Okay today, we’re going to talk about why your ex suddenly stops responding to you.
And if you stick around until the end of this podcast episode, I’m going to be answering some of the biggest questions that one of my one-on-one coaching clients is having about her breakup.
But first things first, if you’re going through this process, and you’re a little confused about your starting points, you should probably take our ex recovery chances quiz.
It’s a simple two minute free quiz designed to tell you what kind of chance you have of getting your ex back. And from there, it will tell you what your best next step is. And we’ll even be sending you a free video course over the next week on what you should be doing just generally do help you in your specific situation.
So again, if that sounds like something really reasonable and something interesting to you, all you have to do is just click on the prompt below.
Why Does My Ex Talk To Me And Then Ignore Me?
Okay. I’m going to give you some background on this particular situation, because honestly, one of the most difficult circumstances you can be in is when you’re trying to get your ex back, you’ve built up all of this anxiety about how the process is going to work.
You finally get in touch with them and they respond to your texts to only to suddenly stop responding.
And that seems to be what’s happening here with one of my clients that I’ve been working with. And I asked her permission to share her situation a little bit, we’ll change the names and some of the circumstances and everything like that to protect her identity.
And God forbid if her ex is listening or something so he won’t ever be able to figure it out.
But mostly I just want to talk about the psychology of why exes stop responding.
And this is a topic that I’ve been studying a lot lately, because this is been happening a lot, especially in today’s day and age, where you get a positive response and then all of a sudden they just stop responding.
What could be going through their head?
Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Getting The Background From My Client
So here’s the background on my one-on-one client.
She’s been working with me for about a month and we initially started, she found out about the program, she got the program and she started doing a no-contact rule and the maybe halfway through the no-contact rule, we started coaching together.
And she’s really amazing, to be honest with you.
- She listens really well.
- She puts things into practice.
- She’s just like anyone else who has her own fears and insecurities about her breakup, obviously, but she’s basically done everything that we’ve ever told her and she’s gotten some really positive responses.
- So she got through her no-contact rule.
- She reached out to her ex and she’s gotten a response every single time she’s reached out to her ex, but something really odd as began to happen.
- We have noticed that she gets a response immediately, but then he just basically will either respond one more time as she starts the conversation thread, or just stops responding altogether.
- And then every time we tell her to kind of cut back, wait a week, try again, he responds again only to repeat the same behavior.
- And after a certain amount of time, she’s getting a little frustrated with the process.
So what we’re trying to do is trying to explain the psychology of why men do this.
And I had her, what I told her, I said, “Hey, look, I would like to actually make a podcast episode out of your situation because I think we can just talk through it, because a lot of women not even trying to get their exes back, probably have this discussion with men that they’re trying to be interested in trying to attract.”
So I wanted to go through some of the psychology behind what could be going on in a man’s mind throughout the process.
So I had to write down some of our questions, some of the most relevant questions she could think of, of what she’s struggling with.
And I’m going to sit here however long it takes to answer her question.
So let me give you a little bit more background on her situation so that we know what we’re going into going forward.
So after she kept getting responses and then he’d suddenly stop responding, we theorized that since the relationship took place and most of the time they would communicate over the phone texting, wasn’t really natural for him.
He feels a lot more comfortable on the phone. So I even brought my wife in on it to ask her advice because she’s always been really, really good with texting and she even concurred and she thinks, “Yeah, I think getting them on the phone, we’ll start to see that momentum shift and things will just start to unfold really quickly.”
So we quickly changed our strategy for her to push the texting more towards a phone call. We’re going to try to advance her up the value ladder a little bit faster, so to speak, because we think a lot of the success for her will be happening in the phone call stage.
And we came up with the brilliant text that we thought might really, really work for her and her situation. So my initial theory is always when you’re dealing with men, they want to talk about things that they’re interested in.
The number one mistake we see in texting with men is a lot of the women engage them in topics that the women are interested in, but the men aren’t really interested in. So what we decided to do is we had our client come up with some of her best interests.
Like she knows her ex really well. What are the things that he’s really, really interested in?
And ultimately she determined that he was interested in X, Y, and Z. And we looked at the list and my wife and I were just both thinking, “Hmm, this isn’t going to work.” So we decided to approach it from a different strategy.
And so we came up with the idea of what, if we made him really intrigued.
We sent him a text that would make him so intrigued that he would have no choice, but to want to get on the phone.
