Modern Love Creating Loving Relationships Sat, 14 Dec 2019 21:32:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Modern Love 32 32 Creating Loving Relationships Modern Love Creating Loving Relationships Modern Love Protected: Join Me and I Will Guide You Toward A Great Loving Relationship Where You Can Be Loved for Who You Are Thu, 30 May 2019 04:16:30 +0000 There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Protected: A Sneak Peek: Our Coaching Program Tue, 28 May 2019 17:06:30 +0000 There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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What I Am Thinking About Private and Group Coaching Tue, 21 May 2019 20:59:32 +0000 The post What I Am Thinking About Private and Group Coaching appeared first on Modern Love.


Several days ago, I asked if you would be interested in either private one-on-one coaching or possibly a group coaching class that I was considering teaching.

And the response was a resounding “YES!” To both.

I’ve had HUNDREDS of people express interest in this over the past few weeks.

And I’ve been completely inundated with blog comments, survey responses, and emails (sorry if I haven’t gotten back to you yet, I’m really trying to catch up, but it may take some time…!)

Through this whole process I have been completely humbled by all of the support and encouragement that I’ve received from all of you. I really appreciate that you’re willing to have a conversation with me about all of this.


After reading countless messages and surveys from you, I’ve been putting together the outline for what our online class (that we are all creating together) might look like.

And here’s a short video explaining what I’m currently thinking.

After watching the video, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think of this.

I’m still testing out some software programs to manage what we’re all creating here… and I have a few appointments to talk with representatives from other software companies too.

But I should have an official offer and registration page for BOTH the private coaching and the group coaching class soon (likely next week).

Again, thank you so much for your support and encouragement through all of this. It really has meant the world to me!

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A Heart to Heart Conversation About Your Relationship Tue, 14 May 2019 21:59:45 +0000 The post A Heart to Heart Conversation About Your Relationship appeared first on Modern Love.


[Note 1: I highly recommend that you carefully read all of this if you are interested in either private coaching or group coaching]

[Note 2: This isn’t a “public” post that I want shared all over the internet. This is only for the interest list that you are a part of. So please don’t share this on social media :)]

Hi, this is Clay and I’m hoping that you have a little time today to have a heart-to-heart conversation. I think it’s about time. In fact, I think it’s overdue.

I’m talking about a GOOD heart-to-heart conversation (not like the kind of heart-to-heart people have when they break up—this is the opposite of that kind of conversation).

Pull up a chair and let’s have a heart-to-heart conversation…

Something Has Been Brewing

(But Brewing Nonetheless)

I’ve been helping people with relationships, dating, and breakups for almost 10 years (back when the only other relationship videos on YouTube just had robot voices and stock photos).

And even though I’ve been asked many, many times over the past year or so to coach people and help them with their breakup, their dating life, or their relationship… I’ve resisted it.

After all, my wife and I are new parents, and juggling a new human life (!) with running a business has been a real struggle.

I honestly didn’t think that I would have the time to really handle coaching.

But now that we’ve started to find our own rhythm with our daughter (who is quickly coming up on her first birthday—where did the time go…?), I’m starting to open up to the idea again.

So, a few weeks ago, I asked you if you’d be interested in having me be your coach.

…And (lo and behold) between emails, blog comments, etc. I’ve received HUNDREDS of responses from people from all over the world (living in my city… to all the way on the other side of the world!).

Every time I’ve written a blog post or email about this coaching experience (which we are all building TOGETHER), I’ve received an unimaginable number of replies and comments.

I thought I was dreaming. I thought I was hallucinating. I just didn’t anticipate a response like this.

But What Surprised Me Was How Much Your Responses Impacted Me on a Personal Level

I didn’t anticipate that all of this would have a deep and profound impact on me, emotionally.

Your surge of support was encouraging and exciting and unreal and inspiring and overwhelming and humbling and scary.

And for the first time in a long time, I got REALLY excited about a new project for my business.

But in the midst of the range of emotions WE ARE ALL feeling about this, I never felt intimidated.

Back when the hundreds of responses started coming in, I never felt intimidated.

How I Came to Feel Intimidated

A few days ago, I asked everyone interested in group coaching to fill out a survey.

Again, I received hundreds of responses that were detailed, thoughtful, and amazing.

And it was looking through these responses that I started to feel intimidated. Looking at these response helped me realize the immensity of what we are about to do together. I got intimidated because there is nothing quite like what we are about to do.

In your survey responses, you told me that you want support, you want individual coaching calls and check-ins, you want to know that you’re not alone, you want to be around people that support and encourage you–among many other things!

AND I DON’T BLAME YOU. I Think You Need These Things Too!

But it hit me that this isn’t going to just be some fun side project (although it certainly would be fun). With the hundreds of comments I’ve gotten, it occurred to me that this is going to be bigger than I imagined.

I realized that, if this group coaching is REALLY going to work, this is going to need to be more than a fun project that I get excited about…

…And that I’m going to need to cancel some plans and rearrange my schedule for a few months.

And it hit hit me that this whole program won’t be dirt cheap to run or attend.

This will be an undertaking for both you and me because this isn’t just going to be a forum filled with newbies giving out “fortune cookie” advice. This is going to be an all-inclusive group coaching experience.

What It All Comes Down To…

I am 100% committed to making this work.

It is very important to me that my clients get the most that they can out of this.

If I go forward with this group coaching course, I cannot go halfway with this.

It’s all or nothing.

I want this to be the highest quality program out there. Hands down.

Let’s Talk…

Here’s The Part Where We Have a Heart-to-Heart

Going through this whole journey will, of course, be a learning experience for you.

But this will be a learning experience for me as well.

I will need to hone in on what is most useful to you and how to best help you and mentor you (so that you are equipped for ANY situation that comes up in your dating and relationship life).

The Very First Graduating Class (Exciting!)

When this group coaching program is open to the public, I want to have all the kinks worked out.

I want to ensure that the online curriculum covers the most important topics to you.

I want to make sure that our group coaching calls go off without a hitch.

And I want to have a ton of success stories and positive testimonials from the people that embark on this journey with me (you!).

When we officially open this up to the public, I want to make sure that everything works as well as possible.

How You Can Benefit From This

I am considering offering an initial group of people access to this group coaching experience for a sharp discount off of the eventual price.

These first few people will be the first graduating class, and they’ll probably also get other benefits too, that I’m toying with, but don’t feel comfortable announcing just yet.

Here’s the Trade-off…

As members of this first graduating class, I’ll want extra feedback and participation from you. I’ll want you to give me lots of input on the structure and content of the entire experience. What you’d like to spend less or more time on. And which aspects of the experience you find most valuable. And, of course, let me know as soon as possible if there are any technical glitches (and have patience with me as we get them fixed quickly…!).

And in Exchange for This, You’ll Get a Sharp Discount Off the Final Price

Oh yeah, and you’ll also get discounts, special perks, etc. on future group coaching or online courses that I create.

Are you POTENTIALLY interested in being a part of this?

At this point, I’m not looking for any commitments (after all, I haven’t even decided on the price yet…).

…But if you’re POTENTIALLY interested in being a part of the first graduating class, then please click this link to send me an email. (clay [at]

Let me know:

1.) That you are interested, and…

2.) How much you think this group coaching should cost when we officially open up (remember that you will get a sharp discount).

IF I decide to move forward with this program, I’ll send you more details in the next few days.

Stay Tuned,


Please take a moment and send me an email, letting me know…

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The Final Call (An Update on My Coaching Program) Thu, 09 May 2019 16:17:35 +0000 The post The Final Call (An Update on My Coaching Program) appeared first on Modern Love.


Hey there, I hope you’re having a great day and that you’re planning a great weekend.

This weekend is Mother’s Day, and since it’s my wife’s first Mother’s Day as an actual mother, we’re trying to do something special.

(I also feel like I should do something special my my mom too… Now that I’m a parent, and I know all the struggles first-hand, I feel like I should get her a drink… or a car… or a private island or something…)

And it’s pretty crazy, just thinking about how much life has changed just in the past year alone…

Plus, it’s totally insane to think that my daughter is almost a year old (and that it’s only 17 more years before she’s an adult…!).

Anyway, here is…

Life has changed a LOT in the past year since becoming a parent!

An Update on Private Coaching and Group Coaching

On Tuesday, I sent out an email asking you if you would be interested in getting coaching from me, either personal one-on-one coaching or group coaching.

I didn’t even want to think about moving forward with this unless enough people were interested.

I was actually quite shocked and humbled that over 120 people raised their hand and said that they wanted to work with me.

And That Was a Clear Signal to Me That You Want This!

So, we are going to move forward with this.

I’ll be putting together a formal offer for personal coaching soon.

Plus, since there are a lot of people interested in group coaching and an interactive course, I’ll be organizing something for that too.

The Final Call

Moving forward, only people on this special “Coaching interest list” will receive insider updates and information on both the personal coaching program and the group coaching interactive course.

