By Chris Seiter

Updated on April 6th, 2021

Today I’m going to tell you about the push & pull technique to get your ex back.

First off, let’s define what I mean by the push & pull technique in case some of you aren’t clear on that:

The push/pull technique is where you purposefully send mixed messages to your ex.

One moment you may say something that can cause them to read between the lines and feel like you’re interested, and in the next moment, you do the complete opposite.

Don’t worry if that still sounds a bit confusing; I have an analogy that might help clear things up more.

How I Always View The Push/Pull Technique

I’ve always viewed the push/pull technique as being similar to fishing.

If you’ve fished before then you know that when you cast your line into the water and get a fish to bite on it, the worst thing you could do is reel it in immediately.

That’s because hastily pulling back makes it easier for the line to snap or for the fish to run away.

Expert fishers, thus, follow a technique similar to the push & pull concept where they reel the fish in and then let it go a little and then reel it back in over and over again, increasing the intensity of their pull each time.

This almost always works to keep the fish hooked in perfectly!

When it comes to the push/pull method in breakups, I see people running into two problems all the time:

  1. Not knowing when to use the method
  2. Not knowing what a good push or pull looks like in the context of getting your ex back.

Let’s discuss each of them, starting with the right time to use the method.

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When Should I Use The Push/Pull Method?

As soon as people hear about this method, they want to go try it out on their crush or their ex-boyfriend immediately after a breakup, but the timing of using the push/pull method is extremely important to your overall success.

You cannot rush into the method if it’s not the right time.

The Two Prerequisites You Must Meet

There are actually two prerequisites you must meet before trying the push/pull method:

1. You must have successfully completed a no contact rule.

For the average person, the push/pull method is a great way of flirting that they can start instantly, but your situation of trying to get your ex back is entirely different. You need to complete your no contact period before trying to initiate this method.

If you don’t wait to complete the no contact period, neither you not your ex will have the emotional clarity and distance necessary to create the kind of flirtatious and uncertain environment that the push/pull method needs to work.

The no contact period gives you thinking time and some distance that then makes each push even more impactful.

2. You have to have had some type of success in conversations with your ex after the no contact period

Situations can be different from person to person, so it makes sense that someone who’s using this method to flirt with someone who’s interested in them will have more success than someone who is trying it on their ex-boyfriend without having any successful conversations.

A successful conversation in this context simply means that they’re responding, and the responses aren’t one-word or veiled uninterested ones. The responses must be consistent and engaging for a short period, so you have the hint that they would play along with your push/pull method.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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What Does A Good Push/Pull Look Like? 

When we’re dealing with this push/pull method, the number one mistake people make is that they immediately go to extremes.

Imagine the push/pull method on a spectrum with the right side being the people who push and the left being those who pull.

What do those actions look like on the edges of that spectrum?

For the people that push, that means they’re saying something like,

  • “I hate you,”
  • “leave me alone”
  • “I never want to see you again.”

On the other hand, people who pull on the extreme would say something like,

  • “I love you”
  • “Please come back to me”.

Do you see what’s wrong with both of those ends?

One is too clingy, while the other is just plain rude.

This is why it’s important to stay away from extremes.

So, what does a moderate push and pull look like?

Well, you always need to start off light.

A light push might simply be not immediately responding to your ex’s texts, and a light pull could be giving them a playful look or a playful touch when you see them in person.

There are a gazillion variations of the kinds of light pulls and pushes you could do so instead of going into all of those; I want to give you a bird’s eye view of the entire process instead. Your situation is very particular, and you’re going to have to do something very interesting to succeed with this method.

The big point where your push/pulls are different from those of an average person trying to get in a relationship is that you’re going to slowly increase the intensity and frequency of your pulls while simultaneously slowly reducing the intensity and frequency of your pushes.

So, like our fishing example, you’re going to pull your ex in and then let them go a little bit and then pull them back in even more until he’s so close that he starts making a move and even thinks that he’s doing it on his own.

