How to Make Your Ex Miss You: Hacking Your Ex’s Emotional Psychology

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If you want to know how to make your ex miss you, you may be surprised to know that there’s a lot more going on emotionally than you initially think.

Most assume that it’s just about reminding your ex about the “good old days” through a text message or two.

But that’s not going to cut it, in most cases.

Why?

I’m sure you miss your ex, and thinking about positive memories feels good to you. Your ex, however, has a different experience.

That is because there is a certain emotional resistance that your ex has to interacting with you. The secret to knowing how to make your ex miss you is knowing how to bypass this resistance.

Your Ex’s Emotional Resistance

(Why Your Ex Doesn’t Miss You)

After a breakup, your ex experiences an emotional resistance to interacting with you because they need this for self-peservation.

They didn’t come to the conclusion that they needed to break up overnight. Chances are high that they decided to break up after thinking about things for a long time. They saw something in your relationship that they didn’t like, and they slowly decided that it would be better to walk.

The breakup only came after they passed the point of no return.

And by then, a lot of emotional resistance has built up in them.

That’s why it’s often so difficult to get through to your ex. That’s also why your ex may even be walling you out emotionally.

And if you’re going to make your ex to miss you again, you have to overcome this resistance and replace it with a positive emotional experience.

That is to say, you can’t just add things to what isn’t working.

Just like you can’t get very far no matter how hard you push the accelerator pedal on your car if your other foot is firmly pressing down on the brake.

You first have to take your foot off the brake before you will start moving.

And that’s why common dating tips, like reminding your ex-girlfriend about the “good old days” doesn’t work. It’s why your ex-boyfriend doesn’t care if you’re trying to make him jealous by posting things on social media. It’s why your ex-girlfriend won’t cut you any slack. And it’s why trying to figure out the right texts to send to get him back won’t work—there actually is no best text to send your ex at all (once you understand emotional connection).

You need to remove the emotional resistance they have to interacting with you first. That is the first step to knowing how to make your ex miss you.

Now, this emotional resistance is going to be stronger for some people’s exes than it will be for other’s. Each breakup and relationship is different. Some exes will be more open to talking to you. Others will be more closed off. It’s all based on their unique experience, psychology, and emotions.

Keep that in mind, because I’ve identified 5 specific stages of emotional resistance that you will need to overcome to make your ex miss you.

Your ex might start at the first stage. Your ex might only be at the fourth stage. Keep that in mind.

Let’s cover these 5 stages…

How to Make Your Ex Miss You When They Are Walling You Out

(The First Stage: Complete Resistance)

If things have become very extreme, your ex may have walled you out completely.

Or, if they are talking to you, it’s to tell you something blunt, like to give up or to try dating other people.

When this happens, they are experiencing such a high degree of resistance that they don’t even want to talk to you. Your ex might even block you on social media.

When things like this happen, it is easy to understand why you might think your situation is hopeless. You might even wonder how your ex can stop thinking about you at all. Are they meeting new people or even seeing someone else?

But once you understand your ex’s emotional experience, you’ll understand why they don’t want to talk with you or interact with you.

And you might understand why your ex may even miss you like crazy… even when they won’t even talk to you.

The reason your ex is walling you out is because they believe that you have a hidden agenda in being in contact with them.

They are afraid that you only want to talk with them because you want to get back together with them.

That is to say, you don’t care about where they are at emotionally or how they feel. You just want to be back in a relationship with them, and that is all you care about.

Even if you do want to get back together with them (which I’m guessing you do, if you’re reading this), you have to meet your ex where they are at emotionally.

Until your ex feels understood, they might miss you a lot, but they will still be hesitant about interacting with you because they are afraid that they will be walking right back into the same relationship that they walked out of in the first place.

What do they need to experience before they will open up to you again?

Are they still upset about something that happened during the breakup? Do they need to hear an apology? Do they think that you never cared about them?

Until you’re able to understand where your ex is at and meet them there, then you’re going to struggle and your ex will continue to wall you out.

