they won’t have any reason or obligation to respond.

Or it might even incite a negative response like “where were you, and why were you ignoring me?”

Instead, you offer a pattern interrupt.

You want to say something so intriguing and mysterious that your ex has no choice but to respond.

I always ask my clients to think of their ex walking down a path and then seeing their text message pop up and do a double-take to make sure he read it right.

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If your message can make that happen, your pattern interrupt is perfect!

So, here are some of the perfect pattern interrupts we’ve seen in damsel in distress text messages?

  • “Hey, guess what I finally got around to…”
  • “I need your medical advice.”
  • “Hey, I know this is random, but how do you make your protein shakes?”
  • “I have a big problem, but only trust you for an answer.”
  • “Hey, can I pick your brain for a second?”

And here are a few taken directly from clients our program;

See a theme in all of these?

They express a problem, usually without telling the ex exactly what that is.

That creates intrigue and triggers your ex’s hero position/complex where your ex just wants to jump in and save you!

Not knowing the specifics of what you need help with can trigger their intrigue and make them respond because they need more information to help you out.

Keeping An Ex Engaged With Their Interests

Okay, so now that your ex is hooked and responding, you’re about halfway there, but there are still a ways to go.

Keeping your ex engaged is the second half, and that’s where the second part of our damsel in distress message comes in.

In the second part, you engage your ex in an interest of theirs.

A few years ago, I had a Eureka moment during a conversation I was having with someone when I realized that I didn’t really want to continue talking to this person anymore because they only talked about things that interested them.

What’s the point of a relationship where you never feel like your interests are validated?

Most of our clients who have trouble talking to their exes were trying to engage with their ex about things that they weren’t interested in.

If you actually talk to your ex about things they are interested in, you can engage them so much more because they’ll be enthusiastic about the topic, and they’ll be excited to see you interested in something they value.

I’ll use one of the example pictures I attached above to prove this point.

I want you to pay attention to the fact that this woman did a perfect job of crafting the perfect hook/pattern interrupt but that alone wasn’t enough to keep him engaged and responsive.

Nope, he’s only responsive because of the fact that she engaged him in an interest of hers.

Look at the string of responses she gets when she does that,

Here’s another example from an excerpt from a real conversation of one of our clients and their ex:

“Hey, can I pick your brain for a second?”

This is her perfect pattern interrupt that offers enough intrigue for her ex to respond.

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“What’s up?”

Yeah, this isn’t a long response, but that’s not what we were going for anyway. We just needed to get the ball rolling. You want to engage your ex in a back and forth.

“I’m trying to get some leg gains. Do you have any go-to workouts that you’d recommend?”

I think it’s safe to assume that her ex was a bodybuilder or some level of fitness geek, and that’s why this worked so perfectly! She immediately made it about his interests, so he would feel like an authority on the subject.

She knew that her ex was obsessed with working out, so to engage him, she had to speak in his language.

His response was:

“Are you asking me because I got fat legs? Just kidding. Squats, deadlifts, lunges, and thrusters. But anything will do really. You just have to make sure you’re eating more calories than you’re burning.”

Right off the bat, he gets playful about how he’s a good looking guy.

Also, look how long and wordy his response is!

She asked to pick his brain, and she definitely succeeded because he could probably go on and on about this subject for as long as she wants. This is the perfect example of an engaged ex.

So, if you’re trying to talk to your ex, first off, you need to look up the conversations you’re having with your ex.

You need to engage your ex with something that interests him, not you.

We all know the famous saying Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you’re probably not going to get your ex back in a day either.

But if you can string together multiple versions of such conversations and let them fully unfold, you’re on the right path!

Remember To End The Conversation First

You should always aim to end the conversations first.

And that end should come when you feel like you’re at the high point of the conversation.

That’s how you leave your ex wanting more.

If you’ve correctly made your ex feel like you’re getting involved in things that interest him, he will probably want to reach back out to you to gauge your progress or offer some more support!


Navigating the mine field of texting your ex after the no contact rule is super easy when you follow these three steps:

  1. Use a convincing hook, preferably one that makes him think you need his help.
  2. Keep him engaged by talking about his interests
  3. End the conversation first to leave him wanting more

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32 thoughts on “The Text Message Exes Can’t Resist”

  1. Ivan

    February 15, 2024 at 6:53 am

    Great article. One question though, you always mention to end the conversation. but for millenials, we tend to just stop talking instead of saying why you’ve stopped talking.

