Are You Wasting Your Time? [RIG 24]

Are You Wasting Your Time? [RIG 24]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

How to show your ex you have changed/ earning and building trust in a relationship [RIG Ep 23]

How to show your ex you have changed/ earning and building trust in a relationship [RIG Ep 23]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Covert Contracts and why nice guys finish last [RIG Ep 22]

Covert Contracts and why nice guys finish last [RIG Ep 22]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Whoever Cares Less Controls the Relationship [RIG Ep 21]

Whoever Cares Less Controls the Relationship [RIG Ep 21]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Long Distance Relationship Advice [RIG Ep 20]

Long Distance Relationship Advice [RIG Ep 20]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Chemistry in Dating and Relationships [RIG 19]

Chemistry in Dating and Relationships [RIG 19]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Rules in Relationships Are a Replacement for Being Present [RIG 18]

Rules in Relationships Are a Replacement for Being Present [RIG 18]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

How to stop being needy [RIG 17]

How to stop being needy [RIG 17]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Are you ready to be in a relationship? [RIG 16]

Are you ready to be in a relationship? [RIG 16]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Keeping Score in a Relationship [RIG Ep 15]

Keeping Score in a Relationship [RIG Ep 15]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

How to get out of the Friend Zone [RIG Ep 14]

How to get out of the Friend Zone [RIG Ep 14]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Relationships That Will Never Work [RIG Ep 013]

Relationships That Will Never Work [RIG Ep 013]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Are Relationships Supposed to Be Hard? [RIG Ep 012]

Are Relationships Supposed to Be Hard? [RIG Ep 012]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Why People Continue to Fail At Love Unless… [RIG Ep 011]

Why People Continue to Fail At Love Unless... [RIG Ep 011]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

What to Do When Your Partner is Stubborn [RIG Ep 010]

What to Do When Your Partner is Stubborn [RIG Ep 010]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

The 5 Stages of Emotional Unavailability [RIG Ep 009]

The 5 Stages of Emotional Unavailability [RIG Ep 009]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Trying Too Hard Not to Try Too Hard [RIG Ep 008]

Trying Too Hard Not to Try Too Hard [RIG Ep 008]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Outcomes Vs. Processes in Your Relationship Goals [RIG Ep 007]

Outcomes Vs. Processes in Your Relationship Goals [RIG Ep 007]

Hey there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now my voice might sound a little bit weird today because I’m kind of on the tail end of a cold. I got a bit sick over the weekend and I’m pretty sure I’m pretty much over it. M y voice sounds a little weird. I think it might be because my ears are stuffed up. I don’t know if my voice actually sounds weird, but who knows. Anyway, today I want to talk about the topic of relationship goals and the whole idea of outcomes and processes. OK, now when it comes to dealing with a lot of people who want help in various aspects of their dating and relationship life, I see a lot of people that have a lot of outcomes that they have in mind, relationship goals, so to speak. You know, maybe they want to work things out with their partner.

They want to get back together with their ex. Maybe they want to have a great girlfriend, a great boyfriend, maybe they want to get married or something along these lines and they want me to help them make this happen, but what they often don’t realize is that these, these goals that they have, these outcomes that they want aren’t just something that you do, right? Because in our society we often look at outcomes. We often look at goals and we look at events and we look at these big moments in people’s lives, right? Look at maybe for example, a college kid who may play on the basketball team at college or something like that and how he gets signed into the professional sports league and all of that, and we look at that and we’re like, wow, that that kid was just playing playing college basketball and now he’s making millions of dollars as a professional athlete.

Right? We will get that and we say, OK, wow, that’s, that’s a goal. That’s an event. That’s an outcome that how, how could I do that? Right? But we don’t always see the process that led up to that outcome. We don’t see the hours and hours of practice that kid put in practicing basketball. We don’t see the time that maybe he was injured and had to go on the long road to recovery. We don’t see the time that he was turned down for the team and he had to, you know, tighten up his game and come back the next season or something like that. Instead we just see the big event where we see, you know, the, the, the startup company that got bought out for millions of dollars and now they’re obscenely wealthy. We see the person that lost 50 pounds or a hundred pounds or something like that, but we don’t see all of the little moments in between the times where they had to say no to the birthday cake and eat the salad instead.

Or the times that the startup company founder head to work, 16 hour days or anything like that. We don’t see the process because our, our society, for the most part, it doesn’t glorify process. It glorifies outcomes, glorifies goals. And it’s exactly the same when it comes to relationships. You know, people want these outcomes, people want these goals, they want to get married, they want to have a great girlfriend. They want to save their or get back together, but they don’t look at what it takes to actually get there. They don’t look at what it takes to actually have somebody want to marry you. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They don’t look at what it takes to have somebody want to get back together with you or work things out with you. Instead they just look at, OK, what can I say to make it happen?

What can I tell her to make her want to go out on a date with me? What can I do to make him want to marry me? Instead of asking themselves like, OK, what is it I need to do with how I’m bringing myself to use interactions that’s going to make me an attractive person that may somebody’s going to want to date me or maybe somebody is going to want to be my boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe somebody is going to want to marry me or maybe somebody is going to want to get back together with me. Right? And so you have to look at the process. Right? And that’s really what we teach in our courses, in our videos that we put up on youtube, on our email newsletters, etc. And of course in these Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes, what exactly is process when it comes to relationships?

The process is really about two separate parts. Number one is about how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions, right? Are you able to be present with the person in front of you? I don’t just mean that you physically there, I mean that you’re actually emotionally able to, to connect with them. You’re not off off in your head trying to calculate whether or not you know you’re looking high status or cool or whether or not you’re in the friend zone or anything like that. You’re actually just being with the other person, you know, surprisingly that actually helps you connect with somebody and if you can actually have a good connection with them and they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Surprising, right? So get out of your head and get into the present moment. Can you be emotionally curious about that person’s experience?

Right? When you start to actually take an emotional curiosity toward somebody, empathize with them, connect with them, wonder about what they’re going through. You’re able to create an emotional bond with that person. And of course, if you can bond emotionally, somebody, they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. Can you be vulnerable and transparent about how you feel and what you want? Or are you more caged off, afraid of rocking the boat and you just want them to make all the choices? Or do you just want to look kind of polished and perfect or something like that as opposed to showing them your true colors, your true personality, right? Because surprisingly, people don’t want to be with perfect people. People don’t want to be with people that never speak up. People want to be with people that have a real personality that that, that are, are not afraid to tell you what’s going on with them and aren’t afraid to just broadcast what’s on their mind.

Right? And so the more of yourself that you can share, the better that’s actually going to actually help people connect with you and the more people connect with you, the more they might actually want to be in a relationship with you. You see how this goes, and so these are some important things about process. The better you can get at these things, the better you’ll be able to connect with people in the long run. Now the second part about process is more about the things that you actually do. Now, of course, this is not to be emphasized at the expense of what we just talked about, which is the emotional connection. They’re both equally important, but the things you actually do or also equally important as well too. If you want to connect with somebody, you have to, you know, pick up the phone and call them or, or ask them out on a date or something like that, right?