You want to make sure that your interactions feel good on an emotional level. For some people, doing something like following the No Contact Rule for a period of time might help create a strong context for improving the quality of your interactions.

If nothing else, creating a No Contact period will definitely give you some time for healing from the emotional pain of the breakup and focusing on yourself before you jump back into contacting your ex.

How to Make Your Ex Miss You When You Only Get One Word Replies When You Text Them

When things aren’t quite as bad, or when your ex is starting to warm up from being completely silent, you’ll experience something different.

Your ex will respond to you… But they won’t be emotionally invested in the conversation.

Often, this will look like one word replies. Other times, it may be that they only stick to surface-level conversation topics (such as talking about work, the weather, TV shows, sports, etc.). Or they may take a lot of time to even respond in the first place. You might also notice your ex start or stop contact with you sporadically.

This can be particularly frustrating for a lot of people because they can’t really get their ex talking.

I mean, what do you say after you ask your ex how they are doing and they simply respond with “fine”?

Where do you take the conversation from there?

There really aren’t very many options. Many people will simply sputter out with uninspiring replies like “cool,” “that’s nice,” or “me too.”

Often, it can seem like you’re just pulling teeth just to get your ex to talk to you. You end up searching for conversation starters or what to text your ex to get her back or get him back.

Let me be clear, it really can be dangerous to sit around texting your ex about pointless things (like your car or their job).

The truth is that there isn’t a perfect text to copy-and-paste and send.

How to make your ex miss you is really more about the emotional connection more than the specific words you send them.

You have to send something that will shift your conversation to an emotional level. This prevents you from wasting time talking with your ex about pointless surface-level topics.

When you do this, you can shift from talking about people, places, and things, and you can start talking about what is actually important: Your emotions and your ex’s emotions.

By shifting down to the emotional level of connection you can start to form the beginnings of a positive emotional experience.

And, as I’ve said constantly, the most important thing to getting back together with your ex is the emotional connection.

So shift the conversation to the emotional level and your ex will move on to the next stage.

When Your Ex Is Hot and Cold

(The Third Stage: Your Ex Misses You — Sometimes)

This is where things start to get interesting (and, some would say, stressful).

By the time your ex hits this point, their emotional resistance is really starting to erode quickly.

That’s all well and good, but it will result in a much more confusion behavior.

Here, your ex will start to be showing you hot and cold behavior. They may even be giving you mixed messages.

They might tell you that they miss you and that breaking up was a terrible mistake.

…Only to take it all back tomorrow. They say that they think the two of you should just be friends. That they’ve gone back to their ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

…And then confess to you, the day after, that that they actually still love you. That the time you spent together was so important to them.

…Only to block your social media account the next day. Or post pictures of themselves getting uncomfortably close to someone else at a club.

Your ex misses you here… Just not consistently.

It’s terribly confusing when your ex can’t make up their mind. It can frustrate you. You might even think that your ex is stringing you along or playing games with you.

But, unless your ex is some sort of psychopath, they probably aren’t playing games with you.

They are genuinely confused.

As stressful as this is for you, understand that this is all equally stressful for them as well.

They don’t like doing this to you.

But just as you were in Damage Control Mode immediately after the breakup happened, your ex is in a sort of panic of their own right now.

They are trying to figure out how they feel about you.

And what they need more than anything is understanding and a continued positive emotional connection with you. (Guys, this is especially true if you want to know how to make your ex-girlfriend miss you)

If you start complaining, holding their indecisiveness against them, or trying to pressure them, they will pull back hard.

They might even regress to surface-level one word responses or they might even wall you out again.

So, keep their emotional state in mind as you navigate this stage.

You know you’re making progress in making your ex miss you here, but you’ve still got some challenges ahead of you.

How to Make Your Ex Miss You When They Won’t Commit

(The Fourth Stage: Your Ex Is Actively Discouraging You)

If you’ve been able to navigate your ex’s emotional world to this point, you’ve been able to get them past their emotional confusion state. This is huge progress when it comes to knowing how to make your ex miss you.

By this point, your ex has mostly positive feelings toward you. They aren’t confused anymore.

