Falling in love with a girl can be the best feeling in the world. Your days are spent kissing each other on the couch, walking arm in arm along the coastline, and whispering sweet nothings about the future. Then the inevitable happens. Cracks start to appear in the relationship. She annoys you by constantly texting and calling you, wanting an update on your life status every five seconds. You annoy her by staring at that cute checkout girl who bagged your groceries last week. Soon, vile insults are hurled, and the next thing you know, your clothes are strewn by the sidewalk below your shared apartment.
What went wrong? Well, it depends on the relationship. However, while many are relieved that the nightmare is over, some instantly feel remorse after the breakup. With the benefit of hindsight, they look back at all the things they did that caused the love affair’s downfall and wish they could undo them, but their ex has moved on. Worse, she may even be dating someone shorter and uglier than them, leaving them to wonder: “She left me for that?”
How To Get Your Ex Back
Reacquiring the interests of your former flame is not an exact science. After all, it delves into the sticky situation of human psychology. Therefore, this article can only offer systematic guidelines, not rules. You do not need to follow them all, but the more you abide by, the better chances you have of enticing her back into your arms.
Before we even get to the steps, however, you need to answer two important questions.
Do you even want her back?
It’s important to answer this question first. If you don’t, then you might end up reconnecting with her only to break up a second time. In order to help you arrive at an answer, examine these points:
- Identify the reason why you two separated. Unless you’re extremely fickle, there has to be a reason why you two broke up in the first place. Try to remember what it is. They might even be several. After you’ve made a list, ask yourself if these issues are as important to you now as they were then. Your emotions might get in the way and convince you to brush them all aside, but remember that once the thrill of the honeymoon period ends, you will still be left with a woman who may not see eye-to-eye with you on many major subjects. Do not let her cute smile or the memories of the awesome time that you two had together cloud your judgement. If you think this chick is unwilling to compromise with you on these concerns, or she just doesn’t have what you’re looking for in a long-term partner, then you might just change your mind and search for someone else.
- Compare her to other women. We all know it’s not good to judge someone based on other people’s standards, but you’re doing this to gain some perspective on the matter. If you haven’t had any contact with other women for some time, you may think that your ex-girlfriend is a fair representation of all the female specimens on this planet. For example, if she’s particularly grouchy when she hasn’t had anything to eat, you may generalize her behavior as normal. However, when you expand your social circle and even begin dating other people, you’ll soon find out that not many women are like that at all. In fact, some of them might be happy-go-lucky even when their house is burning down. Once you have enough female acquaintances to come up with a judgment, you may find that your ex simply was not good for you, and that there are much better alternatives out there.
- Make sure your insecurity is not blinding you. If you’ve been together with your ex for fifteen years before you broke up, it’s easy to convince yourself that she was the one. In fact, since you’ve been out of the dating arena for so long, you may even think that you’ll never attract anyone else, and that she’s your last shot at lifelong companionship. Most men who try to reconnect with their former flames aren’t actually doing it because they love them and want them back, but because they’re insecure about growing old alone or nervous at having to start all over again. They want an easy way out and convince themselves that they would be happy with their ex, even though they really detest her deep inside. Are you one of these men?
Who broke up with whom?
This is an important question to answer. If you were the one who broke up with her, you may have an easier time winning her back, especially if she was not ready to let you go and still has some lingering feelings for you. Sometimes, just a heartfelt apology is enough to get things going again. However, if you were on the receiving end of the breakup, or if the two of you came to the decision together, then it’s much harder to rekindle the flame.
This article mostly assumes that you are the one who got broken up with. Even if this is not the case, the majority of the guideless still apply to you. Special mention will be made to distinguish any differences.
Once you’ve thought about these two questions honestly and you’re sure that you really want her back into your life, then it’s time to go into a detailed and concrete plan of action. Follow these steps properly, and with a little luck and divine providence, you may end up back in the saddle with your erstwhile lover.
