When you’ve shared a special connection with someone, it’s hard to let it go.
Especially when you know there’s still a lot of potential if he would just open his heart again.
You could build a beautiful life together.
If that’s something you want, then it’s only natural you would try to convince him that he should give the relationship another shot. After all, convincing him feels like the right thing to do.
Why would you not try to reason with him? Why wouldn’t you try to show him he’s making a mistake by pulling away?
Yet this is one of those times in life when our instincts lead us awry. Because convincing your ex never works. Fortunately, I know something that does.
Here’s the thing, triggering feelings will always trump logical argument.
Why? Because emotions run the show. We humans are not as rational as we’d like to believe. That’s true of all forms of decision-making, but especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
(By the way, If you’d like laser-targeted advice about getting your ex to talk to you again, check out my Relationship Rewrite Method here).
Emotion. It’s your best shot at winning him back.
I care about all my clients. But I have to be honest, sometimes a client’s story tugs at my heart and it gets personal for me. That was the case with Leah, a mother of five, the oldest of whom was born when she and the father were both seventeen, just high school sweethearts.
I’ll admit there was a judgmental part of me that thought Leah and Joel had been incredibly irresponsible to start having children while they were still children themselves. But I soon forgot all about that as I learned of the beautiful family they had created together. These two clearly belonged together.
And it was difficult to watch this beautiful family be torn apart by a short series of missteps and what I’ll call “almost-infidelity.” First by one, and then (in reaction) by the other.
Leah sought out my professional services first. Joel had moved out three months earlier. I could tell we had our work cut out for us.
Joel joined us a few sessions later. He was complacent with me and defiant with Leah. He had his mind made up. The hurt was just too great. But he claimed it was because Leah was “crazy.”
Leah, on the other hand, was not ready to let go of what they shared. She was going to fight for their love.
She had fire in her eyes every time she spoke directly to Joel in our sessions, demanding that he stop living the life of a bachelor, pursuing other women while her life began to look more and more like that of a single mother, just struggling to get by.
And this is where things get complicated for me. It was hard for me to maintain professional objectivity. You see, I wanted to convince Joel as well. I wanted to jump in with Leah and fight for this little family to survive.
Fortunately, I knew better.
So I privately began to teach Leah the techniques I’m going to share with you today. Let me show you the difference between convincing your ex versus triggering the right kind of feelings.
The easiest way for me to illustrate the difference between convincing your ex and triggering feelings is to offer you a simple list of do’s and don’ts. So let’s get right to it.
Don’t Do This:
- Don’t argue that he owes you an explanation since you know he still has feelings for you.
- Don’t tell him the relationship was going just fine and then try to get him to own his share of the blame for why things began to fall apart.
- Don’t imply he owes you something after all you’ve been through together.
- Don’t tell him real relationships take work and he needs to grow up.
- Don’t try to prove you shared something special by forcing him to acknowledge specific examples from your past.
All that telling, convincing, and arguing will get you nowhere. In fact, it will simply reinforce the painful emotions that are driving him away from you in the first place.
Why? Because his brain will automatically come up with counter arguments.
For example, if you tell him things were great in the past, he will immediately test the truth of that assertion by scanning his memories for contradictory evidence. He’ll think of the fights, the frustrations, and other low points.
He’ll mention those problems. And this will reinforce your efforts to convince. You’ll end up showing him your worst side. Angry. Desperate. And if that goes on too long, you’ll become bitter, resentful, and maybe even sarcastic.
You know it’s true. This is how we all react when something matters to us deeply but the other person refuses to be convinced. This is not what I want for you to show him. Don’t try to convince.
Instead, let his emotions do the work for you.
I’ll explain each of these briefly after listing the techniques.
- Build a private line of communication.
- Use private flirting but not broadcast flirting.
- Be vulnerable about struggles interfering with your goals.
- Throw rocks at his enemies.
- Make time your servant.
Build a Private Line of Communication
Here your goal is simple. Completely eliminate any communication via channels where others can observe his responses to you. Then ensure you have at least one private method for communicating with him directly. Text messaging is the most common method for achieving this.
Why not communicate on social media channels like Facebook? Because privacy releases him from the human compulsion to remain consistent. We don’t like to appear inconsistent. Psychologists call this “the consistency bias.” Once we have publicly committed to something (like a breakup) we feel foolish showing any sign that we are wavering or may have even made the wrong decision.
So your job is to completely remove that threat by eliminating any communication in public settings.
Don’t talk to him in front of the kids. Don’t talk to him in front of your friends or his friends. Don’t ask him to meet you in a public place for coffee and a chat.
