It never fails to fascinate me when I ask a new client about their goals and they respond with an idealistic vision of a future with their ex.
You see, often my clients don’t just want their ex back.
They want to be married to their ex.
They want to live in a beautiful house with a white picket fence with their ex.
They want to know above all if their ex still cares about them on some level.
My response to these lofty goals is always the same.
I tell them to begin with the goal of having a simple conversation with their ex.
A conversation is very achievable, and it will get you on the road to possibly – just maybe — to achieving the picturesque future you envision with your ex. After you successfully converse with your ex, then you can aim higher.
But it is important to note there are a few caveats to this conversation recommendation.
Not all conversations are created equal.
You don’t want to just have an ordinary conversation with your ex. You want to have a positive and engaging conversation with your ex.
And that’s what I want to talk about with you today.
Why Your Ex Is Ignoring Your Texts
Over the years, I have determined there are three primary reasons that an ex will not respond to text messages.
- The Lack Of A Reset Factor
- You Have The Eye Roll Factor
- Your Text Messages Suck
Let’s look closer at those three reasons and expand.
Reason #1: The Lack of a Reset Factor
As you may know, I am a big proponent of the No Contact Rule.
Ignoring this rule after a breakup can have all sorts of negative ramifications on a potential future relationship with your ex.
In fact, this is one of the main reasons why we see exes ignoring text messages.
When a client ignores the No Contact Rule and texts an ex shortly after the breakup, emotions are often too high. Perhaps the client is looking for closure, reassurance, or maybe they are just bored. The issue with this undisciplined approach is it creates an emotional vortex that is unappealing to an ex. The conversation may feel uncomfortable or clingy to the ex, causing him or her to avoid responding to additional messages.
The timing of a text is just as important as the context of the text.
When the No Contact Rule is followed before you text an ex, it is like hitting the relationship reset button.
Now, is it guaranteed your conversation will go smoothly and your ex will respond? No. But initiating contact too soon is absolutely one of the reasons exes ignore text messages.
So, how long should you follow the No Contact Rule before texting an ex? We recommend a full 21 to 45 days of no contact. No exceptions.
Reason #2: You Have the Eye Roll Factor
Have you ever gone outside on a muggy day and had gnats swarmed around your face?
It is incredibly annoying.
This is exactly why the acronym G.N.A.T. is one of my favorites, because it can be equally as annoying getting bombarded with texts from your ex.
It stands for Going Nuts At Texting.
When you “Go Nuts At Texting” you run the risk of becoming an annoying gnat and create what I refer to as the eye roll factor.
Here’s what the eye roll factor looks like.
Imagine you are walking down the street when you receive a text message.
You look at your phone to see who texted you and immediately roll your eyes.
Now, what caused this eye roll?
Well, eye rolls typically mean the person cannot stand talking to you.
Maybe you have been extremely emotional or extremely argumentative.
More than anything, it means the person is not enjoying their interaction with you.
The No Contact Rule, however, can combat the eye roll factor or prevent it from happening, because it creates emotional distance. It can ensure the timing is better for communication with your ex.
Another reason the eye roll factor occurs is because the person is anticipating a potential conflict.
Think about it.
As humans, we want to have enjoyable conversations. If we anticipate getting into an argument with someone or having an unpleasant conversation, we want to avoid it. We do not want conflict in our text messages or our conversations.
Don’t become an eye roll factor. Don’t do this to your ex. This is one of the reasons they do not want to respond to you.
Reason #3: Your Text Messages Suck
It’s always astounding to me how unprepared people are for this breakup process.
And I suppose if you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense.
One of the primary reasons a breakup can occur is we grow complacent in our relationship.
We become used to certain behavioral patterns, conversational patterns, and stop putting the effort into the relationship. This can cause a relationship to get stale.
We have found these communication patterns often continue after a breakup too.
A client may reach out to an ex with a casual message like, “hey” or “what’s up?” or “How are you doing?”.
While that type of lackluster communication was OK in the relationship, it does nothing to spark an ex’s interest now.
The environment has changed, and more effort is needed now.
That includes sending more interesting texts.
The problem is that no one teaches us how to text an ex properly.
Luckily for you, that’s what I’m going to teach you today.
Let’s Talk About What Your Ex Is Actually Thinking
Before we talk about the specific framework for texting an ex, let’s explore what your ex may be thinking while ignoring your texts.
I thought it would be helpful for me to share thoughts I’ve had during unpleasant conversations, whether they are in person or through texts.
In these situations, someone I’m talking to either says or does something that makes me want to end the conversation.
