How Do I Get My Ex To Leave Me Alone?

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Past flame reaches out. AGAIN. How do I get her to stop?

–Sykogin19; Denham Springs, LA

I don’t ask for much. The Google form through which you submit questions has just three fields, two of which are for your name and hometown.

In the third, I only request you include your question and any relevant context, so I can provide as thorough and applicable an answer as possible.

Sykogin19 did not provide context. But that doesn’t mean he leaves empty-handed.


The post-breakup world is a wasteland of emotions. While I believe communication between the two parties should cease as soon as possible, I concede a certain amount is necessary, so each person can process his or her feelings and gain closure.

But there’s an etiquette to these exchanges — what you can say, how often you can say it and how long you can say it for — and whether you got dumped or did the dumping dictates how you are to conduct yourself.

We don’t know on which side of the equation Sykogin19 falls, so let’s examine both…


When people get rejected, they don’t know what to do with themselves. And it takes a while before they figure it out.

Even when they sense a breakup is imminent, it still catches them off-guard, leaving them to navigate a minefield of rejection, resentment and “Where do I go from here?”

Which is why if you broke up with your ex, and your ex keeps contacting you, I’d recommend cutting her some slack. At least for a little bit.

Getting over a relationship is similar to getting over a death. Both are a loss, and both require the person to endure the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

As a survivor of some brutal breakups, I always had the most trouble with bargaining. It was the stage that took the longest to get through, because it presented my last bastion of hope.

I was convinced that if I could just keep the lines of communication open, and profess my love just a little more eloquently, it’d only be a matter of time until my ex saw the light and took me back.

That never happened for me, and it seldom happens in real life. But thanks to Hollywood’s rom-com propaganda, we’re reluctant to relinquish our final shot at a fairytale ending.

Which has led to too many people doing too many things to try to win back the person who dumped them. Cards on anniversaries. Texts about inside jokes. Emails regaling the good times together.

Yes, this gets annoying, and yes, it likely illustrates why you broke up with this girl in the first place.

But unless your ex is crossing the line, showing up at your house or sabotaging your current relationship, why not give her time to say what she wants/needs to say?

You don’t have to read or respond to it; just don’t call her out for it. She’ll exhaust herself eventually, and your biggest inconvenience will be hitting the Delete button.

Consider your compassion a parting gift for breaking her heart.


The pain people feel when dumping someone should not be undersold. After all, only a sociopath feels no fallout from hurting somebody else.

Still, because the breakup was their idea, they must adhere to a different set of rules when it comes to post-relationship communication. Their bar is higher, and unfortunately few are able to clear it.

This failure is on display every season on ABC’s The Bachelor. Each week, the bachelor dismisses unworthy admirers. The later in the game it gets, the harder it gets for him to say goodbye.

The contestants who get rejected are always in disbelief. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they get angry. Sometimes they fake it, so they can secure a slot on Bachelor In Paradise.

Considering these people just got humiliated, in front of a national TV audience and Chris Harrison, they have the right to react however they want.

The bachelor, on the other hand, does not. Yet he almost always commits the same breakup crimes, saying things like, “I didn’t want to hurt you,” and “You’re an amazing person who deserves an amazing love story.”

While it comes off as compassion — and to an extent it is — it’s also coming from a selfish place. He’s trying to make himself feel better for making someone else feel bad.

If your old flame is reaching out to you to do this, you have every right to stop her.

When a girl breaks up with you, she forsakes her right to talk to you. It’s not her job to see if you’re OK or convince you you’re worthy of happiness. Communication is no longer a two-way street.

She created this situation, and she has to deal with it on her own — without using you as a chew toy.

You owe her nothing. Block her, ignore her, (respectfully) tell her to lose your number, whatever. Do what you need to do to move on.

What do you think? What advice would you give this reader? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Need more advice? Check out the most recent installments:

How Do I Save My Marriage?

Beauty And The Eye Of The Beholder

How To Get Over A Broken Heart

How To Achieve Work-Life Balance

My Girlfriend Cheated On Me

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The post How Do I Get My Ex To Leave Me Alone? appeared first on The Good Men Project.

5 Ways to Avoid Becoming A So-Called ‘Nice Guy’ –

 Jordan Gray offers tips and strategies to help you avoid being a manipulator in your relationships.

Let’s end this whole “nice guys” myth once and for all…

The term “nice guy” has been thrown around in popular culture a lot lately. A quote unquote “nice guy” is actually a first class manipulator.

(I was going to link to an Urban Dictionary definition of a nice guy here, but I found out that they have over TEN pages of definitions submitted by active/recovering nice guys and it was all a bit too depressing)

Women don’t have an aversion away from truly nice guys… they have an aversion to passive, manipulative liars (just like – surprise, surprise – all humans do!).

People respond positively to others that have a strong sense of identity, solid morals, and strong personal boundaries (all things that “nice guys” are lacking in).

The fact that terms like “nice guy” and “friend zone” are still being thrown around at all these days speaks to an underlying culture of female biased sexism, but that’s a topic for another article.