He won’t even notice you’re not communicating with him publicly. Without realizing why, he’ll feel more open to exploring where things could go with you.
Just send him a pleasant message once every four or five days. Something you knew he would find interesting, funny, or exciting. Nothing about your relationship. No convincing.
Only send the kinds of messages that gradually condition him to expect that pleasurable little rush of dopamine you get when you open your favorite email newsletter or text messages from a friend who is good at making you laugh.
Don’t demand any kind of response. Just keep the doors of communication open.
Use Private Flirting but Not Broadcast Flirting
I wrote an entire article on this one powerful concept. I encourage you to read it in its entirety here.
For now, I’ll just share this simple explanation.
Broadcast flirting is on display for everyone to see.
When a woman uses broadcast flirting, everyone around can see what she’s up to.
For example, it’s broadcast flirting when Debbie laughs at all Daniel’s jokes at the office party and purposefully compliments him in front of others. Exclusive flirting is different.
Think of it like an exclusive club. There are only two people in the club, and the two people share something exclusive.
This is another reason your private line of communication is a must. You need an avenue to bring up insiders-only stuff like an inside joke or a reference to a funny moment only the two of you would remember.
Any message like that evokes the right kinds of emotion. It evokes the emotions that naturally arise from feeling part of something special. No convincing is needed.
Be Vulnerable about Struggles and Goals
Once your private line of communication is up and running, it’s time to step things up a notch.
Many brilliant people have talked about the power of vulnerability, including Brené Brown who has recently popularized the concept while helping us all to understand its true power. But I have a more specific purpose in mind for you.
If you are honest about goals you care about, and the struggles that block your way, it naturally triggers his hero instinct. It increases the chances that he’ll want to come to your rescue in big or small ways.
And for men, being someone’s hero is romantic in ways that are hard for women to understand. It tugs at an ancient instinct all of us men share.
Throw Rocks at His Enemies
It sounds cruel, but I mean it metaphorically. We all want someone to have our back. We all crave validation more than we are willing to admit.
And guess what? Your private line of communication is the perfect opportunity for him to complain about anyone or anything that’s getting in his way.
When it comes to your ex, this is an ideal opportunity to put “the respect principle” to work.
The respect principle is the main topic of the downloadable relationship course that first made me famous as a relationship coach. Thousands of women have taken my course and used the respect principle to bring out the best in their man.
Simply put, men confuse the emotional sensations they get from love and respect. And if forced to choose, they would rather feel respected than loved.
So when the frustrated text arrives, recognize it as the golden opportunity it is. Because we will do anything for someone who validates our frustration and takes our side when we are feeling insecure.
Give him the impression that you hold him in high esteem relative to other men. He’ll love you for it even if he’s not ready to admit it.
Make Time Your Servant
Waiting is hard. Especially when you fear his heart may be taken by another woman at any minute.
But feeling pressured to fix things fast is one of the worst culprits when it comes to my clients pushing men into a corner and inadvertently triggering his instinct to fight or flee.
Don’t let time pressure be a master. Instead, make time your servant. Make it work for you.
The key to accomplishing that is to recognize that time is on your side. He’s already pulled away from you. That’s done. Now you need time on your side because it works day and night to gradually break down the emotional walls he has built up against the idea of getting back together with you.
Give a man and a woman enough time together, and something’s bound to spark romantic feelings eventually. Give it enough time, and your private line of communication will eventually present you with an opportunity to see each other again face-to-face.
When that opportunity arises to spend time in person, here’s what you’re going to do. Make long, deep eye contact. Less talking, more silence.
Silence carries great power between lovers. It speaks louder than words and often evokes emotion in ways that bypass the barriers of words.
Plus, sustaining eye contact while thinking loving thoughts toward him will cause your pupils to dilate. Humans subconsciously notice this small change and it triggers reciprocal feelings of attraction.
So use periods of long, sustained eye contact. Make him wonder what you are thinking. Let his imagination do the work.
While you’re at it, it helps to wear something new and different. It helps to differentiate the woman from his past and the woman standing in front of him now. If you have the opportunity, show up in something he’s never seen you wear before.
I understand your situation is unique. Some of my suggestions may not apply. Despite that, I hope you will find opportunities to use this understanding of the difference between convincing and evoking the right feelings in the man you love.
To your happy future,
I had been with the love of my life for 3 yrs. Long distance. His ex wife was not good for our relationship and I held a grudge and said things about her or tried to vent my feelings to my ex and he would get mad. I paid for everything and drove the 2 hours every weekend and he didn’t come here often. But we were so perfect. He up and left said it’s my fault his ex and him have no co-parenting relationship and my children were ruining his children. That one I don’t understand. My oldest lived with him for 2 summers as his nanny. There was only normal sibling rivalry. He up and broke up with me and I believe was talking with someone else before he broke it off and is with her now. I want him back so bad. What do I do?? I’m at such a low point in life and just keep crying all day.