So the text we came up with was, “I had a dream about you last night.”
And we told her, “Hey, you can work the interest into the dream when you get on the phone call with him.”
And the texts we figured would work really well, because it also has some sort of sexual connotations to it where he’s thinking like, “Oh, well, maybe she had a sex dream about me,” essentially.
And so what ended up happening was she sent the text out and it took maybe an hour to get a response, which was another really interesting thing.
I don’t know if we’ll talk about it right now, but this guy seems to take a really long time to get responses just in general.
And he simply just responded with, “Oh?”
So that’s a good sign, right?
So we decided, all right, now’s the time let’s go going for the kill.
And she texted and said, “Hey, I’m going to tell you about the dream on the phone.
And he didn’t reply.
And then oddly enough, he called her at 5:00 AM in the morning.
So what’s going on here?
What is going through his head?
Why did he just suddenly stop responding and then quickly shift gears and call her again at 5:00 AM in the morning?
Why I Think Exes Suddenly Stop Responding
I mean, that’s an odd time to call, right? So what’s going on here? Well, we’re not going to get to my client’s questions just yet.
Because I just want to talk about my initial assessment of why he stopped responding.
And again, why he tried calling.
So I’m a big believer in actions before words, meaning when someone says something, it doesn’t have a lot of value to me unless they actually do something to prove they mean what they said.
And this is a huge common problem that I see a lot of women who are trying to get a date for the first time or trying to find the right one.
They get lured in by a pack of lies.
You know, it’s like, “Oh, I love you so much,” or “I’m going to do this with you. I’m going to do that with you.” And when the time to come when the time comes to put up, he’s not there. He doesn’t do anything to prove.
Well, what’s interesting is when you’re looking at the situation with my client, we believe we sent the best text message out.
And I think we did get a really good response.
But why didn’t he respond or closely?
It’s Intimidating To Have A Sudden Shift In Medium
So I’m a big believer in conversation mediums.
So initially when you talk to your ex you’re in the protective bubble of the texting phase.
And then there’s also a protective bubble of a phone call phase, and a protective bubble of the in person phase.
But transitioning from one bubble to the next is never easy for people.
And oftentimes they like to do it on their own terms.
And one of the reasons that we struggle a lot with our clients with getting really quick results is because they don’t really know how to navigate the treacherous waters of transitioning from one medium to the next.
And what works for one person may not necessarily work for another person.
So how do you transition these waters?
Well, to be honest with you, I think it really revolves around understanding patience.
Let’s look at our client’s situation here.
She got a response, “Oh?” Like, “Oh?” almost like, “Tell me more.”
And then she immediately tries to transition to that phone call phase.
That moment where she tries to transition to the phone call, she gives him an opportunity to come to basically accept the phone call, basically going to say, “Actually the dream is too good. I need to tell you on the phone.”
It’s like, “It’s only something I want to talk to you about over the phone.”
We try to lessen the blow of this transition from medium to medium, but making a reason intriguing for him to pick up the call.
But also what you’re rubbing up against here is fear.
I don’t know quite why men fear the transition, but it’s almost like they feel real safe when they’re texting. And then when you transitioned to a phone call phase, it puts them in uncharted and uncomfortable waters.
So sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
So what I think happened here is he was scared.
It just frightened him.
So his fight or flight response gets activated and he decides to run.
But it gnaws at him throughout the day. I mean really gnaws at him, to the point where he’s just overthinking and in the middle of the night at 5:00 AM, he can’t sleep. He’s just like, “Well, I got to find out, I got to figure out what to do.”
And then he calls her. But of course she’s asleep and he probably picks that 5:00 AM call because he knows she’s asleep and it’s a low probability of her picking up.
So it’s a way of him saying, “Well, I don’t want her to feel bad or feel like I’m ignoring her.
But at the same time, I’m not quite ready to talk on the phone yet. So I’m going to call at 5:00 AM.”
It’s really cowardly if you think about it and also kind of funny.
But I think sometimes coaxing someone into doing what you want them to do is a little challenging because you have to work this fine line between them choosing to want to do it and you forcing them to do it. And sometimes if you force them to do it too soon before they’re ready, they’re just not going to do it.
So honestly, I think the best thing she can do going forward is just to stay true on the strategy.
The timing just maybe wasn’t right for him to feel comfortable for a phone call.
