Click play to listen to this article.
Today I got an email from Clay Andrews, another breakup advice guy and a competitor of mine (I sign up for all my competitor’s email newsletters for market research purposes), and it dumfounded me. I was not only horrified by the advice is contained; it made me feel embarrassed to even be a part of the breakup advice industry.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been following Clay since 2016, and I like some of the things he teaches. Present moment awareness. Useful as hell. Empathy and emotional acceptance. Crucial as fuck. Composure and boundaries. Paramount. (Note: These are what Clay calls “Advanced Relational Skills”).
Then there are also some of Clay’s teaching that I dislike and disagree with: active no contact, reactance theory, and his take on the stages of getting an ex back. And then there’s the blocked attraction nonsense from his recent email.
Blocked Attraction Explained
Essentially the guy argued that your ex is already attracted to you (even if they said they aren’t), but that their attraction is being blocked (meaning, they can’t feel it) by negative emotions, which you must remove through replacing them with positive emotions, which you facilitate through positive interactions — a.k.a., chasing. And it’s only after you’ve removed the “clog “that they start feeling their previously blocked attraction.
I mean, what the fuck, man. Do people really buy into this?
Your ex’s attraction isn’t blocked. They just aren’t attracted to you anymore. And while attraction can increase, it doesn’t increase because you kept chasing after them to “remove” their negative emotions, as Clay recommends. Those things will only make your ex feel more negative emotions because chasing after someone who doesn’t want you is, fundamentally, fucking annoying.
Hell, the reason your ex dumped you in the first place is probably because you kept chasing after them and made them feel suffocated as a result. So how the fuck will giving them more of the same treatment turn your situation around?
Spoiler alert: it won’t.
An Insider Secret
When you have ten other breakup “experts” shitting out the same advice as you, you have to do something unique — something that makes you different from your competitors — in order to get traffic and, ultimately, sales.
People approach this challenge in a variety of different ways.
Craig Kenneth, arguably the best breakup coach out there, for example, stands out by focusing on observing breakups through attachment theory and draws from years of experience as a therapist and behavior analyst.
Corey Wayne, a brilliant life coach, stands out with his directness, magnanimous business model (he basically gives out his best stuff for free), and a massive reservoir of personal experience in dating, relationships, and breakups from which he bases his teachings.
Rory from The Love Chat, another brilliant life coach, stands out by combining the perspectives and knowledge from both Craig Kenneth and Corey Wayne (and other legit experts), as well as utilizing god-like speaking skills in the process — skills I’m to this day jealous of.
Me? Well, apart from seasoning my articles with existential philosophy, negative self-help, cool stories, and toilet humor, I stand out by having the balls to expose bullshit when I see it.
…Talking of shit, some people, because of this need to stand out in the market, start making it up. This is where most elaborate ex-back “step-by-step proven systems” originate. And it’s here where some of Clay’s dumbest concepts pop up.
In other words, the only reason Clay is telling you about blocked negative emotions and the likes is so he can stand out from the competition and earn more money.
I’ll give the guy props because his strategy clearly works. He’s making a fortune. As an ambitious entrepreneur myself, I commend that. After all, ethical or unethical approaches, he still needed to put in a lot of work to get to where he is.
The Problem With Blocked Attraction Theory
For one, Clay includes zero references to actual real-world studies where people in lab coats proved negative emotions block someone’s attraction for you.
As far as I know, the core of what Clay teaches goes against conventional studies on attraction. Most legit ones, for example, report how attraction boils down to status and how status is measured and judged through behavior and how chasing after someone is a behavior that communicates low status. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
Put differently: chasing after an ex, even with the aim of creating positive interactions as Clay recommends, is unattractive, while letting them go is attractive and, paradoxically, increases your chances of getting them back.
A Better Alternative
I know you want to listen to people who tell you how you should fight for your relationship and try to mend things — and how all it takes to succeed is believing you’ll succeed — but remember that those people are only telling you this because it’s what you want to hear — because it sells.
If you want the actual best chance at getting your ex back, let them go and have them return at their own pace. This will not only communicate that you respect yourself and that you won’t tolerate being a backup plan, but it will also give your ex room to breathe and feel their separation anxiety to the point where they might start to miss you. And, as a result, eventually reach out.
Note: This article is under fair use. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Also, this article is an opinion and in no way should be construed as statements of fact.
A few tips for developing self-awareness. The better you become at the skill, the likelier your ex will perceive you as more attractive.
12 Biases That Make You Overestimate Your Ex’s Attractiveness
Here are 12 biases that make you overestimate your ex’s attractiveness and propel you to rekindle things when you perhaps shouldn't.
18 Reasons Why Your Relationship Failed
Breaking up hurts, but why does it happen? Why did your relationship fail in the first place? Discover 18 reasons in this article.
How “Fake It Until You Make It” Can Backfire
Learn how the popular advice of "fake it until you make it" can backfire when you're trying to get your ex back.
Fuck The Signs Your Ex Is In A Rebound Relationship
Learn why the signs your ex is in a rebound relationship may not mean anything and what you should do instead of focusing on them.