My ex of 3 years moved out in January. I was devastated. We had a huge fight and during, I said something that he said caused irreparable damage (he has been in trouble with the law before and I said I would tell them he hit me if he called them to come to the house to remove his stuff). He says he can never trust me again. I would never have done it, I couldn’t have hurt him that way. It was a stupid thing to say. I’ve told him that repeatedly but to no avail. He’s been betrayed by his own mom so he doesn’t believe me. I don’t know what to do. I love him and I regret it more than anything. He won’t communicate with me by phone. Has only responded to a few of my tracts when it involved ‘business’ and sent me an email saying it will never work because of the trust issue.
Hi! I tried everything I can find on the internet, even books and blog posts, to bring him back to me. Let me give you a little background.
We’ve been together for almost a year now. When we started, he almost always calls me or messages me everyday. We spend at least 3 to 8 hours a day for a phone call because we are in a long distance relationship. He would even helped me whenever I have some problems with my laptop, phones and external hard drives. He was enthusiastic whenever he helps me.
However, recently, like 2 or 3 weeks ago. He started changing and distancing himself. Even if I ask for his help or advice , he would ignore me. He kept saying he’s busy and that he has a lot on his plate but I often saw him online on a different social media platform. It pains me. I tried to tell him how I feel and told me that I should understand that he has a lot on his plate. I tried to accept it and reverted back to the way I was.
But the other night, when I needed his support emotionally, because I have been undergoing some pressures, I asked if he can spare some time to call me, hoping that he can help me calm down. Hoping that it will trigger his “Hero Instinct” like the book says. Unfortunately, he didn’t respond to me but I saw him active on social media. I’m not sure what I did wrong at this point. I tried to play it cool but he seems too far with his sudden change.
With that, the following morning, I sent him a message, telling him how I felt ,my insecurities, about us, if I ever did something wrong, but at the same time, thankful for our happy memories together.
His only response was “so u’d rather overthink than clear ur head and understand my being busy..”
Why does he have to keep me but ignore me at the same time? Does he want me to end it on my own so he wouldn’t feel guilty? It is so hard and painful.
Jen, I want you to consider an alternate possibility. What if he’s telling the truth and you end up pushing him away by appearing (to him) to be “emotionally needy” in the relationship at the precise moment when he has the least tolerance for that? And what if that creates a self-fulfilling prophesy for an outcome you do not want?
Efforts to get him to prove his love at this moment are doomed to fail. As odd as it sounds, the solution might be to ramp up your enjoyment of every little thing in the relationship, expecting a lucky outcome. Expand that mentality to the rest of your life, putting this relationship in a less important position in your mind for a month or two.
And if I’m wrong? Well, if I’m wrong, the relationship is going to end anyway. So it doesn’t change that. But if I’m right then you saved your relationship from a downward spiral, allowing it to flourish again when the moment is right.
While you wait for his busy season to pass, read this.
My husband and I have been together for 20 years, married for 10 and have 3 children, he started telling me we were having issues last March but we went to counseling and I thought we worked through it- fast forward to September he started acting distant, going out all the time, then in October I asked him if he wanted a divorce and he said he didnt know, then ultimately decided on divorce. In December we decided to scale back and out divorce on hold and try to work things out. Last week he decided that we are in fact going to get divorced and then I found out he’s been having an affair for the past 5 months with another married women. I am hurt beyond belief, he says he feels in his heart we are not meant to be together, but in my heart i feel differently. He says he wants to help me through this as much as possible and he wants to remain best friends. I don’t think i can do that with this other woman in his life. What are your suggestions. How can I open his heart back up to me. I cant imagine my family not together anymore.
I am sorry to hear about the challenges you are facing in your marriage. The fact that your husband has been having an affair is a difficult situation to navigate. It’s natural to feel hurt and betrayed, and you are not alone in these feelings.
If you want to keep the door open to him in case he changes his mind or begins to miss you and realizes his mistake, please do so. But don’t allow that circumstance to go on forever. Set a deadline for moving on (only you should know about the deadline). This prevents you from staying in limbo or defining your life as “on hold” for too long.
Please read our special topic report called The Reset Button.
Regardless of what happens next, you’re going to need social support. Reach out to friends, family, and maybe a therapist or coach you can meet with in person.
