By Chris Seiter

Published on September 21st, 2022

Today we’re going to talk about what makes an ex realize they love you. This is actually a super interesting question because it forces one to think from an exes perspective and some of the insights that I personally gleaned from this practice yielded some interesting answers.

Personally, I’m not a fan of list based articles. You know the ones, “55 ways to know your ex loves you.” Too often I’ve found that put more of an emphasis on quantity over quality. Thus, every single thing I’m going to talk about in this article has been well thought out and researched.

AND I have a lot to say about them.

Anyways, here are four of the core factors at play that cause exes to realize they are still in love with you.

  1. You’ve actually moved on from them
  2. The commitment categories
  3. They need to think you are above them on the pedestal
  4. Let the avoidant breathe

Let’s begin!

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Factor #1: You’ve Moved On From Them

This probably seems like an odd one to start out with but ever since I researched and filmed this video,

My entire outlook on exes and love has changed.

And it all had to do with this quote from free to attach,

Avoidants are free to long for an ex once that person is unavailable out of the relationship, and typically out of contact so they are untouched by actual engagement and their deactivation systems aren’t triggered, revealing their long-suppressed attachment and switching their operating attachment wound from the fear of engulfment to fear of abandonment.

A little bit of context here.

For years, when I’d interview success stories I started to notice this odd trend unfolding. It was only after our clients tried to get their exes back, completely failed at it and decided to move on that the results really started to come.

I mean we’ve all heard of this phenomenon before.

It’s that old joke of “the wrong exes coming back.”

But I could never figure out why. I couldn’t find any research to point to a plausible explanation until I stumbled across that passage above about avoidants. Seeing as how our research seems to indicate that most of our clients have avoidant exes,

It makes a lot of sense.

So, here’s how it works.

Avoidants by nature tend to be uber protective of their own independence so for them they are always looking for a relationship that they can fawn over from a distance. This is why breaking up with an avoidant is especially interesting because not only are you a known quantity but they’ve most likely already broken up with you so they know the threat of losing their independence is low.

Add in the fact that you have moved on and you have a recipe for an ex fawning over you from afar.

Once this happens enough they can literally convince themselves that they are still in love with you.

Now, how long this takes to unfold depends on a lot of factors.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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For some people it’ll be as quick as a few months, for others it can take years to get to that point. The one factor you have absolute control over is your ability to “move on.” The faster you do that the more likely the avoidant is to give themselves permission to miss you.

Factor #2: The Commitment Categories

I’ve written about this a lot before and even filmed about this a bit,

I find it’s particularly relevant to our discussion here since commitment and love are often conjoined (not always) but the causality between the two is certainly there. Generally speaking we don’t commit to someone long term unless at one point we feel like we are in love.

And really there are six factors that go in to getting a commitment.

  1. Satisfaction
  2. Alternatives
  3. Investment
  4. Scarcity
  5. Urgency
  6. Fear of Loss

These six factors play off of one another to create a kind of snowball effect. By scoring strongly in one area it can positively affect the others,

But really if you look at it there are two categories that these six factors can be divided up into.

  1. Factors that affect reasoning: Basically if you score highly in this area they start falling for you again
  2. Factors that make them want to commit: Score highly here and they are more likely to take action

For your reference,

Factors that affect reasoning: satisfaction, alternatives, investment

Factors that make them want to commit now: Scarcity, urgency, fear of loss

But we are interested in love, right?

Well, the closest “factors” I can find to that are looking at the factors that affect reasoning.

  • Satisfaction: how satisfied we are in the relationship
  • Alternatives: is there a better alternative out there
  • Investment: how much has your person invested into this relationship

If you were to hold my feet to the fire and choose one of those factors to focus on I’d say investment is perhaps the most important.

In fact, I read a study years ago (I can’t find it unfortunately so you’ll have to take my word for it) that indicated that if investment is high and the other two factors are low the person can still stay in a relationship.

So, the more you get an ex to invest time, money, emotional energy into your relationship the better.

Factor #3: They Need To Think You Are Above Them On The Pedestal

Live for more than your ex.

For most people this statement seems like common sense but you’d be surprised at how hard it is to get people to believe this.

It all revolves around the pedestal theory I talk about in this video and article,

You see, I argue that everyone has a pedestal placement in their head. Some people you put above you on the pedestal, meaning you believe they are better than you/out of your league and others you place below you on the pedestal, meaning you think you are out of their league.

