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I just need to know how. I know what most people will say and that is there is no strategy. If he wants to leave let him go, if it's meant to be he'll come back.


My guy and I broke up recently. In a nutshell, he is confused about what he wants in life, he might get accepted to a grad school accross the country, thinking about working overseas, and I think the bottomline is he doesn't want to feel tied down at the moment. When we were 8 months into the relationship, he freaked out because it's been "so long" and he's afraid of committment because he's not ready for it. Needless to say after a week of NC we started to date again, and now it's been 1.5 yr. I'll admit that he's been the lazy one to visit me but once we are together we have so much fun. I know he's only 26 but that's not exactly too young either. He told me that he doesn't want to waste my time because he's not sure of what he wants and he knows it won't be ok for me to string me along for say the next 5 years as an example.


Back in Sept. I remember telling him in one conversation that sometimes I feel like he should date different girls to know what it's like to be with other personalities (he's been with a lot of women, but I'm the first relationship). His answer to that was, no, he did not want to do date other girls because, he went and listed all my qualities and said that is a rare combination to find and also said what if when he's 30 and he regrets it thinking damn he should have been with me.


We get along great. We have fun. We spent 2 weeks together on a international trip that he booked right after we got back together after the 8 month mini-breakup which was a part of my b-day present. We never fought once on the trip and were together all the time and had a blast. All his friends love me. I fit in very well into his lifestyle. We are very attracted to each other.


The problem now it seems is he wants to get out into the world without any attachment. I honestly know feel that no future girlfriend will compare to me.

I understand he needs his freedom. After numerous conversations, he told me that he just needed some time and that we should not speak for two weeks until xmas. I agreed at first but I called him the next day and said that we should not put a time limit and that I just don't want to talk to him now. We will eventually talk but I don't know when - basically that was me breaking up with him. He called me the next day because he missed me and I gave him the speech again that we shouldn't talk now and ended the conversation. I got weak called him 4 days later, we planned to try to meet up on the weekend. I called him to confirm on the day and I heard the usual excuses why he can't and I was getting so frustrated and then he said over the phone he doesn't want a relationship right now, doens't want to waste my time etc etc. I cried, tried to convince him otherwise, in the end we decided we should at least do this in person. Our break up was in person that same night, very civil, and I did not have sex, beg, plead, cry, or try to convince. Put it this way, if you were wittnessing it, you would have cried at our bittersweet parting.


It's been a couple of weeks, and he called me 3 days later because he wanted to give me the status on the pending grad school application. I expected the call so trust me I'm not taking this phone call as an indication that he wants me back. I called him a week later to wish him a safe 2 week trip (he's going away with family to visit family in a different continent). Our conversation lasted a half hour and I succeeded to end the call in my 2nd attempt. It was a great convo. as we caught up with what's happening, and he was curious about my new year's plans, I told him about my vacation planning to the Caribbean with a friend and he immediately wanted to know who. When I spoke to him I was very happy and without trying at all I sounded like I was doing well and also without trying I asked him the right questions that show that I know him pretty well. NO I miss you's or anything.

And now he's gone for 2 weeks.


Based on what I wrote I KNOW there must be a way to win his heart so he decideds that I am the one he wants to be with and plan the future with no matter what the distance may be.


I love him so much. Completely unselfishly because although I want him back so much, what I truly want for him is to find someone that makes him feel the way I feel about him - I want that person to be me, because we are so great together. In the end if its not me then I want both of us to be compeletely happy.


With that said, I am sure there must be some sort of strategic way to win his heart. I embarrasingly admit that I did searches online and found you can actually buy books on strategies to win back your ex. I'm not going to buy them because I'd rather talk to the honest people on this forum not trying to make a buck. I understand the NC concept and that you are supposed to accept its over and move on. I am doing my best to move and I have my bad days, I get depressed, but overall I am ok. So my point is I will sure as hell do my best to move on AND I want to keep some hope for our relationship. So in addition to putting my energies to moving on, I also want to make it a part of my plan to do the right things to win him back. I'm not saying I'll wait around and be an old single lady with 10 cats, but I will try my best to win him back as well as make sure I'm not keeping myself from meeting new people.


I think that sounds logical. If anyone has any thoughts, advice, "strategies" to implement my plan, I'd be really grateful.. And by the way this site is wonderful. Everyone is so supportive and lovely.

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Well, you sound absolutely amazing and he does not sound like a bad guy at all. It just may be a timing thing. He seems to want to experience life and do new things. I really don't know that there is a strategy for getting someone back. If they miss you and love you, then they will come back. I am sure he cares about you a lot and it seems he just needs some space. If he truly loves you, then he will come back. But, if you pressure him, then you will scare him away. I guess it is a matter of weather he can live with out you. Let him try and see what happens. I know it is tough and it sucks, but give him his space. I would say to stay friendly and nice, but limit your contact to little or none. If he just needs you for support, then he should not get it. You deserve more.

