How can I get my ex to want me back?

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It’s a question many of us have when we go through a breakup.

We want to know the best things to say and do to get your ex to come back for good.

What you need is to tap into some clever psychology. This article will show you how.

14 ways to get your ex to want you back (using psychology)

1) Tap into the scarcity effect

Sadly often after a breakup, our instincts are all wrong.

We’re overpowered by a sense of sadness and grief which makes us want to reach out and cling on to our ex. It’s totally normal and understandable. But it does you no favors.

So what should you do?

Use the scarcity effect instead.

The latest “must have” gadget is always hard to get your hands on. And funnily enough, the very fact that it is boosts its appeal.

It’s what has people queuing around the block just to be the first in line.

The reality is that psychologically speaking, people want things more when they fear they are in short supply. This is a phenomenon we call the scarcity effect.

And it’s not just the latest trends that tap into this clever human psychology, it also comes into play in our love lives too.

The fact is that the less available someone seems to us, the more we panic that we cannot have them, and so the more we want them.

You can use this to make your ex want you back. As Erika Ettin, the founder of dating website ‘A Little Nudge’, explains:

“The less someone responds or reciprocates to one’s advances, the more perceived value the pursuer thinks this person has. So we try harder since this person must really be ‘worth it’ if he or she is in such high demand — in other words, this person is a scarce resource.”

Give your ex space, be far less available to them, and consider cutting off all contact for a while (ake use the no contact rule).

2) Take away their control

Here’s the thing:

If your ex was the one to end things they are likely to be feeling a lot more in control than you are right now. And this gives your ex far more of the power.

As long as they feel like they are calling the shots, the realization of truly losing you isn’t going to kick in.

You need to reverse the psychological roles so that you are no longer the victim, and they are not the one in charge.

Don’t sit around waiting for your ex. Instead, behave in an empowered way that shows your ex you’re fine without them.

You can do this by acting like you’re doing well whenever you talk, not showing them your emotions, and generally keeping your cool.

That means go out and have fun with friends, appear happy, never show any jealousy, and don’t be so quick to reply to texts.

If you want your ex to want you back, they cannot have the upper hand over you.

We all have an ego, and your exes is likely to be pretty bruised when they notice that you aren’t pining over them.

When they feel like they no longer have your attention, that is when they will want it most.

3) Deprive your ex of their dopamine hits

You know that feeling you get when your phone pings with a text or you go onto your social media and see the new photo you posted has lots of likes?

That’s down to dopamine.

This mood hormone is a huge motivator in our emotions, thoughts, and actions. That’s because it gives us a feeling of happiness and well-being.

Well, your ex is used to getting plenty of their dopamine hits from you.

Maybe it was a morning text to wish them a good day, an outpouring of love and affection, or a confidence boost to make them feel special.

But if your ex is still getting their dopamine hit in the form of love and attention from you, then they won’t feel its absence.

Deprive them of it and their mood is far more likely to drop. They stand a much better chance of experiencing the grief and loss that comes along with a breakup — and so want you back.

Don’t go out of your way to try to make things like they once were between you.


Because that awkward feeling you get when you split up can be a good catalyst for them wanting you back.

Allow it to feel awkward — because having them experience that unsettled feeling is a way better tactic to get your ex back into your arms than pretending as if nothing has changed between you two.

4) Be a positive challenge

Remember the aim is to make your ex feel like they are winning some sort of price by getting you back.

That means you have to feel like a challenge, but not an unattainable one.

There are two sides to this:

The first is not to appear desperate or needy in any way. It’s a huge turn-off and is more likely to make your ex run even further away.

Instead, let them chase you, and play cat and mouse again. This is the dance that we often play in the early stages of romance.

We don’t lay all our cards on the table, instead, we keep our cool. Well, the same rules apply again when you are trying to get your ex back.

Desire is something that seems almost out of reach. Which is why we desire someone more when they seem independent.

The second part involves behaving with dignity and self-respect. Because when I say “be a challenge” that certainly doesn’t mean behaving badly.

So keep it classy.

Don’t appear bitter, childish, disrespectful, or sulking toward your ex. You want to present yourself as a positive challenge that they want to rise to.

5) Forget love, tap into desire again

A romantic relationship is made up of two main elements. But the irony is that these two things often clash and seem incompatible.

