Today we’re going to be talking about why exes just suddenly go cold after things seem to be going so well.
We’re going to hear from a listener named Lauren who’s going through a really, really difficult situation where this is exactly happening to her.
Before we hear Lauren’s situation, the first thing I want to say is that if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re determining whether or not you should be trying to get your ex back or simply moving along from your ex, the best thing you can do for yourself is to actually take our Ex Recovery Chances Quiz.
Literally, the quiz will be right there for you to take, and just take it. It will take two minutes and your answers will be right there for you. You can sort of get an idea of where you’re at. With the personal plug out of the way, let’s hear from Lauren.
She Wonders Why Her Ex Suddenly Went Cold On Her After Things Were Going So Well
“Hi Chris. My name is Lauren. I’m going to try to summarize everything really fast and then ask my question. My ex and I dated for 10 months. We’re both 20. We were both each other’s first serious relationship. We’re living in different states for the semester, across the country, doing internships.
He broke up with me at the beginning of the semester. I don’t think it was because of long distance because I was pretty clingy. I did no contact for 22 days. It went really well. When I reached back out to him, went really well. I ended up doing a phone call and hanging up in the middle of it. He was like, “Oh, text me tomorrow.”
Then he ended up texting me the next day. Everything went really well until I pushed him to FaceTime with me and kind of told him that I missed him. I could tell that that made him uncomfortable. I went into no contact again. I saw on your site that that might not be as effective now. We did text a little the other day. He ended up ending it. Then today he reached back out to me. I don’t know. Should I just wait until next semester? Should I try to be friends for now? Because I know he’s lonely at his internship and he hasn’t made a lot of friends. I don’t really know what to do. Thanks.”
A Recap Of Laurens Situation
Lauren is in a real interesting situation.
- It looks like her ex broke up with her after 10 months of dating.
- They are in that long-distance relationship situation.
- He’s the one who broke up with her.
- She thinks it’s not because of the long distance but because she’s been clingy.
- They started talking again after she attempted a no contact rule.
- She lasted 21… 22 days, rather.
- It looks like things were going really well, but she was going a little too fast, too soon.
- He was hot one minute, cold the next, which is a really common behavior we see with exes, where they just run hot and cold.
What I’d like to do today is talk to you guys, and Lauren personally, about why exes will go cold on you.
There’s four really common reasons we see that happening.
Also, what to do if they go cold on you, assuming that you want them back. Or, even if you don’t want them back, what should you do?
How should you approach that situation?
The Four Reasons Exes Suddenly Go Cold
First things first, let’s look at the many reasons an ex will go cold on you.
There are really primarily four reasons that we have seen exes go cold.
We think or rather, I think, Lauren fell into the trap of reason number one.
Reason #1 Going Too Fast Too Soon
Reason number one is going too fast, too soon.
This is a really common thing that we see after the no contact rule.
The no contact rule stipulates that you ignore your ex. Lauren lasted 22 days. Probably she should have lasted 30 days, but 22 days is more than 21 days, which I assume is about three weeks.
What happens in that three-week time period where you’re not talking to your ex is you’re constantly thinking about them. What happens when you actually do start talking to them again, you want to rush the process.
This is a process that doesn’t do well when you rush it.
I’m going to talk about that in a little bit, but one of the primary reasons that going too fast, too soon doesn’t work is because it’s almost like you’re trying to force your ex into doing what you want them to do without letting them make their own decision or come to their own realizations. You’re kind of forcing them down the path.
That’s not the way to approach this.
Usually, we don’t look at this as a sprint. We look at this as a marathon. Ironically, the people who look at this like a sprint usually fail. The people who look at this like a marathon usually have a lot more success. The first reason that an ex will suddenly go cold on you after they seem to be kind of hot with you at the beginning is you’re going too fast, too soon.
Reason #2: Your Ex Found A New Alternative
The second reason is a little bit more sinister. The second reason is that they found a new alternative.
I’ve long been a proponent of the interdependence theory, and that posits that human beings will make commitment decisions based on costs and benefits. Essentially, they make a pros and cons list in their head, and they compare you against other suitors in this pros and cons list.
The pros and cons list is usually made up of three primary factors: how invested they are in the relationship with you, how many alternatives out there that they feel are suitable, and how satisfied they felt in the relationship with you.
You’re almost on a grading scale throughout your entire relationship where they have these internal ways of tagging you like, “Hey, she was an 8 out of 10 with satisfaction, but I feel like there’s someone else out there better than me.”
What we find is a reason that an ex can go cold on you is that they’re finding a new alternative. Now oftentimes, you’d be so surprised about how often new alternatives turns out to be kind of more grass-is-greener situations where they’re like, “Oh, I thought this person would be better,” and then they’re not better.
We cannot deny the fact that sometimes, a reason that an ex will go cold on you is because they do find that new alternatives. That’s reason number two.
