When I broke up with my girlfriend Dani I was devastated.
Our process of getting back together is something I’ve written about.
I’m going to explain how I got her back despite the fact that she’d lost her feelings for me.
It wasn’t easy, nor was it super quick (quicker than I thought, though).
But it worked.
1) Go through all the stages of the breakup
I went through some heavy shit. I didn’t skip any of the steps of what dumpees go through.
Her dumping me hurt badly and it basically dredged up all my insecurities and what I felt worst about in my life, in my past and in my family history.
I went through the stages of denying what happened, being numb, getting angry, bargaining about it, hiding from the world in deep depression and being lost in nostalgia…
Eventually, I moved on. Not in the sense that I forgot her or no longer cared.
Just in the sense that I accepted: this event happened. It was awful, it hurt, it tore me up. Now I will wake up and continue my life.
It was harder than anything I’d wish even on my worst enemy, but the process of going through this breakup was completely necessary before I could even begin to actually come close to getting her back.
There are no shortcuts. I won’t lie to you: this is going to hurt like a bitch.
2) Don’t rush it
Trying to reinitiate contact with Dani after she’d blocked me everywhere was not easy.
To be frank, it didn’t happen for the first two months. I was just cut off.
This was actually the hardest part, because going through the full breakup process I had to simultaneously accept that Dani ever talking to me again was fully out of my control.
That was hard!
This was part of going through the breakup process.
But even once I saw I’d been unblocked, I stopped myself from jumping to reinitiate contact.
The reason is that I had been taking a course called the Ex Factor that gave me insights into how to do this the right way.
Jumping right back in with full enthusiasm was a one way ticket to finalizing the breakup and ensuring I’d never get back together.
The program, led by world-renowned relationship coach Brad Browning, completely opened my eyes about how to go about getting Dani back the right way without rushing it.
You can’t rush love. Even love you once had isn’t just going to reappear magically.
You’re going to have to do this the right way and with care, as Brad demonstrates.
3) Look after yourself
My instinct as soon as I lost Dani was to rush, beg and plead with her to get back together with me.
I wanted to convince her and talk her into it.
I wanted to prove how much I loved her.
I admit I wanted to check if she was dating someone new.
But what I did instead made all the difference.
I went through the pain of the breakup process for real, I didn’t rush it and I learned to look after myself and focus on my own integrity.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
- I ate well and looked after my diet
- I focused on my physical health
- I learned new skills like cooking
- I worked out and exercised
- I focused on friendship and other objectives (will get to that).
4) Focus on friends and family
Focusing on friends and family is actually key to getting an ex back who has lost feelings for you.
I know it sounds like a dodge or a cope, but this is actually crucial.
At least in my case, I’d based so much of my well-being and identity on my relationship.
Getting back in close relationships with friends and family was incredibly good for me.
I rebuilt my sense of self by reconnecting with those who mean the most to me.
I realized that I still loved Dani and wanted her back, true, but I wasn’t dependent on her.
Nor was she the sole judge of my worth or value.
In fact, my friend introduced me to another very charming young lady who I ended up hooking up with.
I’m not a big casual sex guy, but I have to admit that that casual encounter was part of what made me realize:
I have options. I’m a decent guy. I can score.
I needed that confidence to get back in the right mindset for actually reconnecting with my ex and rekindling what we’d once had.
5) Get your mental health dealt with
A big reason my relationship went south was because I was too clingy.
I depended on Dani for my well-being and was what psychologists call the “anxious” attachment style.
Basically I needed so much reassurance that she liked me that… she got tired of me and turned off from liking me!
I ended up working on this a lot with a relationship coach at Relationship Hero, a site where trained love coaches talk you through lots of these tricky problems.
I’d done therapy before but found it unsatisfying.
Talking to a love coach was different. I got a lot out of it and my coach helped me realize so much about why I was needy and how to change it.
I reframed my whole reality and approached getting Dani back without the idea that I needed her back.
This actually made all the difference…
6) Establish and maintain healthy boundaries
Breakups hurt and if you and your ex left on bad terms I’m guessing there was a good reason.
However much you or they were to blame, you need to reestablish boundaries before reentering anything that you once had.
This means knowing what you will and will not accept.
Will you accept your ex dating you again while still sleeping with other people and playing the field?