    With this in mind, who is stopping the convo? Is it the person who says the last thing, even if it’s a “haha.” Or is it the person who doesn’t keep it going?

    1. Coach Shaunna

      March 10, 2024 at 11:35 pm

      Hi Ivan, I understand what you mean by just “stop” replying, but you would not reply with the haha… or even acknowledge the last message. We do suggest that you tell them you are off to do something that they would love to have done with you, or that you are doing something with friends. Such as “Right off to dinner with a friend, speak soon” that is enough to tell them that the conversation is over for you, even if they reply to this. That is where you ended the conversation first. Other times you can drop out and just not reply.

  2. Erynn

    September 8, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Hi! My boyfriend and I broke up at the end of June of 2020. I reached out to him in July with my feelings (not too emotional, but direct) but he didn’t respond. Not a word. This is our third breakup and we have gotten back together quickly in the past by using Chris’s methods but this time I feel it’s more harsh. We have never been apart for so long and he has never unfriended me from social media (only one source). My question is: since I have used the methods in the past and they did work should I continue to use them again? I’m trying to find a new damsel in distress text that I haven’t used before.. I used technology advice, car advice, and stock market advice. All worked but now I’m at a blank…

  3. Casemira

    June 24, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Hi, I have been an ardent follower of ex-boyfriend recovery.
    I had this guy I was dating. We called it quit about a month ago. Was devastated, had to come online that’s when I learnt about this programme. So I’m almost done with my no contact, and I decided to play a damsel in distress card indirectly on my ex.
    I posted a message on my status only him could see saying I got jumped, and lost valuables, needed assistance, cause I know the city he resides, I said I was in his city. Sure enough, he saw it ,(played right into it) after some time, and immediately called, but I didn’t pick then he messaged me asking if I was alright and all, still I didn’t respond cause I’m not done with my NC.
    I feel I may have gone too far in trying to create “the damsel in distress ” I don’t know what to do or think.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 27, 2020 at 8:53 pm

      Hi Casemira, I would say that this possibly was a step too far for damsel in distress… usually we would suggest that you ask a technology advice, or some other subject that you know he would be able to help and advise you with

  4. lauren

    June 19, 2020 at 11:09 am

    I was seeinga guy for 7 months and we were exclusive – he ended things with over a few weeks ago because he said he’s beginning to care about me too much and he feels deeper than he should and doesn’t want a relationship.
    i have started NC any advice if NC will work

  5. Emma

    June 11, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    He broke up without giving me a good reason and we were in a long distance relationship. The next day after the break up he told me he wants to see me again.
    I have been in no contact for 30 days, sent him a song that i am pretty sure he liked but no response…
    Should I contact him in a couple of days to ask him if he still wants to see me or should I just end it?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 11, 2020 at 5:03 pm

      Hi Emma, no you need to reach out with a text that Chris suggests in his articles do not ask for a meet up too soon after a No Contact period

  6. Meg

    June 1, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    I only dated this guy for 2 months. It was amazing though. We were both very open with how we were feeling throughout and started on the same page of wanting a relationship. He started to pull back in the last week and just called me to end things. He said that he selfishly wants to put all of himself into his work (he has his own business) and his little boy; he doesn’t know that he’s ready to give the time needed to a relationship right now. I can’t argue with that. BUT what kills me is that he said he’s suppressed feelings for me because of this and he likes me ALOT.
    Now I’m hoping for him to come back. Will this whole ex boyfriend recovery thing work for us? Or was it not long enough of us dating?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 7, 2020 at 8:46 pm

      Hey Meg, so there is a chance this can work for you but you need to be sure that you follow the advice given in the articles and that your relationship was short you can follow the 21 day No Contact, as long as, you are in a better place and over the break up.

  7. Lei

    May 26, 2020 at 3:07 am

    Hi! My ex broke up with me last March 2020. That time, he told me that he still have feelings for me but he’s not sure if that’s still enough to hold on with what we have. We’re working under the same company but due to the lockdown, we haven’t seen each other for almost 3 months. During the past months, there were instances that we got to talk (both work and personal matters) and he always respond, sometimes telling me to feel free to message him when I need his help. I’m currently in my 15th day of limited NC, only asking him about work stuff when really necessary. I want to engage him once more in conversations not related to work, what would be a good approach for this?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 30, 2020 at 7:58 pm

      Hey Lei, so before your limited NC is over you need to prepare texts, using the information that Chris provides in his articles. Read some articles to help you understand the style that you need to reach out with and how to cater to your exes interests

  8. Sharon

    May 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Hey my ex and I broke up almost 3 months ago. I messaged him 2 weeks and then one month later but i texted him saying I missed him and I wanted him back. He never responded to me. I havent spoken to him in 2 months now and his bday is coming up. What would be a good message to get his attention??