They are now, however, having to face the reality that they, in fact, like you.

And that means that there is a real possibility that the two of you might actually get back together again.

This can actually frighten your ex.

Why?

Because of what it means. They may have to make some uncomfortable choices moving forward.

They might need to breakup with a rebound partner that they started dating after they left you. Or maybe they will have to tell all their friends and family that the two of you are together again. They might even need to rearrange their life in some other difficult way, either logistically or emotionally.

And because of this uncomfortable decision, your ex is probably going to do what just about anyone confronted with a difficult situation will do: They will avoid it completely.

They will put off ending the rebound relationship. Maybe they’ll keep your relationship a secret from their friends and family. They may even do other things to avoid paving the way for a clear and unmistakeable reconciliation.

Your ex might even actively try to discourage you from building a strong connection with them. They may tell you to date other people. Or they might say that you are “too good” for them. Sometimes they’ll even do things to sabotage the connection, such as invent things that aren’t really there.

Why is this happening?

Is it because they don’t really love you?

I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion so fast.

In all likelihood, after helping countless people through this process with their ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends, the truth is that your ex may realize that they made a big move by breaking up with you in the first place. And they want to be absolutely certain before they come back to you.

After all, who wants to be the high-drama person who is always breaking up with someone? …Then immediately jumping into a relationship with someone else over and over again?

And it’s even embarrassing to tell all your friends that you broke up with your ex (you), only to tell them that you got back together again. And it’s even more embarrassing to tell them a few weeks later that you’re breaking up again.

Your ex is essentially wanting to make sure that getting back together with you is the right choice for them. They want to know that it’s not all going to blow up in their face again.

And, in many cases, doing things such as ending a rebound relationship can be difficult.

It would certainly be easier for them if they didn’t have to end it. Maybe they wouldn’t need to do it if you weren’t really interested in them.

So, in an effort to make their life a little easier, your ex is essentially testing you to see if you’ll give up when things get hard.

So keep that connection strong and remind them why getting back together with you is what they really want.

If necessary, you may even need to apply a little bit of positive pressure on them (through boundaries or other communication strategies). This is sometimes needed to get them to finally make the move.

How to Make Your Ex Miss You and Want to Get Back Together

(The Fifth Stage: Smooth Sailing)

If you’ve made it this far, your ex has strong positive emotional feelings toward you.

They have even cleared a path toward getting back together again with you by handling all the logistical problems keeping you apart.

Now, the two of you are probably an official couple again in everything but name.

All you need to do is have a conversation with your ex about getting back together again.

They may still have some hesitations or concerns about getting back together. However, because you’ve built such a strong emotional foundation between the two of you, you can actually have a real conversation about these issues without your ex shutting you down (as they would have earlier on in this process).

And you can (and should) bring up any issues that you had in the relationship as well before getting back together again.

(Remember, this whole process is to make a relationship that works for both you and your ex… Not just a relationship that makes only your ex happy.)

And by this point, you and your ex will officially be a couple again.

The thing from here, is to make sure you maintain a strong emotional connection. That way, your relationship doesn’t slip away from you again.

The Key Secret to Make Your Ex Miss You

The secret to make your ex want you back is focusing on the emotional connection the two of you share.

Your ex is going through a process of trusting you again.

And every interaction you have either brings you two closer together or further apart on an emotional level.

If you want the short version of knowing how to make your ex want you back, it is to have more positive interactions that bring you closer together than you have negative interactions with them.

Keep that connection strong and the two of you will start to move toward getting back together.

But if you let the connection slip and focus on things that don’t matter in getting back together with your ex, then the two of you may actually start to drift away from each other.

And, through my work with countless people over the years, I can tell you that the thing that I believe will help you connect with your ex on an emotional level and help the two of you have a new beginning together is to build what we call Advanced Relational Skills.

These are skills that will strengthen the connection and show your ex that they are not walking back into the same relationship that they walked out on in the first place.

And these Advanced Relational Skills are the foundation of our master course called the Ex Solution Program.

