Most people will tell you there’s no going back from a breakup and that you’re better off focusing on finding your next relationship. But just because some relationships aren’t meant to be doesn’t mean all relationships are that way. It’s definitely possible to rekindle a relationship after a breakup — the key is your approach.
You’ve heard of “buyer’s remorse,” right? You want your ex to feel “seller’s remorse”: the realization that they made a mistake by ending things and to want another chance. You have to demonstrate that you’ve become a better person after the breakup; if you can do that, you’ll remind your ex why you dated in the first place.
Step 1: Cease All Contact (Seriously, ALL Contact)
You have to give your ex the time and space they need to sort things out; if you don’t, they’ll never miss you, and if they never miss you, they’ll never come back.
The interactions in our relationships are part of the fabric of our everyday routine. A 2010 study found that romantic love is an addiction, just like cigarettes, alcohol or gambling. [R]
Breaking that addiction — at least for a little while — forces your ex to experience life without you, and it’ll give them the opportunity to consider whether the breakup was a good idea or whether it could have been saved by working on a few unaddressed problems…. either way, let your ex solve that by themselves without making them even more confused by contacting them.
Make sure you delete their number from your phone to eliminate any chances of calling or sending them a text message… remember the idea is to have no contact.
If you don’t want to sever all ties, then write down their number or email address and keep it in a drawer at home. Just make sure it’s enough of a process to reach out that you won’t do it impulsively when you’re feeling lonely (or drunk).
“If they never miss you, they never come back”
You’re probably worried that your ex will just move on to someone new, but think of the times when you ended a relationship. You didn’t immediately move on to a new one, right? Trust me, your ex isn’t going to go out and get married tomorrow.
If you’ve been trying to maintain contact with your ex, don’t worry: unless they’ve taken out a restraining order on you, all is not lost. But start this step today.
Step 2: Focus On Your Body
Your relationship ended because your ex decided the positive aspects of your relationship didn’t outweigh the negative ones. I know that’s tough to hear, but it’s the truth.
That doesn’t mean that the negatives are insurmountable, but it doesn’t hurt to assess and improve what you bring to a relationship.
Do something to get your blood pumping: go for a run, lift some weights, go hiking, whatever you prefer. Studies show that exercise can help drastically improve your mood, and trust me, you need the boost. [R]
I know we romanticize brooding characters mourning their lost love, but trust me: it’s not as noble as they make it seem. Exercise is a good excuse to get out of the house and focus your energy on something other than the breakup.
Step 3: Focus On Your Mind
You need to show your ex that you’ve become a better person since the last time you were together, not just a more physically fit person; when your ex reaches out, they won’t be impressed to hear about all the times you went to the gym. Use this opportunity to make yourself more well-rounded.
One of the impacts of a breakup is an identity crisis. [R] It’s natural: the majority of your life revolved around your partner when you were together, and once that’s taken away, you might feel lost as to what to do next.
Maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, like skydiving, learning to play an instrument, or running guns through eastern Europe. Whatever it is, now’s your time to do it — you’ll feel more fulfilled by who you are as a person, and your confidence will improve fast.
Step 4: Rebuild Existing Relationships…
Here’s a fun statistic: the average person loses eight friends in a breakup. [R] Friends can help get you through the immediate aftermath, but over time, you need to start giving back to those friendships. Otherwise, you risk losing your friends along with your partner.
By using your friends as your support system after a breakup, you’re basically substituting one emotional crutch (your ex) with another (your friends). Rather than making everything about your life, focus your attention on their lives.
Try to reconnect with old friends, too — your ex may be irreplaceable, but research shows that the benefits of a romantic relationship (companionship, dependability and trust) can also be found in healthy friendships – win. [R]
Step 5: …And Build New Ones
You need to go on dates. I know, I know. Deep breaths. Breathe…breathe.
You might be wondering, “How is dating going to get my ex back, idiot?” First, don’t be rude. Second, your ex isn’t going to come back if they know your door is always open. It’s called the “scarcity principle”: the more available something is (i.e., you), the less demand there is for it.
Dating doesn’t have to be serious — casual dating is fine, as long as you make that clear to your dates. (Leave out the part about wanting your ex back, though. That’s a non-starter.)
Well…go on dates, have some fun and make her laugh.
It may feel uncomfortable at first, like you’re cheating on your ex. But remember, you want your ex to feel “seller’s remorse”; by reentering the dating world, you’re signaling that you’re comfortable moving forward with your life — without them.
Step 6: Don’t Force the Issue
Here’s the secret: the more comfortable you are without your ex, the more they’ll want you back.
Just like their decision to break up, the decision to reconcile is entirely in your ex’s hands. All you can do is focus on finding new ways to feel happy and fulfilled that aren’t tied to your relationship.
It’s tempting to want to reach out to your ex or gush on social media about how great life is going since the breakup. You think it might force your ex to realize that they’ve made a huge mistake. Believe me, it won’t work.
Either your ex will think you see your former relationship as a waste of time, or they’ll see it as a transparent attempt to play on their emotions in the hopes that they’ll have no choice but to date you again. Surprisingly, thinly-veiled disdain and/or emotional manipulation are not a winning combination.
“You can’t do anything to make her want to come back; in fact, you can only do stuff to make her not want to come back.”
Point is, you shouldn’t need to tell your ex how things are going, because by following these steps, you’ll be showing them. Unfortunately, there’s no telling how long it’ll take them to reach out; it all depends on the individual. But don’t give up hope, and don’t make the first move — just keep living your best life. Sooner or later, your ex will take notice.
Resources & References
Want to learn more on how to get your ex girlfriend back or just take a look at our sources? Here they are:
- Was your girlfriend ghosting your before she became your ex? If so, check out this awesome article by the guys over at The Social Man on getting her back
- Addicted to Love? It’s Not You, It’s Your Brain – ABC News by Ki Mae Heussner.
- The Effect of Exercise on Depression, Anxiety and Other Mood States – A review by Byrne, A. & Byrne, D.G.
- Interesting video on “8 Ways to Make Your Ex Regret Breaking Up With You” by alpha m
- After Breakup Many Wonder, ‘Who Am I?’ – Ending a relationship can wreck your sense of self by Susan Cosier.
- We Lose EIGHT Friends When a Long-term Relationship Ends by Daily Mail.
- What Not To Do When Meeting Your Ex by Brad Browning
- What’s the Difference Between Friendship and Love? – The line between friendship and love is difficult to draw by Neel Burton M.D.