So, if you want to get information, updates, and early access to either coaching program, please make sure that you have signed up, if you haven’t already.

Starting next week, I’ll send out another survey to this interest list so that we can  create the best possible experience for everyone!

The Final Call

Okay, so that’s it for now.

Have a great weekend.

And remember to call your mom 🙂

Jotting down some ideas.

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What It Takes to Be Successful in Love and Relationships Mon, 06 May 2019 22:50:01 +0000 The post What It Takes to Be Successful in Love and Relationships appeared first on Modern Love.


Note 1: I am thinking about taking on personal coaching clients again… and also teaching an interactive group coaching course. If you are interested, please sign up below to get updates and to be the first invited to join when we are ready…

Note 2: In case you missed it, this is a followup to this post which received over 100 comment from people all over the world. I did my best to respond to each comment!

If you can’t watch this video right now, you can read the blog post below.

As you probably know, I wasn’t born knowing all the things I’ve learned over the years about dating and relationships.

I had to learn this the hard way.

Through a lot of trial and error.

But one of the best decisions I made was way back in 2007.

I had re-read a book I picked up years ago called No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover.

At the time I was single after a devastating breakup and I was trying to figure out all this dating stuff, without much luck

Anyway, I was reading the book and the thought popped into my head…

“Hey, Dr. Glover works in the Seattle-area. I live in Seattle. Why don’t I look into working with him?”

So, a week or two later, after trading a few emails back and forth with him, I sat in my car in the parking lot of some modest professional building in Bellevue that psychologists and therapists used as offices… including Dr. Glover.

Me in 2007… So young and naive… (Trivia: This was actually my online dating profile picture when I met Mika)

I Was Trying to Work Up the Courage to Actually Go in the Building

He was (and still is) known as an expert on the Nice Guy Syndrome, which perfectly described the person I was back then, by the way.

I felt weird going to see a psychologist, but I told myself that something needed to change if I was going to get control of this part of my life. Somehow I pushed through my anxiety, and went in to talk with Dr. Glover.

And shortly after that, I became part of one of Dr. Glover’s men’s groups for single men.

It was strangely serendipitous. I didn’t know it at the time, but Dr. Glover had recently gone through a divorce and he was single now, trying to figure out the dating world in his own way (He was married when he wrote his book, and made a few passing references to his marriage in his book, so I just assumed that he was still married).

And Dr. Glover seemed to have figured out this dating thing…

Plus, he was an expert at Nice Guy Syndrome, which is exactly what was holding me back (in pretty much every area of life, not just dating and relationships).

The Support I Needed to Turn Things Around

My men’s group wold get together every Thursday. Dr. Glover, me, and seven other guys would talk about what was going on over the past week, both in the realm of dating, but also in regards to other areas of life too. We’d get to know each other. And afterword, we’d sometimes go out and get a beer at a pub down the street called the 520 (how weird, I just looked it up and it’s still there!).

Dr. Glover was also teaching online classes too on dating and relationships, so he would use our group as test subjects for his classes.

It was actually fun to do these classes with a group of other guys.

We could hold each other accountable, support each other, and encourage each other. Sometimes we’d even go out on weekends and do our homework assignments together (approaching women, intentionally getting rejected, etc.)

I Really Loved That Time in My Life

And, it just so happened that that was the period of my life when this whole dating thing finally started to click for me.

I got in the habit of pushing my own comfort zone, leaning into fear, and listening to the voice inside of me that was nudging me to live a life that was meaningful to me.

I started dating some great women that spring and summer. They were nothing like my ex-girlfriend (who wasn’t that great for me because of incompatible personalities). In fact, they were like a breath of fresh air. I didn’t know that dating could actually be so much fun and enjoyable! (novel concept, isn’t it?)

That summer, though, I left the men’s group. As the result of the growth I had with them, I realized I wanted to go to grad school, and so, that summer I moved away to Arizona to attend ASU, where I lived for two years, and eventually met my wife, Mika.

But I still look back fondly on that chapter of my life.

Mika and I in 2016, at a conference in Cancun. I never would have been able to meet, date, or marry a woman like her without the support and growth I received back in 2007.

What Made All the Difference

I’m certain that the reason I was able to make progress in my dating life (and other areas of my life, in general) during that period, was because I had a support system in place.

After all, I had a lot of information that I had read about online or in ebooks, but I wasn’t actually using it.

With this group, I had Dr. Glover, which was, of course, a huge benefit.

But I also had the 7 other guys in my group. They kept me accountable. They pushed me to try new things. They encouraged me. And I did all of that for them as well too.

Is It Possible to Predict If Someone Will Be Successful?

Since I’ve started helping people with relationships and dating, I’ve sometimes wondered what makes a person successful or not.

Is it possible to look at someone, maybe when they first write in, and determine if they’re going to succeed or not?

Well, I can’t say anything with 100% certainty, but there is a connection between the support systems a person has in place and the results they are going to get.

After all, we all have a tendency to just stay in our comfort zone or to stick with what seems familiar.

That’s why so many of us have books at home that we’ve never actually read… or maybe we did read them, but we didn’t put them into action.

  • How many of us have given up on diets or fitness plans when they became inconvenient?
  • How many of us have tried learning a new skill such as a foreign language, but put it on hold because other areas of life have gotten in the way?
  • How many of us just don’t seem to be making progress in one area or another of our lives, despite the fact that we really want change?

Hey, I’ve been there myself. I’ve got a gym membership that I haven’t used in months. I’ve got Japanese and Tagalog books gathering dust at home. I’ve got all sorts of things I’ve wanted to do that I’ve just put on the back burner for now. (I really under estimated how exhausting raising a baby would be…!)

It’s only through extraordinary circumstance that we are able to grow beyond the person that we are and become someone else.

And, I believe that we often drift back into our comfort zone or give up on our goals or ambitions because we don’t have the proper support structures in place.

When it’s just us, alone in the world, with nothing but a guidebook on Tagalog grammar or successful relationships, we’re going to have a really tough time.

But when we surround ourselves with other people who are doing the same things and on the same journey as we are, absolute magic can happen.

Organizing my thoughts on relationships and dating back when I was putting together our current courses and curriculum.

I’ve seen this many, many times

People who take our courses tend to do better than those that just browse around online for free advice (once you pay money, you’re committed because you’ve got something on the line now).

People who are in our Modern Love Association (where they can talk with one another or participate in MQA) tend to do better than people who just take one of our classes alone without the support

And the people who I’ve worked with personally through coaching have done better than those who are just in the Modern Love Association.

Of course, these are just general trends. It’s totally possible to be successful based on free info, for example, but the deck is stacked against you because you don’t have that support and accountability, and it’s easier to just drift back into your comfort zone or your familiar habits.

Me at a temple in Taiwan in 2015. Each one of these things attached to the tree represents a sort of prayer that someone made.

So, Here’s What I’m Thinking of Doing

My wish from all of this is that I want to see you THRIVE when it comes to your love life.

That’s why I want to give you the structured support and help that I’ve seen work in my own life (in my men’s group) and in the lives of my clients.

Based on last week’s blog post, it seems that there is a lot of interest in both private coaching as well as some sort of group coaching / interactive class.

If You Are Interested in Coaching Fill Out This Form

After you sign up, I’ll send you a short survey about all of this, so I can get a better idea of what you’re looking for how I can help you through coaching (either private coaching or group coaching).

IF… enough people sign up, I’ll take that as strong interest in this, and we’ll move forward.

But I don’t even want to think about doing this if no one is interested.

Thanks again for reading all of this. And thank you again for all the encouragement and kind words throughout this whole process.


Me at that same temple in Taiwan, looking out over Taipei

The post What It Takes to Be Successful in Love and Relationships appeared first on Modern Love.

I Need Your Advice (PLEASE) Tue, 30 Apr 2019 19:26:30 +0000 The post I Need Your Advice (PLEASE) appeared first on Modern Love.


Note: In case you’re wondering, this is a followup to this post that I made a few days ago, which, by the way, received more of a response than I’ve seen in a very long time!

If you can’t watch this video right now, you can read the blog post below.

Okay, so a lot of people were asking about that cliffhanger at the end of that last post.

Sorry about that.

Maybe it’s too much drama from sleep deprivation (#babylife)… Or maybe it’s last minute hesitation on my part that kept me from really spilling the beans on what I had in mind…

I Feel Reluctant to Talk About This, But Here It Goes…

As you may or may not know, this whole relationship coaching thing has gotten way out of hand (in the best possible way!)

It really is a cool experience to get success stories from people who have been able to save relationships or attract and date the partner they’ve always wanted.

…But what really humbles me is when I get an update from someone I worked with a while back, and they tell me that they’re getting married… or that they’ve having a child with someone that I coached them to being in a relationship with.

It really makes me stop think about the big picture here…

And don’t get me wrong.

I can’t take credit for these people getting married or having kids.

They did all the hard work to get the relationship that they wanted.…But to think that I played a small role in setting up a major life milestone in someone else’s life is truly humbling.

