Are You Trying to Get Him Back? Maybe You Should Reconsider.

Are You Trying to Get Him Back? Maybe You Should Reconsider

Every day, I get women contacting me for dating coaching. Almost invariably, they’re calling about a guy.

But not just a guy. A guy they’ve got great chemistry with. A guy that makes them weak in the knees. A guy who could be the one… if only he weren’t being so elusive. These days, all he does is text once in awhile and hint at making plans.

It’s almost as if he’s forgotten how amazing that first intense month was.

It’s almost as if he’s acting like he’s not interested in a serious relationship.

It’s almost as if he doesn’t care.

And yet every woman who wants to know the same thing:  How do I get him back?

To which I invariably ask: Why do you want a boyfriend who doesn’t call you, doesn’t communicate with you, doesn’t make you feel special, doesn’t make an effort to show you he cares, doesn’t follow up quickly to see you, and doesn’t indicate in any way that he’s currently interested in an exclusive relationship with you?

“Because of how he makes me FEEL”.

You mean anxious, insecure, needy and depressed?

“Well, not that, exactly. I mean, it’s not like that when we’re together.”

How often are you “together”.

It’s been a few weeks. It’s definitely not like it was in the beginning. I just want that feeling back. Evan, how can I make him want me like he did before?

Here’s what I say, ever so gently, to those women:

It’s not about this guy. It’s about you. If you want true power and control over your love life, it’s about breaking that pattern of trying to fix relationships with broken men who treat you like crap, and making healthier decisions about men. If your goal is to “get this guy back”, you’re really missing the point. Dating coaching isn’t about making men do anything. The emotionally unavailable guy is STILL going to be unavailable when we’re done coaching. But when we’re done coaching, you’re going to realize that you don’t actually WANT a guy who doesn’t make you feel special. You’re going to be free to have a relationship with a man who actually gives you the love you deserve. How does that sound to you?

Most people think it sounds pretty damn awesome. If you read this post and can identify, please, give up on the idea of “getting him back” and focus on the idea of “letting him go”.

The reason to is to learn how to let go, instead of spinning your wheels on some jackass whom, I can assure you – you do NOT want to spend the next forty years with.

Life is too short to waste on unrequited love. Find a guy who treats you like gold.

That’s what it’s all about.

102
23

Join 5 Million Readers

And the thousands of women I've helped find true love. Sign up for weekly updates for help understanding men.

I hate spam as much as you do, therefore I will never sell, rent, or give away your email address.

Join our conversation (51 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 31
    Syrte

    dear regrets are you really 45? or 15?

  2. 32
    Lucinda

    I am in the same shoes now. The guy is wonderful, treated me like nobody before but now I needed to realise that I don’t know what the hell was this. We didn’t even had sex. He said first he needs to get to know the girl.  Only kissing for three months. He taught me a lot of things, he talked about the future, how many things he wants to show me. Then he gave me a book about unconditional love and I decided, I ‘d break up.  I love myself more than just being friends.  He said he knew I have stronger feelings that’s why he made sure we met less. And he was surprised when I said I dont want to be friends either.I just really dont get it. Friends dont kiss.
    It’s only 5 days, But I sooo miss him.

  3. 33
    Tori

    I just finished with a man I have been seeing for 4 months. I am 46 and he is 47. At first he was so into me and just the perfect man. We made each other laugh and had loads in common. Had brilliant dates and he called and texted all the time saying how gorgeous/sexy/funny/kind I was. All of a sudden, after 3 months, he decides he doesn’t want to have sex with me any more. I assume he doesn’t fancy me and try to end it but he insists he still really wants a relationship with me and to “stick with him.” So he still was calling me every day but no loving/sexy texts. He would kiss and cuddle me but nothing more and just wouldn’t discuss the issue. I kept trying to end it but every time he would insist that he still really wanted me, although all the evidence ( not making seeing me a priority/not saying he missed me/not making any plans further away than a week) pointed to the contrary. I have finally had the courage to end it because, exactly like Evan says, the anxiety/insecurity I was feeling just wasn’t worth the crumbs of happiness I was getting when we were together. I kept thinking I could get him to turn back into the man he was for the first 3 months, but I have to accept that that man was a temporary dream and the man/relationship I was left with was all that was available/on offer. I am strictly no contact with him now as I care far too much to be his “friend.” the idea of being introduced to a new girlfriend would make me physically sick.