Reason #3: Your Ex Thinks They Have You
Reason number three is something that I actually see a lot more of than even going too fast, too soon and finding a new alternative.
Reason number three is thinking that they have you. There’s no more challenge involved.
Playing hard to get works. I hate to break it to you, but it does.
One of the reasons it works is because men kind of like the chase. When the chase isn’t there anymore, when they feel like they have you, all of you… This is a really difficult thing for women who are trying to get their exes back because oftentimes, guess what? They’ve already had you. They know what that’s like.
You need to bring something new to the table, a new facet of yourself, a new personality aspect of yourself that you haven’t shown them before.
Maybe it’s being a little bit more disciplined in how you’re ending conversations, and ending conversations at the high point, and things of that nature. The moment that an ex thinks that they have you, there’s no more challenge involved.
The sort of excitement of trying to date you becomes a little dull. It’s tough because they’ve already dated you, so you almost have that working against you constantly. It’s difficult when they already feel like they know everything about you.
The thing I usually tell my clients is, “Don’t try to seek to reinforce some of the normal type of dating behaviors that you enjoy. Try to enforce the good aspects, of course, but also try to bring something new to the table that they aren’t realizing.”
I’m actually going to talk about this a little bit later when I talk about what you can do when an ex goes cold on you.
Reason #4: Overemotional Texting
We still have one reason for why an ex will go cold on you, and that is overemotional texting. Now I also have a really fun acronym for this, and this is called gnatting. G-N-A-T… Going nuts at texting.
We have a tendency when we’re extremely emotional after a breakup to just go nuts, and want responses, and want closure, and get angry when we don’t get immediate responses. Sometimes when an ex is engaging with you, you can be a little too overemotional, a little too overtaxing with texting.
It becomes a little bit of a burden and a little bit of an annoyance on their part.
They’re like, “Ah. Every time I talk to this girl, she’s always bringing this up.” Or, “Every time I talk to this girl, she’s so high-strung.”
Those aren’t attractive behaviors for men when they’re making decisions, whether or not they should get back with you.
Now, Lauren, I’m not saying you did any of this. I’m just showing you. I think one thing that we can agree on is you went too fast, too soon. That’s the one sort of reason I think your ex is starting to go cold on you. It’s freaking him out a little bit.
For people like you, Lauren, who are in a situation where an ex is kind of playing the mixed signals, hot and cold type thing, and they’re in the cold aspect, what can you do to heat them up?
Okay. This is great. I’m going to use a cooking analogy. First time I’ve ever done this on the Ex Boyfriend Recovery Podcast, but here we go. I’m going to give it a try. You freeze something in the freezer. You decide it’s time to cook that bad boy up. Let’s say it’s meat or something. After all, men are nothing more than pieces of meat, right? You decided you’re going to try to cook this frozen thing. What is the way you would thaw that bad boy out?
Would you leave it outside and wait for it to melt? Or, would you slowly heat it up? Or, would you stick it in the microwave and heat it up as fast as possible? What do you think is the way that would make that food taste the best? Well, I think probably the best way is to slowly heat it up. It’s a slow burn. That’s how you need to look at your situations with your ex.
The Importance Of The Slow Burn Strategy
Also, I do acknowledge that was an absolutely atrocious analogy. Sometimes in my head when I think this stuff up, I’m like, “Oh that sounds really cool. That’s a new way of putting things. Maybe a few light bulbs will go off for the listeners here.” Then when I say it, it just didn’t work. I think you got the point I’m trying to make here.
When you’re trying to get an ex back or you’re trying to deal with a situation like this, “It’s almost always better to look at your overall sort of approach as a slow-burn strategy. In fact, your strategy, when it comes to getting him back, needs to happen so gradually that they don’t even notice that it’s happening to them.
This requires a lot of patience on your part. This is why the going too fast, too soon doesn’t really work so well.
The analogy I often give when it comes to texting is a lot of people are like, “Hey, how many text messages should I send? How many text messages is right for my situation?” My response to them lately has been, “I don’t know. It depends.”
I teach them about my tide theory. If you’ve ever been walking on the beach in the morning, the tide, the way the waves come out on the beach are at a certain level. If you stay in the same spot on the beach for 24 hours, you’ll notice that that level will change.
It will get closer, and closer, and closer to wherever you have your towel laid out, for example. Do you notice this happening in one fell swoop? Is it like, hey, you close your eyes and next thing you know, there’s water that’s ruining your belongings? No. It’s such a gradual process. You don’t even see it happening. That’s how you need to be approaching getting your ex back.
Don’t look at this as a sprint. Like I said, look at this like a marathon. What are you supposed to do? Well, I can’t help but notice, Lauren. In your situation, you did a 22-day no contact rule and then you went really too fast, too soon. One thing that I think is lost on a lot of people is some of the aspects that they’re supposed to be accomplishing during the no contact rule. The no contact rule… Most people look at it like, is this a way to play hard to get and get your ex to want you? That’s actually one of the worst ways to approach the no contact rule. I’m just going to say that right now. One of the best ways to approach the no contact rule is understanding, yes, this will do that. This can help you. You make an ex miss you.