And that is okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. He’s just scared. And you could tell, because she sends the text like, “Hey, let’s talk on the phone,” and he doesn’t respond. So he’s scared. He’s like, “Oh my God, I’m going to her voice.
But if I say something wrong, what if she just only talks about business stuff and doesn’t want to talk about relationship stuff.” He starts thinking in his mind, it starts gnawing at him and his fight or flight response gets activated.
And knowing what I know about this particular guy, he’s a very, very avoidant type of a personality. So he’s going to avoid the confrontation of a phone call, even though the phone call would have been very friendly and pleasant and nice and it’s meant to make him feel good, but you can’t do that unless they participate in the phone call first.
So it sits and gnaws at him all night long to the point where he’s like, “Well, I have to do something,” and he does it, and then he could sleep soundly because he can say to himself, “Well, at least I did something,” but of course, like I said, I wanted my client to leave me questions about, what is she struggling with?
What does she want to know? What perspective can I give him or give her about him? So here is her questions. Her first real one revolves around the fact that it’s been 48 hours since that moment, since he has basically given her permission to have a phone conversation, he’s basically said through calling her, “Hey, let’s talk.”
And they’re in this Mexican standoff where none of them is doing anything and she wants to understand, why hasn’t there been anything since then?
And I think it hearkens back to what I just said.
He is really having a hard time with a huge transition. And a lot of times just transitioning from texting to phone call is intimidating.
Even if he’s a phone call person just by nature. He’s also probably afraid of being hurt. And also the context of their breakup, she was actually the one who broke up with him, but she did it in a really odd way.
So I think he’s never fully gotten closure on that.
So I think also a lot of women they’re so obsessed with their own emotions, they forget to realize that men have emotions too. And there’s emotions attached to these phone calls. So it’s like playing emotional chess.
And I think he’s just banging his head on the wall, trying to figure out if he should be the one to reach out first or talk to something or say something and both of them are afraid.
It’s almost like we need two people to just nudge them together and say, “Talk,” but it doesn’t work that way because you want him to come willingly and you need to come willingly. So I think her question is, “Why hasn’t anything happened?”
And I think that’s why, both of them are just staring at each other across the cage, but they’re afraid to step out of their cage.
So her next question is, “Well, is he struggling more than me and how can I tell and with what?” Okay.
Is He Struggling More Than Me And How Can I Tell?
So as he’s struggling more than you, I think you guys are struggling equally.
A lot of times people think that they’re the ones who are struggling with trying to understand what the other person’s thinking, but I guarantee you, he is struggling trying to figure that out as well. And I think that’s one of the reasons why the two of them haven’t been able to talk.
It’s really an interesting dynamic going on here.
So she then asks, “Well, what kind of internal conversations do you feel he’s having with himself?”
The first one I think he’s having is he’s playing is the break up back in his mind. And he’s also maybe confused because we’ve tried different texts in the past and he’s responded to them, but he’s never engaged her in a full blown conversation. He just stops responding after a while.
So what’s really interesting is the first text. She kept it all about business, but there was a text in there where he wanted to talk about the breakup and she didn’t do that. She didn’t give him what he wanted and I think he’s still clinging on to that idea of, “Well, maybe I’ll get disappointed. Maybe we’re not going to have a conversation that I want to have.”
And I think he’s struggling with that in his mind. It’s just amazing what the mind, what kind of ideas the mind can come up with the prison that the minds will create around, these limiting beliefs we have over what the other person is thinking.
And what’s really cool is when you actually interview people who have gotten back with the exes, and there’s always that inevitable question of, “Hey, did you ask them what they were thinking about during the breakup?” And it’s really interesting when you hear what guys have to say about how they were really struggling.
And they were like, “Well, I’m not going to text her until she texts me first,” but they’re always like hyperventilating on trying to figure out what the other person is thinking.
So a lot of times when women say, “Well, is he struggling more than me? There’s no way he could be struggling more than me.”
There are certainly cases where men just don’t struggle, where sometimes you’re in a really, really bad breakup that has been so bad, it’s almost a relief to get away for you. But this is not one of those cases. This is a case where I think both people love each other still, maybe that’s going on a limb there.
I could be wrong, but I think both people loving each other still because why would they be second guessing themselves so much?
She’s second guessing herself constantly and I guarantee he is too. The difference between men and women, especially in this case is that she has surrounded herself with a very, very nice support group.