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 20, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      Hi Sharon we do not reach out on birthdays using this program. Read some articles about texting and use that information to create a short positive conversation with your ex. You are supposed to have a short positive conversation that you do not mention missing him or wanting them back. Just breaking the ice for your first reach out

  9. Sarah

    May 17, 2020 at 6:04 am


    I’m not sure if I explained my question properly. Yes, I understand that NC should start right away, but my question was AFTER the NC is done and you’ve moved to the texting phase, do you ever address being a GNAT previously or do you just follow the text pattern and hope it doesn’t come up?


    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 20, 2020 at 10:36 pm

      Hi Sarah, not you do not need to address the gnatting, you just need to be sure that you remain in control of your emotions and control your impulse to gnat again

  10. Sarah

    May 15, 2020 at 5:06 am


    I’ve read several articles about texting and I think I understand the format. However, I do have a question– if you were a GNAT during the time leading up to your break up, should you apologize/explain that behavior and if so, at what point in the process?


    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 15, 2020 at 5:05 pm

      Hi Sarah no just go straight into your NC

  11. Su

    May 12, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Chris, my ex and I broke up in Jan due to bad circumstances. We tried hard to stay close friends over the next 3 months but it resulted in more fights and unhappiness, so in early Apr I decided to go on NC. We work together, not in the same team but on a couple of projects, so I was afraid the NC would be difficult, but the lockdown actually helped make sure I wouldn’t run into him at work. When the 30 days were up last week, I didn’t feel ready yet since our post-breakup period was long drawn and painful, so I decided to extend the NC to 45 days. Today he messaged me on our office communicator to ask how I was doing and something work related. I replied briefly on the work issue. Is it time to text him with a hook and start a conversation, or should I wait to complete the 45 days NC?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 19, 2020 at 9:23 pm

      Hi Su, I would suggest that you complete the 45 day NC. As you need to stick to the program and plan your first reach out text and be sure to end the conversation first

  12. Emily

    May 5, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Hi, I suppose I have a unique situation. We dated for two years before I moved to another state. I broke up with my ex two years ago, the reason we broke up was in order for him to focus on himself. The months leading up to the break up, he was depressed, and a lot of life things we’re not going his way. I tried to cheer him up,’let him vent his stress, and be as supportive as I could long distance, but as someone with depression, I know that acting to solve your problems requires time. Well we never officially had the no contact rule, but we still talk quite happily every few days. We were best friends before this relationship, so he is very important to me, and I love him very much still. I’ve settled that trying to start a relationship long distance is just a bad idea, as it fed the anxiety and depression he had. Yet, he is focused on self-improving which is great and honestly his changes have only just made him more attractive to me. The past few weeks I’ve been a tad miserable because he’s showing another friend of his some extra attention. I really want to get back together with him, but I feel distance is the biggest challenge

  13. Tess

    May 3, 2020 at 4:59 am

    if i lied to him and lost his trust, after the no contact is over what should I say to him? i cant start a convo like the ones above, especially if i hurt him.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 3, 2020 at 9:58 am

      Hi Tess, yes you can start a conversation using the ones that Chris suggests as it peaks their interest to know what you have to say. I would avoid the “I have a confession to make” but the others would be fine to use

  14. Kell

    April 30, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    Should I go on no contact for 21 days again after hooking up with an ex? It ended emotionally and he ended up not responding to me after that night. He also says he is not interested in any type of romantic relationship right now so he can focus on himself. Should I give up?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 1, 2020 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Kell yes do a NC and be sure not to sleep with him again if you’re looking for a relationship with this guy