  4. 34
    Nikki

    Evan,

    I don’t know how long ago this article was written, but this is the best I’ve read. I am going through the process of letting my man go. He blows hot and cold almost every month and I don’t know how to predict what mood he’ll be in. Everytime I feel we’re moving forward in our relationship, he gives me the silent treatment. Then he calls me back days later (after I stop contacting him) and acts like nothing ever happened. He recently texted me after days of no contact and I ignored his text. He hasn’t reached out to me since and that was 2 days ago. I know he thinks I’m gonna call him, like I usually do, but I’m so tired of chasing him. Thanks for the advise. I’m saving this article to my favorites.

  5. 35
    Gina

    My problem is not that I’m looking for the Big Bang feeling; it’s actually been the opposite for me. I am looking for a man of integrity and good character with whom I can share a companionship type of love. The men I have dated compare me with exes whom they have had extreme highs and lows with, but felt an intense chemistry with. I think that they try to break the toxic relationship pattern, but are addicted to it to some degree. I often feel as though I am considered boring because I don’t bring drama into the relationship. These men start off loving, thoughtful, charming, and full of promise. As time passes, and there is no drama on my end, they will start to create drama, or they start pinning for the ex, some one who makes them feel like the ex did.
    This is why I think that it is important for me to create as happy a single life for myself as possible because the older one gets, the harder it is to find a suitable partner. I’m not giving up, I am simply making the best of my single life while I continue to look for the right person.

  6. 36
    christoff

     
     
    The premise of this article is wrong.  Chemistry, passion and sexual intensity  are not the problem.  They are the peak glory of any relationship and, for women, they may be had with the most wonderful and committed of men.  There are all kinds of highly attractive couples who have “It” going on, and are devoted to each other.
    The issue here is broken women with low self esteem finding a “high” out of the sexual attention of (often) insecure men who exploit the weak psychology of the woman for their own benefit.
    The ego of the latter gets satisified, while the neediness of the former is temporarily satisfied.  In other words, two “unhealthy” individuals enmeshed with each other and the woman, out of romantic hopefulness, interprets attention as “permanent” attraction.
    Please do not blame “chemistry” which is a wonderful thing.  Blame low self esteem.  That is the center of the center of the heart of the matter with these women.    
     
     

  7. 37
    Karl R

     
    christoff said: (#36)
    “Chemistry, passion and sexual intensity  are not the problem.  They are the peak glory of any relationship and, for women, they may be had with the most wonderful and committed of men.”
     
    Chemistry doesn’t make a relationship good or bad. However, it prevents people from distinguishing between the two. It causes people to ignore the fatal flaws and warning signs that they would otherwise notice.
     
    christoff said: (#36)
    “The issue here is broken women with low self esteem finding a ‘high’ out of the sexual attention of (often) insecure men who exploit the weak psychology of the woman for their own benefit.”
     
    Really? The description Evan gave could easily be a couple where they started dating seriously for a month, but after that month, the man decided that the woman wasn’t a candidate for a long-term relationship. He liked her well enough to hang out as a friend occasionally, but nothing more serious.
     
    Since the man doesn’t read minds, he’s not aware that her feelings are vastly different.
     
    Where’s the exploitation? It’s equally likely that we’re describing two people who are on completely different pages about where they want a relationship to go.
     
    Chemistry feels great, but it creates problems.

  8. 38
    Julia

    Trying to find a way through the chemistry is important and something I’ve had to deal with. I have chemistry with seemingly every man I meet, probably because I value physical affection and its one of my two love languages and I guess I just get men going? So I feel high chemistry at the end of nearly every date and then I need to sit back and figure out if I really want to see a man again. Chemistry is not the pinnacle of a relationship, in my experience it comes pretty cheap.

  9. 39
    christoff

     
    Chemistry makes a relationship worth having.  Otherwise it is life as brother and sister. Roommates. 
    What prevents people from distinguishing the “fatal flaws” in another is simply avoidance.  Not facing facts. 
    Chemistry–the real kind, and not just lust– is not to be blamed.  That “click” one has with another is something rare in life and not to be dismissed.  Keep in mind what I say here: I DO NOT mean just “lust”, just wow, what a nice looking person.  I mean that total package sense of identity with another.  Many have this.
    With regard to the second part of your comment, I stand by what I say.  Whether a “player” uses a starry-eyed woman and she clings on and on out of lust or “chemistry” as the word is used here…or if he decides later that the relationship does not work and she clings on and on…the issue is with her, and usually very poor self-esteem issues.  
    For healthy individuals, it is impossible to continue to have that sense of identity/chemistry with a person who treats that person poorly or without attention.
    As for men reading minds, no they don’t but that is not the point.  Men can “smell” a mile away a desperate woman and they certainly feel too keenly her low self-worth, expressed in too much neediness.