If you’re curious or interested in signing up you can do that 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.

19 Comments

  1. Terry

    I can’t decide if we’re in Stage 3 or 4. My ex is in a rebound out of state relationship and appears to be leaning more in that direction. However, will show up bout every 2 weeks. We still have a very strong physical connection, but I’ve told him that I’m not sharing & will not be 2nd. He knows where I stand and have made that clear. His rebound was here couple of wks ago and he told me last nite, when he showed up, that she’s coming bk. Says he’s just being honest with me and had told me he’d check up on me from time to time. Actually felt like putting a knife in my heart again. I can tell he’s confused. Told him I understand (not really)….need help with meeting him on the emotional level.

    Reply
    • Clay Andrews

      He is confused. If you can focus more on connecting with him than drawing lines in the sand, you might have a chance of showing him that interacting with you feels good and that getting back together might be a good idea.

      PS: He’s at Riding the Dragon.

      Reply
  2. Natasha Boyd

    My ex fiance told me to move on and all the reasons why he ended it. He is in a rebound relationship. We have 2 children and speak frequently. We have restarted the 5 stages several times before I learned what I was doing was wrong. However, we are back at riding the dragon. At this point I am educated and aware of what I need to do. He is in another state with family who isnt a big fan of me. We were together 8 years and has no issue separating from the families opinions. I have been displaying change and building the connection. It’s a slow tedious process. He is now suggesting the kids and I move to his city so he can have a more consistent relationship with the kids. Is this his way of getting his once know family closer to him to improve the ability to make the transition back to me easier for him? His rebound hates him being with me and kids for visits etc and so us getting alone time is difficult. So I wonder if the move is his way to increase time spent. He seems excited about it and has been sending me rental listings.

    Reply
  3. Charlie

    This is very helpful indeed, my ex and I are studying together so no Contact only lasted two weeks, she first was distant, then very cheerful and making a lot of physical contact, then past week was so cold, even kinda “unkind” with me, Im a bit tired of her changes but I love her so much, Im sure she changed her attitude towards me because some new Friends were asking if we were a couple, so at this point Im not quite sure which stage is she in. Anyways thank you Clay for all your work 🙂

    Reply
  4. MST

    Hi Clay
    I am on day 22 of nc and I have such doubts as to how I should go about contacting him after nc.
    You see our relationship (4,9 yrs) have been both really good (him calling me his soulmate, telling me every single day how much he loved me and vice versa – and a lot of beautiful memories) – but Also with some fighting and a bit of drama (My bad childhood with an alcoholic Mother has created a lot of bad things for me regarding relationships – insecurity, jelousy and a need to control things and him – all out of fear of losning) We worked on that and things got better over the years. At least that’s what I thought. But after he broke up with me (5 weeks ago) I have been able to see all of My issues with such clarity. And have started therapy and have a long list of things that I am working on. The breakup happened after a big fight about something really stupid and it ended up involving his Mother (we were on a vacation together) And we ended up not speaking for two days. He was upset about My actions and I was upset about his and just waited for him to say he was sorry. It really was My belief that he was mean to me – but looking back we both acted stupid and should have solved it better. He wanted to stay in contact after the breakup and told me he would always have feelings for me, love me, wanted me in his life and would like to hangout etc. After 13 days of staying in contact I decided it Didn’t work for me. He seemed to get better and I was still miserable. So I wrote him a nice message about me having to cut all contact because I needed space and time to work on myself, My issues, think about which person I would like to be etc.
    But that I hoped we could talk someday again.
    He wrote me two messages after that. Both saying how incredibly sad that made him, but that he could see it from My perspective. And Also something about his Mother not being upset with me because of what happened on that vacation, because he had told her that he had been quite mean as well. So I shouldnt feel bad about that. I never responded because of nc.
    His reasons for breaking up: He had changed too much since being with me, that we were to different, he couldn’t keep fighting anymore, he had just kept it all inside for a couple of months.