A client (Stephen) on his wedding day.

So, Here’s What I’ve Been Holding Out On…

I’ve been:

  • Nicely asked…
  • Strongly encouraged…
  • Begged…
  • Pleaded with…

To start taking on personal coaching clients again.

Or at least to work with people in a closer more interactive sort of way (such as group coaching or live interactive online class of some sort).

Another client (Faye) on her wedding day. (They had a baby shortly afterward)

I’ve Resisted This for a LONG Time

As you probably know, having a baby has been an amazing and life altering experience for me.

But as someone who works from home, I really couldn’t take coaching clients with an unpredictable baby in the house who could start crying or need attention at any moment.

Plus, my wife, Mika (who is also my business partner) typically did coaching together with me (we were a team).

Since she’s so busy taking care of our daughter these days, I wasn’t sure if people would want to work with “just me.”

(The truth is that I’m not really much into small talk, and, when it comes to coaching, I tend to be pretty action-oriented, which I sometimes worry comes off as cold and uncaring, even though I actually do care quite a lot about my clients).

I love my daughter a lot, but she sure makes it hard to work from home!

That’s Not All Though…

I know that personal coaching can be limiting too, since I can really only work with a few people at a time. Plus, the cost of personal coaching can be a real obstacle for many people too.

The truth is that I’ve been feeling a pull to serve the students in our courses (you) in a deeper way.

Sure, we have the Modern Love Association and Mentorship Q&A.

And that helps.

But I’ve been sensing a disconnect in the community for a while now.

And I didn’t know what to do about it.

Until a little while a go, at least…

That’s when I had the idea of leveling up the Modern Love Association and offering a more personal group coaching experience.

Or maybe teaching some of our classes in more of an interactive sort of way to really help you take in the material and directly apply it to your life or your situation.

The truth is that I really don’t know exactly what this might look like just yet, which is the whole point of having this discussion with you… I’m hoping we can figure this out together!

Another client (Lisa) on her wedding day.

How I’m Trying to Learn from the Past

I can be a bit of a perfectionist.

(I don’t know if it means anything, but back when I was taking Psych 101 as a freshman, they gave us all a personality test, and I came back as being in the 90th percentile for perfectionism…).

So, I know that if I do this, it will be a lot of work.

So, before I go “all in” on this idea and let my perfectionism kick in and turn this idea into an energy intensive project, I want to check with you.

Is this something you would be interested in?

What do you think?

Should I do this?

I don’t even want to THINK about doing this if there isn’t any interest in this.

So, please leave a comment down below and let me know what you think.

Would you be interested in personal coaching?

How about group coaching?

Or what about some sort of interactive online course that we could do together over a few weeks with Q&A group coaching sessions?

Your feedback would mean a lot to me, and I’ll do my best to respond to each comment.


The post I Need Your Advice (PLEASE) appeared first on Modern Love.

Getting Personal — And FINALLY Doing What You Told Me To Do Mon, 29 Apr 2019 20:59:35 +0000 The post Getting Personal — And FINALLY Doing What You Told Me To Do appeared first on Modern Love.


If you can’t watch this video right now, you can read the blog post below.

So, on most days, I’ll share advice and strategies for having a great relationship or dating life.

Well, today is going to be a bit different…

You see, today is my birthday (I’m 37, for anyone curious about this…).

And, last weekend, I was spending some time with my wife and baby daughter and some other family who were visiting from out of town.

And it really had me thinking about how much my life has changed, just in the past year (since becoming a dad), let alone the several years since I’ve been helping people with relationships and dating.

And it caused me to actually think about where I want my life to go and what I want to do moving forward.

Me and my daughter a few months ago (her first time at a restaurant… and she found the menu to be extremely amusing…!)

Thinking More About the Future…

Of course, having a baby has been a huge shift in my life this past year, but now that I’m settling back into things after the initial “shock” to my life and adjustment period of becoming a dad has passed (the transition to life with a baby is an unimaginable change! — as anyone out there with kids can probably confirm), I’m left thinking about the future.

I haven’t really talked about this, but around the beginning of this year, I decided to expand the reach of our business, the Modern Love, to impact more people.

That’s why I’ve been doing a lot more things to interact with more people, such as:

…Among many other things.

Sure, as a business owner, I’ve always put in work to grow and improve my business.

But things have seemed quite different over the past few months.

I don’t know… Maybe it’s because I’m sensing that summer is creeping up fast… Maybe it’s because I look at photos of my baby daughter from even just a few months ago, and I’m shocked at how fast she’s growing (and it has me thinking about time)… Maybe it’s because I’m in my “late 30’s” now (It seems like I just turned 30 yesterday!)… Maybe it’s because my wife and I have been thinking about what we want our lives to look like as a family, now that we’re finally settling into a good rhythm with our daughter.

A client and I meeting up for coffee while I was on a business trip in Colorado.

…But this definitely FEELS very different.

I’m serious!

I’m absolutely committed to serving you and helping you have a great relationship and connection with whoever you choose to be in a relationship with.

And it is absolutely heartwarming to get success stories from people who I’ve worked with over the years who have gone on to get married or start families with people who were just inaccessible to them before.

In truth, I can’t take credit for these people’s success, since they obviously did all the work, but to think that I may have played some small role in the process is very humbling.

And I’ve been honored to help people on their journey toward love.

Another client and I getting together in Barcelona


(The Infamous “But”…)

There is one very BIG thing that needs to be addressed, that I’ve been holding back on.

I’m considering stepping into the discomfort and do this, even though it would probably be a LOT of work and take me away from other projects.

But I think it might be time.

And I’m going to need your help and advice on this along the way too.

Anyway, that really BIG thing is…

(…To Be Continued…)


PS: I’ll be back in a few days to tell you more, but until then, what are your plans for the summer (or winter if you’re “down under”)? Leave a comment below and let me know.

The post Getting Personal — And FINALLY Doing What You Told Me To Do appeared first on Modern Love.

He Never Texts First But Always Replies [RIG 29] Fri, 05 Oct 2018 23:13:37 +0000 The post He Never Texts First But Always Replies [RIG 29] appeared first on Modern Love.



Among one of the many myths in the dating world, one that takes women over the edge is when a man doesn’t take initiative to approach them. We as women have been programmed to think that it’s a man’s duty to always call first, to ask us out first and/or to text us first.

We’ve all been told that it’s the man’s duty to chase the women. A woman’s place is to be the object of his desires and therefore should never do the initiating… and god forbid if you do that because it’s the man’s duty after all… right? What I find inherently wrong with this mentality is that it dehumanizes people and takes away the power they hold over themselves. It causes us to feel worthy based on someone else’s perception of us. It makes us want to be validated in order to feel that we are lovable. In that sense we become our fragile egos- that needs constant elating. It also implies that both men and women in the dating world are only interested in playing games. It gives us the idea that we all need to play games to make people fall in love with us.

Of course what we’re talking here today isn’t just applicable to men its applicable to everyone. We’ve all at some point or the other felt that we need win someone’s love and affection. We have all felt like they are the trophy that needed to be won, and that in turn would validate our worth, that it would in some way make us happy…. That’s why this whole idea of being chased so important to us. We want to feel validated that we are somehow worth of being pursued. To cave in and text first means it undermines our value as human beings and we become worthless in someone else’s eyes.

If our main focus in any relationship is keeping score on who texts first, who calls first, who asked out who first, then we’re not focusing on the essence of the relationship. We are not focusing our energy on what truly matters. We’re not cultivating an emotional connection. It’s when the emotional connection is weak that we focus on other things to feel validated. That’s why we look for signs that our relationship is stable, or progressing or he’s interested in me etc etc.

When I look at my past relationships I have often found myself keeping such score. Now that I look at it objectively, I understand my reasons for doing what I did and feeling the way I did. I understand why I wanted him to text me first, or call me or arrange a date with me FIRST. I needed him to do all the initiating. I needed him to initiate because I felt deeply unhappy with the overall state of my relationship (or the lack of it to be honest)… We didn’t have a strong emotional connection. Most of our communication was restricted to cryptic texts and IMs that didn’t go beyond the surface. I knew the relationship wasn’t progressing and that frustrated me. I wanted signs that it was going forward in some way. So I tried using these superficial things to keep score of how well my relationship was progressing with him. It at first started with keep track of how many times he messaged me first and how many times I messaged him first. Even when we were messaging back and forth I was always on pins and needles wondering when he would send his next reply. When the communication wasn’t happening often enough I had to find some other way to know he liked me (Oh! Why or Why doesn’t he like me?! He has to like me, he did after all text me first the other day!).