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If there was a strategy for winning someone back that actually worked it would have to be manipulation of the other's feelings. Of course, you don't want to do that. You can't force someone to love you.


But if you try NC it will help them to have time apart from you and to see what it's like. And the main reason of course for doing it is to give yourself time to think, heal and start enjoying single life again. For someone young like him or like my ex gf who is 22, it will probably mean they will feel free and start dating and have fun for a while. But everyone dreams of having a soulmate or a partner at random times throughout the year. So you can be sure that he will think about that and then he will think about whether you are the person he would want to spend the rest of his life with.


Once he has been away from you for a while he will start to remember the whole picture - the real you - not just the negative emotions that are always left after a breakup. Then he MAY realize that you are the one he wants to be with and he MAY come back. However, you can't wait around for that, you need to move on with your life, date around, have fun, make new friends, because there is no guarantee that he will come back to you and even if he does who knows how many months or years it will be. Take some time to get strong enough that you can at least enjoy life without him and then start dating and take life one day at a time. Don't stress too much about what the future will bring and definitely don't think about what he is doing.

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If there is a strategy for winnign someone, it is manipulating their feelings AND we all engage in manipulation all the time. If I buy a woman flwoers, I am trying to make her feel something, and that is manipulation. If I try to convince someone to go someplace, it's manipulation. If I do anything that purposefully make someone feel anything, it is manipulation. We all do it, and we all do ti all the time. How far you go in doing it is a question to address with your values.


Sooner or later, it's not right. An abuser manipulates a persons feelings to go down, and then up, and further down for longer, and then back up. The highs and lows get relatively higher and lower. Where is that line? I'm not sure.


OK, so if you want to do it, then you need to think about what will work on him, and if you are willing to go that far.


If there was a single volume on how to do this, there's not one really, it would be "The Art of Seduction" by Robert Greene. However, it discusses mostly theory with many examples, but without giving definite skills and moves to use.


I would also read and do a number of other things. I would make sure I was pretty good at reading and controlling my body language. So I would read up on it and mgiht work on learning some acting skills. I would read "How to Make Anyone Fall in Love With You" by Leil Lowndes, too. And after that, it would depend on what you had learned and still needed to learn.


My warning would be that most people don't have what it takes to be the seducer. The seducer has a goal and goes after it, without regard to his or her own emotional needs that arise in the interim. The seducers needs are met by a succsssful seduction. If the target of their seduction shows little interest, that affects them little.

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wow everyone thanks! Ocrob, thanks for the compliment and yeah he's a great guy. BKJSUN, everything you said makes sense. BEEC thanks for those book reccomendations, I think I will look into it. Tomorrow I'm going to this new years eve party, honestly I'm stressed about because I don't think I'll have fun but of course I'll go. My tix are not def booked for my vaca and I'm trying really hard to get excited. The emotional healing process is long I know but I'm moving on because my actions show I'm trying really hard.

I really hope you all are right and that the NC makes him realize that there's only one me and him and how we used to be. I pray to God he comes back and I also pray to God he gets into the grad school he's been wanting to now for months. He should hear very soon. I think he'll be happier with his life with that direction. His job is great but he doesn't feel stimualted. When we were on the a few days ago before he left, he kept complaining how much he's unstimulated. He even said if his bonus wasn't good enough he'd quit and figure things out from there (he doesn't have to worry about financials really because he still lives with his parents and his bonus will be in the twenties probably)

I think what I really learned from this relationship is that MOST men can't not think of moving into a serious long-term relationship until they are established in thier careers (especially if they are in finance).

I know I can't force anything out of him. I still wish there was some strategy lol. I wish even for some sort of an NC strategy. For example, call at this time then do nothing, then do this that etc etc, timelines all detailed. God I'm crazy I know. But how many people are willing to let go of something so easily they know can be so right otherwise?

I guess for the next two weeks it will be easy, he's out of the country. After that it will be so hard again. My biggest fear is that he'll forget. I dunno, I'm sorry for being repetitive but I guess if it's called manipulation, then yeah I do want to engage in actions that would speed up the process for him to come to the conclusion that we are the best fit.

I promise I'm not psyho hahaa.... Just trying to keep some faith because it's so worth it.

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I dont know if you have heard about 'The Rules' a book on relationships. There is a book with volume one and two in it. There is one for online dating and one for marriage too. We also have a site online called Rules Girls Online. Its a great site with message boards that we use to cover all aspects of relationships. I have been on there for about 5 years now and it covers pretty much all aspects of relationships. There are boards for breakups and all sorts of things.