Lastly, remember that divorce can be a challenging and emotional experience, but it’s not the end of your happiness or your bond with your kids. There is life after divorce, and with time, healing, and support, you will find your way forward.
Oh boy! Did this hit home! My husband of 22 years left me while I was at work to live with another woman! I hired a PI to find him and it was actually my daughter that found him. I put a note on his truck giving him the option to meet with me 1 last time to talk and return home. Oh, he came home when he found out I had adultery charges on him! He came back long enough to have the adultery charges voided. But left again, yet to return to her claiming there was no adultery! I only had to prove it again. Now he has me blocked and I have no way to get his attention. I don’t want a divorce, even though I have filed. I know if this was fixed correctly, it would work. He won’t give me the time of day. How on earth do I get his attention so I can do all the things you mention?
Hi, Ruthie. I hesitate to mention our preferred solution for this situation because it seems there must be more to the story that we don’t understand. The kind of extreme measures he took to suddenly cut off any communication is extremely rare, and it suggests caution for anyone weighing in on the situation without understanding more about the two of you individually and the relationship history. This may be a good question to address with one of our coaches in the private forum.
But if self-help guidance is truly what you want right now, my relationship course called The Relationship Rewrite Method is what you are looking for. You can find it on the catalog tab of our website.
I’m a 77-year-old. I met Larry after my husband had passed away and his wife has passed away. He was the most wonderful guy he did everything he does. I couldn’t ask for more I like fell in love with him so much and one day he just told me it was over. He blocked me on the Internet. He’s blocked me on the phone. The only thing I can do is send a letter and that’s it. I am so hurt. I’ve tried tried and tried. I don’t even know what I did wrong and i I felt I had the perfect man I wanted to be with him the rest of the life he could live in his house and I would live in mine
And we could stay with each other, but no nothing nothing at all. I just feel like I’m way out in the field. We went up to Michigan. We did trips we went to the arch in Missouri. We could just so much I have a car we put it in car shows, and now he’s gone. I miss him so much.
I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through a difficult time. One thing that can be helpful in situations like these is to focus on what you can control and what is beautiful and good in life. While it’s understandable to feel hurt and confused when someone you love suddenly ends the relationship without explanation, it’s important to remember that you deserve someone who will treat you with respect and communicate openly with you. Remember that you are worthy of love and respect, and that there are people out there who will appreciate and value you.
Would this work when you’ve been texting/talking long distance with someone you’ve known for yrs as a past co-worker friend, but connected via a social media post that ignited the connection then suddenly pulled away?
Hi, Amber. Humans are complex. But one thing remains simple. Emotions run the show.
So it’s not a matter of “if” this works. It’s a matter of what other complicating factors might be causing his emotions to work against the idea of investing in building a connection with you.
The love of my life, said he needed space to figure things out. Why he wasn’t showing up as a partner. He slowly backed away and doesn’t even text anymore. It’s killing me. I asked him if we should totally break up, and he said “ friends with love.” I have no clue what that means. I’m trying not to text since Christmas Day. I really want him to come over for New Years. How long to I leave him alone?
This worked tonight. Wow. Every part of it.
My ex broke up with me after 3 years just over two months ago and i can’t move on. I am willing to try anything to get him back but I’m scared he’ll reject me. I bought your video His Secret Obsession but I think I need more help than that. What do you recommend? Please help me out! I love him and can’t let this go just because he was mad at me. Thank you 🙏🏽
Hi, Blanka. I admire people who take action, like you. And I admire the fact that you are going to go after what you want in life instead of just waiting passively.
I have encountered this kind of problem often enough that I created a special course focused exclusively on the art of re-creating a spark with your ex. You can find it here. Thanks for supporting my work with your purchase. I hope this course empowers your next step.
I have been seeing this guy for five months now and he grew distant and showed like he didn’t care most of the times we talked on phone hide his eyes from me most of the times we met.
The last time we got into an argument which I don’t know what sparked it cause clearly I had informed him about my coming late for our walk. I don’t know what to do any advice cause I don’t even know where I stand with him and why he acts mean and cold to me
I just want to thank you. Given our situation i dont know if there is a future for us (ex and kids involved). I waffle between letting it go which i dont want but i think there may be years involved until his kids get a little older. We had a bad argument when i was grieving over my dogs death. It has been tough.
But i did want to say- this SO works! Its crazy. I have to go back and reread it alot, because i fell off the wagon this past week when he distanced (thinking), and i wonder if hes courting a girl at work. But i read more last night and today it worked like a charm. Patience is a virtue they say and i feel i just have to so as you said and stick with it and see how it goes.
Thanks so much and many blessings to you.