Today we’re going to talk about if giving your ex space can improve the odds of them missing you.
In short, we have found that giving your ex space after a breakup is essential if you want to improve the odds of having them miss you. The truth is that desire can only exist within space and often people become to anxious after a breakup which defeats the entire purpose of giving your ex space.
In other words, this article is going to cover some of the core tenets of why we believe giving your ex space is essential.
- We’re going to talk in depth about the anxious and avoidant mentalities
- We’re also going to cover the big flaw with relying on no contact for space
- Why desire exists within space
Let’s dig in.
Unpacking The Anxious Vs. Avoidant Mentality
Generally speaking whenever I write about giving an ex space I highlight the importance of avoidant attachment styles but today I thought I’d do something different and talk about it’s counterpart, anxious attachment style as well.
So, what are they and how do they relate to space?
- Defining An Avoidant Attachment Style: Usually it’s someone who is great at the beginning of a relationship but as time goes on the level of physical and emotional intimacy required in the relationship scares them to the point that they freak out and leave citing a loss of independence.
- Defining An Anxious Attachment Style: Usually this attachment style is centered around someone who puts their entire life into their relationships. So much so that they don’t have any time for themselves (or really any independent identity.) While maybe at first this is “cute” or “nice” their behavior becomes increasingly desperate as they vie for control as their partner begins to slip away.
What’s interesting about these two attachment styles is perhaps the fact that they are naturally drawn together and while at first both styles will get what they need doom is on the horizon.
How do we know this?
Well, we’ve identified that most of our clients seem to exhibit anxious types of behaviors while their exes tend to exhibit avoidant behaviors.
What usually ensues is this self fulfilling phenomenon when these two attachment styles get together.
- The Avoidant: Starts of looking for a relationship because contrary to popular belief they don’t want to be alone forever.
- The Anxious: Enters into a relationship with the avoidant and gives the avoidant a lot of attention.
- The Avoidant: Things are great for them for a while. It’s a kind of honeymoon period.
- The Anxious: Might start wanting constant re-assurance from their partner.
- The Avoidant: The anxious tendencies from the anxious partner start to grate on their nerves and they begin looking to leave the relationship
- The Anxious: Senses the avoidant partner pulling away and they become even more anxious trying to save the relationship
- The Avoidant: Finally decides to leave when they can’t take it anymore. They are left wondering why this always happens to them.
This exact cycle plays out amongst a lot of the avoidant relationships. What do each of the specific points of the cycle have in common?
A lack of space.
Generally speaking there’s nothing that annoys an avoidant more than having an anxious person be anxious. Of course, most of the clients we deal with have some pretty excessive anxious tendencies ranging from,
- Blowing up their exes phone after a breakup
- Constantly needing re-assurance throughout the relationship
- Showing up at an exes work unannounced
- Giving an ex ultimatums
- Becoming excessively jealous in the relationship
Again, a lack of space being exhibited here. I suppose one can make the argument that anxious behaviors are generally classified by a lack of space towards the avoidant person.
So, what’s the fix?
Well, the obvious answer to that is to simply give your ex space but simply giving them space in and of itself isn’t going to make them miss you more. It’s only one stepping stone towards that eventuality.
Many people will point out that you should always use a no contact rule after a breakup and I do tend to agree with that but only if you understand what the real function of no contact is.
The Flaw With Relying On No Contact For Space
With the popularity of “get your ex back” websites and resources the no contact rule has pretty much gone viral.
I mean, just take a look at how many people search for information on it per month,
Over 16,400 people per month are searching for information on it.
Even more complicated is those 16,400 people have 746 million articles to sift through to glean information about the no contact rule and yet I find the majority of articles by my peers on the no contact rule entirely miss the point of it.
They’ll argue that with no contact absence makes the heart grow fonder. By ignoring an ex on purpose you increase the odds of them missing you. Technically that’s true but our research with success stories (meaning people who actually won their exes back) has taught us something different.
Let’s imagine you have two people who want to use the no contact rule.