  15. Chrystal

    April 29, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    Hi! I really need some advice here. My ex and I broke up 3 weeks ago. We were dating for almost a year. He is recently divorced and I am in the process of a divorce. It was actually me who first initiated the break up on the last night we saw each other a month ago. We were both having drinks and emotions came out on my end. I never got nasty, was just calmly expressive of frustrations in the relationship. I was letting out my frustrations regarding wanting to spend more time with him. He told me that night he didn’t want things to end with us and he wanted me to think about it and he would be there for me and not leave me. He has been very loving to me and we hugged and kissed so much before I left. I know it’s hard on both of us dealing with our divorces and our kids from our previous marriages which adds to the stress. I want to note this is the second break up for us. We broke up a few months back with him initiating that he wanted to have a little space to figure things out. I gave him space and then contacted him weeks later. He’s super stubborn so I initiated contact in a friendly way with a memory. He was so thrilled to hear from me and he said he really missed me. We got back together and everything was great. Getting back to this break up, I immediately regretted breaking up the next morning and reached out to him immediately about my regret. He ignored me for an entire week, not answering any of my calls or texts. I acted somewhat needy in trying to get him to talk to me about things but was always calm in my messages. I now know I should have sent one or two messages saying when you are ready to talk reach out. But I couldn’t understand at the time why he would ignore me. It wasn’t like him and It was totally out of character. And then I worried maybe something happened to him. When he finally answered a week later in a text, he said he thought I was one of the best humans he had ever known but thinks I truly deserve someone better who will treat me the way I deserve to be treated. He also mentioned maybe it’s best he be single for the time being since I was the first person he dated since his divorce. I was confused because he did treat me well. I wouldn’t have been with him if he didn’t. This is someone I thought I could have a future with. We had so much in common. Our physical connection and intimacy was great so that was never an issue. Everytime we saw each other, we had so much fun. I feel I messed up putting too much pressure on him that night I said I was done and more pressure the days following trying to get him to talk to me. A week after ignoring me, he gave me his decision on not wanting to work things out. I then stopped all contact with him after reading about NC. It’s been 15 days NC. He hasn’t tried to contact me which breaks my heart. This is so sad for me as I feel we were a great match and love him but maybe the timing was off. Maybe he needs to experience the grass isn’t greener on his own and maybe he will come back to me at some point. I had dated one person previous to him and I found out the disappointment of the grass not being greener. I broke up with that person. Do you suggest I do a 30 day NC or stay in indefinite NC until he contacts me somewhere down the road. I can’t imagine we wouldn’t speak again. He always told me he wants me in his life even if we are just friends. Of course I don’t want to be friends but I can’t imagine we won’t speak again. Help!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 7, 2020 at 11:10 pm

      Hey Chrystal, so you would need to do at least 30 days No Contact and working on your Holy Trinity during that time, 45 if you feel you need more time. Read as many articles as you can to help you understand the texting phase and hwo you need to reach out to your ex for the first time and how to to get that conversation flowing organically and when to end conversations with your ex.

  16. Lily

    April 26, 2020 at 1:45 am

    So we broke up early March and haven’t spoken since. I reached out last week after 41 days and he didn’t respond. I’m back in NC but I’m scared because it’s almost been 2 months since the breakup and the peak time to get back together is 3 months BUT WE HAVE NOT ESTABLISHED CONTACT PlZ HELP. How long should I do NC this time? and should I even reach out again or just wait?? I feel like I’m gonna lose him forever

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 1, 2020 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Lily, if he did not respond then you would need to do approx 5-10 days NC and then try with a different text that Chris suggests

  17. Laura Agnes

    April 24, 2020 at 10:51 am

    One thing I forgot to add is his responses can vary from fast to also hours apart like mine he seems to mimic what I do – sometimes responds quickly and a conversation flows and sometimes he spaces it out hours! When I took a day to reply once he then also took a day to respond. I don’t know if he’s copying my energy or it’s Cos he’s not interested sometimes?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 24, 2020 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Laura, to respond to both your messages in one – I think the effort on his responses is going to depend on time and what he is doing when you reach out to him, so make sure you are taking notes of how he responds. He sounds like he is talking positively so when you have been texting for some time move up the value ladder to phone calls

  18. Laura Agnes

    April 24, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Hi Chris
    So I have been following your texting bible and I am 3 weeks into texting after various periods of no contact – my ex always responds positively is super friendly, sometimes we have strings of text then I disappear leaving unanswered for hours or end the conversation, I space out my responses too so it’s unpredictable and I always get a positive response – he even playfully jokes old jokes we had when together and that sort of thing. I have a couple of gaps days not texting too.
    But the thing I notice is he doesn’t initiate conversation it’s usually me who does – is there a way to get him to or do you think it’s still early and to continue building rapport then eventually he will? I feel positive but I also want him to be the one to start conversations with me rather than it feeling mostly like me.
    So far I have successfully used the memory texts, supportive texts and the funny texts all with positive responses. Actually he initiated a memory text first!
    Is there a time frame you think you can advise also when I can start being a bit more sentimental? Or would you recommend keeping it without that sentimental side for a while incase it scares him off.