I want to Rekindle things with an Ex. How do I do it?

couple-love-people-romantic (1)S.J. asks:

Hey guys! I had a few questions about situations with an ex. I dated a girl for 3 months but fell for her hard and fast. I never met a girl I connected with on so many levels and that I had so much in common with.

I’ve had longer relationships too but never felt as strongly about a person as this one. She started to pull away a bit and when that happened I did exactly what I shouldn’t have done which was chase her and try to hangout with her even more, which caused her to disappear and pull back even more. She eventually canceled a date and told me she didn’t want to reschedule because she didn’t feel the same way about me anymore.

That was back in April. I know what happened that led to the breakup and have learned a lot about push/pull theory and the dangers of over pursuing. I have not had any contact with her since she ended things but we are still friends on Facebook.

I am interested in rekindling things and I want to try again, having learned a lot about relationships in my time since the breakup (from your website and others). I have been on dates with other people and hooked up with other people but would still like this ex back.

What recommendations do you have for reaching out to someone to try to rekindle things? Any advice on something I could text her to open the lines of communication again?

The other question was that there is a chance I will see her at this Ted Talks Science Night at a Bar next week (We are both on the attendance list on Facebook). Should I text her before or after this event, or what should I even do when I see her? Just confused as to how to go about rekindling this thing and destroy that possible negative image she has of me (someone who is too available and too easy and too eager to hangout with her)

Demetrius says:

It sounds like I can sum up your situation this way:

You briefly dated her, you connected and came on too strong, it turned her off, now you’re trying to rekindle things. Before I get into how to rekindle things (or how to attempt to rekindle things) I just want to reinforce that you’re not exactly in the strongest position to do so. It’s always harder to rekindle things if the reasons behind your breakup or split were one-sided. She ended things because of how strong you came on, so just bear in mind that you aren’t starting from a position where she has no opinion of you, one way or the other, but rather that she has a negative opinion of you. Maybe negative sounds a bit harsh but it’s more like…think of attraction as being on a 20 point scale. -10 on the far end, +10 on the other. Right now, you’re in the negative.

Now, I don’t want you to get too discouraged. Worst case scenario, you’ll see each other, it will be polite, and you part ways. You’ve already figured out how to act around women you’re attracted to, you’ve built confidence, and you have other women in the mix. You’ve definitely moved in the right direction so even if you can’t rekindle things don’t worry about it.

Caveats aside, let’s talk about what to do. Your biggest challenge, and her biggest turn off, were the fact that you came on too strong. The problem is that once someone perceives you as being that sort of guy, any communication after that could potentially be interpreted as coming on too strong. So rekindling in your case is going to involve very calculated efforts to reach out that seem very un-calculated. That means that when first reaching out, you need to have a specific reason, but that reason can’t be a nostalgic reason. A lot of men will send a rekindling-attempt-text to the effect of “Saw this and was thinking of you/us” and that’s always a bad idea. Instead, I think that you have to be indirect. The fact that you might see her at this TedTalk is actually a perfect way to reconnect.

What I wouldn’t suggest though is texting her before the TedTalk. The thing is, you want to come off as someone who isn’t readily available, too easy, and too eager to see her and texting her to say “I saw that you also RSVP’ed” will come off as too eager. Instead, just show up and if you see her strike up a brief conversation. The things you want to avoid saying are things that are overly complimentary or flattering. “It’s good to see you” is fine, “it’s so great to see you” is not. Your tone and conversation should say “oh, we haven’t seen each other in a while, good to see you, see you around” and not “seeing you made my night”. It sounds a bit dishonest I know, but remember that she already has a preconceived notion of you as the guy who fell hard and fell fast. If you’re now the nonchalant guy, you start to push her opinion of you out of the negative toward a positive feeling. If you see her and have a short conversation, make sure that you actually try to break the conversation off at some point. Keep it brief and then say, “okay well let me let you go, I don’t want to keep you, enjoy the rest of your night”. If she seeks you out for conversation after that or doesn’t let you leave, keep talking to her, but avoid any sort of reminiscing. For you, your past is a bright spot, for her, not so much.

After the event, text her and let her know it was great seeing her, ask her if she’d like to see you again to catch up, but do so in a way that implies that it’s not a date. Maybe ask to get coffee, or a casual drink. Keep in mind that for right now, you’re trying to build up a basic level of attraction and friendship, so it will take a lot of time, and a lot of casual hangouts. Your goal here is to create so many new memories of the new version of you that the version she rejected seems utterly foreign to her.

Now, this is all predicated on the assumption that she’ll be at the TedTalk, but what if she’s not? Well if she skips it, we’re going to have to be a bit tricky to get her to reconnect with you. You’re Facebook friends right? Well in that case, if she doesn’t attend, or she doesn’t see you, the next day post about the event on your Facebook wall, maybe link to the event page, and talk about how awesome it was. Then text her saying “I went to this awesome event that I think you would have loved. Did you hear about it?” That prompt will more than likely get her to respond if she’s interested (i.e. “I did, I planned on going but couldn’t make it. How was it?”). If she does, keep the conversation light and then move up to the point in your conversations I describe in the paragraph above. (Casual texting turning into Casual catch up in person)

In this case, and in any situation where you want to rekindle a connection, the key is to remember that you are in the negative, so you have to slowly do things to get back to a positive position. Grand gestures wont work, they’ll only make things worse, and pleas to nostalgia definitely wont work. Just put a casual feeler out, and keep things casual until the point where you feel like she (or anyone else you decide to rekindle things with) moves from unattracted, to platonic attraction, to romantically attracted.

Again, I just want to say that it’s entirely possible she has no real interest in dating you again, so don’t put too much effort or energy into rekindling things with her. I’m not sure if you’ve ever actually started a fire, like an actual camp fire, but when you start a fire you don’t blow on the spark as hard as possible, you blow gently so that it slowly builds. What I’m saying is that you should adopt that sort of mentality when trying to rekindle things,  if that makes sense.

A coffee meeting is great kindling, but a sweeping declaration of her awesomeness is the equivalent of dropping an oak on a spark.

Good Luck Out There.

3 Replies to “I want to Rekindle things with an Ex. How do I do it?”

  1. Good advice Demetrius! I followed your blog about a week ago and I’m glad I did. Thanks for giving my blog a follow too 🙂
    I think I may need some advice of my own in the future. How do I get in touch?