Ultimately, three different thoughts enter my mind.
Thought #1: This Isn’t An Enjoyable Conversation.
This happened to me the other day.
A friend of mine texted me to catch up and talk about the events in our world.
The conversation was OK, but after sending several texts back and forth I thought to myself, “this is kind of boring. I don’t want to text anymore. This is a waste of my time.”
So, I just didn’t respond and the conversation ended.
It’s important to keep this lesson in mind when initiating a conversation with your ex. Make sure it is an engaging conversation. One of the best ways to have an engaging conversation with your ex is to talk about a topic they find interesting.
If the conversation is not interesting whatsoever to your ex – and this is the reason I ended the conversation with my friend – they will not spend their time talking with you.
Speaking of having more important things to do, that brings me to another thought I have in this situation.
Thought #2: I Don’t Have Time.
Timing is everything.
This is why I often tell my clients to be aware of the exact time they are texting an ex.
For instance, you do not want to text your ex in the middle of a busy workday if they are not permitted to be on their phone or they will not have time to engage in a proper conversation. It’s better to wait until a different time of day when they’re available to talk.
As human beings, no more than ever we are inundated with emails, texts, and phone calls constantly. You have to find a way to stand out in the sea of communication. One of the worst ways to do that is to be part of the rush of information.
Make sure you’re texting your ex when you know they’re more available to have a conversation.
Thought #3: “Our Conversations Always Evolve Into Drama. I’m Tired of It.”
While we may enjoy drama on TV, we often don’t like experiencing it in our personal lives.
It creates a certain amount of stress and uneasiness.
If every conversation with your ex evolves into drama, it’s not a good thing.
Take a minute to reflect on your conversations with your ex.
- Were they dramatic?
- Was there fighting?
- Did they often evolve into something unpleasant?
If the answer is yes, drama may be all your ex associates with you now.
That could be the reason why they are not responding to your text messages.
What You Should Do To Get Your Ex To Respond To Your Texts
There is a framework we have seen work wonders for clients over the years.
This framework is not meant to be followed to a T, but it’s meant as a guide to get a desired response from an ex.
It’s important to be adaptable.
When we first established ExBoyfriend Recovery, we gave clients exact text messages to use.
We quickly learned that reality never unfolded as expected. There are simply too many variables. So, instead, we began teaching our clients a framework.
Essentially, when texting an ex, you should aim to do the following three things to follow this framework.
- Try to get your ex to respond to your initial text
- Allow the conversation to unfold organically
- You end the conversation first
I have shared multiple podcasts and videos on how to have an organic conversation with an ex and how to end the conversation first.
So, today, I want to focus on how to start a conversation and get a response from your ex.
What do you have to do to stack the odds in your favor?
The H.I. Method
The H.I. Method helps to stack the odds in your favor.
It stands for Hook and Interest.
The hook is essentially the opposite of the eye roll effect.
This is a question or comment that instantly intrigues or engages your ex.
There are many ways to create a hook, but it should be something that you know will entice your ex to respond.
Here are a few examples of a hook:
- “I have a confession to make…..”
- “You won’t believe what just happened to me…..”
- “I have a problem, but only really trust you for an answer….”
All of these are perfect examples of a hook.
They intrigue your ex to enter into a conversation with you.
After your ex is hooked, you then need to find a way to extend the conversation and grow it organically. This is where “interest” comes into play.
People who engage their ex in a topic relating to THEIR interests are much more likely to involve their ex in a texting conversation.
This is why it’s important to meld your hook and your interest.
I’ll give you an example of how.
Let’s say that your ex is a photographer and obsessed with cameras. You decided to go out and buy a new camera, but these new DSLR models are extremely complicated and you don’t understand how to use it.
You’ve been looking up YouTube tutorials and pulling your hair out when you realize, “oh wait, my ex knows all about cameras.”
So, what you can do is text your ex and say, “Hey, I have a really big problem and only trust you for an answer”.
He then responds to ask about the problem.
You continue by explaining your camera issue, something that he can easily solve that appeals to his interests.
Once your ex is engaged in the conversation and it begins to unfold organically, it is important for you to end the conversation first.
This way, you remain in control and have the upper hand.
Now, there are literally thousands of ways for you to hook and interest your ex.
I’m going to challenge you to think creatively here and apply the H.I. Method in a way that you believe will work best with your ex.
Since we are a collaborative community focused on supporting each other through breakups at Ex Boyfriend Recovery, I encourage you to share a few of your best hooks in the comments of this article.
What are some of the most effective hooks you have used to interest your ex?