SIX STEPS To Get Your Ex Back
STEP ONE: GRIEVE THE DEATH OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP
This may seem like a pessimistic way to start your journey, but it’s important to realize that no matter how much you want your boo back, she may not share the same feelings. You need to know that there is a significant possibility that the reunion you’re hoping for might not happen. Even if it does, however, you still need to grieve the death of the old relationship. Starting with a clean slate is necessary because if you are unable to let go of the past, this will affect all of your future dealings with your ex. The first step, therefore, is to accept the loss and move on. If you were the one who initiated the breakup, you may not have to go through this, but your spurned lover definitely will, so it’s still important to identify the process that she’s going to undergo. The five stages of grief offers a helpful progression:
- Denial – this is the part where you outright refuse to accept that the relationship is over. Even if she thinks that the two of you are done, your mind pretends as if you’re still a couple. Common activities might involve texting your ex constantly, visiting her place without permission, telling everyone you’re still together, and generally being an all-around stalker. This might be the hardest stage out of the five to successfully navigate.
- Anger – when your ex finally closes all doors and lets you know that there’s never going to be a second chance, anger tends to explode. Common activities in this stage include sending her flaming messages, spreading gossip among your common friends to blame her for the breakup, and maybe even sabotaging her Facebook account. Try to keep your behavior well within legal limits, though. After all, if you treat her rudely, do not expect much success in trying to win her back a year from now. It’s better to punch your pillow in private.
- Bargaining – once it’s obvious that your tantrum and guilt-tripping won’t pan out, the jilted lover normally resorts to bargaining. Some activities in this step include buying expensive presents, promising to change, getting overly sentimental, and even outright begging on hands and knees. This is the step where the most pathetic behavior arises. Once again, try your best to tone things down. It’s okay to ask for her forgiveness, but telling her you’re going to join the priesthood if she doesn’t take you back is a tad too much.
- Depression – when all the bargaining methods fail and the jilted lover runs out of options, depression sets in. Activities in this fourth stage include lying in bed all day, losing passion for life, and refusing to face the outside world. In some extreme cases, this is the part where suicidal thoughts creep in. As with most other problems, hanging out with some supportive friends can be a major boost to self-esteem and bring some insights into the breakup.
- Acceptance – after the depression lifts, the jilted lover finally learns to accept his fate even if it means a bruised ego and a hard-earned lesson under his belt. Once this stage is reached, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
These stages cannot be avoided if you want to let go of the past. You will have to move through all five of them. The only important thing is to get through them as fast as you can. Most psychologists give six months maximum as the normal time period in order to traverse all five, which means that your grief should be over within half a year. If you take longer than that to recover, then you may require professional counseling. Some men linger on one of the steps for far too long, refusing to believe that the relationship is over and even harassing their ex’s new lover. If you cannot learn to forgive and forget, you will never get her back. Even if you have to go to a board-certified therapist to help you through this tough time, do it.
STEP TWO: STOP ALL DIRECT AND INDIRECT CONTACT
Once you’ve accepted that the two of you are through, it’s time to put it into practice. The hardest thing for most men to do is to stop thinking about their ex, and the reason is that they do not remove all the things that remind him of her. They still check her messages whenever they log in to their Facebook account. They read her tweets and view her Instagram. Heck, they even see her in person when they meet with common friends.
Surrounded by this wall of temptation, it’s no wonder many can’t forget their past. Therefore, the goal of this step is to remove all direct and indirect contact with your ex in order to get your ex back.
- Direct contact – this includes deleting all her stored text messages, emails, phone numbers, and social media interactions. If you have the willpower to stop thinking about her, then this might not be necessary, but if you simply cannot stay five minutes without fighting the desire to comment on her most recent profile picture, then you’ve got a problem. The only solution is to remove all forms of communication between the two of you so that there is absolutely no way for you to contact her anymore. Now, there might be some actions that you should avoid because it could be perceived as rude (for example, unfriending her on Facebook may cause her to detest you) but at the very least, you should set up discreet measure so that you can no longer see any of her latest updates.
- Indirect contact – this includes disposing of everything that reminds you of her presence such as photographs of the two of you together, usual haunts that you used to go to, and past valentines or anniversary cards. Anything that triggers you to reminisce about your ex for hours on end needs to be avoided immediately. This may even involve letting go of some common friends, at least temporarily, because their mere presence is a distraction from your purpose.