Some you place equal to you on the pedestal.

Now, the end goal for almost all relationships if you are looking at them in a very rudimentary way is to find the best deal possible. That means we usually don’t go for people that we think are below us on the pedestal and given the choice between dating someone out of your league or equal you’ll chose the out of your league person most of the time.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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That’s not to say that we don’t date people that are equal to us in our eyes. We do, I’m just making the argument that the dream in a dating pool is to find the best deal possible

So, my argument is you need to find a way to have your ex place you above them on their metaphorical pedestal.

But how?

Well, live more more than your ex.

Find something you care about more than them. Something that if you dedicate your time and energy to will gain not only their admiration but other people as well. That’s how you know you are on the right track. People are drawn to those they admire.

I’ll give you an example from my personal life.

I greatly admire Lionel Sanders a professional triathlete.

There’s something about his discipline and drive that I connect with and I’m not the only one that admires him. Thousands of others do too. If you dedicate your life to something that will inspire others and garner admiration you know you are on the right track to being placed above your ex on their pedestal.

Too often I see people obsessed with quick results.

That doesn’t exist here.

Getting to be placed above an ex on their pedestal can take months or years and if you aren’t prepared for that or have the patience for it then you are better off giving up on trying to get them back and moving on to someone else.

Factor #4: Let The Avoidant Breathe

I always try to inject new ideas into these articles because if I’m being honest it gets boring writing about the same stuff time and time again. So, my attempt to do that today was by reverse engineering the question and simply going to Google and typing in, “when did you realize you were in love with someone.”

That phrases introduced me to this Reddit Thread and that Reddit thread introduced me to this answer,

¬†“When you catch yourself thinking about them unintentionally all the time, not intimacy stuff though. You just want to be around them for no reason at all.”

Thinking back to when I met my wife, before we were married I can absolutely confirm that this is a thing.

But the mistake I see most of our clients making is they allow their anxious tendencies to ruin it. Think about the statement. Wanting to be around someone for no reason at all implies that you aren’t around them currently. The number one mistake our clients make is not giving an ex enough time to miss them.

I understand why.

An anxious persons core wound is a fear of abandonment and if an ex broke up with you then you have that trauma present. Your worst nightmare has already come true. To you, giving them time apart may seem like another opportunity for them to rethink things.

So you hold on tighter.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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You overstay your welcome.

Which just triggers the avoidant and it becomes this self fulfilling prophecy where you can’t ever seem to break free from.

Instead, here’s my recommendation.

I want you to get used to ending conversations at the high point and allowing your ex time to miss you.

Imagine this is the typical flow of a conversation.

  1. You have a rise to the high point
  2. The actual high point
  3. And the inevitable decline to a low point

Most when they have rapport building conversations with exes end the conversation here,

They allow the conversation to run its course. I especially see this with long phone conversations. You are on the phone with your ex for hours on end and run out of things to talk about. Ultimately there are these long pauses where no one knows what to talk about.

Don’t let that happen.

Instead, get used to ending conversations here,

I often talk about this concept in relation to the zeigarnik effect which states people remember interrupted or incompelete tasks better than completed ones.

So, by ending a conversation abruptly with your ex you give them the opportunity to think about you more.

Imagine this happening not just one time but every time. All of a sudden momentum is built and you start getting this effect where in their free time they are thinking about you like that reddit comment said above but it requires one thing. You absolutely need to allow them the time to miss you. The time to reflect.

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2 thoughts on “What Makes An Ex Realize They Love You”

  1. Katie

    October 4, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    Hi team,
    Following your advice after my ex left for another woman 9 months ago. We had been together 4 years.
    Had a long NCR and on off communication where he’d suddenly ghost me. He was blowing hot and cold. Aparently he is very depressed.
    So I initiated a 6 week ncr and then contacted him. He asks how i am and says he doesn’t want us to be strangers. I find I’m still initiating the convo though he does now respond. Should I leave him a few days to reach out or keep initiating? Add him on social media? Time frames…

    I’m started dating, should I tell him or be mysterious?

    Thanks xoxo

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      November 13, 2022 at 1:26 pm

      I would avoid adding him to socials until you are at least 2 months into texting phase, and do not mention the dating allow him to wonder / be curious himself. Drop hints on your socials.