Today, I’m going to explain the five stages of getting back together with your ex that could potentially explain your ex’s mysterious mixed messages— why your ex won’t talk to you and other problems and issues that you might be having in your attempts to get back together with your ex.
So let’s go ahead and get into this.
In order to understand why your ex won’t talk to you yet, we first need to understand the idea of emotional reactance.
You might not be familiar with the word “reactance” but you’re probably pretty familiar with the feeling of it. It’s that feeling you get when you’re sitting at home doing whatever it is that you do at home alone.
Somebody rings the doorbell. You get up and answer the door. Who do you see?
You see a man there ready to sell you a vacuum cleaner. You want to slam the door in his face and run away screaming.
That feeling you get when you open that door and you see the door-to-door salesman is emotional reactance.
And, for better or worse, that is the feeling that your ex often has towards you after a breakup.
So, let’s kind of break this down a little bit more. When you are in a relationship with somebody, you have a decent amount of positive emotion. Then when you go through a breakup, those positive emotions decrease.
Now, how much they decrease depends on the nature of your breakup and all sorts of factors that I can’t explain here. They’re unique in each situation.
But, if you had a bad breakup, they might go down all the way to zero or if you have a reasonably amicable breakup, it may go down to 50% or something like that.
That gap between the 100% full positive emotions and wherever you end up after the breakup is the emotional reactance.
Depending on how strong or weak that reactance is, you have to close that gap in order to get back together with your ex.
As this gap narrows and as it closes, you will be passing through five different stages of getting back together. Let’s go ahead and get into these because I’m sure that these might be a little bit familiar to some of you.
1. The wall of reactance.
The first stage of getting back together is called the wall of reactance.
This is what happens when the positive feelings go down to almost zero or maybe even zero. There are a lot of emotional reactance. There’s maybe like 100% emotional reactance, 90% emotional reactance— a very high number.
What happens when you are in this wall of reactance stage is that your ex simply would not talk to you. They would not answer the phone if you called them. They will not respond to your text messages. It’s basically like you’re talking to a wall, right?
The emotional reactance is what’s responsible for them not wanting to interact with you.
You may send your ex a text message and it has that same feeling to them of a the door-to-door salesman where they think:
“I’m just not going to respond. I was there during the breakup. They did the whole like begging and pleading thing. They try to buy me a gift. They tried to guilt me into getting back together. They tried to do some weird mind game shenanigans or something and I could just see right through that. I know where this is going. I’m just not going to get back in touch with them.”
Reactance is the first stage. At this stage, what you want to do is slowly wheedle away that emotional reactance. You don’t want to go for a big move like asking them to get back together with you or anything like asking for a commitment at this point.
All you simply want to do is create a good positive emotional connection.
How do you do this? You do this by simply sending out small innocuous messages, right?
I’m sure you probably had the experience of being walled out and you feel like you need to like keep trying harder and harder and harder in order to get through to them, right? But it just doesn’t work.
Oftentimes, the types of messages that we suggest in this particular situation are really innocuous and oftentimes to the untrained eye, somebody who sees them would be like, “Really? That would never work.” People think, “Really? No. No. That’s too tame. My ex would never respond to that.”
The reason why your ex will respond to it is because it IS so tame.
Small, innocuous messages don’t come laden with all of these expectations, right? That is the first stage of getting back together with your ex. It’s overcoming the wall of reactance.
2. The test drive stage.
As you start to close in and you’re at 20% to 40% positive feelings and you have maybe about 80% or less emotional reactance left, you start to get into what we call the “test drive” stage of getting back together with your ex.
At this point, your ex isn’t totally walling you out like they were in the wall of reactance stage but they’re basically testing the water.
When you text, email or call them, they’re not really ready to invest fully in a full conversation with you. You might experience getting one word responses or short, snippy replies.
You might text them with, “Hey, how it’s going?” And they respond back with, “Good.” Or like, “Hey, what have you been up to today?” “Not much.” There’s nothing for you to really sink your hooks into in order to pull out a full, meaningful conversation or a full interaction with them, right?
This is characteristic behavior of the test drive stage.
In order to move past this stage, you want to try to take things from the surface level communication down into the emotional level of communication.
In order to do it, you have to change the questions you are asking your ex.
Instead of saying:
“Hey, what happened to you today?”
You can say:
“Hey, so what are the best things that happened to you today?”
You’re shifting the level of the conversation down to a much closer emotional connection, right?
Obviously, we don’t have time to go into all of the conversational dynamics and stuff that I talk about over in my special top secret newsletter. But that just kind of gives you the rough idea.
Once you have pulled your ex down into that deeper emotional level of communication, that’s where you can start to rebuild your bond, create connection and talk about some more serious things like your feelings.