The whole purpose of this step is to allow yourself time to focus back on your life, gaining some altitude and immersing yourself in other opportunities. Most men think that they should not stop fantasizing about their ex lest they forget them, but ironically, cutting off all contact actually helps you rekindle the fire. In every relationship, time apart from each other not only erases negative emotions from the past, but it also creates a clean slate that allows you to make better changes in yourself that would serve to attract her in the future.
STEP THREE: IDENTIFY THE CORE PROBLEM OF THE BREAKUP
You should already have an answer to this if you asked yourself the first question stated at the beginning of this article, namely “Do I even want her back?” Just in case you still haven’t identified the cause of the breakup, it’s important to think about it because your next step will be geared towards solving this mistake. Most relationship problems usually fall into three categories:
- Problems regarding sexual attraction
- Boredom – many breakups are due to this. Although it may seem superficial, it’s actually important. The main reason why women separate from their boyfriends is that he no longer surprises them the way he used to when they first began dating. This does not mean presents or gifts, but just a general sense of surprise and unpredictability. Once he loses his charm and mystique, he loses her interest as well.
- Lack of chivalry – a guy who handles his girl like crap can expect the same treatment in the long run. Although there are many regrettable instances of women sticking to an abusive relationship for long periods, most will simply walk away. Even though you may not have been physically assaulting her, a lack of care for her general well-being is enough to fall under this category and trigger her instincts to dump you.
- Wimpy behavior– despite what some modern feminists might say, being an attractive man still requires you to take traditional masculine roles around women. This involves not only protecting her from external threats but also standing up for yourself when she decides to become testy. If you bend over backward every time she makes unreasonable requests, she will see you as nothing more than a needy child unsuitable for a long-term commitment.
- Problems regarding emotional attraction
- Anger issues – the breakup may have been caused by emotional states such as severe anger. If you two are used to yelling at each other all the time instead of calmly talking things over, this would signal a lack of maturity that is not yet ready for lasting partnership.
- Anxiety issues – always carrying around a baggage of nervousness and fear is another destructive emotional trait that can lead to breakups. Some women will only tolerate a certain amount of anxiety in their mates. Too much and they will dump you for a more stable guy.
- Lack of shared interests – even if you two are sexually attracted to each other, you may not have any shared hobbies and goals. In this case, there is an emotional disconnection as your partner feels she cannot relate to your interests and you feel that you cannot relate to hers.
- Problems regarding partnership and maturity
- Poor ethics – a man or woman who is fundamentally evil will always repel the other person (unless they are also evil). Even though you may not have done any criminal activities, just being an all-around immoral guy is enough to turn women off, especially if she has more solid principles than you.
- Cheating – if you slept with another woman behind her back, then that may be the cause of the breakup. Cheating is also a primary indicator of low maturity because the ability to resist temptation is something only a responsible adult can do.
- Lack of commitment – finally, your girlfriend may have broken up with you simply because you are unwilling to take things to the next level. Most women want to get married eventually, and if they find that the guy they are with does not share those aspirations, they will look for another mate.
Think about the cause of the breakup seriously. You may even need to write it down and journal about it. It’s important to identify the main reason for the separation because if this problem is not solved before you attempt to get back with her, you will just end up separating again. The only way for a second relationship to succeed is when you don’t’ repeat the mistakes of the first.
STEP FOUR: TAKE AT LEAST SIX MONTHS TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM
By this time, you should have come to terms with your bachelor status and have stopped all contact with your former lover. After you’ve identified the main cause of the breakup, all you need to do is get off your bum and start working to solve it.
This article cannot address your problem in detail; after all, it would depend specifically on what type of difficulty your relationship had. However, once you’ve identified what the issue is, the solution is always pretty straightforward, even if it may not be easy. For example, if the cause of the breakup was your constant anxiety, you may need to tackle your phobias head-on in order to develop some courage. If the cause was your wimpiness, you may need to instill some masculine traits by embracing conflict instead of running away from it, even start going to the gym and taking some self-defense classes. Whatever the case, the cause of the separation must be fixed.