The goal really is to get him to a point where he thinks that your pushes and pulls mean that you’re almost ready to get back with him but that you need him to step up and take that next step.

We all know how men love being the knight in shining armor so this technique will make him think he’s calling the shots, whereas you were the one who primed him for it with your push/pull technique.

How Do You Know When It’s Ok To Start The Push/Pull Technique?

Now that you know WHAT you have to do let’s get to the WHEN.

After all, bad timing may lead to your ex not responding how you expected him to.

It all boils down to reciprocation.

If you’re in a situation where you’re trying the push/pull technique, and you notice that every time you pull him in, he’s reciprocating the behavior is a great time to push him out a little bit and then pull him back in even more.

Ultimately, how you determine when you use the push/pull method and how frequently you do so depend on how likely your ex is to reciprocate your behavior.

In some rare cases, you’ll notice that your ex doesn’t merely reciprocate your behavior, he actually initiates his version of a pull. If that’s happening, you might want to ramp up the frequency and intensity of your pushes and pulls even more.


At the end of the day, it’s all like catching a fish.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Don’t pull him in all at once, or he’ll slip away.

You need to be a tease and take your time to push and pull until he’s ready to be back to you.

If you do it well enough, your last push (which would be the smallest one) might even prompt him to initiate getting back together with you as if it was all his idea!

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12 thoughts on “Using The Push/Pull Technique To Get Your Ex Back”

  1. Meryl

    April 27, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you Shaunna.i will do as per the advice.After he had indicated that he would rather not talk about the subject i went quiet for 2 weeks.4 days ago was my birthday so he texted me at 1 am with a birthday message,and wishing me well and protected during this pandemic.He then said take care at the end of the message .i was asleep and i responded the following morning with a polite greeting and then added thank you for the birthday wishes ,i receive and appreciate.2 days after i greeted him asking how work was,he didn’t respond.the next day which is yesterday i sent him another text talking about the pandemic as he had mentioned it in his birthday message as saying he hopes i was safe.but he didn’t respond.So i am not sure why he hasn’t been responded.I haven’t asked him,i just kept quiet and i am thinking of going quiet for the next 2 weeks again.So i am not sure if the birthday message was a closure..I am so scared of initiating another conversation.He is a no nonsense person

  2. Vivian

    April 20, 2020 at 10:32 am

    I need help. My bf and I broke up because it just seemed like he didn’t have time for a relationship since he never prioritized me, but I want to try to work things out and get back together. He says he still wants to be with me, but things are complicated and he need to get things under control, so I’ve been going no contact. We started to message each other and he says that he wants to be friends because he doesn’t want us to be strangers. At first when I text him, he’d respond back pretty eagerly and want to meet up, but that was during the second week of our break up. We are in the fourth week now and he doesn’t reply as fast and it doesn’t seem very enthusiastic or excited/happy to text me or put much effort into the conversation, but our last message was about us trying to be friends and maybe hanging out in person and he was down for that. I don’t text him everyday, because I’m still trying to go no contact, thinking I’m bothering him. Idk what to do please help.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 25, 2020 at 8:57 pm

      Hi Vivian, it sounds as if you are on the right path and making progress. Remind yourself these things take time when you start meeting up and spending time together you will see progress slowly again

  3. Winn

    April 19, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Hello. I have successfully completed the no contact rule. My boyfriend of 8 years broke up with me in AUG 2019. He contacted me in December regretting the breakup (because the girl he replaced me with dumped him and mistreated him the way he was mistreating me during our relationship) but I was trying to move on since I lost hope and trust in him. Then again, in April, he tried to get back together but this time I gave him a chance. He said let’s start slow and start over with a clean slate. 3 days after his decision, he said that he doesn’t want to be in any long distance relationship anymore. I got really upset because my hopes were really high after him wanting to reset and start clean. I feel like he is using the push and pull technique on me because right now, I want to get back with him. But he ended things. We still talk in a friendly way but nothing more. I am confused, and I don’t know what I should do. Please help. Thank you!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 21, 2020 at 11:20 pm