    Just a PS

    It is not Chemistry that creates problems. It is problems that create problems.
     
     
     

  10. 40
    Karl R

    christoff said: (#39)
    “Chemistry–the real kind, and not just lust– is not to be blamed.  That ‘click’ one has with another is something rare in life and not to be dismissed.  Keep in mind what I say here: I DO NOT mean just ‘lust’, just wow, what a nice looking person.  I mean that total package sense of identity with another.  Many have this.”
     
    You’re engaging in magical thinking. I’m relying on actual studies which look at the effects of the underlying neurotransmitters which create this feeling of “chemistry”.
     
    Helen Fisher Ph.D. (Rutgers University) has described the hormone and neurotransmitter processes that underlie infatuation. Excitatory chemicals such as norepinephrine and dopamine lead to intense stimulation of the pleasure centers of the brain. They further propel us toward sexual intimacy. A form of norepinephrine called phenethylamine actually produces an overwhelming sense of euphoria, exhilaration, elation, exultant outlook, energy upswing, expansive and elevated mood and talkativeness, as well as a decreased need for sleep and decreased appetite. Studies indicate that infatuation and mania are a type of psychomotor agitation induced by overstimulation of the pleasure centers that are located in the lower brain. These effects are also not dissimilar to the intoxicating effects of the amphetamines and akin to the psychological features of mania. This similarity actually led one writer (Slater, 2006) to comment: ‘… the brain chemistry of infatuation is akin to mental illness.’ These lower brain areas, collectively called the limbic system that regulate pleasure such as sexual function (as part of a reward system serving emotional reactions) are increased in action. The cognitive correlates of limbic system activation are that we tend to focus on the favorable aspects of the person that we are infatuated with while ignoring the unfavorable aspects. Important differences in intellect, interests, marriage and parenting styles, personality, religion and values tend to be overlooked or glossed over altogether.
     
    This isn’t lust. It’s a chemical cocktail that is intended to encourage human beings to get together, mate, conceive a child and bring it to term. Of course, these neurotransmitters return to normal levels after 1 to 3 years … and that can lead to a consequences much more serious than a hangover.
     
    christoff said: (#39)
    “For healthy individuals, it is impossible to continue to have that sense of identity/chemistry with a person who treats that person poorly or without attention.”
     
    Your chances of avoiding your own biochemistry are about the same as avoiding gravity, regardless of your personal beliefs. The wise choice is to acknowledge that these chemicals are going to impair your judgment, then make decisions based on the observable facts (like dumping the person who treats you poorly, regardless of how you feel about them), and postpone any permanent decisions (like getting married) until the chemicals have worn off.
     
    christoff said: (#39)
    “It is not Chemistry that creates problems. It is problems that create problems.”
     
    That’s like saying fog doesn’t cause collisions on the roads. It’s obstacles in the road that cause collisions on the road. While that statement is technically correct, it ignores one obvious point … the fog conceals the obstacles that the cars end up colliding with.
     
    So technically your statement is correct, but you’re glossing over one huge factor…
     
    I’m not compatible with everyone. I’m compatible with less than 10% of the population. If I blindly jump into marriage without being able to consider the potential problems, there’s a 90% chance (or greater) that I’ve made a serious error.
     
    The chemicals prevent me from seeing the problems which will wreck a relationship. That makes them a problem.

  11. 41
    judy

    I’d rather cut my losses and move on.  If he can’t be bothered, neither can I.

  12. 42
    judy

    Karl 37 – they could be on different pages yes. 
     
    Christoff 39 -
    I’m not convinced it’s about low self-esteem on the part of the woman, or high self esteem on the part of the man.  No.  A man could go out with a woman and they hit it off.  He may have different habits to hers (example: he likes to go to bed at 4 a.m. and start work at 11 a.m., for me, this is just impossible both workwise, and sleepwise).  He could also be a rather passive individual.  (Which is a bit of a nightmare for someone who is not).