Not only is she getting coaching from me, but she’s also got a huge support group of women who she’s told them about, “Yeah, I’m using this program. It seems to be working so far.”
They’re supportive of her. I don’t think he’s got the same support.
So in a way he’s alone. And him being alone is terrifying sometimes. So it makes him less risk averse. He doesn’t want to put himself out there, so to speak. So her next question is, “Well, will he call?” And I mean, there’s a 50-50 opportunity he’ll call, but my gut tells me he’s too cowardly to do so.
My gut tells me that she’s going to have to be the one to get him on the phone.
And I think ultimately I’ll have to talk with my wife about the dynamics because I can come at it from, “Well, I think he’s thinking this,” and she can come at it from like, “Well, I’m pretty sure he’s thinking this and she’s thinking this,” and we can collaborate and think of the best next step.
If you didn’t know my wife and I were recently featured on Fox News!
But my gut tells me that she’s going to have to try something else to get him on the phone, that he’s too cowardly to call.
And that’s okay.
Because one one of the beautiful parts of human beings transitioning from the texting stage to the phone call stage is, a lot of it is like once you can transition them from the safe bubble of texting into the uncertain bubble of phone calls, they just open up and they take on a new life, so to speak.
And I think right now he’s just having trouble with that transition. It’s scary for him. And it’s good to understand that it is scary for him.
So do I think he’ll call?
No, I don’t.
I think he’s too cowardly to call and it’s important not to blame him for that. It’s just the environment he’s created around himself makes him scared of taking a risk.
And that’s cool because sometimes taking a risk for him might be scary.
But if you take the risks, it removes some of the fear from him.
That’s why I think sometimes it’s good for a woman to try to initiate things because it takes some of the pressure off the guy because the guy can work himself up so much because he’s afraid of emotionally getting hurt.
- He’s afraid of taking risks.
- He’s afraid of failure.
- He’s afraid of being ignored.
- He’s afraid.
And I think that’s a lot of what’s going on.
That’s why I think he’s got this limiting prison.
And I think if she tries to call it will show or signal to him that it’s okay.
I think she needs to do it in the right way.
And I haven’t quite worked out what that will be yet.
I’m not perfect.
I literally came into these questions blind.
I’ve had to stop the podcast multiple times so I can read some of the backstory to make sure that I’m telling the right story to answer the questions properly. But I’m coming to these questions blind. I like to come in blind because I like to just make my own assumptions as I go.
But my gut tells me that he is not going to call her.
She’s going to have to try again.
And I think the more she continues to try with someone like this, I was watching this episode of the Dog Whisperer yesterday, we’re about to buy a dog, so I’m trying to brush up on how to have a really happy, healthy dog.
And I really liked the Dog Whisperer.
It was something that I thought it was goofy at first.
Years ago, if you were to tell me I’d be watching the Dog Whisperer, I’d laugh in your face, but here I am watching the Dog Whisperer.
And what was really interesting is how he handles dogs that have these psychological fears.
So I’ll give you an example.
There was a dog that had the psychological fear of jumping from a dock to a boat, it was literally four inches of a jump. But because the dog had fallen in the water before it had the psychological belief that it couldn’t do it. So no matter how hard the owner would try to get it to come jump over from the dock to the boat that was tied to the dock, it wouldn’t do it. It just wouldn’t go. So what was interesting and I was thinking, “Well, just grab the dog, force it to go. It’ll figure it out eventually.”
But Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer said,
“It’s not about you forcing the dog to do it, the dog needs to be a participant.”
When they have this psychological fear, you need to nudge them a little bit and show them like, “Hey, I know you want to go, I know your fight or flight response gets triggered. I know you want to go run away, but we need to actually overcome this.”
So he’ll tug a little bit.
He doesn’t force them.
He didn’t force this dog to jump, but he gave it a little tug until it started doing it on its own a little bit.
And it jumped on its own because it became a participant at that point. And I feel like that’s kind of what’s going to have to happen here.
She’s going to have to kind of like tug and show him, “Hey, this is the right direction, I want you to act,” and eventually he’ll start participating himself.
If My Ex Exhibits This Behavior Does It Mean He’s Over Me?
So our next question is, “Is he over me or in fact, just the opposite in exhibiting this behavior.”
I do not think he’s over you.
