You can use simple text messages to break the ice, build rapport, and rekindle the romance with your ex. Using only your words, you can defuse animosity and guide your ex’s attention to the good parts of your relationship. And from there, grow the positive emotions necessary to drive your ex back into your arms.
Step 1: Break The Ice
The first step is to break the ice and get your foot in the door. Nothing else! You are not looking to meet up or “talk about things.” Nor are you trying to arrange a booty call. You only want to test the waters for now. And indeed, I remind my clients of this when I tell them, “go find out how hot or cold your ex is, and report back to me!”
As I explain in my first text after no contact article:
In other words, you want to answer these questions with your first —ONE— message:
- Will my ex reply?
- If yes, how quickly?
- Will the response be friendly, cautious, or cold?
Once you find out how hot or cold your ex is, you can adjust your approach accordingly. And you now know something you did not know before.
If you receive a neutral or warm response, you know the pathway is clear for more texting (ergo, proceed to step 2: Build rapport.)
If you get a cold response, it is best to give your ex more time before texting him or her again.
Advanced: Consider the dominant emotion your ex is feeling toward you. If it is overwhelmingly negative, validate that emotion before you do anything else. Why? Because your ex may refuse to talk to you until you address the elephant in the room. Plus, we all yearn to be validated.
If you ignore your ex’s emotional state, or worse, deny it by doing the opposite of validation —which is called gaslighting— you will hit a wall.
For example, suppose your ex is feeling disappointed about something you did. In that case, you should acknowledge how it was not your finest hour. By agreeing with how your ex is feeling, they will soften toward you.
If your ex is angry, find a way to turn their anger into something positive. Following the same logic above, if you validate their rage, you will help your ex to feel slightly better than before. Remember that positive and negative feelings are relative to each other. If your ex moves from seething anger to anger, you have improved their mood! And from there, frustration is better than anger. And so on.
Step 2: Build Rapport
Once you get a neutral or warm reply from your ex, you are ready to nurture the connection and build rapport. The goal now is to develop positive experiences with your ex. Aim to establish light-hearted back and forth dialogue where you are communicating positively.
- Start small
- Establish positivity from the off
- Draw on the fond memories you share
- Bring up negative memories
- Show neediness or weakness
- Send empty messages (e.g., “Hi.” or “Sup?”)
If you are stuck, use something from your past to start the conversation. If you remember how they like their coffee or how they always watched Friends on Thursday nights, mention it! Make each message light-hearted and playful with no negativity.
Humour is also effective. If you can make your ex smile, you can effectively make your ex feel good about you.
Here’s an example of how the psychology of texting works: If your ex feels good about A, you can carry this feeling over into B. In other words, let’s say your ex has fond memories of a wedding party you both attended. You could bring this up in a text, which triggers the good feelings. All you need to do is find a way to link this good memory to something in the present or near future. For example, “Hey, was thinking about Matts wedding. Remember how we danced and Beth came crashing into us? Mad! Anyway, I’ll be thinking about that tomorrow at dance class…”
Step 3: Rekindle the Romance
Once you have established a short history of positive interactions, laughter, and sharing of fond memories etc., you are ready to rekindle the romance. You can now include some flirting in your messages to up the ante. This can be a little tricky because you are not sure how your ex will react to them. Yet, it is a logical progression for you. And if you start with mild flirtation and only gradually raise the temperature when your ex plays along, it will be fine.
- Start with light flirtation.
- Let your ex’s reaction/response guide you. If your ex responds well, sprinkle a little more playful banter, then retreat from the conversation.
- Keep a low ratio of flirty texts to standard texts. Seduction is the icing on the cake. The cake comprises your regular fun, witty, friendly messages.
If you get the right signals from your ex, you should begin planning how to meet up.
What does your ex like to do? Do they have a favourite restaurant not too far away and has great food (not your typical burger place) or a movie theatre with lots of good movies coming out soon, etc.? If appropriate for the situation, plan an outing with plenty of time to reconnect over dinner and drinks.
If this seems a bit of a stretch, you could start with something smaller, like grabbing a coffee.
The goal is to increase intimacy gradually. You go from infrequent happy text messages to occasional fun texts. You go from occasional fun messages to meaningful conversations about important developments in your life. You go from meaningful conversation to jesting and teasing. And soon, you are flirting and laughing.
Apply the same ramping up approach when meeting up. And soon, you will be on an intimate candlelit dinner.
- Write your messages in a notepad first. Re-read them multiple times. Wait a while and if the message still looks good, THEN send it.
- Do a mental “find and replace” on any negative, downer, or blaming words.
- Write long, then edit short.
- Let go of your expectations.
- Never allow yourself to send negative text messages. If your ex starts a fight, you must refuse to engage. Take a bow and stop if you must. You can even text, “this is inappropriate.”
Enjoy the process! Texting is one of the most intimate forms of conversation we have. And it can be hugely fun.