You can’t just hope and wait, but somehow things work out or if you want to end up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you actually have to put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to people and you can meet them, right? You can’t just have the perfect person come knocking at your door. Most of us can’t do that anyway, right? You have to actually go out into the world and meet somebody or you know, join a website like Match.com or something like that and actually expose yourself to certain people. Right? And so there’s a certain process involved in getting what you want. And of course you know that that aspect of doing things is going to depend on what your outcome is, right? If you want somebody to marry, you have to have a great solid relationship. You have to really demonstrate to them that the two of you have a good future together and all that stuff.

If you want somebody to want to get back together with you, you have to do similar things like that. If you want to meet somebody to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have to put yourself out there a little bit. And so these are the kinds of things that you have to do on a consistent basis. It’s not just about, you know, trying to rig the system in your favor or anything like that. It’s really about being willing to put in those long hours like some of our other examples before, such as the college student who ends up becoming a professional athlete, such as the startup founder that ends up being bought out by a large company such as the person who went on a diet and ended up losing a tremendous amount of weight and now they’re in shape, right? These aren’t just magical things that happen.

These are things that happen because of a process because of that person was able to put in the time going through the grind, going through the boring, unrewarding, unglamorous work of whatever it is that they were doing that eventually led and created the context for the great outcome that they got in the future. So if you want the goal, if you want the outcome, if you want, whatever the event is that you’re looking for in your love life, the best thing you can do is to focus on the process because that’s going to create the context that’s going to maximize the probability that you’re going to get what you want. You know, you’re much more likely to get a boyfriend or girlfriend if you go out there and meet people if you’re easy to connect with, if you’re constantly improving your social skills and all of that than if you just sit at home wishing and hoping and praying, right?

It’s pretty obvious. And so when you create that context, you’re, you’re setting yourself up to welcome in the goal, welcome in the outcome, welcome in the event, and that’s how you go ahead and reach your relationship goals. So it’s important to really focus on the process more than the outcome because when you really think about it, the outcome that you want isn’t really what you really want anyway. Right? So for example, a lot of people sometimes write into me and they want help saving a relationship. They want help getting back together with their ex, but it’s not like they just want to be back together with their ex. It’s not, they just want to log into facebook and change their status and say, Hey, I’m back in a relationship with so and so again. What they want is they want the connection. They want the bonding, they want the closeness, and that isn’t just a matter of logging in and updating their profile, right?

There’s a lot of people that are back together with their ex and they’re miserable. It was a lot of people that are in a relationship and their bored. There’s a lot of people that are in a marriage. There’s a lot of people that are married to each other and their life isn’t happy. It’s not wonderful. They’re just kind of quietly putting up with each other because their relationship died a long time ago, so you don’t really want the goal. The outcome event that you think you might be looking for. What you really want is what you think that’s going to get and what you think that’s going to get you is probably some form of closeness, love, connection, something like that, and if that’s really what you want, then go for that. Don’t try to go for the goal, hoping that it’s going to get you what you really want. The thing that you really want,

the love, the connection, the closeness that can be had without the label, without the label of a relationship, without the label of a marriage, without the label of being back together or anything like that. You can go for it right now. If you just simply create the context for for that emotional connection and go through the process of building that emotional connection. Go through the process of putting yourself out there, contacting somebody, spending time with each other, going out on dates, getting out of the house, all of these sorts of things, right? If you put yourself in the state of mind, we’re investing in the process rather than the outcome. You’re going to do much better in the long run. So with that being said, let’s go over to our questions for this week.

OK everybody. Our first question is from Charlie. Charlie writes in and says, my question is… You say not to point score or worry about initiating conversation to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to lead, which I fully agree with, but you also say to not do this in a way that makes you look a clingy or desperate. I texted my ex every day mainly I think because I wake up first and we have conversations every day. He texted me before work for around an hour during and on his break, but then right now usually evenings and weekends he will just not respond even if I asked an open ended question. So am I making myself a desperate by ignoring that and still texting him or simply taking control? OK, Charlie. So when it comes to this kind of thing, you’re, you’re right, it is important not to keep score and it is important to take responsibility for where you want the relationship to go and you know, initiating contact and being willing to do all that stuff.

But when it comes to what I’m talking about here, when it comes to looking desperate or clingy, this is all about giving unearned attention. OK. So like we were talking about, I think with Clyde, a week ago, there is a difference between earned attention and unearned attention. And the example that I gave Clyde was construction workers, the super cliché example of construction workers that cat call at a woman and say that she’s, you know, sexy and all that stuff. Right? And that is unearned attention for the woman, which is why very few women respond positively to cat calling. Right. It’s because basically you’re just saying, hey, you are physically attractive. I want to interact with you. That’s not something that she earned. She didn’t put any effort into looking physically attractive, you know? Yeah. She may have done her makeup or something like that or have taken care of her body or something like that.

But she didn’t do it with the express interest of getting the attention of the construction workers. She might have done it in order to get the attention of maybe some guy at work or her boyfriend or something like that, but not for those guys. Therefore, their attention is an earned. However, if you interact with your ex or somebody else and they contribute something to the interaction, like they express some sort of vulnerability or share some part of their emotional experience or otherwise have skin in the game of the interaction, then that is earned affection. OK? So for example, if your ex is talking about how he’s really passionate about, I don’t know, some, some event that he’s going to or something like that could say, wow, the way that you talk about that charitable event, I can really see your passion.

I find that really sexy and that is very different from cat calling, right? Because he contributed something to that conversation. He poured his heart out and shared what his experience was, right? And so there, there’s a big difference between being over invested and being appropriately invested in a conversation. Now, if you’re texting your ex and you know he’s not investing in the conversation, then you know, that’s fine, right? That’s, that’s you making a low stakes bet like we talk about. Just don’t double down on that bet because then you’re just a really increasing over investing on that part. OK? So, you know, you might text your ex and you know, maybe they respond, in which case, OK, cool, great. Now you’re going somewhere. If they don’t respond, then you don’t double down on that interaction except maybe to answer the question as if it had been an ask to yourself and then if you still get nothing, then I would just let that go and then maybe try again at some other point in time.

OK. When you actually do get a response and you do get them to invest in the conversation, that’s, that’s where I would take that. OK? So being desperate and needy is really just over investing in giving somebody an unearned affection or unearned compliments or unearned attention of some sort. OK? Whereas appropriate levels of investment, it doesn’t matter who’s initiating contact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s you or whether it’s him or anything like that. The point isn’t that contact has been initiated or that a text message has been sent. The point is what is being communicated, right? Just like it doesn’t matter who is talking. It matters what that person is saying. Right? And so the important thing is that both people are investing emotionally in the conversation. It’s not just like one of these one-sided conversations where you know, you’re just going on and on and on and you’re like, you know what?

What was it like for you? How was your trip to such and such a place? And they’re just like, oh, it was good. It was OK, you know, like, Oh wow, that must’ve been so exciting to go to this place and to be in a completely new city that you’ve never been to before. And they’re like, yeah, it was all right. And that kind of thing is where the other person is just not invested and you’re way over invested. That would come across probably as clingy and desperate. However, if you were to not over invest in that situation and notice that the other person isn’t sharing much and say, well, I noticed that you’re not really describing much about your trip to, I don’t know, Cincinnati or something, why is that? Or did you not enjoy it? And they might say, well actually I didn’t enjoy like what did you enjoy about it?