If you look at his actions, he was responding to your initial text messages and then he struggles and stops responding to you. In this particular case I don’t think he’s over you. I think he’s talking himself out of it. This internal conversation he has in his head is preventing him from acting the way you want him to act.
This is especially true when it comes to this transitioning from text messages to phone calls.
He has this limiting belief, the psychological belief that if he gets on the phone with you, he’s going to get hurt.
So just getting him to overcome that belief, to get on the phone with you, I think is an important thing to do.
How Patient Should You Be With A Guy Like This?
Her next question is, “How patient understanding and forgiving should I be in this situation?
It’s hard because it hurts.
But at the same time, I’m trying to take a long view about a lot of the questions I’ve had as a very, very positive and victories.”
I think patience is really important, with a guy like this, because the guy liked this is, an avoid it, essentially. And you have to be extremely patient with them, but it’s important that you eventually them to participate. So it’s important that at a certain time, you lead the way enough to where they feel confident enough to lead the way themselves. And I feel like that’s the struggle going on here.
I’m not really sure if there’s much I can add to that other than it’s just clear to me that he’s… And it’s really interesting because when I talked to my wife about the situation, she was asking, “Why would he call?” or, “Why would he say it’s okay to call at 5:00 in the morning or 6:00 in the morning,” or whatever it was. And I said to her, “Well, I think he’s just debating back and forth and he’s having trouble with, “What do I do?”
And I think also he may be playing a game a little bit.
He’s like, “Well, I’m going to try to take things on my terms,” because if he does it on his terms, he’ll feel more confident about the interaction.
And I feel like the ultimate confidence boost for him is if he could call you back and not get a response, he’s off the hook.
He doesn’t have to go through the stress of figuring out what to say on the phone call.
But we don’t want to let him off the hook that easily. I think it’s important to continue to push with little progress we’ve had into in person interaction because I feel like that that talk that they have over the phone will just propel them forward.
So I guess the final note I’d like to leave anyone listening to this and even my coaching client, who’s definitely going to be interested in listening to this one is being patient and understanding the society’s expectations that men take the lead sometimes create these limiting psychological barriers where we get scared because we’re lazy and we don’t want to take the lead.
And also I think when we take the lead, I know thinking back to my single days, I was terrified to take the lead because I didn’t want to get hurt. I didn’t want to take a risk on a girl, get her phone number, start talking with her, ask her on a date and get stood up, which has happened to me multiple times.
And a lot of times it soured me from the whole dating experience to where, I remember I went like five years straight where I was just single. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want a girlfriend, it was because I was afraid of being hurt.
I was afraid of initiating. And that’s what we have here.
Even though the interesting dynamic is she’s the one trying to initiate the phone call, the fact that he didn’t respond, put pressure on him to feel like, “Okay, well I need to respond to this in some way.”
And I think that’s what’s going on here. I think he’s a coward.
And it’s not to say like, “Oh yeah, he’s a coward.” I’m just saying, just understand that the pressure that society puts on men to be the ones to initiate can often trigger our fight or flight response. We’ll either fight and get angry about the fact that we’re not getting someone to respond to us or we’ll fight.
We’ll avoid the situation like I would when I was single for five years and I had multiple opportunities to not be single for five years, but it was because I was afraid of initiating things. I was afraid of being hurt. I had been in a couple of relationships, I had been burned really badly. I didn’t want to get hurt. So I wouldn’t initiate.
And that can even happen with your ex. I think you can even argue that can especially happen with an ex because they’ve already been hurt by the breakup.
So just be patient and understand that it’s not going to happen overnight. I feel like there’s this false belief that a lot of people have when they come into like, “Oh yeah, ex-boyfriend recovery,” they’ll hear from one of their friends, “Hey, I used this guy’s program and I got my ex back. It was amazing.” And then that person comes in and they expect it to work in 30 days. But it doesn’t.
I’m going to tell you that right now. If you want this program to work, if you want the ex boyfriend recovery way to work for you, you need to invest three months to a year into it. That’s realistic. Anyone who sits here and tells you like, “Oh yeah, you’ll get your ex back in 30 days or 45 days or two months,” it’s unrealistic. That’s not what we’re seeing at all. We’re seeing at a minimum, most of our success stories happen at three months.
So that means you need to be patient and that means three months. That is a long time for you to go through this wide range of emotions. Just understand you need to be patient throughout this process and also understand, men are cowards.