Because you’ll be able to do this in a natural and easy way, you’ll be able to move them from the test drive stage up to the next stage of communication with your ex.
3. Riding the dragon.
The third stage in getting back together is called riding the dragon. This is probably the most tricky and most confusing stage in the whole process of getting back together.
This happens when your positive feelings for your ex or their emotional reactance are right about 50%, give or take, maybe as low as 40% emotional reactance or as high as 60% emotional reactance.
At this point, you’re right around the midpoint between where your ex totally hates your guts and really wants to get back together with you.
Interesting things happen at midpoints. When it comes to getting back together with your ex, they’re kind of balanced on a scale, right? The future with your ex is right in the middle and one grain of sand on one side or the other can tip things one way or another.
“Hey, I really miss you. I still love you. I think we should get back together.”
Then the next day your ex says:
“Oh, you know what? I wasn’t thinking straight. I think we’re better off alone. You can date other people.”
And then the day after that they say:
“I’m sorry I said that. I really still care about you.”
On and on it goes.
If those kinds of mixed messages from your ex have ever happened to you before, this is where you were at and what was happening.
What you want to do in this particular stage is not get caught up in the back and forth jerking of now it’s hot, now it’s cold, now it’s confusing, now it’s crystal clear, and all that back and forth stuff because your ex is very confused.
You are very confused in the situation but they are even more confused because their emotional state and their emotional opinion of you keeps changing and shifting from one day to the next, one moment to the next.
In order to help them move from this stage of communication to the fourth stage, you have to really keep that emotional connection growing that you started to develop in the test drive stage. You have to keep that emotional connection really rock-solid strong and connected.
What that’s going to do is it’s going to show them that you are there for them and that you are not going to waiver and that you are a 100% there for them on their side. That’s going to get you to the next stage of getting back together.
4. The crisis point.
Stage four of getting your ex back is called the crisis point. “Crisis point,” sounds kind of scary, right? But it’s actually not so bad. In fact, it’s actually a good thing.
This is when your exe’s emotional reactance is down to 40% to 20% and they have about 60 to 80% positive feelings for you. Of course, none of this is scientific. There’s no device that I can use to scan your ex that will tell me their emotional state. This is to help you visualize things.
When you hit the crisis point, what has happened is they’re over that 50% hump and they really like you so they have a majority of positive feelings for you.
The two of you are connecting pretty well but there is usually one major thing that’s keeping the two of you apart.
This could be something logistical like maybe your ex is in a rebound relationship and they are not really ready to let go of that yet. It could be something related to the breakup like some circumstance that caused them to break up with you and they are still not sure if you’re able to change and give them a different relationship than what led to the breakup in the first place.
The two of you are connecting pretty well but there is still that thing going on in the back of their mind that says, “I don’t know if I’m ready to go all-in on this just yet.”
What you want to do in this particular situation is demonstrate to them—not tell— but demonstrate to your ex that things are going to be different when the two of you get back together.
Obviously, this is why begging and pleading doesn’t work.
You can’t say, “Oh, I promise things are going to be different. I promise I’m going to get the job or stop cheating (or whatever).”
You have to actually demonstrate change to your ex.
Through demonstrable action over a period of consistent time, they will really understand that you are committed to them and you are not going to be the same person that they broke up with in the first place.
Your ex has to understand that they’re not going to be walking back into the same relationship that they walked out the door on the first place.
This is going to help them get over that last final hump of the crisis point that will bring you to the fifth and final stage of getting back together with your ex.
5. New beginnings.
Here you are at 80 to 100% positive feelings toward you. Their emotional reactance rather towards you is down to 20% to zero percent. Again, totally not scientific, just for conceptualization so you can understand this.
At this stage of rekindling your relationship, all that’s really left to do is for you to have a talk with your ex and for you to sit down and say, “Hey, we’ve been hanging out for a while and I’ve been having a good time. It seems to me like you’ve been having a good time. Why don’t we go ahead and get back together again?”
You can both spell things out on the table and talk about any last-minute hesitations you might have, make plans together on how you cannot fall into the same problems that you had in your relationship in the first place, and all those kind of things.
This is where the whole commitment collaboration process comes into play where you can actually work together with your ex to create a new stronger, better relationship than you had in the first place.
WARNING: you do NOT want to bring up the subject of getting back together with your ex until you have come all through these other five stages to the point where you are at the new beginning stage.
This is super important.
I do not want to hear any of you saying, “Hey, I was totally in wall of reactance and I asked my ex to get back together. Why did he or she say no?”
You weren’t ready! Their reactance was too high. Your ex was not ready to talk about it.
These have been the five stages of getting back together.
If you want, I’ll show you exactly how to get your ex to talk to you so that you can get back together and have an even closer relationship than ever before..
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