And then you know, then they can start sharing something and then you have something to work with and you know, then you’re not over investing and you’re actually encouraging them to invest in the dynamic and where it’s going. So I hope that clears it up. What the difference is between taking responsibility and initiating conversations versus being clingy and desperate, Charlie. So with that being said, thanks for your question and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask those next time. All right. Our next question is from Reyes. Reyes writes in and says, hi Clay. This question is about rebound situations. Each rebound situation for everyone is unique and how our format takes. The key point, as you tell us is to focus solely on the emotional connection with our ex and to focus on process and not events. Facebook doesn’t matter, what they say to us or about their rebound, such as we will never get back together or I love my new partner or we can’t be friends.

Doesn’t matter what they do with each other, doesn’t matter. However, for those of us facing our ex and the rebound on a regular basis, such as if we are coworkers or school mates, there is an additional layer of difficulty as we will be challenged to look into the eye of the monster and quote and be un-swerved in our approach, focusing on connection. Yes, that is all that matters. The rebound situation will melt away on its own. When we deployed the Decoy Strategy, getting our exes to choose us over our past selves that said, it’s challenging when our ex would be open for it or even loving to us in private, yet still hold onto the rebound and even closer than ever or seemingly happier than ever in public right next to us. Therefore, what would be the best approach to situations in which your ex and his rebound are happily and affectionately together in public and around us even while we are having a great connection and high quality interactions in private?

OK. So when it comes to situations like this, what I would do is I would just talk to my ex directly. I would just let my ex know that it’s very uncomfortable for me when them and their rebound partner are very physically affectionate with each other in public when I’m around, I would just let them know that and say that, that if, if they continue to do that, then I don’t know if that’s, you know, if I can still be with you in private. OK. If that’s your boundary anyway, you have to. You have to stop and think about what your boundary might be or how you want to deal with this. Right? So for example, your ex might not know that this is having this impact on you, in which case, you know, he might be a little bit dense, but he might not know that being very publicly affectionate and having all these public displays of affection and all of that with his current partner while you’re around is actually very difficult for you emotionally.

So you might want to tell him that and communicate that to him. And then if you want him to do something then you have to tell him, say something along the lines of, hey, it would really mean a lot to me if you guys could keep that on the down-low when I’m around or something like that. Right. And you know, that’s not an unreasonable request. I don’t think it’s not unreasonable for somebody to say, Hey, you know, this is my ex over here. I don’t want to like stir up the pot too much. So is it OK if we just keep it kind of civil and polite and all that while we’re at this class or while we’re at this work function or whatever it might be. And then you know, we can go do other things later on and I think that’s a normal thing for somebody to request and I think that would be a normal way for somebody to respond.

So I don’t think that it would be out of line in terms of asking him that sort of thing. And I don’t think it would be strange for him to oblige to it either, if that’s what you would like for him to do. I would say directly ask him to do that and if he is unable or unwilling to do that, then you have to take that as feedback. Take that as feedback that he’s the kind of person that is unable or unwilling to do this for you. And then ask yourself, is this the kind of person that you want to be in a relationship, but this is the kindest person that you want to pursue a relationship with. Somebody who is unable or unwilling to do this, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable thing that you would ask them. And if the answer is yes, I still want to be in a relationship with this kind of person, I still want to see where this goes, fine, go ahead and do that, but you’ve got to drop this whole thing about the public display of affection.

If it’s not OK, then you need to say, OK, well, hey, this guy just saved me a whole lot of extra time and energy and heartache by disqualifying himself, by just not doing what I, what I politely requested of him and just letting me know in no uncertain terms that my needs, my desires, my emotional needs are not something that he can consider in his actions and then let him go and create space in your life for you to welcome somebody who is able to meet your needs and be respectful of your needs and all of that stuff. So that’s what I would recommend in that sort of situation, ok, Reyes. Anyway, I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. OK, our next question is from Alethea. Dear Clay, thanks for the response to my last question.

I clearly was Damage Control Mode because when my ex finally responded to my message after 10 days of no contact saying that he was busy and would get back to me, I immediately sent him a number of texts, which again got no response after two days of not hearing from him, I went to his house to meet him. It was then that I asked him why he feels that we should not meet or texts so often he mentioned that he does not want his feelings to come back because he cannot and will not get back together with me again. He also mentioned that my Wall of Texts annoy him and he does not feel like responding. He also became agitated and frustrated saying that talking to me stresses him out and he could not afford any of that because he has so much on his plate that he needs to deal with.

I broke down emotionally because I reminded him that I did not want what happened with my sister to happen with him. My sister has not spoken to me for four years now after a misunderstanding that we had and he took that opportunity to point out that I should also allow him time to reach out to me even if it takes months or years. When I calmed down, I told him that all I wanted was to be friends again and he hugged me and walked me to my car. Even though the interaction ended on a good note, it was clear that he still holds a lot of resentment towards me, especially when he mentioned that he had done enough from his side to make things work and it was totally my fault that we broke up. I really feel that I need to take time away from him and work on accepting the breakup and letting go of my bad emotions.

Would that justify another ANC of say three weeks for me to heal emotionally while also giving him time to reach out to me. OK, so when it comes to ANC and how it differs from PASSIVE No Contact. Again, we’re not doing this for the purpose of making your ex miss you, so they want to reach out to you and contact you or anything like that. The main reason we’re doing ACTIVE No Contact is one to get out Damage Control Mode and 2, to work on developing and cultivating the Advanced Relational Skills so that when we do get back in touch with our ex, we are able to have much more high quality interactions with them. OK. And I can tell that maybe this is something that would benefit you based off of something that you said earlier on in your question, such as your Wall of Texts annoy him and he doesn’t feel like responding and he doesn’t want his feelings to come back because he cannot get back together with you again.

And the reason that I say that is because here you’re not focusing on having high quality interactions with him. You’re focusing on trying to recreate the relationship or something along those lines. OK? And again, like we’ve talked about before, when you are relationship focused, your ex sees this as you looking to them as a means to an end. They are a means to an end for you of feeling better so that you can be in a relationship, OK, if you are in a relationship, then you will feel better and they are the one that has to deal with that, right? And so if they don’t understand that you get them emotionally. If they don’t understand that you can connect with them on an emotional level, then they’re going to see any communication with you as being relationship focused. And you look into them as a means to an end.

If on the other hand, you can be connection focused and really displays with Advanced Relational Skills, and get out of Damage Control Mode and all that stuff, then they’re going to actually enjoy interacting with you. And it’s going to bring the two of you closer together again. So for that reason, I actually would say that Active No Contact would be a great thing for you to do for three weeks or for however long it takes for you to be able to have high quality interactions with your ex that feel good on an emotional level. So what I would strongly recommend is that you do Active No-Contact by doing active, no contact, actually go through and practice the Advanced Relational Skills, develop them and cultivate them so that when you get back together with your ex, it’s not just like Passive No Contact where just a period of, in this case, let’s just say three weeks have passed and you’re just hoping that somehow something is different and somehow something is better.