Then it slowly progressed to me using social media as an outlet for my frustration. I was basically so starved for his validation that I was using his likes of my statuses and pictures to feel that he was still interested in me. Before long I found myself addicted to facebook just waiting for him to respond to me in some way. Of course I never contacted him first or liked his statuses or directly try to engage with him (“Let him do the initiating” I thought it is HIS job after all!). All the while I was waiting for him to “cave in” and text me I was wracking my brains out trying to find ways to get him to talk to me. Although I didn’t want to seem desperate in his eyes, I was desperate for his attention. I was acting from a place of desperation and it was because I was needy. We always think neediness is some overt behavior like stalking your ex-boyfriend or texting like a million times a day. It’s not…

What we don’t realize is that neediness is a mindset and keeping score of who texts first or who calls who first is just the tip of the ice berg. It’s a manifestation of something deeply unsettling within you. When you feel this compulsion to keep score ask yourself, what’s causing it. Listen to that feeling of discomfort within you. Because it underlines something important that needs to be addressed.  Maybe it’s got to do with your own insecurities- maybe it’s how you feel about yourself and your outlook on the world and your partner and your relationship that needs changing. Maybe it’s something about the relationship or your partner that feel doesn’t right to you… Maybe it’s your subconscious telling you that your partner or this relationship isn’t fulfilling your emotional needs. If your partner is inherently someone who is passive (not in to texting first or calling first or arranging dates) and that is something you can’t accept about them, then it’s something you need to think about. You have to be able to accept that about your partner if you’re looking to be with them long term. You have to accept them for who they are at this moment.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with picking up the phone and sending that text to your beloved. Some people are very passive, and some people are shy. Some guys just need a little push to open up. It’s okay to take that chance. Even if they don’t respond at least you know right? It’s better than waiting on them to initiate all the time. Waiting on them to initiate all the time could even lead them to think that you’re not interested in them or invested in the relationship.

In my relationship with my ex for instance, all that worrying ultimately turned out to be for nothing because we lacked a strong emotional connection. So I needed to feel that sense of security through other things. Things that focused on the quantity of our interactions rather than the quality of it. When I first started getting to know my husband as a friend, we had such a strong emotional connection that it didn’t matter who texted who first. If my memory serves me right, I was the one who first texted him after that fateful day when we met. If you cultivate a strong enough emotional connection, there will be no room for questions about “is he/she interested in me?” You will know that your connection goes beyond superficial things like how many texts were exchanged, and how often he/ she initiated. I’m glad I took that chance to talk to him. I’m glad I took that chance to text him first.

You never know what adventures await you but only if you take the initiative to step out of your comfort zone. As long as you limit yourself to what feels safe and what feels comfortable you will not allow room to learn and grow. Learning is important and growth is important if we are to succeed in life. So don’t hesitate to break away from what’s holding you back. Learn to embrace uncertainty in life. Only certain thing in life is uncertainty, and by learning to be okay with it, we learn to make peace with the unknown. Its only when we give up the control we have over everything besides ourselves, that we can take control of what’s within us. That’s when we can control our emotions, thoughts and actions. By learning to respond to situations instead of reacting we stop becoming victims to circumstances outside of us. That’s what ARS is about. That’s what ARS ultimately is. That’s where it all connects.

I hope this week’s blog helped you in some way, and if you have any comments and thoughts you would like to share with us, please do leave a response and I will try my best to get back to all of you!