One in particular we have is one called 8WW. Which basically means the eight week wait. It comes from a concept by Pat Allen who says along with a lot of other Authors that men (and women too for the guys) tend to manage just nicely thank you, for about 8 weeks without you after a break up but after the 8 week mark, and remarkably consistantly, right on the 8 week mark they contact you again. They tend at this point to have processed the loss and find that at this point they dont want you out of their lives. Now this is the cruncher. You have to avoid all contact for that 8 week period. Ignore the phone.....any emails.....any contact whatsoever from him in that time. Yes.....it sounds manipulative....but its for your good actually as well as his. Because it takes this amount of time for Oxytocin to leave your system (the bonding hormone that bonds you to him through sexual contact) so you can then go on without him if that is the case.


Now in the years I have been on the 'boards' that I mentioned above....I have witnessed with remarkable consistancy girls meeting men.....dating them for up to years.....breaking up with them....maintaining no contact with them for 8 weeks.....then these same men coming back at the 8 week mark and wanting them back. Some of my friends I know on that site (and have met) are now married to these men.


Now you may say.....if I ignore him for 8 weeks, he may get put off and dissappear. Not so. If the relationship is valid and he did and still does love you.....as he may have discovered, he will be on your doorstep at 8 weeks begging for you to see him, if that is what it takes for you to talk to him.


All you have to do is be tough enough to avoid contact for 8 weeks. If you cave in then he wont ever reach that point where he feels the loss and realises how much he misses you and even loves you. That's it in a nutshell. If you do let him contact you or worse contact him.....then you will just have successfully allowed him to wean himself off you over a period of some weeks. He wont have suffered any withdrawal symptoms of 'missing' you.


The other thing is that it actually is a good thing if he does turn up after 8 weeks, (most do) if you are getting out....meeting new men....having a great time....really busy....happy....cheerfull....busy....having fun.....no time to spare....happy.....busy......preoccupied.....happy to see him.....sorry I have to run.....great seeing you.... You get the picture? You are getting on with life WITHOUT HIM and let him see this. Dont be afraid to let him see this. The 8 week seperation will allow you to pull back enough emotionally to do this.


Another thing you must not do... is be available right away. You must not sleep with him. Not on that first contact night.....not for some time. until he proves himself to you by asking you for a committment and does this with a ring. Dont allow yourself to be carried away. Remember short term sacrafices for long term gains. If you want him back for the long haul, you have to make him start from scratch again. He has to start work for your time and attention again......dating you properly and work his way back to a place of trust and committment to get that close to you physically again.


So this is one of the concepts we have developed on the 'boards' that I have seen work over and over in the last 5 actually 6 years. You just have to be strong enough not to call him and avoid contact from him. Let him wonder what you are doing....let him wonder who is seeing you now. Mystery....this is what intrigues men, not pining.....devotion....declarations of undying love. They want a challange....not someone they know they can have whenever they want. Not someone they know who is only a phone call away, eager to see them and hear from them. You would be surprised how attractive a happy confident 'not so available' ex can look. Men want what they cant have.....he has to WORK to get you back.


Afterglow.....I have just recently seen an ex of mine and I intend to follow the above advice. He was very keen to see me after 8 weeks and mentioned several times words to the affect of 'now you have a boyfriend' and such referring to him. Hinting in other words.....testing the waters to see if he was 'in there' again. He has always been the one who didnt want committment etc. and I have been seeing him for two years up until two months ago. Now I am strong.......very strong. I have worked very hard to fill my life with things I love....and love doing. I have a great year to look forward to and I will have many opportunities to meet men. So his hints on being the boyfriend were subtly ignored by a happy change of subject. I loved seeing him but I am not going to be quite so readily available this time. So I will also be following the much used, very successfull advice above myself. Sometimes we need to really follow our own advice. And I do intend doing that this time. Fortunately, after 8 weeks apart....I feel really strong. I hope this helps you. Good luck afterglow......and be strong. YOU ARE THE PRIZE. Make him work to keep YOU this time.

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Man today I feel really crappy. He's like hundreds or thousands of miles away for the next two weeks and all I'm thinking about how to proceed once he comes back. I'm giving the 8 week of NC a long hard thought and I think I'll do it. I hope it works. My trip to the Carribbean is now booked ironically on the weekend he gets back. I'm trying my best to move on and I think I'm doing ok. However, today feels like a set-back. I have this knot in my stomach. I can't bear the thought of losing him. I really hope these 2 weeks away it has given him a chance to reflect and re-consider the relationship. The only thing now is that he is due to hear from the grad school any week from now until March. If he gets in, I don't think he'll want a long distance rel. and if he doesn't then he'll probably reapply for next year which means another year of limbo for him. I wish that he could make me a part of the picture. I'm sorry, I feel like I'm whining. I'm beginning to feel that this is a hopeless case. But I still have so much hope for us. Grad school or not, I really hope the space and time allows him to see what I see. Today has been a really derpressing day for me and this site has been my only comfort. I'm tired of talking off my friends' ears which by the way are awesome. Sigh. Thanks for reading.