  13. 44
    goldielox

    I relate to this article 100%. The man I was enamored with, we had amazing chemistry. I never slept with him because I kept waiting for him to start giving to me and caring about me the way I did him. Over the last four years, we’d see each other periodically…he was always traveling for work and on the road and he lived in about 8 hours from me by automobile (1 hour by plane), and, it was always a relationships of convenience for him, I think. But, we both agreed that what we had was indeed very rare and very special to find, so, because of that, I always wanted more and was always disappointed when he gave the long distance excuse for why he couldn’t give it. See, while it was fireworks when we were together, he never followed up or followed through with anything meaningful…unless of course he thought he could get something he wanted…which turns out was never me and was always sex. All he ever gave me was breadcrumbs. The worst part is, I’ll never know what I meant to him. On the surface, it seems I was just a booty call, but, I guess I always thought it meant more to him than that. He never really has any “honest” conversations with me so, I don’t think I ever will know. He came into town a few weeks ago and emailed me to tell me he was “thinking about me” and hoped I was doing well. That shit messes with your mind when you are in love with someone. I asked him why he sent it and he said he was just thinking about me and wanted to say “hi.” I knew he wanted to see me or he wouldn’t have bothered emailing in the first place. But, as per usual, it would all be on me to make it happen and he wouldn’t lift a finger. So, my last email to him, I told him point blank it was up to him if he wanted to be in my life or not, but, I made it clear that I have a different definition of what it looks like to actually be in someone’s life. I told him if that’s not what he wanted that I understood and that it was okay that he felt differently than I do. I haven’t heard back from him and I don’t think I will. I’m just facing that fact that I have to move on because pining away over him isn’t healthy or good for me. I think I’m afraid I won’t ever find that kind of chemistry with someone again. I’m afraid I’ll never feel that way again with anyone. And, yes, Evan, I realize all the bad feelings he brought far outweigh the good, and, I also realize that I deserve a guy who treats me great, etc, etc. But, two things: 1. Those guys are fewer and fewer and harder and harder to find. I couldn’t help but think this guy could be a guy like that. I mean, most of his friends that I know of are happily married and he comes from a fairly good, stable family that I can tell. If a nice midwestern guy like that isn’t good marriage material, I don’t know who is. I can’t help but feel like I’m the one who messed it up somehow and stop blaming myself. 2. Even if I do find a nice guy who treats me well and all that, the chances are slim to none that I’ll share the same passion and feelings that I had when I was with Mr. Unavailable. And I DESPERATELY want that. I think part of the intrigue about Mr. Unavailable is his elusiveness. Things that are too easy to come by are kinda boring.
    I don’t know what to do about any of this. I feel sad…and I hate that I can’t control the fact that he doesn’t want me the way I want him. I’ve given up trying, but, there is a kind of “grief” I am feeling, along with an inability to totally ‘let go.’ I know Evan is right, but, I also know no matter what I tell myself logically, erasing someone from your heart is not as easy as changing your mind and gaining a little self-respect. I’m open to suggestions and comments, but, empathy would be appreciated if you do.

  14. 45
    Dina Strange

    I totally agree with Evan. And i want to add two points to this. Every woman who stays with a man how mistreats her is making it WAY much harder for the rest of the woman who have standards and long term she is making it harder for herself. Because the fewer women out there who will put up with mistreatment the sooner a guy will get his act together.

    Second, a lot of men put up faces in the beginning of caring, thoughtful and so on/forth, thats why we women fall in love. It’s hard to see that dream shatter and see the guy slowly change, get lazy, neglect you, stop making you his priority so on/forth. But that is up to you…either you can stay and hope it will change (it never does somehow only gets worse) or you can walk away and expect or find someone who will actually treat you better. I mean, there is a risk of you being alone but you are ALREADY alone emotionally and soon he will break up with you anyway.

  15. 46
    SparklingEmerald

    Thank you EMK for this !!!!!!!! I stumbled upon this blog, searching in vain for “How to get him back” articles.

    I had been putting up with unavailability, (emotional and physical), a constant stream of criticism, and extreme lack of affection for, 10 years. (I know, I don’t need anyone hear telling me how foolish that was) WHY ? I was living on the memory of an amazing first ten years !

    So I wasted some money on “How to Get Him Back Books” (some really lame shit there ! ) and read all kinds of blogs and advice for how to kiss up to a cold, distant, critical, mean spirited, largely absentee hubby. There was all kind of lame advice to wear long earrings & soft pastel colors, and the bullshit communication techniques of starting every sentence with “I feel this, that or the other”. Really, is a man who is criticizing my every move going to give a crapping rat’s patooty that “I feel scared” when he screams at me (for putting too much olive oil in the boiling water or getting too many phone calls from my Avon customers – like 2 to 3 a week) ?????? Is my pastel pink blouse and dangling pearl earrings going to change that ??????