So I want you to actually take matters into your own hands “Be the Cause” in the matter and to actually develop Advanced Relational Skills so that you know that you are not bringing the same version of Alethea to the table, that your ex is already well aware of exists and does not want to interact with. OK. So for that reason, I would definitely recommend doing Active No Contact. OK, our next question is from Rick. Rick writes in and says, hey Clay, we reached out to our exes in the hope of reconnecting and building a stronger emotional bond with them in order to get another shot at having a relationship with them. In my opinion, there is no way we can hide this agenda and pretend that we don’t have expectations, so when we approach them in whichever way, for sure they see what we’re or at least feel that we are attempting to connect with them and that we have an ulterior motive.

Most people here, and that includes me, want this outcome. That’s why we are here after all, and I think we’re trying to act believing we are OK with any outcome that might arise, but we are not. I strongly believe that it’s only going to work and keep working in the long run if we really truly let go until you’re completely accept wholeheartedly whatever outcomes results from our efforts. In the end. If I can speak for myself, I’ve tried to be strategic in my efforts so the connection can develop with my ex at this time. She doesn’t want that to happen. I know I should be able to tell if she wants it through empathy and be OK with whatever desires she has in that respect. Through acceptance, we choose to believe that we can act in a way to get the desired outcome, but maybe in this particular case, trying to reconnect with an ex actions and words aren’t as important as our state of mind.

How healed and detached we are. Have I understood this correctly? Thanks for your time when it comes to this sort of thing. Yes, absolutely. Your state of mind or as I’ve been saying in the past, your way of “being” is absolutely critical moreso than saying the right words or doing the right things. OK, trust me, the the, the words and the actions that you take are going to arise out of having the right state of mind. They’re going to arise out of having the right state of being. Now, in terms of what you say, like pretty much impossible to have, to not have an ulterior motive. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. When I was getting back together with my ex, one of the Times that we broke u, it was, it was actually while I was on a study abroad program and then we did like no contact and all that stuff.

And then eventually we got back together and when, when we met up for the first time, I actually wasn’t sure what to think about her or, or where I wanted things to go or anything like that. She just called me distressed one day saying that she had missed me and that she wanted to get together and I knew that I was going to be back in our hometown. I think it was like the next weekend or something like that. And so we agreed to meet up for coffee. And at that point I, I didn’t, I didn’t know if I wanted to get back together with her or not because my perception of her had changed a lot based off of something that has happened during our breakup. And so I was just more or less open minded as to who this person might be.

So I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew who she was. I didn’t walk in thinking that I knew everything about her. Instead, I was more curious. So I did have that level of empathy, that level of curiosity, that level of trying to, trying to hear and understand who this person might be. And so in that respect I wasn’t attached to outcome and so I think that might have helped me at that particular point in time. So, yeah, you do have it right in that your state of mind is absolutely much more important than what you say or do. OK. Because if you try to say or do something from the wrong state of mind, it’s going to come across as artificial. It’s going to come across as like some sort of gimmick or stunt or act that you’re putting on or something along those lines.

So what I would recommend is that you first focus on your way of “being.” How are you bringing yourself to the interaction? Are you bringing yourself to the interaction thinking that you have something to prove to your ex your is some sort of like divine being, who’s judging you as good enough or not good enough or something like that. If so, then that’s probably the wrong way of “being.” You don’t want to come to your ex as if you’re, you know, some sort of grovelling peasant looking for their blessing or anything like that. That’s not the right way of “being.” Yet. So many people are trying to get back together with their ex from that state of being and they don’t understand why their acts is turning them away and it’s because they are in a sense being desperate and needy. OK. And this goes beyond the obvious forms of desperation and neediness such as, you know, begging and pleading and calling like a million times a day and stuff.

As long as you are having that emotional experience within yourself, whatever you say or do, even if it’s like obviously a desperate and needy stuff like calling a million times a day or even if it’s cloaked, like trying to pretend that you’re cool or the Alpha male or something like that, it’s going to come across as fake and it’s not going to be genuine or authentic and your ex is probably going to see right through it. That’s why it’s important to work on actually “being” maybe, for example, a curious about what your exit experience is actually being interested in connecting with them. Actually being interested in having real heart to heart conversations rather than trying to connect emotionally with who you think your ex is or who you think your ex is based off of the relationship with you use to have or something along those lines.

OK. So that’s why your state of “being,” that’s why I’m your way of “being” is absolutely vitally important. Which is again, what we talked about last time, or maybe it was the time before that on the Relationship Inner Game Experience. So if you miss that, definitely go back and check that out. But yes, Rick, that is exactly what I was getting to when it comes to all of that stuff. So thank you for checking in and yes, you do have that correct. So yeah, hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. The next question is from Vixen fixed and writes in and says Hi Clay, my question is, I guess a follow-up to my last question. I got to see my ex a few weeks ago and we are on relatively good terms. I think he was fine seeing me in a group with some friends, however we didn’t talk much and he still won’t answer any of my texts since then.

I’ve just been sending him texts about different things and stuff that comes up like a friend would. His graduation for college is coming up and I want to say something nice for it. I figured I just won’t really try and reach out to him anymore until then, which is May 13th with the current situation of him being OK hanging out in a group even if he doesn’t respond to my texts or me making plans. You’ve told me in the past that I’d need more rapport before I ask anything along the lines of him feeling uncomfortable with me, keeping in contact with him or him being uncomfortable with me, making plans with him and I guess I agree. I just don’t know what else to do. One, if you continues to not answer me, what should I do in lieu of asking him directly if he doesn’t really want to keep in contact or it makes them uncomfortable and Two, what is something that I could say for his graduation and what is your advice on that?

I don’t want it to be too generic and I’m not really sure now since his response record is so poor. OK. Number one, don’t worry about the graduation thing. If you work on your way of being, if you work on how it is you want to connect with him, then it will take care of itself. OK. It will take care of itself. So just as an example, my sister and I, who I’m still kind of getting back in touch with from, from, you know, not being in touch for a long time, those of you, you who’ve been following me for awhile and know that I’m just now getting back in touch with my dad’s side of the family, you know, for like the past year or so. And you know, my sister and I were, we keep in touch but you know, we’re still building that, that like sibling closeness.

Right. And so we were supposed to hang out on, on a Saturday and I was there and she wasn’t showing up and I thought maybe she’s running late and I didn’t think much about it because she is usually late when she goes places. But then, you know, it was like an hour late. And so I just reached out to her and I just contacted her and I said, hey, are you having a hard time finding the place? You need anything, did you get hung up on something or something like that. And I still didn’t hear back from her and then I figured that she had just forgotten or something came up or whatever in any way. Later on that afternoon I got a message from her saying that she had like, just completely forgotten. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was going to be Sunday that we met up.

