Okay, so it’s not working. The lover who dumped you hasn’t noticed that you’ve changed. Your heartfelt apology fell on deaf ears, and when you lowered your voice and said that forgiveness was in your heart, quiet laughter ensued. You’ve written letters that would make the cold-blooded likes of Howard Stern weep. You’ve waited the politically correct amount of time to make all these moves, long enough for those flowers you sent the day after the hammer dropped to long since wilt. You’re waiting for a return call your lover’s roommate, hoping for an ally on the inside, but your cell phone hasn’t buzzed. Time to face the music: you haven’t won him or her back, and you’re running out of patience.
Enough with playing nice. It’s time to get downright strategic, in a nasty sort of way. It’s time for a ploy.
This one is called the moving on ploy. It works best if you haven’t resorted to a litany of failed desperate measures, but now your desperation can actually work for you, since you may have to live with some compromises to make this one fly. The idea is to plant the totally fraudulent seed in your ex-lover’s mind that you’re done, you’re over it, you’re… drum roll, please… moving on. It means you accept that invitation to meet the checkout guy from Safeway at Starbucks, and you make sure you pick the one where your lover’s roommate stops every morning. It means you leave the remaining stuff belonging to your lover in a box at his door, without ringing the doorbell to say hi. It means you are oh-so-terribly nice, in a chilly sort of way, if you happen to run into him or her, and you are oh-so genuinely giddy when you run into someone he or she knows.
The gloves are off. This is an all-out frontal assault.
It is also an all-or-nothing move. And you won’t know if it’s working until the fates engineer a crossing of the paths, and then you’ll know. Let’s call it what it is – you’re trying to inflict a little pain. Make him or her squirm, take a little of your power back. This is the anti-sympathy approach, one that screams you no longer require sympathy, you’re just fine, you just want to have some fun, the kind that your ex was too stuffy to try. That’s right, you want to give the impression that you’re free, no longer constrained by monogamy. Suddenly you’re dangerous, and because we all want what we can’t have – this being the emotional physics of this strategy – you may suddenly find yourself being viewed through a new lens.
You want the opposition squirm at the thought of you cutting loose.
It’ll either work or it won’t. No middle ground. It’s a roll of the dice, because your ex just might find it all distasteful in a way that makes them glad to be gone. But it might do just what you want it to, make them remember the buzz of being with you, and to their great surprise, actually miss it.