    After a while, I started getting ANGRY at that stupid advice to kiss up to a man who was treating me like crap. Who cares that I felt like the most adored, cherished wife in the world, when we first met and married and when our son was young ? Who cares that the sex was amazing & that he was always telling me how much he loved me and our son ? That man “disappeared” ten years ago, and some angry, mean, critical person took his place. When he threw the phone at me because I was struggling to get the battery case open and I asked for his help, is the issue that I didn’t phrase my response correctly ? Am I supposed to say “I feel scared and hurt when you throw things at me” or can I just tell him to get an “effing grip” and control himself ? At that point is it MY communication that is the issue, or is it his bad behavior ? Or should I have just gotten out that point ? (rhetorical question folks, I should have ended it right then and there or even sooner)

    He was the one who asked for a divorce, and I SHOULD have just showed him to the door right then and there, but I begged and pleaded for him to stay and try and fix it (yes, I know, no need to point out the idiocy of that) I dragged him to marriage counselors and all they would offer us was divorce counseling. He admitted to the marriage counselor that he only married me because he thought I was cute. He told me, now that our son was 21, he didn’t me any more. It was hard to admit, but all I ever was to him, was a pretty little garden to plant his seed. I guess HE was blinded by chemistry and quickly put a ring on it without realizing that he didn’t really even LIKE me, he just was excited by the sex and the promise of fatherhood. I thought I was getting a kind, committed, considerate man who adored me, but he was just acting that way, because he was flying high on a sex buzz. (he had been celibate for about 2 years prior)

    Now that I am over the initial shock (why I the hell was I shocked ???) and grief, I am GLAD it’s over. I feel LESS lonely than I did while married to him. In fact, I feel pretty good.

    We got engaged at 6 months, married at 10 months. I have a feeling that if we dated for 2 years we would have parted ways. Instead, we got married while we were still in the sparkly haze of infatuation. We had a child and we built a life style that required the two of us to maintain. I ended up feeling unable to leave because of YEARS of habit, and the memories of what once was, and the vain hope that somehow magically we could go back to the way we were in the beginning. And there was NO SHORTAGE of shysters out there peddling snake oil, in the form of advice that such a union is WORTH saving (if I’m willing to crawl on my hands and knees and beg for affection apparently).

    Your mileage may vary, but I would advise against getting engaged in less than a year, and married in less than two. 2 – 3 years is a long enough period of time to evaluate if marriage to this person would be emotionally satisfying. Too much longer, someone is stalling because they don’t want to marry, too much sooner, you are high on chemistry and don’t know what you are doing.

    I can’t COMPLETELY regret this big ass mistake I made, because I do love my son dearly and can’t imagine not being his mother, but boy, oh boy, I sure paid a big price for it.

  16. 47
    Kat

    Thanks, Evan, for this good piece of advice.
    I also read through the comments and many times I felt the same way as you described. Especially, when one of you told the story of letting go her emotionally unavailable boyfriend and then meeting a nice guy but not feeling that chemistry…
    We broke up (me and my boyfriend who’s got problems with his emotions) and I have done a lot of work by myself to digest what has happened, who I am, what I want in a relationship and if I am ready for it. I’ve found a great book on this matter which has been very helpful… And now I finished the “course” and -surprise!- I feel, “damn, I want him back” and realize that when I was dating him I, myself was also kind of emotionally unavailable to protect myself from any disappointment.
    Falling in love with someone who disappeared from my life about 2 months ago is really silly. But at least now I feel emotionally available :) I was sure in the past week that I wanted him back. But after reading Evan’s post, I am no longer sure. It feels good this way :) Thanks, Evan.
     
     
     
     

  17. 48
    Indie

    I was seeing a man for the last month but my fears which are grounded in sustained emotional abuse as a child have seen fit to wreck a potentially wonderful relationship.  Chemistry and intensity was there from the beginning and he was really into me but I am guilty of doing most of the things in Evans book and my fear bled all over everything and I think I have lost him. he told me he wanted me to be the girl he met ( who wasn’t emotionally attached and took care of herself because she was happy and not scared ) but as soon as I started to have feelings I lost myself in the fear of losing him. I can only say if I hadn’t read this book that right now I’d be a heaving crying wreck. It has been 5 days since he told me he needs time alone to think and I fear that things may be irreversible. However if he decides I have truly pushed him away inspite of telling me I was his forever girl, then I can only be happy I found the book and move forwards from the moment ready to try again with the next person.

  18. 49
    ann

    thank you Evan for a clear and concise message!!!!!

  19. 50
    Dina Strange

    I had never tried to get him back. Ever! But weird thing happened, all of my ex-boyfriends eventually returned and tried to get me back!

    Suffice to say, i have “no return” policy! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>