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Wish I knew about the 8 weeks...


I did not go NC right away, hope I did not blow it...


I did go complete NC and she did contact me but not pounding my door down...She is seeing someone else (rebound) so I went back to NC/LC for now...

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I really don't like "The Rules". They are an overly simplistic way of tryign to manipulate someone. I have nothing against manipulating someone, if done for the right reasons. However, I don't think one size fits all. No one man (or woman) is going to react that same way to the same stimulus, as every other man (or woman). Your feelings about everything are not the same as my feelings about anything. We may both like something, but we like it for different reasons and in different amounts.


Pulling a cookie cutter set of rules, such as 8 weeks of No Contact off the shelf and using it does not account for how the people feel. Some one may not need that long, some may need longer, some people who want their exes back may need more or less.


If think if you are going to conscioulsy manipulate feelings, you need to think about where feelings need to be to get to where you want them to be. For instance, an ex who wants little to do with you, and pushes you away with any contact, needs to learn or be able to think that the threat of your contacting them is not existent. Another ex may not act that way at all, which means they feel differently. It's all about how they feel, and you need to think about that more than use cookie cutter rules.

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Ah, I have several of The Rules books, and over time, I guess I'm finding that one size doesn't fit all either.


now, sorry to crush your dreams, but I've had guys break up with me and not come back after 8 weeks, even after I did super strict no contact. That was the case with my last ex. Ultimately, I think we just weren't right for each other, and he didn't want to come back. Well, that's fine.


I think NC is best for healing.


Even The Rules books themselves say, "He only comes back if he wants to." If it's meant to be, he'll come back, but you can't make him come back, no matter what you do sometimes. Maybe that's just a sign that there is someone better out there for you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Actually, there's a lot of good to The Rules. Many people think it's about manipulation & trying to trick a man (any old man will do) into committing, but I've found that the underlying message is "Go where you're wanted!" I've traditionally been a guy-chaser... sometimes it's worked (temporarily), most of the time it hasn't, and it's always led to heartache.


For me, The Rules taught me to be true to myself and trust that by not chasing a man, by not getting too involved right off the bat (I used to be a notorious "sex-on-the-first-or-second-date" girl!), & by observing his actions and allowing him to "weed himself out", that I could create the conditions in which the right man for me would come into my life.


Right now I'm in limbo with a guy I really like. I'm in the middle of no-contact (if he wants to talk to me, he'll call), and I'm forcing myself to start dating others. I don't want to date anyone else, but I realize that I need to open myself up to other possibilites. One of the TR tenets is to date a lot of people until you decide to commit to one person. Otherwise, all the pressure & focus is on one man, the phone is your best friend & worst enemy, and everything he says or does is cause for major obsession. Plus I think men can sense our energy... they know if we're sending intense laser-beams of emotion at them, even if we're not talking to them. Backing off & dating other people diffuses that energy.


Regarding the 8 week wait, Dreamie explained it pretty well, but it's not set in stone. I recommend that you check the book out of the library or peruse it at Borders. It's called "Getting To 'I Do'", by Pat Allen. There are steps to take before initiating the 8 ww, a way of stating your intentions, to let the man know what you're looking for. Otherwise he might just think you're no longer interested if he calls a few times & doesn't hear back from you. It goes something like this: "I really care for you, but I'm looking for a more committed relationship. I realize that you're not ready right now, but if you ever decide that you'd like to pursue a commitment with me, I'd like to hear from you." If he calls & suggests "hanging out" or seems to be trying the same old stuff, you don't engage with him. If he calls and says "I've been thinking a lot about this, I don't want to lose you, I'd really like to take this to the next level", then you talk to him. It doesn't necessarily happen at 8 weeks. It might take 2, or 5... the premise is that if a man doesn't miss you and realize that you're "The One" by the end of 8 weeks, he probably never will, and by that time you're pretty much over him anyway, so it doesn't hurt so much.


There's a lot more to it, and I'm sure I didn't explain it perfectly, so that's why, if you're interested, you should check out the book itself.


One of the things about that book and The Rules is the focus on marriage. Not everyone necessarily wants to get married, and the assumption that a relationship is worthless unless the man shows up with a ring is wrong, in my opinion.


There's a lot of good to those books, though.


I wish you luck. This is the hardest part, but you'll get through it. Hang in there!



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(By the way... Both of the authors of The Rules are divorced now....)


Just something to think about.....


Exactly. Because they essentially advocate presenting yourself as someone you are not and manipulating men by false pretenses the Rules may work in piquing an interest (and there are no guarantees that they may not turn-off a potential Love of Your Life) but as soon as the real person emerges the man realises he was played.

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