Step 3 - Tearing Down The Breakup Safety Net

Believe it or not, when a man breaks up with you he's not always so sure of himself. Immediately after the breakup, he looks for signs that he's doing the right thing - or more importantly, the safe thing. He wants to see that you'll still be around, just in case he decides he wants you back. So does this mean you should make yourself available for him? No way. In fact, just the opposite is true. If a man sees you hanging around waiting for him to undo the breakup, it gives him the cool confidence needed to continue on his own way.

Break Up Safety Net

Many women don't understand this principal, but the reasoning behind it is simple: knowing you're still there is a nice fat juicy safety net for him. He's free to do whatever he wants, go where he wants, even see or date who he wants... and if it doesn't work out? There you are, exactly in the same spot he left you. He can come along and pick you up and move right on as if nothing happened. Congratulations, you're back together again. But is this what you want?

No. Not on those terms.

As long as a man has a safety net, he's always going to do whatever he wants. And sometimes, as bad as it is, that also includes whomever he wants. Sitting around waiting for your ex to repair your breakup is something you never want to do - not until he wants you back for good.

Only by removing his relationship safety net can you give him a taste of what life will be like without you. If this scares him (and believe me it will) he's going to be a lot less apt to go out and date other people. He's going to be wondering where you are, what you're doing, and why you haven't called him yet. He's going to play it a lot safer, while he wants around for your reaction. And when he doesn't get it, he'll get even more worried. This is the stage where your ex will most likely try to contact you.

What If He Says He Still Want To Be Friends?

Your ex-boyfriend breaking up with you and telling you he still wants to "remain friends" is the biggest line of bullshit going. Sorry, but it's the truth. Chances are your boyfriend has more than enough friends. It doesn't matter what he says, how he phrases it, or how he tries to make it sound like a good idea... because it never is. It also doesn't matter if you think you can 'handle it'. After all the times you've slept together, you're deluding yourself if you think you're going to just start suddenly 'hanging out' as friends without it eventually turning into something physical.

I always tell ex-girlfriends "let's be friends" - no matter what. It's the best way to let the situation down more easily. Some girls get really upset at the thought of never seeing you again. The 'friends' speech is a good way of avoiding that, so I say it in almost every case.

The other good part about "let's be friends" is that it keeps the door open for future sex. When you're friends, you get to stay in touch. You can contact the girl as often as you want to, but at the same time you don't have the pressure of having to answer to her as a girlfriend. This is the ideal situation. When one of us is lonely, we pick up the phone.

Let's be friends is either a blow-off, or a set up for a future booty call. If you're looking for this kind of thing, great. But if you want a serious long term relationship, then being friends is the last thing you want. You want your ex back. The way you were before, when you were together as a couple... not as some pseudo half-assed relationship.

Still Not Convinced? Think about dating someone. Now think about your man chumming around with one of his ex-girfriends. "Oh hey, honey? This is my friend, Jennifer". Not very appealing, is it? As logical as being friends seems, it's just not feasible. Imagine how you'd feel if you remained friends with your ex and he started dating someone new (and then telling you all about her). Now imagine how you'd feel when he came to dump you again - this time as a friend - because his new girlfriend doesn't want him hanging around with you anymore.

Okay, I Get It... So Now What Do I Do?

You've accepted the breakup, and you've laid low for a while. The next thing to do is to remove that safety net your ex-boyfriend might be banking on. You do this passively, not actively. In your mind's eye, convince yourself of one important thing: that you're not accepting anything less than a full exclusive relationship.

This will prepare you for when he calls, and that time is coming soon. If you haven't talked to him, emailed him, texted him, or any of that crap... there's a very good chance a call is coming your way. The shoe's on the other foot now, and he's going to be the one who'll have to come up with some feeble excuse to talk to you. Maybe he left some CD's at your house. Maybe he wants to give you something back that you left at his own home. Either way, he's going to start the conversation off with something innocent and noncommittal.

First Contact After the Breakup - How to Handle It

The first time your boyfriend gets in touch with you after the break up, it's extremely important that you handle it correctly. One wrong move or bad phrase and you're going to totally blow it. Below are some of the biggest rules for handling the post-breakup phone call, so be sure to know them:

 Keep it simple, casual, and quick. You don't want to spend more than 2 or 3 minutes on the first phone call, tops.

 If he pushes for more time, tell him politely that you're about to go out. If he wants to still talk, tell him you'll call him back later (or tomorrow if it's late).

 Do NOT be combatitive - no matter what happens. If he begins to talk about the break up, let him speak. Don't say much of anything here. Remember, you're keeping this call short.

 Do NOT sound excited to hear from him... but don't sound miserable either. You want to sound as if he interrupted you while you were doing something else. Seeming preoccupied on the phone isn't easy, but one good trick is to eat something. Eat an apple or grab some other piece of fruit. It may sound silly, but the fact that you're snacking while talking to him makes you come off as casual and nonchalant, while at the same time it'll take your mind off sounding too happy, sad, angry, exhilarated, or whatever else you may be feeling.

 If he asks what you've been doing, let him know. If you've been out with friends or family, tell him. If you've been studying or working, tell him that too. Don't get too much into the details about any one thing, even if you have something exciting to tell him. Remember: quick and casual.

 If he asks how you've been doing, tell him you're doing good. No need to elaborate further on that, let him wonder what it means.

There are a whole bunch of other DO's and DON'Ts when it comes to post-relationship contact with your ex. All of them are vital to not screwing this up. Some of the best techniques to overcome nervousness and correctly handle these critical phone calls can be found here. Check them out, because they'll greatly boost your confidence!

After The Call - Sowing the Seeds of Doubt

Once you hang up with your ex, do exactly what you said you'd do: go out. It doesn't matter where you go, just get out for a while. It'll feel good to do so, and it'll remove any temptation to pick up the phone in case he calls back again.

If pulled off correctly, the first contact phone call can be another huge step toward getting back with your ex. On his end, he should feel slightly put-off and probably even a little confused. He might think you're being somewhat distant. All of these are good signs. You've just snapped a few strings on his safety net.

At this point he's wondering why you haven't called him (which you better not have done!) and he's wondering what types of things you've been up to without him. Most of all, he's wondering where you have to go tonight. If you're lucky, maybe he's even a little jealous. Since the break up, he's certainly been thinking about you, if only for a little bit. But in his own mind, he'll start wondering if you're even thinking about him at all.

And this is exactly what you want.

Let's move on to Step 4: Having a Blast Without Him

Ex Factor Guide Boyfriend