Check out this week’s episode here

He never texts me first! Are you keeping score in your relationship? RIG [29]
Hey there, this is clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the relationship inner game experience this week in the relationship inner game experience we’re going to be talking about when a guy never texts you first, but he always responds when you text him first. Okay? And this is mostly directed at women, but men experienced this too, but I just, through my work I’ve noticed that really by far and large, mostly it’s women that are asking about this and wanting to know why the other person never text them first and, but will respond if they text them. Okay. And I believe that is primarily because women are accustomed to letting the man take the lead. And so it’s kind of disturbing for a lot of women when he’s not taking the lead, but it also does happen between men and women the other way around as well too. So let’s go ahead and get into this. There’s a couple of different things that could be happening when he’s not texting you first. Okay? Number one is, in all honesty, he might just not be interested in you. You know, he’s not seriously interested in dating you or something like that and you know, he, he might actually be out there pursuing other women and he just kinda likes hearing from you from time to time because it kind of boosts up his self esteem and he thinks, yeah, I’m like really hot because, you know, there’s this girl who keeps texting me and it’s boosting up his self esteem so we can go out there and approach other women and go after other women and all of that stuff. it’s unfortunate, but it’s true, you know, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that that could be the case. The other thing that might be happening, thing number two is that he could just be a shy person, right? He could just be very shy. He doesn’t feel comfortable initiating things and taking the lead. And I remember he even would want to do that, but he’s, he’s just kind of worried that he’s going to screw it up. You know, he, he doesn’t, he’s not very certain that you like him and because he’s not certain he’s, he’s, he’s putting off texting you, he’s putting off texting because he’s like, well, you know, what do I do if she doesn’t like me? I have to think up the perfect text message. I have to come up with the right thing to say. I have to make sure I’ve got my plan figured out. I have to make sure I’ve got the right date figured out after, make sure I know how to talk to her. So I come across as charming and charismatic and all that stuff. So that could be happening. He’s just kind of procrastinating a little bit because he thinks he needs to prepare more. and he might actually really like you. That’s another possibility. Another thing is that he might just be on the passive side of things. Now, I know that most men have this reputation of being, you know, aggressive. They go after what they want. If they want to, women, if they want to text them, if they want to go out on a date with a woman, they will take the lead, they’ll text or they’ll call her, they’ll say, hey, are you free on Saturday night? Let’s go to this place or something like that. However, that is not the case with every single man. Some men are just passive either because they don’t feel comfortable stepping into their masculinity or maybe they just happened to be just more passive and that’s just their nature. Right? And if that is the case, then you have to accept that this is a passive guy. You’re probably not going to change him unless he wants to become more of an active, a proactive kind of person. So you’re going to have to accept that that’s the way he is. I mean, he might be shy like we talked about a moment ago and once he really knows that you like him, he’ll take more of the lead. But if he’s just a shy person, if he’s just a passive person rather than, you’re going to have to be okay with that. And say, okay, I am okay with this being a passive person and I’m okay to initiate more than he does. Or you have to say no, I want somebody who’s gonna initiate. I want somebody who I’m not going to have to do most of the work to get the ball rolling. And so say, Hey, you know, you’re a nice person, but I really want somebody more proactive. So Hasta la vista, baby or something like that. Okay. another possibility that might be going on is that he could just be really busy. He could just have a lot of stress going on in his life when there’s a whole lot of things going on in a guy’s life. Maybe some kind of deadline with work or school or, or some sort of crazy stress in his life. Family drama. I don’t know. A lot of his emotional bandwidth could just be taken up by that. And so he doesn’t feel that he can be 100 percent present with you. So he doesn’t want to start that conversation with you. It doesn’t want to start things down that road because he knows he’s not going to be able to be there for the full conversation. He’s knows he’s not going to be able to actually follow through and be 100 percent present and actually be able to organize the date and ask you out and all that stuff. So he’s not initiating things with you right now. Or perhaps his focus is just on whatever the stressful thing is, the work deadline, the family drama that, whatever it might be. And so he just isn’t able to focus on you. Okay. He might like you a lot. It’s just he could be just really stressed and busy. Okay. And again, like what I said before, we do have to accept him 100 percent the way that he is assuming this is a longterm problem, you know, he has a stressful job or something like that and say, okay, this is a stressful guy, guy who’s always busy. I either have to accept him the way he is or I have to say, you know, I’m really looking for somebody who’s not as stressed out all the time. You’re a nice person, but you just aren’t the right person for me. Thanks. Bye. I’m going to go find someone else, but you can’t try and change him. Okay. Unless this is just not the status quo. This is just like, Hey, I’m just a regular guy, but right now in this particular point in time I’m really stressed and after a certain deadline, which I can tell you on the calendar, this certain date when the thing is due, when the thing resolves or whatever, I will not as stressed out, you know? If that’s the case, then yeah, cut him a little bit of slack and see how he behaves after that deadline. Okay. Overall though, I would be really careful about paying too much attention to a guy not initiating texts with you. Okay. Because at the end of the day, that’s kind of keeping score and keeping score is not really going to set you up for a great long term relationship. I think we already know that in a certain degree, we’ve talked about this in previous relationship inner game experience episodes, so I’m not going to beat that to death. You can go back and listen to that one. I’ll probably link to it down below in the description for this relationship inner game experience if you’re watching this over on our website, but really just focus on making sure that the two of you are having a high quality emotional connection. If you’re having a high quality emotional connection that it really doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact. It really doesn’t matter if it’s him, if it’s you, if it’s whatever. I mean, you know, I’m, I’m married, I’ve got a wife. And I honestly couldn’t tell you who initiates contact more, her or me because I don’t keep score of that. I’m sure if you were to somehow, you know, go and look through our text history or something, you’d be able to say, oh, well, clay initiates more or, or Mika initiates more. But, it’s just not something that either one of us really pays attention to because we focus more on the quality of the connection between us rather than who’s initiating contact. And if you find yourself focusing on who’s initiating contact more, and you’re really focusing on that and worrying about that, then it probably means that the emotional connection isn’t that strong and would focus on that first and foremost. Okay. So with that being said, let’s go ahead and get to our Q and A for this week. Again, this is from members of the Modern Love Association. They can go ahead and submit questions on a weekly basis and we go ahead and answer five of them each week. So let’s go ahead and see what questions have been submitted this week. The first question is from LV, LV writes in and says, hi clay. My question concerns the progress from phase to phase. It seems like my ex and I keep riding the dragon. Well we have a great time when we meet up and we are connecting and bonding emotionally. But then she pulls back afterwards and I then give her space to re-initiate things after awhile. Then we meet up again, all those well, and then we are back in the same cycle again. So my question is, how can I break the cycle of the emotional pull back to make better progress within writing the dragon and reach phase four? Okay, so the important thing when it comes to things like this where you end up getting stuck in a cycle over and over and over again, is that it’s often because you are using the same strategy over and over and over again. And I noticed that you said that you constantly use the no contact thing and basically pulling back as well and giving her space and wedding her reach out to you. Okay? So as long as you continuously have the same approach such as giving her space, which is doing no contact or something like that, you’re going to continue to have a hard time. You’re going to continue to get the same results. and this is something that I’ve seen over and over and over again, is that people will think that they only have one tool available to them. And typically that’s no contact. You know, whenever something goes weird with your ex, you do no contact whenever you have a hard time getting through your ex. You Do, you know, contact whenever there is a poor experience, you do no contact whenever your ex has emotional pull back. You do no contact, right? And sure there are times and places for cutting contact with your ex. But if no contact is your only tool, then you’re going to have a very, very, very hard time. That’s why we give you a whole array of tools through the advanced relational skills. We give you an array of tools that allow you to feel into what your ex is experiencing, to ask them questions like, Hey, was there something that happened that’s causing you to be silent right now? Or, or, or, I thought that we had a really good time, on this, on this date that we went on on this. maybe you don’t call it a date, but on this meetup that we had, was I wrong? Did you experience that differently or something like that. And so as long as you continue to use the advanced relational skills and you don’t just rely on a single strategy like no contact, then you’ll be able to get past this roadblock. Okay. So, LV, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. Okay. Our next question is from Claire. Claire says, Hi Clay. My ex told me three weeks ago that she is completely over me and doesn’t see us ever getting back together. She said that she wants to be friends. Her outlook on relationships appeared to have changed a lot since the breakup. She said she doesn’t believe in soul mates anymore and doesn’t want to date anyone. Seriously. I’ve been working on moving on and she’s started dating someone else, which despite what said, seems to be on track to something serious. I don’t think that it’s a rebound because we broke up like three months ago and she said that she’s completely over me. While I’m not thrilled about it, I know that I can’t do anything about it. Just so you know, time has nothing to do with determining whether something is a rebound relationship or not. And your ex saying that they are completely over you has nothing to do with them actually being completely over with you. They might still be very much caught up in you, but anyway you continue. I’ve taken up new activities and have been focusing on my other friendships. She’s still friendly with me and she still cares about me. She asks me for help on Homework, asks me how I’m doing and invites me to hang out with other people there. When we hang out, we laugh and tease each other and it just feels very natural. After I leave, she usually texts me later to ask about something or invite me somewhere. Later on she said she doesn’t want a relationship but is dating this other girl. I’m confused by these mixed messages. I’m not gonna sit around waiting for her. However, is staying friends with her, having emotional connections with her. Is that okay if I want to remain open to the possibility of getting back together in the future or should I make some kind of move so that she knows that I still have feelings for her so that I am not cemented as a friend. I just don’t know how to keep moving forward or getting back together, which you seem so comfortable being just friends. You need to understand it is that your ex will never see you as completely a platonic friend. The two of you have a romantic history and in order to see you as a platonic friend, she has to overlook the fact that the two of you had a relationship together. She has to be able to look you in the face, look you in the eye and not experience that, not experience the love that she felt for you, not experienced the attraction that she felt with you. Not experienced the intimate moments where the two of you were kissing, where the two of you are making love to be able to look at you and not experience any of that and that is not possible. Okay. That is just not possible for people to do that. Whenever you have a romantic relationship with somebody, you will always look at that person through a romantic lens. The attraction may, however, be blocked by bad feelings, baggage history, and all of that stuff. That is not something that you need to deal with by re attracting. Another person would need to do is instead work on flushing out those negative feelings. Okay? When we say that you don’t need to worry about the friend zone, I’m not saying that you need to act like a friend. I’m not saying that you need to act platonically. Of course you can flirt with your ex. Of course you can do things that you would do with an attractive person. You know why? Why wouldn’t you flirt with them? Why wouldn’t you just work that into your relate reward cycles? Why wouldn’t you just toss that in there? Like what we talk about inside the course, but what I want to make sure that you also do is that you focus on having high quality interactions that feel good on an emotional level to see so that you’re basically building up that relational equity, that emotional equity between the two of you so that you are number one, clearing out the negative emotions in history between the two of you and number two, continuing with the flirtatious activity so that you are not taking it to a platonic level. Of course you can say that you’re just being friends with your ex. Doesn’t feel the pressure to define what the two of you are and so that you have this space to actually build up that connection. That’s absolutely fine. I wouldn’t worry about your ex dating someone else. I wouldn’t worry about your ex. You know, saying that they’re not ready for a relationship and then you know, saying that they just want to casually date someone. Going out on dates with that personnel and see if there’s any mixed message in there. Your ex says that they don’t want something serious and they’re casually dating somebody that I’m not