And so she, she, her phone was off because she was doing some other stuff and then she turn it on. She got my message and found out that, oops, it was Saturday and not Sunday. And so, you know, I just told her, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK because I mean, I genuinely meant it, but, you know, like we talk about, that can often come across as just sort of like a generic pointless thing that people often say, you know, how are you? Oh, I’m good. Right? Even if you mean it, it, it’s going to come across as kind of generic and pointless and insincere. Right. And so I could’ve just left it that and just kind of been like, OK, yeah, well, you know, sure. I let her know it was OK and we just left it at that. But I also noticed something in the message that she sent me, which was Hey, I totally left you hanging on my horrible sister and I noticed that there was a lot of blame that she was putting on herself for this mistake that she made.

And so from a place of “being”, you know, somebody who wants to, have a good quality relationship from one sibling to another, I noticed that. And so from there I sent her another message that said, hey, just so you know, I’m never going to judge you and I’m always gonna be on your side. OK? So you don’t have to worry about being hard on yourself or anything like that because you’ve always got a place in my life. Something along those lines. And that connected with her. Right? It was, it’s not the usual kind of, hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK kind of thing. It’s something that sticks out and it came from my way of “being”, of wanting to be the kind of brother that always has his sisters back. OK, so that is, that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about when I’m talking about the way of being and how it is going to inspire you to say something.

Right is somebody who doesn’t know your ex, to somebody who doesn’t know what your ex is studying, what his plans are after graduation, what his personality is like, what his concerns are about the future, what his fears are, what his hopes are and what his dreams are. Anything. I can’t tell you what to text him that’s going to stick out and make him say, wow, Vixen is really awesome. I need to get back to her or I’m going to respond to this or this is really important. Right? But, but if you are having the appropriate way of being and if you have really worked on the Advanced Relational Skills enough to be able to catch things about him, then you’ll be able to do things like what I was able to do with my sister. Right. I was able to observe the fact that yeah, she was actually being really hard on herself when she said she was a horrible sister and I was able to connect with her in a way that I wanted to connect with her as, you know, like siblings always have each other’s back.

And so that’s what I was able to do. I was able to break that translates into Oh hey, don’t worry about it. It’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Maybe next time you know that. And I was actually able to say something meaningful to her that was able to connect with her and leave her really touched. OK. In regards to your first question, it seems like he’s OK to hang out with you. So the next time the two of you hang out in person, you know, with friends or something like that, step aside with him and just just let him know, hey, I really enjoy spending time with you. However, I’ve noticed that oftentimes it seems like sometimes you don’t want to interact with me or something like that. Is Anything going on? Anything that I should know about or anything like that.

Right. You know, when you’re person you can build that rapport when you’re in person, you can create that kind of connection so that you have the kind of foundation where you can ask him to sort of thing. OK. I wouldn’t necessarily do it out of the blue. You could, but again, like I said before, that that might be a little bit difficult without the degree of rapport. But you can build that rapport when the two of you are together in a group of friends or something along those lines. Right? Because it seems like that’s something that, that, uh, he doesn’t have a problem it. So that’s what I’d recommend in that situation. So I hope this helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here. The next question is from Dean. Dean writes in and says, Hi Clay, thank you for getting the time to read this message.

Me and my ex split up a few months ago. Since then, she took me out for dinner to say thank you for my support over the year as she’s just completed post-grad, she wanted to remain friends and open to meeting up in the future. I declined friendship as I still wanted more obviously a mistake at the time. Since then, I retracted that statement and said it’s a great opportunity to remain friends, but she didn’t believe that I could have a change of heart so quickly. She said it’s best if we have a period of not talking. I have since reached out three weeks later. We have had positive interactions. She didn’t messaged me, a few later wishing me happy birthday again. We had some positive interactions. I reached out a few days later, but after a few messages she said that we should have less contact. I use Advanced Relational Skills to show empathy and said that I respect her boundaries.

I reached out a few weeks later and got a neutral response. I tried continuing the conversation, but she said it pains me to say it, but I guess I care enough about you not to make it harder. I feel we should stop a continuous contact. I respected her decision for space. Question number one, would you suggest not reaching out to her again until she reaches out to me? It’s her birthday and an important event in being her brother’s suicide anniversary next month. Would it be distressful to break contact during those times and indirect communication such as liking facebook posts? Should this stop during the period of no contact? OK, so when it comes to no contact, yeah, you’re not going to be liking your ex Facebook posts. Ideally, you’re not going to be reading your ex’s Facebook news feed or anything like that. Again, go through the no contact section of the ESP course where we talk about things such as how to deal with social media while you’re on no contact and stuff like that.

Would it be a distressful to break contact during these times? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really know exactly what your ex’s relationship with her brother’s suicide anniversary is. I mean, obviously it’s not a great experience, but I don’t know how she generally deals with it. I don’t know how she deals with that anniversary. I don’t know how she, how that affects her, but you probably do. So what I would do is I would feel into the situation and try to figure out how I would best contact her or not contact her during that period of time. What I’m seeing a lot of in your interactions though is, you know, she says something like, Hey, I don’t think we should be in contact. And you say, I used empathy and respected her decision for space and I want to make it clear that that is not necessarily what I am recommending in these sorts of situations.

That could be what you might do. Absolutely. Again, what I want to do is to empower you to feel into the situation, to know what the right thing to do is in your situation. OK, this is, this is not me telling you to do one thing or the other. You have to be the author of your own life. You have to be the author of your own web store. You have to make your own choices and go for them a hundred percent. But when it comes to Acceptance, when it comes to curiosity, when it comes to all of that stuff, I’m not saying Acceptance has just about whatever your ex says, just, hey, take it. Say yes, your ex says, don’t contact me anymore. Say yes, your ex says I hate your guts. Say yes, your ex says never contacted me again. Say yes, your ex says, you know, go take a hike.

So yes, that, that is not what I’m telling you to do it all. What I would advocate for you instead is to feel into the situation and if it seems right to you, have a little bit of curiosity and say, well, what is it that makes you hesitant about keeping in contact or you know, something along those lines so you can understand what her concerns are, so you can understand where she’s coming from and if need be, you can say something. Well, Hey, well, what if we just agreed that, you know, we’re just going to keep this platonic for the time being until we can figure out what it means for us to be friends or what if we just agreed that we’re not going to fall in love with each other ever again. You know, it’s like a kind of smiley face kind of flirty thing or something like that depending on what the situation is.

Again, I don’t know what the right thing to do in your situation is, but you have to feel into it. OK. And I just want t make it clear to you though, that having emotional Acceptance is not about just, you know, grinning and nodding and going with the flow or anything like that. Having emotional Acceptance is accepting that something that has actually happened has happened, OK, and then that takes you to the next point, which is what are you going to do about it? Right? And then you have to respond from a place of authenticity from a place that genuinely expresses how it is that you feel, what it is that you want, etc etc. OK? It’s not about just nodding and smiling and going with the flow or passively. OK. That is not what I would recommend at all. OK. Your second question is what a Fresh Start Letter be appropriate here.

I don’t know. Is there anything in particular that you feel like apologizing for? You said that you agreed that you said you didn’t want to be friends and you think that that was a mistake, but I don’t know if that’s something that you should like go out of your way to apologize for the way you describe it. It doesn’t seem like something that would warrant the Fresh Start Letter, but if that’s something that I miss understanding here and it is something that warrants a Fresh Start Letter, then by all means go ahead and do that. But again, that’s something that you have to feel it in this situation to do here. OK? My goal is to teach you Advanced Relational Skills to teach you how to have a great relationship so that you don’t need me in the future to be, you know, kind of spoon-feeding you all this stuff down the road here.