    I now know what I did wrong. Because of My issues I wanted him to help me heal, understand all My issues, be extra considerate with me because I felt sorry for myself etc. What I actually did was being a nag, trying to control a lot of things, forgetting about admiring him and respecting him because My inner demons and fear consumed me.

    So I think that a silly rememberance text is not the way to go? I think the Best choice would be to sincerely apologize and Even thank him for putting an end to our relationship, so that I got that kick that I needed to really start working on My issues instead of just feeling sorry for myself about My disfunctional childhood.
    But when I read all of the relationship advice on all the sites they all say – don’t remind him of all the negativity. It has to be a positive message and so on.
    But I really think that I have to apologize to him and make him feel validated. And show him that I take responsibility for My side of it.

    What do you advice me to do?
    Kind regards

    Reply
  5. CJ

    I’m not sure which stage my ex is at either but he has told me I should move on about a month ago and I told him I have. I know he went out with someone else around that time but I have a hunch that it ended. I know he keeps looking at my social profile pictures and he always responds to my texts immediately. I see him at work occasionally and he looks like a lost puppy. Yesterday I was delayed in answering him and he text me 4 times to see if I was still there. I’m thinking he may be at the crisis stage. What do you think clay?

    Reply
  6. Al

    Hi Clay,

    My girlfriend and I have been in a very long distance relationship for over a year. She suddenly decided to broke up with me about a month ago, just a few weeks after I spent a full month with her and after we were more commited than ever about our future.(Distance was tough on her and she always had self confidence issues) I tried no contact for a bit which helped me feel a lot better.

    We parted ways in really good terms but she took quite a long time to respond to my first text (Wall of reactance ?), and only used short answers at first (test drive ?). Eventually she opened up a lot more the other day, she told me she still often thinks she may have made a huge mistake and that nobody is better than me in her eyes but yet she concluded that I am too good for her ( Riding the dragon ? ), she said she is happier like this but suffers because she thinks she is selfish and hurt me, I told her that I’m happy with my life again and don’t feel any negative emotions towards her, we talked about her feelings and it seemed to made her feel relieved. Yet after that she went back to one words answers (back to test drive ?). Maybe I am reaching out too often too soon and I should give her more space. What do you think ?

    Reply
  7. TL

    Hi Clay,
    I am unsure if I am at stage 1,3 or 4.
    So me and my ex have been on and off for a few months now. He agreed to give things another shot but it didn’t seem genuine.
    When we are together, there connection is so positive that it’s hard to understand why he would not want to get back together.
    He will communicate with me when we are not together in person in the same way he did when we was together.
    The communication will be so positive then out of the blue he will tell me that this isn’t for him, we both need to move forward, we can’t do what we are doing anymore or we are going to end up back in a relationship. This keeps happening time after time then we won’t speak for a week or two. This time he has completely blocked me on all social media and also blocked my number.
    I am not sure what to do next and if we will ever be able to end up back together. I feel as if we keep going around in circles and I’m unable to break the cycle. Please can you give me some advice on what to do next and ways to move forward.
    At the moment I feel as if he is trying to find negative reasons from years ago to drag up to help him in fighting getting back together.

    Should I give him some space for a bit?

    Do I keep trying?

    Should I write him a letter? If so, what would be good to write in it?

    Reply
    • Clay Andrews

      Sounds like he had a positive pullback from the Crisis Point. The reason this happened is because he didn’t see interacting with you as fundamentally different from interacting with you while the two of you were in a relationship.

      Make sure that he know he isn’t walking back into the same relationship that he walked out of in the first place. That is the only way for him to see getting back together as a good thing.

      How have you showed him that things are going to be different than before?

      Reply
      • TL

        Hi Clay,
        Thank you for getting back to me.
        The thing is our communication is great apart from when we get onto touchy subjects.
        I am personally trying to develop by being more vocal about what I want (before he said I didn’t always seem honest/open and I have been putting a lot more effort into us doing things to remind him of the positive connection we have.
        The connection is still there, for sure. This is why it is so confusing.

        I’m currently taking time to work on myself, I have recently started counselling and I want to build up my self confidence and self esteem.

        What do you think should be my next step?