seeing a mixed message in there myself. so I would just focus on the quality of the connection between the two of you. Make sure that it has that romantic vibe without necessarily saying this is a romantic interaction or anything like that. And I think that’s going to help you out a lot. Okay. So, Claire, please keep us updated and have things go and a hope that helped you out. Our next question is from K a K says hello clay. I started the program about two months ago after struggling for a year and have seen a lot of progress between now and then. I practiced the advanced relational skills everyday and have been feeling like a switch between, like I switched between stages three and four. I’m guessing she means between the crossroads and the bridge. My ex and I have been spending nearly everyday together for about a month and have felt like we are together, but obviously happier and healthier than our old relationship. However, I asked him on a date for his birthday morning, of which he resisted for the reason that he did not want to imply that we’re getting back together and did not want to take advantage. I assured him that it would be fun and worth it and he agreed. By late afternoon, we had fought on a couple of his birthday’s in the past, so I understood his hesitation and worry. I explained how well that we’ve been getting along and that I wanted to be with him and that he said that he was surprised that he agreed to spend it at all with me and his reasoning was because he didn’t want to be alone. He also said, quote, you need to realize my ultimate goal is not to get back together. I’m just doing whatever because I don’t really have a direction anymore. If something sticks, it sticks, but I’m not moving towards anything right now and to quote, didn’t want mostly. Well, there was some awkwardness because of our anxieties, not wanting to relive the past. He is not and has not been in a rebound relationship. Just been on some dates and seen some people casually over the past six months, but I am now hitting a wall with his response if I ask him about it or trying to get him to open up. He gets angry and agitated and shuts down. He’s been difficult to get answers about us or what he wants. I have been empathetic and patient since I started these skills. How do I continue our progress and breakthrough this last bit of reactants without upsetting him or moving backwards. Okay. So his response, which was that he doesn’t have anything that he’s moving towards right now. It really implies that he is not at a place where he’s ready to commit to a relationship where he’s ready to get anything solid down in there. Okay. And it sounds like you were maybe trying to go for like the commitment collaboration conversation or something like that in that moment, which would imply that you thought that he was at new beginnings and clearly he’s not a new beginnings. I think right now he is probably at like a riding the dragon kind of place. Okay. Now he may not seem particularly hot and cold, particularly extreme like you might expect at writing the dragon because he, I’m getting this vibe from him that he’s a pretty mellow, relaxed, chill kind of person. And so his riding the dragon might not be very extreme, but he is doing things like saying, oh no, I don’t really want to get together or I have some hesitation about getting together with you and then, you know, getting together with you anyway. So I think that that might be where he’s at. So what you need to do is focus on continually building the quality connections that you’re having. Okay. If you can continue to build those, then I think you’ll build up some more relational equity. It will base, you know, every time you have like a positive interaction with them, you’re basically like depositing something into like a bank account, but it’s not money in a bank account. It’s like a, it’s like a deposit into a relational equity account that you have between you and him. And the more that you deposit, the more your savings grow over time. And the higher that becomes the, the higher the equity that you have in that relational account becomes the stronger the relationship that you have with him is going to become. Okay. So I don’t think that you’re maybe as far along as I think that you thought that you were. So I would continue to build that up. Okay. I think that he’s probably at writing the dragon. Okay. And so just continue to have high quality interactions with him, continued to flirt with them a little bit, continue to create those emotional connections. And I think that you’ll eventually get to a point where you can have that kind of interaction with him. Okay. Right now he says he doesn’t have a direction right now. He says he doesn’t know where he’s going. He doesn’t know what he wants. And that’s fine. That’s pretty typical of riding the dragon area anyway. So don’t be so caught up on what he says because what he says is based off of where he’s at emotionally, which is, I don’t know what I want and what he wants will start to change once something starts to feel really good. Okay, once something starts to feel really good, he’ll start to move towards that. That’s why you need to focus on having really good quality emotional connections. Okay. Kay, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. From here, our next question is from Aa. Aa says, hi clay. My ex and I have had multiple breakups during four years. Therefore it was hard for me to know if it was real this time, but we’ve been apart for a bit over a year now. Currently a long distance relationship. We’ve been in touch since September of last year, but this year we made a lot of progress. We talked almost daily since April with ups and downs. He expressed feelings for me. We forwarded and had video sex often even though he has been discouraging me a lot in between. We’ve still kept in touch regularly and talked for hours. I thought that we were in phase four, which I’m guessing she means the crisis point. When he sent me a gift in August saying that he kind of loved me and that I said that I was in love with him, well flirting. He asked me to meet up two weeks later, he told me that he wasn’t ready to meet for a relationship and we had to cut contact because he is not well and going on a different path, although later he said that he didn’t want to cut contact but doesn’t want to flirt anymore because it’s something one should do in person. He suffers from depression and anxiety and therefore has some mood swings. He’s started to get better and two weeks ago he moved to another country for his career. The week before he had thought about what we could have done differently in our relationship. After his move, he’s been a bit distant and closed up. We had some good interactions though and I think I reached out too much, so I’ve turned it down a notch. We had a good talk this Saturday and they asked me to talk more the next day. The following day he seemed annoyed and we didn’t have a positive interaction. He called me later and apologized and we managed to have a quite rewarding interaction after all, sharing more personal things again, he said that he’s stressed and has low capacity to talk to anyone, not just me. It’s hard for me not to get affected by his words when he is so low. I don’t know whether or not it’s actually writing the dragon or how he really is. How can I keep us getting closer emotionally and moving forward. Okay. So I would probably guess that it is riding the dragon just because he is going through a lot of changes in his life. He’s moving to another country which probably involves a lot of logistical things such as wrapping up all the loose ends in whatever country he lived in before. A dealing with all of his belongings, packing up some of them, selling others, getting rid of the rest, and then of course moving to another country, getting setup. They’re handling all the logistical things, finding a place to live, a unpacking, going out and buying things that he needs for the new place and all that stuff. Not to mention the work. And all that stuff, and it on top of that, he has anxiety and depression, you know, there’s a lot for him to deal with right there. So given all of those shifts in his life, I would not be surprised if he is at writing a dragon and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is kind of putting the brakes on a lot of his personal relationships, not just with you but with other people, um, as he goes through this transition and as he goes through this transition towards getting his own footing in his new life. So what I would do on when it comes to the emotional connection is, you know, sure, be as connected with him as you can to the degree that it feels good on an emotional level, um, as it seems like you are, but also cut him a little bit of slack, right? Let him come to you sometimes. Let him get his own bearings and find the space and time to come to you when it makes sense for him. Okay. remember that your agenda is not necessarily his agenda and the timeline that you want to get back together on, which is probably like yesterday or as soon as possible, is probably not the timeline that’s going to feel the most emotionally rewarding for him. Okay. Remember, he just is stepping into a new life. He is adapting to a lot of new things right now. He’s going through career changes, country changes, living changes, changes in probably his, his entire environment. Even. So let him adapt. Let him focus on that as, as possible and you know, connect with him on this stuff. Ask Him, you know, what, what’s interesting in the new place that he’s living in, like if he could live anywhere where he’d want to live, what the two of you would do if you were together there, that, that weekend or whatever, just go ahead and start to be curious about his experience and let him tell you more about what’s going on with him on his own terms. Okay? So I hope that helps you out. Aa and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. From here, our next question is from Linea. Linea says, Hi Clay. Thank you for answering my question. In episode number 27, I’m having mixed feelings about my ex being at riding a dragon. It’s my fault because I haven’t been consistently practicing the advanced relational skills. He called me for the first time about two weeks ago because he hurt his hand at work and couldn’t text. Last week he sent me a good morning text. Whenever I go out with somebody, he always asks who I went with. I want to believe that these are signs that he still likes me, but just yesterday he asked me to come pick up my book at his house and I couldn’t because I didn’t have enough money to call an uber there. He didn’t respond. I realized that I’m still in damage control mode and don’t want to lose him because of it. I was wondering if I should do limited, no contact to practice advanced relational skills. I might even need to see a professional, but I don’t have the funds to do that yet. I’ve been attached to outcome and I know that that’s not good and if I want him back, I cried. The thought of losing him for good and I realized that maybe I’m still needy. Even if we were to get back together, he’d break up with me again. How do I change without worrying about losing him in the process? What if it takes a while? Okay, so it. It definitely sounds like you. There is some damage control mode stuff going on there and the important thing here is that you get serious about improving the quality of the interactions that you have, that you get serious about shutting off the BS machine in your mind. Okay? Because these are not helping you. These are not helping you at all. And so if in the past you did sort of a halfhearted ANC or something like that, if you’ve halfheartedly practice the advanced relational skills, now is the time to do it. I don’t know if it means you should do limited contact, no contact, whatever, but you know, the only reason you would do no contact is if you wanted number one and easy stakes situation or context to work on the advanced relational skills. And number two, if interacting with your ex felt bad on an emotional level and was driving the two of you apart. So if that’s happening, then you need to contact your ex even less or even, you know, cut contact entirely until you can interact with your ex and have it feel good on an emotional level. And of course, practice the advanced relational skills everyday on a daily basis are you don’t need to do each one every day, but you know, depending on what the skill is, if it’s something more more big and dramatic than do that one once in a while, but if it’s something small, like striking up a conversation with somebody and, and, and taking an impact that a point of view towards their world and then go ahead and do that one every day. There’s no reason not to do that when every day. but just go ahead and practice the advanced relational skills, do the exercises that we lay out in the course and that’s a great place to start practicing them. Um, if there’s any that you are having difficulty with, you know, by all means, go ahead and reach out to us and contact us and maybe ask a question next week or something like that. But overall what you need to do is you need to get serious about improving the quality of the connection that you are having, the impact that you are having on the interactions with him and take full responsibility for your role in those interactions. Take full responsibility for your role in how you’re bringing yourself to those interactions. And as that happens, you can start to change the dynamic that’s happening there. Okay? You’ll be able to start getting out of damage control mode as you start to work on the advanced relational skills as you start to shut off the pas machine and you’ll be able to actually start to have interaction to feel better on an emotional level. Okay? You won’t start to panic every time. Something that happens, like he says, Hey, I want to give you this book back and you think that it means that the two of you are never going to talk again and that he’s moving on completely, or something like that because that is kind of a stretch. The way that you describe it to me, it seems like a stretch and I would not jump to that conclusion if I were you. So Linea when it comes to holidays, you gotta put in the work. You gotta put in the effort. You got to take time to work on the fundamentals. Okay? There’s no silver bullet. It’s going to do the work for you that’s going to help you skip past the fundamentals and the hard work needed in order to actually create high quality interactions. You just gonna have to put in the work. Take the time to learn the advanced relational skills. Take the time to get good at them. Take time to turn down the volume on your bs machine and that’s when you’ll start to see some real progress. Okay, so I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. Okay, and those have been our questions for this week. Once again, thank you so much for submitting those questions. Everybody in the MLA, once again, this has been clay with www.ModernLove.Life. If you have liked this episode of the relationship inner game experience, please go ahead and like this on youtube, subscribe on Youtube, leave a comment down below or subscribe on itunes or leave a review on itunes or head on over to www.ModernLove.Life and feel free to support us by signing up for a course that makes sense for what kind of outcome you want over there and you’re dating or relationship life. Anyway, this has been Clay and I’ll go ahead and talk to you next week. Take care.  

