You need to make your ex miss you, if you want them back.

And there’s only one way to make that happen.

Now, how do you make your ex miss you? To make this happen, you need to focus on three things. 

1. Your absence

Yes, if you want your ex back, you need to make yourself as scarce as possible as quickly as possible.

I get messages all the time from people wondering why their ex doesn’t want them and when I dig deeper they tell me that they still talk to them every day, that they still live together, or that they often show up to their office.

I tell them this: “You can’t miss something that you still have.”

Think about it. Do you miss the shirt you’re wearing? Do you miss your car that’s parked outside? Do you miss your roommate? No.

You can’t miss something that you still have.

Despite what some poets will tell you, you can’t miss something that’s right there. You can’t be homesick when you’re home.

Now, the breakup has already made your ex miss you to some extent. Because while you may still be around, some aspects of the relationship are certainly gone.

I’m guessing–I’m HOPING–that you aren’t still being romantic toward them, sleeping in the same bed, having sex, and just generally acting like partners to one another. 

So your ex is definitely missing some of the things that they associate with you. But to make them truly miss you, you need to back off.

You think that if you give your ex space they’re going to forget about you and move on but that’s rarely the case. Especially if this was a significant relationship.

By giving them space you’re actually going to occupy their thoughts more than ever. Because right now, your presence is a reminder of the breakup more than anything.

They see you and it brings up all the negative feelings associated with the breakup.

And if you’ve been putting any kind of pressure on them to get back together, this is even worse.

Even if you think you’re being subtle, your ex knows you so they know your intentions.

If you’ve been begging, pleading, hanging around them and dropping hints, or otherwise bothering them, all you’re doing is making them associate you with stress and danger.

So instead of reminding them of the good times, you’re creating new, negative memories for them.

Take a different approach. Exchange your belongings, settle any lingering business, leave your shared home.

Then commit to not talking to your ex for four weeks. I know this is easier said than done. It’s going to be challenging. It’s going to be painful and it’s going to be a huge mental and emotional blow.

But it’s going to be even more challenging for your ex.

They don’t expect you to suddenly go silent and withdraw. This will be a shock to their system and it may plunge them into a deep pit of sadness.

Don’t worry, they’re going to be alright. But this time and space apart is going to give them a chance to truly miss you in a way they couldn’t before.

This may even hit them harder than the breakup itself because it will show them that you’re truly gone.

Because–as we talked about–a part of them still wants you back and that part never really believed that you’d be gone from their life. 

In many situations, this alone is enough to make your ex come running back to you, begging YOU for a second chance because they couldn’t handle your absence the way they thought they could.

But if not, you need to remain strong. Because that’s the next way to make your ex miss you.

2. Your strength

So whether you’ve come to the end of No Contact, you have some unavoidable reason to speak to your ex, or you’re thinking of posting something on social media that you know your ex will see, you need to keep one thing in mind: your strength. 

Basically you don’t want your ex to see, hear, or smell any sense of weakness, desperation or depression on you right now.

You want them to see you as strong and confident. This is going to show them that you’re moving on to bigger and better things. 

Obviously this will make them worry that they’ve lost you which is really going to make them miss you even more.

It will also show them that you’re unaffected by the breakup which is going to hurt their pride, predisposing them to run back to what’s familiar and safe–AKA you. 

And it’s going to show them that you’re a valuable person with lots of options and a good head on your shoulders which is attractive to just about anyone.

Of course, it’s normal to be sad after a breakup and I’d never tell you to ignore your feelings, but you need to keep them to yourself around your ex.

To project strength to your ex, first maintain No Contact. Begging and pleading with your ex is just about the weakest thing you can do right now. It shows them that you have no prospects and that you’re lost without them. This is not attractive.

And even the most subtle messages you send to your ex are going to come across as pretty obvious since they probably already know that you want them back.

So there’s really no way to appear strong when you’re the one reaching out to them. 

So stick to the plan and steer clear of them. 

Second, you want to give the impression that you’re thriving. You’re too busy having fun, succeeding and living your best life to worry about them.

And the best way to give this impression is to BE busy having fun, succeeding and living your best life.

The bare minimum here is to get out of the house and socialize with friends and family. But you should also make attempts to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.

Go surfing, take a pottery class, join a sports team. It doesn’t matter exactly what you do…it just matters that you do it. 

If you really want to maximize your results here, you should also be setting goals and taking steps to achieve them. So look at the aspects of your life that you want to improve and do just that.

Remember, this breakup is also an opportunity: you have more time now. Don’t waste it on depression. Use it to level up. 

Now, it doesn’t matter if you show your ex this stuff directly, it’s going to get back to them one way or another, whether through social media or mutual friends. 

And even if they never have any idea what you’ve been up to, the confidence that comes with living your best life will come through and they’ll fill in the gaps themselves.


3. Your past

Once you’ve successfully completed No Contact, and you’ve worked on yourself, you’re ready for the next step.

This is what I call the re-attraction phase. And this is when you start to drop subtle reminders of your time together that will make them miss you like nothing else. 

This begins long before you reach out to your ex, via social media. Social media is a great way to send subtle messages to your ex without actually breaking No Contact.

Just remember that subtlety is KEY here. If your ex can tell what you’re doing then it’s going to just come across as desperate.

So don’t post old photos of the two of you or anything like that. And don’t post cryptic messages or song lyrics that remind you of them.

One of the best ways to do this is to post a photo in a place that was once important to you and your ex. So maybe you two always went for a walk by a specific pond every weekend.

Post a photo with the pond in the background. You want your ex to think “was that on purpose or did they just happen to be there?”

Just a few posts like this will be enough to spark your ex’s curiosity so don’t overdo it. Also, feel free to post some selfies or group shots.

If you want your ex to think of you then this is a pretty straightforward way to make that happen.

From there, we move on to first contact. I’m not going to tell you the first message to send to your ex. That will be a whole other video because it’s a very delicate process that can’t be rushed. 

But once you’ve established regular contact with your ex, now is the time to remind them of your past. Drop subtle hints to the times you shared together.

So maybe you had a romantic date at a restaurant or you watched a funny movie together the night you had your first kiss, or maybe you had a good time at an Ikea, I don’t know.

These specifics will apply to your relationship and your relationship alone so think hard. 
It goes without saying that only GOOD memories should be invoked here. So if you had a vacation together where you fought the whole time, don’t bring it up. 

And when you bring these things up, don’t push too hard. Just invoke the memory and then back away. So something like this:

“Remember that time we went for a bike ride to the zoo? I just came across that picture of the elephant sitting down. So funny. Anyway, I’ll talk to you later, I’m just heading into work.”

Something like this will give your ex a strong sense memory without putting any pressure on them to go down memory lane with you. 

Dave Barker

Breakup Coach

About the Author

Dave Barker is a breakup and 'ex back' coach with over a decade of experience helping clients repair and improve romantic relationships.

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