        Do we both need some space?
        Should I write a letter to express what I’m doing and how I’m trying to develop and suggest a date to meet to talk? I don’t know what to do next..

        Reply
        • Clay Andrews

          You say the connection is still there, but are you showing him that he isn’t walking back into the same relationship that he walked out of?

          Reply
          • TL

            I have been practising being more open and putting more effort into us.
            However, I believe I need space to develop in certain areas and this is why I wonder whether it would be worth writing a letter to explain this, what’s your thoughts?

  8. Fraser Pitkeathly

    Hi Clay

    My ex girlfriend and I were together for 8 months she had just come out of a long term relationship of about 10 years, and she was single when we hooked up for about 7 months. Everything was going fine, we met at work and it was a good relationship then all of a sudden she said she couldn’t handle being in a relationship with anyone and she wanted to be alone. I did the usual begging and pleading this was back in July, we are now much more friendly and the emotional connection is getting better, however I just can’t see her wanting a relationship at this stage she gets very anxious if she thinks I am about to ask her out which I did last month and it backfired. I guess I am just being impatient, or is this situation unique. She has had a lot of trauma in the passed 18 months and one thing that coincided with the end of our relationship was her horse passing, and only last Christmas her grandmother also passed. On top of all this the long term relationship she was In. A lot to deal with and I understand this I just feel like we can make it work if she lets me in.

    Reply
  9. bbb

    I’m not sure if I’m in positive pullback or back to 1. We had positive interactions for a couple of months, chatting every day and I thought we were between 3 and 4. One day we had an honest discussion in which harsh things were said on both sides. She ended saying “I’m tired of this chat” and hasn’t replied to any texts in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to be 2 months now without any reply. I’ve texted light-hearted things, and one deep message empathising with how hard having these sort of conversations is. Still no reply.

    Reply
    • Clay Andrews

      Well, a positive pullback happens after a positive interaction. Sounds like your interaction was not positive.

      Reply
  10. A.R

    It’s a good article but it’s generalised
    If the person has completely wall you out and doesn’t want to see the changes you have made then what is one suppose to do ? How can one connect emotionally if they get no response to various apologies, unless there is communication how can anyone show any sorts of changes they have made. Reading the programmer certainly gives you hope, but what if there is no response from other side. It’s like that law of attraction thing if it works we are doing it right if it doesn’t we are doing it wrong.
    If the other person is not even willing to be acquaintances how can you break the wall of resistance
    Eventually one gets called a creep and then he or she regrets even more
    This article is good but not for most of the people coz it just says what to do but no one has the answer how to do it. How to show it ??

    Reply
    • Clay Andrews

      You have to be able to understand your ex’s emotional state. If the more you contact them or apologize to them, your ex’s emotional state will turn more and more negative and they will completely shut down to you.

      If you are unable to see that, it’s because you don’t have the ability to understand their emotions.

      Because of this, understanding your ex’s emotions is the most important thing you can do.

      That’s what the Advanced Relational Skills in the Ex Solution Program are all about.

      Reply
  11. Al

    Hey Clay,
    my ex and I have been in a long distance relationship for a over year and broke up a few months ago. After no contact, I reached out and started the process of moving through the stages.
    In her latest text, she told it was over, that she doesn’t want me to message her ever again (she unfriended me on facebook).
    I changed my approach a week later with a more positive message.
    The next morning she suddenly called me for the first time since the breakup (“because it’d be quicker than by text”) she told me she had such a lovely time with me but that it was over, that he coudln’t take the distance and language/culture difference anymore. Still, it was the most positive interaction we had since the breakup (and first time we actually spoke directly). I cannot tell what stage it is though, is that early riding the dragon (under 50%) ?

    Reply
  12. Natalie M

    Hi Clay, thank you for all the information. After two years and a half my ex has completely walled me out. Blocked me even. I’ve decided to do the ANC and ARS so I’m wondering, how do I break the silence after some time of no contact? I can’t send a text, so I would have to call…what do I say exactly? Just “hello, long time, how are you?”

    Reply

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