Nice Guys, Jerks, And Strong-Minded Men

One of the nice guys’ favourite fall back arguments is that “Women say that they want a nice guy, but what they actually want is a jerk”.

Oh, my friend, if only it was that simple. Kidding! It’s even simpler than that.

Women (aka people) don’t like being lied to. Plus they’re generally a LOT more socially intelligent than guys are so even if you think you’re being extra sneaky your intentions have been noted before you’ve even fully formed your first thought.

Nice guys = passive, manipulative liars who attempt to trade niceness for intimate relationships/sex. Most men are hopelessly transparent with their intentions with women, but nice guys really take it to the next level.

Jerks = assertive/aggressive suitors that share more character traits with a strong-minded option than nice guys.

Strong-Minded Man = an assertive, strong-willed person who is unapologetically forthcoming with his desire, and is ready and willing to take no for an answer without resorting to manipulation or douche-baggery.

So reading through the three descriptions, doesn’t it become clear that the nice guy option is a dead last?

If you are a man reading this article, imagine all of those descriptions again but picturing a woman. #1, a girl that you are not attracted to in the slightest who keeps trying to convince you to like her by being extra-super-duper nice. #2, a girl that isn’t necessarily your ideal woman, and is a little rough around the edges, but you feel magnetically sexually attracted to her for some reason (even though you probably wouldn’t bring her home to meet your parents). #3, a woman with clear morals and boundaries, has a voracious sexual appetite and has no problem initiating sex with you but will turn it down when she isn’t feeling it, and doesn’t push you to do things that you’re not comfortable with.

Unless you’ve got some intimacy issues, narcissism, or low self-esteem a-brewin’ within the chaos of your mind, you would most likely be attracted to #3, followed by #2, and then by #1 in a distant last place. And guess what? That’s what women respond to, too. Hooray, we’re all humans and there’s no distinguishable differences in our attraction process when it comes to not enjoying being lied to!

Bottom line, you are either attractive to someone or you are not. If you find yourself having a really tough time getting into a relationship, then it’s probably something you should get looked at. Whether it’s an unconscious pattern of driving people away, fearing vulnerability, or just not having your life sorted out, there are many steps you can take to become more attractive as a partner to your gender of choice.

On to the good stuff…

If your inner child (nice guy) still rears its ugly head on occasion (everyone’s does in certain situations) here are five things you can do to make sure that you’re not being a manipulator in your intimate relationships.


1. Sexual Manipulation

According to society, if a woman wants to have sex with someone she can be labelled as a slut.  If she doesn’t want to have sex with someone she can be labelled as a prude or a bitch (often by “nice guys”). In either situation, cultural conditioning is attempting to control a woman’s sexuality.

Blaming her for not wanting to sleep with you (at any stage of the relationship) is manipulative.  If she doesn’t like you and you aren’t a couple, have some self-respect and move on.

2. Holding Back From Expressing Your Desires

Doing nice things for her and then getting frustrated when you don’t get what you felt entitled to (affection, intimacy, sex, etc.) is calculated and deceiving. Don’t.

If you want something, have the courage to ask for it. Otherwise, you might not be mature enough to deserve it yet.

3. Being Unable To Hear No

One side of mature boundary-setting is being able to express your desires and have opinions about things. The other side is being able to hear no from others. Being whiny when she says no to you (for affection, intimacy, sex, etc.) is a child-like behavior.

If you hear no, it means no. Just like jealousy has the opposite effect in a relationship than the partner intends it to have, the same process occurs with trying to convince someone away from their preferences.

4. Pre-Loading

Have you ever done things for her to use as ammunition later on?

In other words, you knew you wanted sex on a certain night and so you did a ton of nice things for her all week to (in your mind) guarantee sex on the night that you wanted it to happen.

While there’s nothing wrong with doing romantic things for your partner, if your intention is a manipulative one, they will pick up on it. I don’t say this hyperbolically… your intentions will clearly show themselves in your actions. The expectant energy in your eye contact… the overly eager angle of your stance as you stand next to her… I could go on. Trust me, she’ll feel it. So don’t do it.

5. Being Avoidant Of Confrontation

Manipulative people avoid telling others when they disagree with them. They do this to keep things as kosher as possible on a surface level. They go to great lengths to avoid rocking the boat.

If there’s nothing that they’ve ever seemingly done wrong, they can never be ‘called’ on anything. They always need to be in the right.

If you disagree with your partner, let them know. Women are not attracted to a man who lets his own values or personal needs slide in order to take care of her.  Occasionally, sure.  But as a way of being?  Yuck.  How can she trust you if you don’t even respect yourself and your own needs?


The Process Of Becoming Comfortable With Mature Masculinity

Nice guys, generally, are not the best judges of other people’s needs (because they don’t fully understand or acknowledge their own).

Do you see any of the above five trends showing up in your relationships?  Do they all make absolute sense to you?  Let’s talk about them in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also love reading:

7 Things All Women Need In A Relationship

10 Questions To Ask To Go Deep In Your Relationship

The One Thing To Remember When You’re Dealing With Any Person, Ever

Originally appeared at


Photo: Flickr/Samuel David Rhinehart