      Hi Winn I think your ex is afraid to be “single” I would say that while you are in long distance with no plan to be closer that you would need to work on becoming Ungettable – this information is on this website to help you. Using social media to show your ex how great you are and what he is missing out on

  4. Meagan

    April 16, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Hey! So about three months ago he told me that he didn’t have the time to commit to the relationship that he (and I) wanted. He told me he still had feelings for me and he promised me that we’d get back together. A month passes and he texts me and tells me that he has lost feelings for me, and he’d just realized that. At first I pretended like I was ok with it, but then I told him how I really felt about a month ago. We still text a lot, but he isn’t one normally to text first that often but often I find myself staying up really late into the night texting him, and we text for hours straight sometimes. I tried to not be in contact with him, but I feel like he just started to forget about me. Recently we have been spending a lot of time together (digitally of course because quarantine haha), watching movies and texting and what not. I told him truthfully about a month ago that I still had feelings for him and he told me that I should stay in his life because he thought that if I left that it would hurt me more than if I stayed, and he listed many reasons why I benefit his life, even if he doesn’t have feelings for me still. We never really fought, and he always told me that I made him happy, and that I was the only reason he kept going, through some of the hard things he has recently been through. The reason he “lost feelings” for me I believe is because we didn’t have time to spend together since we were both really busy…I feel like it was a right person wrong time sort of thing…and I really want to get him back, especially now that things have calmed down…because I miss him so much and I want another chance with him because he is a wonderful person and he makes me so terrifically happy. As far as I know, there isn’t another woman in his life right now, and there hasn’t been since we broke up. I’m sorry that was so long! Thanks 🙂

  5. Meryl

    April 14, 2020 at 12:29 am

    Hie I finished 4 weeks of no contact.i sent greeting messages he replied,but just casually.for the past 3 weeks,I have been texting.every 2 or 3 days.i started by apologizing for doing wrong,,,that part he did not respond but responds to the casual texts.he seems a bit distant but responds but has never initiated contact.i have tried to throw in a joke,he only laughed once but after that ,if you try to joke he just skips that part and responds to another casual message.4 days ago I apologized again in a few lines, for the role that I played in the break up.but he never responded to that part.i don’t know if I should continue texting.casual messages,about work,study he responds but asking further questions he is not responsive.if I ask about his kids he evades the question and even said he wouldn’t rather we didn’t talk about that subject(it was one of the other causes for breakup,he accused me of not asking about his other child but only one all the time).i don’t I being too fast.sometimes I feel like giving up.i have apologises for months but he can’t forgive me.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 21, 2020 at 6:40 pm

      Hi Meryl I would stop apologising as you are just bringing up the past and you cant do that if you want to move forward. I would also reduce asking about his kids if it is bothering him, when if you were to get back together you make a point of involving them in your life more

  6. Hestia

    April 13, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    How can I manage the jealously when I talk to him knowing that he’s flirting with another girls? I don’t wanna be passive-agressive but I’m annoyed and, above all, afraid that one girl gets him. I need to become his “one and only” but the competence out there is awful and there are some girls playing really hard (not the game I’d use, they like eeeeverything he posts, seem clingy and all but I guess that he loves attention and GG syndrome is powerful)

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 18, 2020 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Hestia, so the girls who are chasing him and showering him with attention – they’re not going to be the girls he is going to want. He is going to want the girl who gets him to chase her. Who knows her worth and who knows she is not in competition with anyone else. The Ungettable girl. Read the articles Chris has provided and you will see what you need to do, in the mean time let your ex be chased by girls who he is going to lose interest in, in no time

  7. emily

    April 7, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Okay, hey guys i need help ASAP.

    I am two months into no contact with an ex, he has texted me twice and i have replied. Its all very surface like conversations and i don’t know how to interpret it.

    How can i use this to my advantage and how should I go about it?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 7, 2020 at 11:09 pm

      Hi Emily if you want your ex back then you need to reach out and start the texting phase