I want you to be able to feel into this situation. So I want you to practice that now by feeling into the situation, putting yourself in your access position and saying, if I were my ex, would receiving a Fresh Start Letter from me feel good on an emotional level or would it feel bad on an emotional level? Would it increase the connection between us or a decrease the connection between us? Would it make me think, wow, he finally gets me. I can, I can like let down my guard and we can finally talk or would it make her think, Wow, this is weird. What is he apologizing for? Right. You have to feel into the situation and know what the right thing to do is. So that’s what I would recommend. OK. Your third question, is there anything I can do differently to move the conversation forward if my ex was being stubborn to engage in a conversation such as only neutral conversation.

OK. Yeah. So that, that’s really what the whole Acceptance thing that I just went on about his really bad. I would take more curiosity and her experience. I would ask her more questions about her experience and tried to engage her on that emotional level so that we can actually have a conversation with her about where she’s coming from and what sorts of things she’s actually wanting and still we can really understand each other. OK. So, that’s really what I would recommend in your situation. OK. So hope that helps you out, dean, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward. All right. And our next question is from our old faithful, reliable friend Clyde. Clyde writes in and says, Hey Clay, this is a bit of a technical question. You usually advise people to use better means of communication. So it is better to have phone calls rather than text messages in order to create a better emotional connection.

And I’m totally with you on that. I hate texting with anyone and I prefer to call. However, people in their twenties these days just don’t call ever. It’s very weird. It’s a very weird thing for them to do. So if a person is going to receive a call and be like, oh, I had forgotten my phone could be used for this, should we just discard this option? I’m asking because yesterday was my ex’s birthday and I called to wish her a happy birthday by two calls. Didn’t go through. I don’t know why I ended up leaving a message on whatsapp. But anyway, I was very afraid when calling because of that reason. So when it comes to technology, you know, yeah, people in general are changing the way that they relate to things like cell phones. Right. I remember back in the days before smart phones before, texting was really much of a thing.

People would just call each other on cell phones. I used to do that often with, you know, my very good friend back then. And you know, as time progressed we started to just drift more towards texting, but you know, he’s still do talk on the phone and all that stuff. But, but here’s the thing, you can always text somebody and see, hey, are you open for a phone call or something like that. Just to check in with them before you just kind of, you know, barge into their world. So that, that’s, that’s definitely something that you could do. You can, you can say something like, Hey, I’m out for a walk and I was thinking of you and I obviously can’t walk and text at the same time. Otherwise I might get hit by a car or something like that. Would it be OK if I texted you or you know, if you’re, if you’re texting back and forth with somebody and you have some degree of rapport going and you say, Hey, it’s really nice talking to you like this.

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or something like this. Would you mind if I called you so that I could keep talking to you without, you know, getting my phone covered in like beef slime or something like that. So, that’s something that I would recommend when it comes to trying to shift up to a higher level of conversation rather than just, you know, keeping the conversation in text message level. OK. So Clyde, I hope that helps you out and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here with your situation and if you have any more philosophical questions about love and relationships.

All right, so those have been our questions for this week. Thank you once again for watching this episode of the Relationship Inner Game Experience. If you’ve liked this, please feel free to give us a thumbs up. Please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll receive updates when we publish and upload new Relationship Inner Game Experience episodes. And please leave a comment down below letting me know what are some interesting topics that you’d like me to talk about next time anyway, please take care.

Hoping For Your Love Life to Magically Fall Into Place? [RIG Ep 006]

Hoping For Your Love Life to Magically Fall Into Place? [RIG Ep 006]

Hi there, this is Clay with www.ModernLove.Life and this is the Relationship Inner Game Experience. Now, today I want to talk about something that is very important in the world of dating and relationships and this is very important when it comes to dating. When it comes to maybe a relationship you’re already in.

Maybe it comes to going through a breakup and it even comes as very important when it comes to saving a relationship or getting back together with your ex. No matter where you are in the whole dating or relationship spectrum. What we’re going to talk about today is extremely important and the topic that I want to cover today is the topic of being “at cause” in your own love life. A lot of people, for lack of a better term, aren’t at cause in their own love life. They they just kind of give their love life over to hope or luck or chance or fate or the stars or anything else, and they’re not playing an active role in the process of whatever their outcome might be and they might think that they’re playing an active role in whatever the process might be.

They might say, you know, maybe you’re a single person and you want to go out on a date with an attractive person and you want to get a nice boyfriend or girlfriend. So you might go out there and start talking to strangers, right? You might not be making a whole lot of progress. Maybe you’re not getting that date that you want. And you might say, well, you know, hey, it’s just a numbers game. I’ve been turned down 20 times. Like it’s only a matter of time before somebody says yes. Right?

And what I’m saying is that that’s kind of giving yourself over to odds and sure not everybody that you ask out is going to want to go out on a date with you, but if you go up and approach 20 people that you know, obviously aren’t in a relationship and might be available to go out on a date with you or something, assuming all of that’s in place, some of them should say yes.

And if they’re not, there’s something that’s happening in the way that you’re bringing yourself to those interactions that is not encouraging them to want to say yes to you. It’s probably how you are approaching that person. It’s the words that you’re saying. It’s the way that you’re being as the energy that you have. As you approach that person and say, “Hey, what’s up?” My name’s Clay. Let’s go get coffee on Thursday at 7:00 at this place. So you have to think about how you are actually actively involved in doing something. So for example, another example, we have people who often want to try and save their relationship and get back together with their ex. And in situations like this, people will say things like, well, I texted my ex, they didn’t respond to me. I texted them again. They didn’t respond to me.

I asked him to get back together. They said no. They said they were in a relationship with somebody new and all that stuff. And what’s happening here is that person is simply just hoping that if, if time passes, if they try enough times, if, if something like that happens, then their ex is going to suddenly say, hey yeah, let’s give it another shot. Let’s get together for coffee and see if we can connect emotionally or something like that. But what I’m saying is, you can’t just give yourself over to fate to luck to chances to odds or anything like that. You have to be an active participant in what is actually happening. So you have to actually go out of your way and say, how am I bringing myself to this interaction? What is my state of “being” as I’m bringing myself to this interaction?

Am I anxious? Am I nervous? If I am anxious, and nervous? How is that going to come across when I’m interacting with somebody else and yes, they can tell if you’re anxious and nervous, even over a text message or email or something like that. OK, so it’s really important that you are in the proper emotional state when you are interacting with somebody via text, via email, in person, especially over the phone, over video, Skype calls or something like that. Absolutely. You need to be focusing on how you’re bringing yourself to the interactions. OK? It is definitely about your way of “being.” This is about your emotional state. This is about the quality of your vibe, right? I have a certain vibe to me right now, just very different from, “Hi, my name is Clay. I would like to get together with you for coffee on Thursday, is that something you’d like…?”