They are love and desire.

As Psychotherapist and author Esther Perel explains, love is about having but desire is about wanting.

“Love enjoys knowing everything about you; desire needs mystery. Love likes to shrink the distance that exists between me and you, while desire is energized by it. If intimacy grows through repetition and familiarity, eroticism is numbed by repetition. It thrives on the mysterious, the novel, and the unexpected. An expression of longing, desire requires ongoing elusiveness. It is less concerned with where it has already been than passionate about where it can still go. But too often, as couples settle into the comforts of love, they cease to fan the flame of desire.”

Many couples don’t stop caring about one another, but they do find that the desire goes from the relationship.

That’s why it’s crucial to re-spark your ex’s interest in you. It’s something that relationship expert Brad Browning talks a lot about.

He has helped thousands of men and women get their exes back.

In this free video, he offers lots of practical tips to get those flames of passion burning brightly again. And there are plenty of useful tips that you can get started with straight away.

Here’s a link to his free video again.

6) Use reverse psychology

Another sneaky psychological trick you can use to get your ex back involves something we’ve already touched upon.

And that is the sense that they can no longer get you back. Because deep down they may suspect that they can have you back at any time. So it’s easier to move on with their life, safe in the knowledge that they have options.

The fact is that the more you try to change someone’s mind, the less they buy it. The more someone chases, the faster we run away.

So use some reverse psychology to get your ex to come crawling back.

Act like you’ve moved on.

Instead of telling them how sad you are, how much you miss them, or how much you want to work things out —do the complete opposite.

Tell them that it’s probably all for the best, that you wish them well for the future and there are no hard feelings.

Make them feel like the one who was dumped by convincing them that you’re happy with the decision to part ways.

And if you want to put the cherry on the top of the cake, then try sending this jealousy text…

7) Send a “jealousy” text

This next way to get your ex back isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Neither is it completely risk-free. It’s going to require you to hold your nerve.

But if you’re feeling brave, then sending a jealousy text could be just the psychological motivation that your ex needs to want you back.

You’re going to make yourself seem in demand as well as appear out of reach to your ex. And it’s the combination of these two things that sparks jealousy and longing.

So what is a jealousy text?

You plant the seeds in your ex’s mind that you are moving on and potentially dating again.

Send them a message saying something along the lines of:

“To be honest, I agree that it was a good idea for us to see other people. I would prefer us to just be friends right now”

Your ex is going to wonder what (or who!) has made you come to this conclusion.

You’re telling them that there are plenty of other fish in the sea. And in the process, it’s also a subtle “screw you”.

Jealousy can be a really useful psychological tool to tap into to get an ex’s attention. The reality is that it shows we care about someone.

The important rule is not to go overboard with it. Keep it subtle rather than too obvious. And don’t do things you may end up regretting.

But a simple text can be a great way to trigger your ex’s fear of losing you.

8) Breadcrumb

If a jealousy text sounds a bit too risky for you, then you might want to try breadcrumbing instead.

It’s a concept most of us are familiar with by now in the dating world.

As defined in Healthline:

“Someone who breadcrumbs leads you on by dropping small morsels of interest — an occasional message, phone call, date plan, or social media interaction. These happen sporadically and usually don’t have any followthrough.”

Breadcrumbing can get us hooked to someone (even an ex) because our brains love the unpredictability of it all.

When we know where we stand, it’s all less intoxicating. But when we don’t know if we’re going to hear from someone or not, or whether they are interested or not — it keeps us guessing.

You can use breadcrumbing with an ex by:

  • Not replying to texts or chats for several days, and when you do finally reply offer no explanation as to why you disappeared.
  • Make any intention of meeting up sound vague and be noncommittal with plans
  • Reply to messages with memes or emojis
  • Keep messages brief and superficial

9) Show off your great life on social media

When it comes to jealousy, social media can also be a great ally. But yet again, it’s something you have to use sparingly, rather than be super obvious about.

The image that you want to give off to your ex right now is:

Your loss!

And to do that, you have to be seen to be leading an active, and quite frankly fabulous life.

When you are going out of your way to appear less available to your ex, you obviously can’t let them know directly. So instead, you have to rely on social media to put this point across.

Post snaps of you looking happy, spending time with friends, going to new places, and enjoying yourself.