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The No Contact Rule: The Uncomfortable Truth About No Contact for Getting Your Ex Back Tue, 02 Oct 2018 18:28:16 +0000 The post The No Contact Rule: The Uncomfortable Truth About No Contact for Getting Your Ex Back appeared first on Modern Love.


If you’ve done any amount of research on how to get your ex back, you have likely heard about the No Contact Rule.

But, in case you haven’t, let me give you a brief rundown. This is what it is and how it is supposed to work.

Then, I’ll tell you why I strongly disagree with the No Contact Rule the way that it is conventionally taught.

The Typical (Flawed) No Contact Rule

Okay, here is the typical No Contact Rule that you’ll find online. It is talked about in breakup advice forums and preached by so-called “relationship gurus” across various corners of the internet:

Step 1: Cut Contact with Your Ex

Don’t contact them for a period of time. Most people will recommend a month (or 30 days or 4 weeks of no contact).

This should come without saying, but “no contact” means not contacting your ex. This includes: No contacting your ex via text, via phone, or via social media. It also means no stalking them (online or offline). No having sex with them (duh!). Don’t “accidentally” show up places you know they frequently go. No asking a mutual friend to pass them a message.

In short, there are no loopholes. So abandon hope.

Step 2: Distract Yourself

As a person going through a breakup, you probably feel like crap. Most forms of the No Contact Rule will tell you to distract yourself from your pain so that you don’t feel sorry for yourself for a whole month. Common methods of distraction include, but are not limited to: Dating other people, picking up new hobbies, spending time with friends and family, or exercising.

Step 3: Hope and Pray It Works

Hope that, as you cautiously pick up your phone after a month that, somehow, your ex will want to talk to you. Maybe they’ll miss you so much that they’ll come crawling back to you over shards of broken glass, showing you with calls and texts.

Does the No Contact Rule Work?

(The Fatal Flaw in the No Contact Rule)

The fatal flaw in the No Contact Rule is that it is essentially about ignoring your ex for a period of time.

Supposedly, this is meant to trigger some sort of human psychology, causing your ex to think that you don’t care about them.

They’ll get FOMO and want you back, just like how a reluctant toddler can be tricked into obeying you through reverse psychology.

The problem though is that the No Contact Rule doesn’t work this way.

First of all, I don’t know the details of your relationship or breakup. But I would imagine that your relationship fell apart because you were ignoring it to some degree.

So, if ignoring your relationship caused a breakup, are we to believe that ignoring it is going to reverse the breakup?

I think there was a certain scruffy-haired smart guy who had something to say about doing the same thing and expecting different results…

Secondly, the typical way of implementing the No Contact Rule is about surrendering your power to your ex.

Sure, maybe some people will believe that they have regained some degree of control because they can choose whether or not they will contact their ex.

But the truth is that this whole No Contact business is really about hoping and praying that the time apart changes your ex’s feelings toward you.

In other words, your ex still pulls all the strings.

And you’re supposed to just sit there, white-knuckling it through a month of agonizing No Contact.

Third, you are not giving your ex a damn good reason to get back together with you.

Your relationship didn’t work out for one reason or another.

Your ex isn’t stupid. They’re not going to walk back into the same relationship that they walked out of in the first place.

The only reason they will come back to you is if they believe that things will be better.

(Or if they realize that you are actually their best option, and they are settling for you after being disappointed with the alternatives… But that’s too depressing to address in this article)

The Truth About the No Contact Rule

The truth is that there really isn’t just one “No Contact Rule.”

There are many different types of No Contact, just like there are many different types of diets.

Just like how, if you’re overweight, you don’t just go on “The Diet.” You do some research and find out which diet is right for you. Is it low-calorie, ketogenic, paleo, juicing, etc.?

It’s the same with No Contact.

Here are a few versions of the No Contact Rule that I have observed:

Mind Games No Contact

Use the silent treatment to leverage reverse psychology so that your ex will think that you’re out dating hundreds of other people (All while you’re really just spending your Friday nights sitting at home drinking cheap boxed wine and stalking them on Facebook).

You might consider agitating this insecurity in your ex’s mind by playing games. Possibly consider paying attractive people money to pose in photos with you, and then posting those photos on social media, where your ex will see them.

Your ex will then realize the error of their ways and come crawling back to you with their tail between their legs.

Heal from the Breakup No Contact

Cut contact and focus on healing from your broken heart and the pain of the breakup.

Typically this involves focusing on yourself, exercising, watching sappy movies, ice cream, and packing up everything that reminds you of your ex in a box.

Once you feel better and you’ve had time to heal, you can contact your ex again without coming off as completely desperate and needy.

Distract Yourself No Contact

Cut contact with your ex and distract yourself from the pain.

Time heals all wounds, right? (Hint: No, it doesn’t)

So, once you’ve stopped contact, pick up some new hobbies. Learn Spanish, take yoga classes, maybe even date someone else to boost your self-esteem (we all know that self-esteem comes from other people, right?).

Then, after you are thoroughly distracted, get back in contact with your ex.

White-Knuckle No Contact

There is something magical about simply not talking to your ex for a month, so brace yourself because you’re in for a hard time.

So, stop talking to them. Count the days. Fantasize about the last day of No Contact, when you’ll reach out to them again. Plan your message you’re going to send them. Stalk them on social media to see if your ex starts dating someone new or not. (Essentially, you are focusing on all the things that don’t matter in getting back together with your ex.)

Then, breaking of the No Contact period after 30 days, hoping for the best.

There are probably other types of No Contact Rules as well, but you get the idea.

The main problem with these types of No Contact is that they are PASSIVE.

These different types of No Contact Rules apply the same fundamental thinking: They involve you changing nothing about your ability to connect or bond with your ex. The only thing that has changed is that you haven’t contacted your ex for a period of time. They demonstrate to your ex that getting back together with you is more of the same.

(You know, the same dynamic that they walked away from already…)

That is why I lump these types of No Contact together and call them simply “Passive No Contact.”

If you’ve done No Contact, chances are good that you are actually doing Passive No Contact.

The Alternative: Active No Contact

The alternative to Passive No Contact is something I created called Active No Contact.

Not surprisingly, Active No Contact, involves being active, rather than just sitting around and hoping for the best.

Specifically, you are being active in developing the ability to create positive emotional connections with your ex. Even through you may not be talking to your ex, you are practicing in “low stakes” situations. Once you start to improve your ability to create great emotional experiences with others, you’ll start to feel more confident in your ability.

And that’s when it’s time to get back in contact with your ex.

Your ability to create positive emotional connections should be second nature now. This means that if you’re put in a stressful situation, such as talking with your ex, you’ll still be able to fall back on all that practice and training, rather than slip back into Damage Control Mode.

Active No Contact takes as a given that you will heal from the pain of the breakup by addressing your own emotions.

Doing Active No Contact gives you the power to take control of your own emotions.

Active No Contact gives your ex the freedom to feel however they are going to feel. They they miss you, that’s fine, but that’s not the point of Active No Contact.

Active No Contact shows your ex that they are not walking back into the same broken relationship dynamic that they left in the first place.

If you follow No Contact, I would strongly recommend that you make sure it is Active No Contact.

Okay, now let’s get into some of the nitty gritty of the Active No Contact Rule.

How Long Should You Do Active No Contact?

Most versions of the No Contact Rule pick some arbitrary amount of time. Maybe a month. Maybe a couple of weeks.

However, it’s not like there’s going to be something there on day 31 that wasn’t there on day 30… unless you put it there.

So, even though a month is a good starting point for most people (probably even you), the point isn’t to think about it in terms of X number of days.

The reason you should be doing No Contact is because, before doing No Contact, interacting with your ex isn’t bringing you closer together.

Therefore, the purpose of No Contact is to change that dynamic so that interacting with your ex does bring you closer together.

So, how long should you do No Contact? Until you have good reason to believe that interacting with your ex will be a positive emotional experience that brings you closer together.

For some people that will be a month. For others that will be 3 months. Others will take longer. Others will take less time.

It’s really about how active you are at learning how to create a stronger emotional connection.

Will My Ex Forget About Me During No Contact?


Your ex will not forget about you during No Contact.

I’ve been helping people with breakups since 2009. In that time, I have never heard of someone’s ex forgetting about them during No Contact.

I guess it could be possible, if the two of you only went out on one date (could you even call them your “ex” then?).

But your ex will not forget about you. It doesn’t matter if you were in a long distance relationship. Or if your ex is seeing someone new. Or if you and your ex were only in a short-term relationship. Your ex will not forget about you.

What Do I Do if My Ex Contacts Me During No Contact?

It happens. Your ex might miss you and contact you.

Or maybe they’re angry and they want to unload on you.

Or maybe it’s a little bit of both (hot and cold behavior)

But either way the phone is ringing. What do you do?

As, I mentioned above, the purpose of No Contact is to change the dynamic so that you can have a positive connection with your ex.

If you think you can interact with your ex and that it will be an uplifting and rewarding experience for both them and you, then get back in contact with them.

If you don’t think that you can have a positive interaction with your ex, then I would not recommend being in contact with them… even if they’ve initiated contact with you.

One of the huge mistakes I see people make is thinking that No Contact should end the moment your ex initiates contact with you. Let me be clear, No Contact should only end if you can have positive interactions with your ex.

It doesn’t matter if your ex texted you that they miss you or not. End No Contact on your own terms.

What About Social Media and the Active No Contact Rule?

Let me make it clear, stalking your ex on social media isn’t helping anyone. Least of all, you.

Trying to read between the lines isn’t allowing you to focus on the present moment, which is critical in building a positive emotional connection.

Instead, you are feeding your insecurities, fears, and anxieties by “keeping tabs” on your ex’s every move.