No, that’s not gonna work. Right? And so you have to have a certain energy to you. I’m not necessarily saying you always want to be UP UP, UP, and have super high energy, but you want to have an energy that is congruent with what you’re trying to do. Does that make sense? Obviously if you go into a library, it makes sense to have sort of a more quiet, relaxed vibe. But if you’re at maybe allow dance club, you want to have a much higher level of energy to match the energy that’s happening out there because certain ways of being, certain states, certain emotional undertones are important when it comes to interacting with people in a certain context. I really learned this when I was a small boy. I was in middle school and you know, like most boys around that age, I was really into comic books and all that stuff.

And so I went to the library and I checked out this book on comic illustration because I was kind of OK at drawing and so I wanted to make my own comic book. And so I read through this book and one thing that was really interesting to me was a certain panel in this book where they talked about, the importance of the image. It’s not just about the words that are said, but it’s actually the image too. And in order to highlight this, they had, I think it was six or eight or nine different panels where there were just different people in different sorts of situations and poses and stuff like that who were saying the same thing. They had the same words, but because it was coming from a different person with a different body language, with a different stance and all of that, it came across very differently.

So for example, I think the phrase was, “Who do you think you are?” You know, there was, there was like a powerful wizard that was like, “WHO do you think you are?” You know, like, who do you think you are challenging, may do a duel or something like that. There was a, there was a meek little Goblin was like, “Who do you think you are? Like just trying to defend himself somehow. There’s like a sexy comic book babe that was saying like, “Whooo do you think you are?” It’s kind of flirty and there was this, you know, stodgy, fat cat banker, businessman guy who had his nose up in the air and he’s like, “Who do you think you are?” And each one of them had this different vibe, different energy to it, and that really drove the point home for me.

And so I, I want you to really be thinking about who ARE you when you’re interacting with somebody? Who are you? Are you the powerful wizard? Are you the meek Goblin? Are you the sexy babe? Maybe you want to be the sexy babe. Are you the the robot? Are you the stodgy banker? Are you the brave warrior? Like who are you and what kind of energy are you having? What’s your way of being? And can you really step into that and carry that out as you are interacting with somebody EVEN… EVEN over text message, OK, I don’t highly recommend that you have all of your interactions over text message, but I know that so many people are going to ignore that. And do it anyway, so at least have a good high quality way of being. If you’re going to be texting somebody, OK, so this is really, really important because it really changes the way that you interact with people and it’s going to change the way that you really bring yourself to the interactions by really being at cause for how things go in the interaction.

You’re not just leaving it up to chance. You’re not just leaving it up to luck. You’re not just kind of blindly going wherever things happen to go and hoping that the stars align or that the odds are in your favor or something like that. You don’t want hope to be part of your equation. I don’t mean hope in like, you know, yeah, don’t hope for anything kind of motivational kind of stuff because you know, hope is not part of the equation or whatever. I mean, you want to actually have something that you’re bringing to the interaction you actually want to be at cause for making the interaction go a certain way. Otherwise, you’re letting the interaction just happen and you’re just kind of… off to the side as a spectator and that’s not how you want to do it.

That’s not how you want to do it. If you actually want to have a decent love life, if it’s all about the other person and you’re just like a spectator, then that’s not a great dynamic. That’s not the kind of dynamic that I would recommend. Most people go out of their way to have when it comes to dating or relationships. So don’t do that instead, be at cause. Be an active participant. Be Somebody who’s willing to engage in the interaction and help to create it into whatever it ends up being. Take responsibility for how the relationship, how the interaction, how the date, how the encounter, how the approach, how the whatever goes OK, be at cause for it rather than just simply at consequence to it. OK? So just really think about that as you’re interacting. Think about that. Whether you’re trying to meet somebody new and date them.

Think about that. Whether you are trying to save a relationship, get back together with your ex. Think about that, whether you’re on your first date with somebody, think about that, whether you are on your 10 year anniversary with somebody. Think about that after you’ve spent you know the, the, the better half of your life with somebody. Think about these things and really ask yourself, is my way of “being” in alignment with how I actually want this moment to go? How I actually want this interaction to go? And if it’s not, it’s probably because you’re playing a passive role. It’s probably because you’re letting the other person steer the dynamic. Letting the other person steer the outcome and you’re just hoping and praying that they steer the dynamic, the date, the relationship, the whatever towards where you want it to go. But as long as the other person is driving the car and you’re just the helpless passenger, you have no say over how things go.

And of course if you have no say over how things go, all you really have to cling onto is hope and luck and chance and odds and the stars and fate and all of that. But if you’re actually willing to take the steering wheel and say, I’m going to bring myself to this interaction in this way or this way or this way, YOU are actually taking control of it. I’m not saying to be domineering, I’m just saying play an active role in how things actually play out. Have the foresight to know how you need to be in any given situation. Do you need to be empathetic? Can you be understanding? Do you need to be comforting? Do you need to be courageous? Do you need to set the tone? Do you need to take the lead? Do you need to be able to be more submissive it? It changes from time to time, depending on the context, but you can’t just be passive in this unless you just want to let the other person take the relationship to wherever they want it to go based off whatever their agenda is. And if you don’t know what their agenda is or if you don’t trust their agenda to be the same as yours. And that’s a very, very dangerous game. OK. So with that said, let’s get into our questions for this week.

OK, our first question is from Evie writes in and says, “Hi Clay, I’m struggling with one of the advanced relational skills– present moment awareness. I am a ruminator and I easily get lost in my thoughts whether they are pleasant or unpleasant. I especially struggle to stay in the present moment when unpleasant things happen such as getting a negative response or to something that I said in the middle of an interaction or when I think that there might be a high chance of something unpleasant happening. It is easy to stay in the present moment when there are no perceived threats or nothing bad is happening. When there is, I really struggled to not get lost in my thoughts, feelings and worries, and the moment I tend to start worrying or feeling bad immediately, I need time to collect my thoughts, process what was happening before I can come back to the present moment.

How can I learn to stay in the present moment when I’m in the middle of something bad happening that is triggering an emotional response?” When it comes to situations like this, it’s important to notice that there is actually a step missing. You know, it’s not as if something’s happening and you feel a certain way. There’s something that is happening and then before you feel a certain way, there is a certain thought process that you’re going through that’s interpreting what you saw or heard or whatever and making that into some sort of meaning. And then because of that meaning you are starting to have an emotional response to that. Right? Maybe you text somebody and then that person doesn’t text you back in a timeframe that you think that they should be able to text you back in and so you start to worry about… Maybe they’re not into, but if you look a little bit closer, you can start a certain sort of start to see that, OK, it’s not just that they’re not texting me back, is that I’m afraid that it means something about me.

I’m afraid that it means that maybe I’m not lovable. That maybe I was getting excited about somebody who’s not into me or something along those lines. And so what’s happening is that there’s this thought process that’s going in and filling in the blanks with your own worst case scenario predictions, OK? And this is what we call our B.S. Machine. Now, this B.S. Machine is something that really drives a lot of people to sabotage themselves a lot when it comes to relationships and dating and all sorts of circumstances like that. And so when you start to notice this happening, what you really want to do is you want to use one of the exercises that we talk about inside of our Compatibility Code course called Thought Challenging. And what this really does is it starts to challenge these B.S. thoughts so they don’t really get to the point where they’re causing you to feel emotionally distraught, OK?