- Person A
- Person B
Person A, being devastated by the breakup, only uses the no contact rule as a way to make their ex miss them. They surmise that the psychological benefits of ignoring an ex will yield results.
Person B, maybe starts out with the same mentality but falls in love with the self growth process that we teach during the no contact rule. In fact, by the end of their no contact period they aren’t really sure they want their ex back anymore.
Here’s my question.
Which strategy yields better results.
The answer should be pretty obvious, right?
We’ve actually found that our success stories who shifted their mindset from a “make my ex miss me” mentality to a “I’m not sure I want my ex to miss me” mentality had a great chance of actually making their ex miss them.
Really what I’m trying to argue for here is to change your intent with space. If you are simply giving an ex space because you think it’ll make them miss you then technically you are right. However, we’ve found even more success with your choices of what you do during that time where space is present.
Let’s talk a little bit about one of my favorite concepts.
Desire Exists In Space
There’s an interesting paradox that exists within desire.
When you have desire for someone there’s this inherent need to want to limit the amount of space you give them and yet when you close down all that space, when you peel back all their layers, desire is lost.
We’re often told that absence makes the heart grow fonder but what that quote is really calling attention to is the fact that a lot of desire for someone is built up in that absence portion but only if you’re doing the right things?
So, what is it you should be doing?
It’s odd to me that the key to potentially making an ex miss you has nothing to do with them at all. Rather it has more to do with reorganizing your life so that they are no longer the most important person in it.
It’s a function of priorities. Of finding something that you care more about than your ex. The problem a lot of my clients face is that their ex literally thinks they know everything about them.
It’s a little like seeing a movie for the fifteenth time. No longer does it pack the emotional resonance that it did the first time because you know everything that’s going to happen but with time that emotional resonance can come back.
Why the crazy movie analogy?
Well, I’ve literally tried this out multiple times throughout my life.
Ok, nerd alert here but I’m one of the biggest Buffy The Vampire Slayer Fans,
Throughout my twenties it was one of those things that I would hide from people because of the title of the show and yet I would do entire series run throughs like a crazy person.
So, my rule used to be I’d watch every episode from start to finish in a few months to go through the entire series and then I would immediately start it again.
Like I said I got a bit obsessed. Yet I found myself eventually getting bored of everything because I knew everything that was going to happen so I got the brilliant idea one day to just put Buffy away for a few years and see if it still was my favorite series.
After two years go by I pick the series up again and the emotional resonance had been rebuilt.
I had forgotten certain emotional beats or events and they packed a punch when I felt them again. Your ex is looking at you the exact same way. They’ve peeled back all your layers and think they know everything there is to know about you.
It’s your job to show them that they are wrong.
Your Purpose Is Not Your Ex, It’s Your Magnum Opus
What do you want to be remembered for when you die?
Surely it’s not a relationship, and a failed one at that.
You’d be surprised at how often I ask this question to people and they can’t answer it and usually those that do don’t have a worthy submission.
Your magnum opus is supposed to be your purpose in this life. I always link to this video and people get annoyed by how repetitive it may seem but I don’t know what to tell you. The real way to use space to make an ex miss you is to find your life’s purpose.
If this video can help you do that then I’ll chalk it up as a win.
Of course, most people never attempt their magnum opus for fear of failure or the simple fact that they lack the vision to do so. They are content to be dissatisfied with the way their life has gone.
They are content to blame others for their problems.
And so when those people go through a breakup and decide they are going to use space to get their exes back they don’t do anything valuable with that space.
They obsess about their ex…
Stalk their ex on social media…
Daydream about what it will be like if they can get their ex back…
Harbor doubts that anything will actually get their ex back…
Nothing has changed by the time they get back in contact with their ex and ultimately no progress is made.
Compare that to someone who spent all of their time focused on a task that meant more to them than their ex. They have this maniacal obsession with their lifes purpose to the point that they may have even forgotten about their ex.
The paradigm has completely shifted by the time they do get back in touch with their ex.
All of a sudden that ex says,
“You seem so different.”
The only thing that’s really changed is that the ex is no longer their top priority and they find that attractive. In an odd way there’s space happening within the gaps of priorities.