Trust me, you will be much better off if you do not allow yourself to keep an eye on your ex’s every move during No Contact, and you, instead, focus on living your life and your own experiences of life.

What if It Isn’t Possible to Do No Contact Due to Circumstances?

I get it, some people have kids together with their ex, and completely cutting off contact isn’t realistic.

If that’s the case, then doing a modified form of the No Contact Rule is the best route.

Limiting your contact (known as “Limited Contact”) allows you disconnect the emotional hose you have connecting you to your ex. This allows you to focus on your own experience rather than trying to win their approval, all while remaining in contact.

Another situations that may warrant Limited Contact might be when you and your ex work together.

(I never recommend you date a co-worker, but people keep doing it anyway.)

And if you still live together with your ex, you should probably also consider Limited Contact.

(You should also consider searching for other living arrangements so you can actually follow the No Contact Rule)

Maybe you and your ex have mutual friends (which is common if you’ve been together for a while). I would talk to your friends and let them know that you’re taking time to re-center yourself. Ask them to keep that in mind when they invite you to events or give you updates on your ex. A close friend will understand and support you in any way that they can.

What if I Break No Contact in a Moment of Weakness?

Start over.

Once you have started No Contact, you should only get back in contact with your ex when you can have a positive emotional connection with them.

You cannot have a positive emotional connection when you are in Damage Control Mode or otherwise controlled by fear, anxiety, or desperation. It just isn’t possible.

“Accidentally” texting your ex isn’t a reason to put the No Contact Rule behind you. It is a reason to start over.

What if My Ex’s Birthday or a Holiday Happens in the Middle of No Contact?

Make no mistake: wishing your ex a happy birthday is not a good excuse to break No Contact if you are not in an emotional place where you are capable of having positive interactions.

I don’t want to you be a cold hearted SOB, either though.

So here’s what to do:

Check to see if you are having some sort of hidden agenda, such as thinking that you’re going to send some kind of birthday or holiday text and it’s going to melt your ex’s icy little heart and make them come running back to you, all because you texted them “HBD!”

If that’s the case, then don’t break No Contact.

However, if you don’t have a hidden agenda and you genuinely want to wish them a Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, or Jubilant Festivus, then go ahead and do so.

Just don’t expect a response from them. Dive right back into Active No Contact until you are prepared to actually be in contact again.

What if My Breakup was a Long Time Ago?

It doesn’t matter if your ex broke up with you recently or if you’ve been broken up for a long time. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen them in years or if you’ve remained friends since the breakup.

If you are having interactions that feel bad, you should stop interacting with your ex until you can have interactions that feel good.

Will My Ex Move On If I Do No Contact?

Maybe, but that is a good thing.

You want your ex to move on from your breakup even if you want to get back together again.


Because, if your ex moves on emotionally, and you can relate to them in a calm and reasonable manner, rather than someone who is heartbroken, desperate for validation, and spiraling out of control.

If by “moving on” you are actually worried that your ex will start seeing someone new, then that’s not something to be worried about either.

If your ex ends up in a rebound relationship, it’s nothing to be concerned about.


Because, your connection with your ex is the most important thing in getting back together. It is more important than your ex’s connection to someone else.

If you focus on improving the emotional connection, then it really is pretty easy to outshine rebound relationships.

Plus, you also have the Decoy Effect working to your advantage.

Will the No Contact Rule Cement My Ex’s New Rebound Relationship in Place?


What is going to cement their new relationship in place is you continuing to have interactions with your ex that do not feel good on an emotional level.

This will drive your ex and their new partner closer together. Why? Because interacting with their new partner feels better than interacting with you.

Doing No Contact may not stop your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend from dating or being in a relationship with someone else. However, it will stop you from shooting yourself in the foot by consistently having interactions that feel bad.

Once you’re able to have interactions that feel good and bring you and your ex closer together on an emotional level, the rebound relationship will take care of itself.

Does the No Contact Rule Affect Men Differently Than Women?

Generally, no.

However, there are definitely differences in masculine and feminine energy.

If you are doing No Contact with your ex-boyfriend, for example, it’s important to realize that he’s gone because of a lack of emotional connection. For women, this means that you can improve the connection with your ex-boyfriend most of the time by stepping into your feminine more strongly.

If you are using the No Contact Rule with your ex-girlfriend, it is the other way around. You would likely benefit a lot from stepping into your masculine more.

If your girlfriend or boyfriend broke up with you because of a lack of masculine-feminine polarity, then use your No Contact period to cultivate that. When your boyfriend sees a more feminine side of you, it might change his mind. If your girlfriend broke up with you because you lost a masculine edge, seeing you own your masculinity might help her feel more comfortable with you.

Of course, masculine and feminine dynamics aren’t the only consideration, but it can help.

What Should I Do After I Complete the No Contact Rule?

After No Contact, you should, obviously, get back in contact with your ex.

Calling or texting are equally fine. Texting is “safer,” but you run the risk of being more easily ignored. Calling can be riskier because you don’t know how you’re going to find your ex in any given moment.

Moving forward from being out of contact with your ex, I would recommend testing the waters first. This allows you to see how responsive your ex is to interacting with you. After you know where they are at you can do something like asking them to meet up.

Once you know where your ex is at, emotionally, you can meet them there and do what you need to do to create a positive interaction. If your ex is warn and receptive to you, you can easily transition to meeting up. If they are standoffish, then it will take a stronger emotional connection before they are ready to meet up.

Should You Do a Light Version of No Contact Whenever You Have a Bad Experience with Your Ex?

Another common mistake I see people make is retreating to No Contact whenever they have a bad experience with their ex.

Maybe they had an argument with their ex, so they want to jump back into No Contact for a couple of days.

Sometimes this can make sense… IF your strategy is to disengage when you realize that the dynamic between you and your ex has taken a negative turn AND you are planning on doing something to change the dynamic toward the positive (aka, Active No Contact).

It isn’t a good idea if you just plan on giving your ex time and space, while you idly wait around, only to reconnect with your ex after changing nothing (aka, Passive No Contact). Here, you are just showing your ex that when the going gets tough, you run away (hint: this doesn’t broadcast the message that you are equipped to handle a serious relationship).

Do You Have Any Active No Contact Success Stories?

Yes, I do. The one I like the most is from a successful entrepreneur named Evan. He applied the No Contact Rule in a very powerful way. Doing this changed the emotional dynamic between him and his super model (!) ex-girlfriend.

And, this is a little personal (okay, EXTREMELY personal), but here is my No Contact experience as well. I didn’t contact my ex and focused on personal development, and this was what happened:

So, yes the Active No Contact Rule works. However, in order to get it to work for you, you have to make sure that something meaningful is different in how you are bringing yourself to the interactions with your ex. If it’s just going to be “more of the same,” then don’t expect much.

How to Stack the Deck in Your Favor with the Active No Contact Rule

Okay, we’ve talked about the difference between the Active No Contact Rule and the Passive No Contact Rule.

Most of you have done, or are currently doing Passive No Contact.

That puts you at a disadvantage.

I would recommend that you use the Active No Contact Rule instead.

During Active No Contact, spend time focusing on developing the ability to have a strong emotional connection with other people.

This is practice for when it comes to interacting with your ex.

You’re going to be practicing on a consistent basis. A lot like you would if you were going to the gym and exercising over a period of time.


Because, as Archilochos says:

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”

That means that, when you get back in contact with your ex after completing the No Contact Rule, you’ll find yourself in something that you consider a “high stakes” situation.

Who knows exactly what you’re walking into.

Maybe your ex is seeing someone else.

They might still be angry with you.

Or maybe they still have a lot of resistance to talking to you.

You don’t know.

An if you’re just memorizing a hack or quick ninja trick, it’s very, very easy to get caught off guard.

But, if you’ve been practicing and training, then you’ll be able to hold your composure. You will create a positive emotional connection even when things are extremely challenging or intense with your ex.

And you’ll be showing your ex that they are not walking back into the same broken relationship dynamic that they left in the first place.

So what exactly should be practicing during Active No Contact?

I’ve been teaching people Advanced Relational Skills for years now.

These are skills that are designed to bring you into a deeper, more connected emotional place with your ex.

(Actually, they will work with anyone, but you’re here to learn how to connect with your ex.)

These are SKILLS, mind you.

That means that they require training and practice.

These aren’t hacks, tips, or tricks.

So, if you’re looking for a shortcut so that you can leapfrog past the effort it takes to have a relationship that works, then this isn’t for you.

Maybe there’s something for you out there somewhere… But it’s not here.

Anyway, these Advanced Relational Skills are the cornerstone of a training course I created called the Ex Solution Program.

If you’re tired of wasting your time with Passive No Contact, and you just can’t figure out a way to get through to your ex, then you might be a good fit for the Ex Solution Program.

You can sign up or learn more over here.

Looking for Help Saving a Relationship?

Tell me a little more about your situation and I’ll send you advice, tips, and strategies to help you get started saving your relationship or getting your ex back today.

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