And once this happens, you will kind of break this vicious circle of, you know, feeling worried, and then you have these ruminating thoughts, and then you start to feel more worried that you have more ruminating thoughts and so on and so on and so on. And so what you want to do is you want to start to untangle this B.S. Machine thinking because this is really going to cause you to struggle a lot and it can cause you to really sabotage your love life when it comes to a lot of areas. Because for example, you might think, oh, you know, I’m just having some thoughts. I’m just having some feelings and worries or something like that. What’s the, what’s the harm in that? And my answer to that is that when you look at your results that you get in life, the results that you get in dating or relationships, it’s pretty clear.

It’s pretty obvious to most people that the results that you get are the result of the actions that you take or don’t take, right? If you want to go out on a date with somebody but you never asked them out, it’s pretty obvious that you know, that’s the reason why. And if you need to ask them out to in order to go on a date with them, that makes sense. Right? So that’s pretty clear cut. But what motivates our actions? Our actions are actually motivated by our feelings, our emotions, our emotions are what motivate our actions, and so you have to see what causes the emotions. And the emotions are caused by our thoughts. So something outside is happening. There’s some sort of external event and that causes us to think certain thoughts that causes us to feel a certain way and those feelings cause us to act in a certain way and those actions caused us to get a certain result.

Now the question is what kind of thoughts are you thinking? Are you thinking thoughts about catastrophe predictions, thoughts about somebody leaving you thoughts about somebody’s cheating on you or something like that? Because those sorts of thoughts are going to cause you to feel anxious, to feel insecure, to feel afraid, to feel all sorts of other negative emotions, and because you’re starting to feel these negative emotions, you might start to act out on those negative emotions by maybe accusing somebody, approaching somebody in a, in a certain way of behaving in a needy or cleaning kind of way or something like that. And of course, if you take those sorts of actions, you’ll get the results that people that behave in that sort of way tend to get, you know, if you behave in a needy or clingy sort of way, people generally kind of pull themselves away from you.

So if you want to get better results, you have to simply think better thoughts. So that’s what the Thought Challenging comes into play. And again, this is something that we cover in the Compatibility Code. I will go ahead and link to that in the notes for this recording, but the Compatibility Code tell helps you to change your thoughts by not fully combating them with the polar opposite, which is what affirmations are. Affirmations don’t work for a lot of people because a lot of people spend a whole lot of time thinking thoughts like, I’m unlovable, I’m unlovable, I’m unlovable, I’m unlovable. And then they have an affirmation that says, everybody loves me. Everybody loves me, everybody loves me. But if that’s the exact polar opposite of the thought that you’re thinking all the time, you’re just gonna reject it mentally, it’s not going to stick. And so what you need to do is you need to slowly inch your way closer to more empowering thoughts, thoughts that are actually going to lead you to what you want, not thoughts that are going to disconnect you from reality, right?

Because it’s unrealistic to expect everybody to love you, but it’s realistic to say, OK, some people might love me and some people might not love me. That’s totally realistic. And once you start to have more balanced, reasonable thoughts will start to have more balanced emotions. And once you start to have more balanced emotions, you’ll start to act more like yourself. And once you start to act more like yourself, you’ll start to get better results because you won’t be acting as if you’re somebody else only acting as if you’re somebody else in either a good way where you’re trying to pretend to be somebody that you’re not somebody who always has their act together or something like that right? And you also won’t be somebody that you’re not in a bad way to where you’re acting out of character, a needy, desperate, anxious, insecure.

All of those sorts of things, and of course this will bring you more into alignment with who you naturally are, which is the best place to go when it comes to results because the results you get are going to be in alignment with who you are. They’re going to be alignment with the kind of person that you are there going to be alignment with the kind of life that you live, and that’s the best kind of results that you want to get out when it comes to dating and relationships. So Evie, I hope this has helped you out and again, thanks again for your question and if you have any up questions next week, please feel free to ask those. OK, our next question is from Alethea. That’s an interesting name. I actually went to high school with a girl named Alethea many years ago. Anyway, Alethea writes in and says, Dear Clay, what can I do to reconnect again with my ex who has started to pull away and stonewalling me in spite of recent, numerous positive meet-ups.

So I initiated a meet up with my ex on the 22nd of March by going to his house after one year of not meeting, he was sailing I guess, and eight months of him stonewalling me though he was insistent that he did not want a relationship with me. He agreed that we could hang out and see how things go. Since then we have hung out with my family thrice and with my friends thrice. That’s interesting. I haven’t heard people to actually use the word thrice in casual conversation. That’s cool. Anyway, I also ended up sleeping with him just before I went out of town for six days. When I got back, we even went on a one on one drive. However, after that I could sense that he was uncomfortable with our interactions. So when I asked him what was bothering him, he said that he felt that since we are not in a relationship we should not be speaking or meeting so often and that I have been the only one initiating.

Well, he has not even called or texted or initiated a meetup. He also said that he needed to focus on his studies and his work and did not need any distraction. I empathized and said that I would give him some space and wait for him to call. However, that same night I sent him an emotional text when I found out that my aunt passed away, that I felt bad, that he was no longer the person that I could turn to in times of need. I even called, but he disconnected my call and did not respond to my messages. I did not contact him for a week and only reached out to him today, but again, he disconnected my calls and did not respond to my messages. I feel like he has gone back to the Wall of Reactance. How do I connect with him again and get him back into the test drive and hopefully writing the dragon where I thought we were at initially?

So in situations like this, it sounds like you have had a series of very positive interactions with him. Where the two of you have been spending a lot of time together and spending time with his family and spending time with friends, even getting physically intimate, going on one on one drives and all of that together and it seems like this is really just one very sharp pullback emotionally. So what I’m guessing is this might actually be a part of maybe Riding the Dragon or perhaps Crisis Point, right where he is unable to really deny his emotions for you. And so he is not wanting to confront the actual possibility of getting back together with you. And so that crisis is being met by him distancing himself from you and possibly even retreating back towards something like wall of reactants. OK? So what’s happening at this point is you need to really focus on the quality of being that you’re bringing yourself to the interactions.

OK? This is like what I talked about in the introduction part of this recording here, and that is how are you bringing yourself to interacting with him? How are you bringing yourself? What kind of person are you being? What is the quality of the energy? Are you just kind of letting him steer the boat and you’re just kind of going along wherever he wants to go? Or are you actually taking responsibility? Taking cause in the action for how things unfold? OK, this isn’t simply just about, you know, having no filters and just contacting him in any way that you possibly want to because although that is comfortable, that’s not necessarily going to enrich the interaction, that’s not necessarily going to create a positive emotional experience between the two of you. OK? So you have to simultaneously keep an eye on your experience, on his experience, and also on the experience of the interaction as a whole.

If you’re not really having this warm connecting vibe with one another, then something about the interaction is starting to slip away and that’s what you really need to pay attention. So what I would do is I would start by looking at the quality of your presence, the quality of your vibe, the quality of your way of being as you are bringing yourself into interacting with your ex. OK? It’s clear that he does like you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be spending time with your family, otherwise you wouldn’t be