But remember that less is more.

If you suddenly start to spam everyone with endless stories, pictures, and posts of everything you do it has the opposite effect:

It looks attention-seeking.

A modest few well-placed pics and posts are much better. People who are genuinely happy and having fun don’t need to shout it from the rooftops.

10) Socialize lots

Of course, if you’re going to show your ex what a fabulous life you have without them, it’s going to help if that’s the truth!

The best thing after a breakup is to surround yourself with lots of people.

Yes, give yourself alone time to process your feelings. But now is the time to lean on friends and family to make you feel better.

Going out with your pals isn’t only going to produce plenty of envy-inducing Instagrams.

It’s also going to help you feel more like your old self — and portray you as confident and happy to your ex.

Don’t hide yourself away.

Now is the time to remind your ex (and yourself) that there are plenty of people in your life, and not just them.

If your ex expects you to sit around and wait for them to come back, prove them wrong by getting out there and living your best life.

11) Show them things would be different next time

Plenty of things can go wrong in a relationship. Let’s face it, real romance is a far cry from the happily ever after we were all sold in the Fairytales.

If you want your ex back, they have to feel as though it would be different next time. That means working on anything that could have contributed to the breakup.

And that obviously means you also need to understand exactly what led you here in the first place.

What went wrong between you two? What were your biggest problems? How could they be fixed?

Getting this clear in your own mind is going to help you.

You need your ex to see you and your relationship in a totally new light. One where the difficulties you may have faced no longer seem too big to overcome.

Once you recognize what it was that led to the breakup, you can start to show your ex that this has changed, and maybe you’ve changed too.

12) Be your best self

Now is the time to remind your ex of what they are missing.

Sometimes towards the end of a relationship things can turn sour and we start to see the worst in our partner.

We forget or overlook all the qualities that made us fall for them in the first place.

Your ex needs to get a little refresher on what exactly makes you so awesome. That means it’s important to be your best self.

A little bit of personal development right now is going to go a long way. Do some inner work. Take up new hobbies, work on yourself, and think about the type of person you want to be.

This works well in several ways.

Firstly, your ex sees you at your best and it serves as that all-important reminder of all your good points.

But secondly, by putting your focus on yourself it’s going to subtly shift your energy.

You will become far more desirable because you aren’t pinning after your ex. Instead, you are giving off kick-ass independent vibes.

And if you remember from one of our earlier points, this is a crucial aspect of cultivating desire.

13) Boost your self-esteem

It’s almost impossible after a breakup for your confidence not to take a knock.

But unfortunately, when you want your ex back, this is the time when you need confidence the most. It is what will draw your ex back in, and boost your status in their eyes.

So one of the best investments in your time right now is boosting your self-esteem.

Write down all the things that you didn’t like about your relationship and your ex. Taking off the rose-tinted glasses is going to help you to remember that your relationship wasn’t quite so perfect — which helps your self-esteem.

At the same time, do whatever it takes to try to feel better about yourself and the breakup. Perhaps that could involve giving your appearance a revamp so you feel like you are looking your best.

But it’s also the inner work too.

Write a list of all your favorite things about yourself. Don’t be modest, allow yourself to brag. If you struggle to see the good, then step into the shoes of a loved one. What would your best friend or a family member say is awesome about you?

Write gratitude lists of all the things you feel happy and appreciative of in your life right now.

As explained by Harvard Medical School:

“In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Gratitude is a great tool to help you to harvest positivity and boost your mood right now.

14) Get tailor-made advice for your situation

I’m giving you lots of practical tips and tricks in this article to get your ex to want you back.

But it’s up to you to work out which ones are the best approach for your situation.

Because the truth is that every breakup, just like every relationship is unique.

You will be facing your own particular set of challenges in getting your ex to come back. That might mean that the psychology you use needs to be slightly different from someone in a different situation.

If you are looking for specific guidance and help that is based on your own set of circumstances then I’d really recommend connecting with a relationship expert at Relationship Hero.

The reason I love their relationship coaches is that, unlike a therapist, they don’t just listen to you, they offer practical solutions and advice.

That might mean helping you construct the perfect text to send to your ex, or figuring out the best way to get through to your ex depending on what happened between you two.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

Click here to check them out.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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