Obviously, this is going to take a while, at the very least six months. It’s possible to correct the problem in less time than this, but even so, you’re still advised to postpone reuniting with your ex. The reason is that she will need some time to forget about you too. If you show up at her doorstep in three weeks claiming to be a changed man, the memories of your previous relationship are still fresh, and she will have a hard time trusting you. No one reforms in less than a year. Your transformation needs to be believable. Furthermore, you owe it to yourself to become the best version that you can possibly be, someone that deserves to be forgiven and taken back. Realistically, even though six months is the bare minimum, the whole process might require a year or more.
STEP FIVE: AFTER SOME TIME HAS PASSED, MEET UP WITH HER AGAIN
As mentioned above, a significant time apart has to have happened before you even attempt to get back together with her. Psychologically, this does three things:
- Assuming you have fixed the problem that led to the breakup when you two meet again after a long stint of no contact, the changes in you will be even more dramatic. If her last memory was that of a wimpy, childish man, and the new specimen she sees in front of her has grown by leaps and bounds since then, she will be extremely impressed. This is the reason why it’s recommended that you stay away for at least half a year because it helps contrast your past and present images more. If hardly any moment has gone by, then you will seem like your usual, regular, unattractive self that she dumped before.
- You will appear as a complete stranger to her. Hence, it will be as if you’re meeting together for the first time. By this moment, she may have also changed for the better, so your fated encounter will have a sense of accomplishment to it. Both of you will have grown a lot since you were apart, and she will certainly feel a different vibe about you. You have a perfectly clean slate to work with, unburdened by the mistakes of the past.
- Regret. Even though this is a negative emotion, it’s useful in this case. The woman you’re with will feel as if she has lost her chance at being with a solid man because she dumped you. She will feel regret and even blame herself for the breakup. Of course, this may not be true, and your ex didn’t see all the hard work that went behind your transformation, but nonetheless, she will do everything she can to rectify her mistake. Play it cool and let her make the first move.
It would also help if your meeting weren’t specifically to talk about reuniting and get your ex back. The best way might be to have a reunion along with common friends so that your ex wouldn’t get so anxious and defensive. You will have plenty of opportunities to show off your social skills, especially with some other people around.
STEP SIX: ATTRACT HER ALL OVER AGAIN
If everything goes according to plan, now is the time to make a move. Do not tell your ex that you want to get your ex back into your life; this would only open up old and painful memories of the past. Rather, pretend as if this is the first time you’re meeting her (not literally, of course), and attract her all over again. If you’ve truly grown as a person, the effect will go off without a hitch. Chances are she will be significantly impresses by the obvious effort you took to address many of your shortcomings. If you start things off on the right foot and stay the course this time around, you may escape many of the mistakes you did in the past.
Eventually, mention of the past will come up. If it does, address them without any excuses and apologize for any rude behavior that you may have done to her. By this time, she’d be more than willing to believe that you are sincere seeing as how the results are right in front of her eyes.
Will this all work out well?
As mentioned before, even after you’ve accomplished all six steps, you’re still not guaranteed a positive outcome. Your ex-girlfriend may have met someone new during your time apart. She may not be in the right state in life to rekindle the relationship yet. Or, she may just be over you for good, no matter how much you’ve grown or changed. If this is the case, then chalk it up to a tough but meaningful life lesson. There are a lot more women out there. If she’s unwilling to take you back, it just proves that you weren’t meant to be together.
However, if she does reunite with you, then be sure to stay present-minded and prevent yourself from committing the same mistakes again. It’s hard enough to win someone back a second time. A third is practically impossible.
Get your ex back is a tough business, but it’s not impossible. Prevention is better than cure, though, so you may want to set things right in the first place. This article is a detailed explanation on how to attract and keep the right woman so that you do not have to go through this headache. Regardless, once you’ve found someone who’s a keeper, make sure you remain vigilant. Nothing is worse than living through the pain of the one that got away.