The Ungettable Mindset
What you use with that time apart from your ex, how you reshape your life, how you add that new aspect of yourself that intrigues him is almost as important as ignoring your ex on purpose. I’ve talked a lot about this in a book I was writing called Ungettable. I was talking about… What is an ungettable girl? Because one thing I always talk about during the no contact rule is you need to seek to grab this ungettable mindset.
You need to feel ungettable. What’s really fascinating is when I went to our private Facebook group for everyone who has access to the Ex Boyfriend Recovery Program, I surveyed the women there to see, what does ungettable mean to you? Here were some of their answers. I’m actually going to pull it up here. It’s real fascinating because all of them are kind of about the same thing.
Anyways, here’s what women had to say being ungettable looked like:
- being confident
- loving yourself
- carrying a big stick and scaring men away
- being treated with respect
- not being a second choice
- setting goals and obtaining them
- Somehow the song can’t touch this played in my mind.
- Being confident in the choices you make
- living your best life
- being cool in any situation
- being positive
- no matter what life throws your way
- being true to yourself
- blowing other people’s expectations of you out of the water
- Being the best version of yourself
- being independent
- upgrading your life in all areas
- being happy and doing things for you not for him
- finding inner peace, being okay doing things alone
- not easily caught
- playing hard to get
- finding joy in life no matter what
- every thought and action of mine, or just celebrating the fact that I am freaking amazing.
Why did I just do that exercise? Because the things, those adjectives I just described, becoming ungettable, are the things that you need to be trying to do during the no contact rule. The two I really want to point out here is blowing other people’s expectations of you out of the water and having a positive outlook no matter what life throws your way. Let’s start with the first one: blowing other people’s expectations of you out of the water.
I’ve said multiple times that when you reinsert yourself and try to get your ex back, you need to present this new aspect of yourself that is like, “Oh, I didn’t know that about her. Maybe I had her pegged wrong.” People, your ex especially, will have certain expectations of you, but if you could find a way to add a new facet, you can find a way to add a new version of what you can bring to the table, it will intrigue your ex.
Usually, the best way to do this is to get other people to notice you. This is why I always talk about social media and why it’s so important. If you’re doing things to appear ungettable or trying to achieve that ungettable mindset, you’re not only going to just sort of interest your ex, but you’re going to interest all sorts of other men out there. The more men that finds you intriguing and interesting, makes fear of loss work when it comes to making a commitment decision. The second thing I think is having a positive outlook no matter what life throws your way.
Success Is Not Linear
I was in the Facebook group yesterday trying to answer a few people’s comments. It was really interesting.
There was a woman in there who was really struggling with the day-to-day process of going through a no contact rule and obsessing about what her ex is saying, and doing, and everything like that. I told her. I said, “A lot of people have this misconception that success is linear, but that’s not how success looks like.” Oftentimes, success is taking three steps forward, four steps back, two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, two steps back, five steps forward, two steps back. You get the picture. A lot of times, it’s not just, hey, I’m going to just keep walking forward. It’s also understanding there are going to be setbacks along the way. I think if you can have a positive outlook no matter what setbacks get thrown your way, it does a real great job for your overall mentality, your outlook, and also just, you’ll do really well in life.
One of my favorite quotes is, “This too shall pass,” because no matter what, it’s applicable to almost everything. The good times won’t last forever, and the bad times won’t last forever. This too shall pass. The final thing I think I want to leave you with, Lauren, is a quote from the Way of the Samurai. If you don’t know, I’m kind of a nerd. I like philosophy. I love the Way of the Samurai because I think the samurais really had life pegged. Samurais would live their life in a way where they’re achieving or trying to achieve total perfection with the knowledge that total perfection is impossible. What’s important is not the fact that you achieve perfection, but the fact that you strive to achieve perfection every day. I think we are only living full, fulfilled lives if we’re constantly exhausting ourselves at the end of the day and maxing out our potential.
Here’s the quote I want to leave you with, “One should spend their whole lifetime diligently learning as much as they can. In this way, you will become a more developed and fully realized human being with each passing day. The goal of total perfection has no end.” I think what I want to say about this and how it relates to you, Lauren, is you should seek to achieve this ungettable mindset, this ungettable status, not for your ex or to get next boyfriend back, but because it’s you achieving your maximum potential. Just understand that a symptom of becoming ungettable is that your ex will find you more intriguing and more interesting. That goes for everyone here. You should always be seeking to better yourself, no matter what. You always should be seeking to take a step back, looking at your situation, and say, “How can I do better?” Even if it’s as perfect as it gets, never be satisfied. Always keep moving forward.