Will you accept your ex’s way of communicating or does it drive you up the wall?
Are you OK with your ex’s intensity and emotional demands on you or is it too much?
Think about all these questions if you want to get your ex back and have it work out.
You need to know your limits and stick to them, otherwise you’re likely to have an even bigger blow up than the first time you parted ways.
7) Be honest about what went wrong
Why did your relationship end?
Maybe there were many reasons, so let’s narrow it down to the top three.
- I was too clingy and dependent on my girlfriend for my sense of well-being and identity.
- I didn’t build my own life enough and tried to spend almost all my time with her, suffocating my partner.
- I underestimated the issues my girlfriend was going through in her own life and assumed that I would be the solution to them if she loved me enough, instead of understanding that some of them had nothing to do with me and were things she needed to work out on her own.
Getting clear on this was big for me, because going through the breakup process I tried to deny and bargain about all of this.
But once I really was honest about why we split, I was potentially ready to get back together with her and communicate in a real way.
Get all this straight before moving to reinitiate contact with your ex.
That way you’ll be starting with a solid step forward, not a shaky lunge.
8) Invite him or her back into your life
By this stage, you’re getting somewhere.
Your neediness has receded, you’ve rebuilt social networks and you’re improving your mental health and personal state.
You have accepted the breakup and are ready to move on, but you’re also honest that you still care about your ex.
This is where you invite him or her back into your life.
You don’t demand, you don’t petition or ask them to meet you.
You simply reinitiate contact, say hi and then immediately go back to the previous steps of building up your own life, relationships and value.
You put that invite out there making it clear you’re up for talking.
Then you leave it.
You don’t send “??” the next day if your ex doesn’t answer.
You don’t ask friends how he or she is or to pass on a message.
You send one text or leave one voicemail, as Brad teaches in the Ex Factor, and then you return to your regular life.
9) Let go of outcome (for real)
This is the hardest piece of advice in this article.
It’s excruciating. It’s like bench pressing a car.
You need to let go of outcome for real. Because any attachment you have to outcome and clingy, dependent energy is going to torch this comeback quicker than kerosene on a bonfire.
Let’s look at this honestly, though:
You can’t help it if you’re still in love with your ex…
You can’t deny how you feel or what you want…
What can you do?
Control your behavior and the vibes you send out. Control what you do with your time. Control the pace of your contact with your ex.
10) Communicate for real
This leads us to point ten about communication.
It’s got to involve you and your ex and it’s got to move at a pace that’s comfy for the two of you.
There may be harsh moments, hurt feelings and difficult emotions that come up. That’s breakups for you.
But you need to put authenticity above all else.
Being clear about why you broke up and what would be different this time is of paramount importance here.
That said, avoid the following:
- Big promises and vows about the future
- Begging or pleading
- Trying to prove how much you love your ex
- Making them feel sympathy or guilt for not being with you or your current issues
None of this will get you back with your ex.
Being comfortable and committed in your life as it is now and talking to them honestly and openly is what will get you back together.
11) Don’t try to hit unpause: start over
When I started getting back together with Dani, I almost made this mistake.
It’s the mistake of forgetting that you can’t just unpause the relationship and take up where you left off.
That past relationship is over.
Not only have you both changed as people, your feelings for each other may have shifted or there might even be somebody new in the picture.
That’s harsh, but it’s reality.
If you want to get your ex back and they don’t have feelings for you, you need to start from scratch.
Go out on dates, woo them with your humor, seduce them physically.
You’re starting from square one, so don’t rest on your laurels or think that the good old days can save you.
12) Build on the good, not regrets
You’re both going to have regrets from the past and the relationship that ended.
For your sake, hopefully your ex’s regrets come to include the breakup itself.
Starting over in a relationship or even casual dating with somebody you once loved (and maybe still do) is hard!
You’re going to continually want to dive back into the deepest pools of commitment and love.
But your ex may not want that.
And even if they do, you’re better off taking it a little slow here.
Don’t dive back in too fast. Get to know each other once again, and focus on good moments together instead of pain from the past.
13) Have future plans, but don’t set them in stone!
Having future plans is a good idea.
You and your ex may decide to go on a trip together or to take a course or go to an event.
No matter how small or big your plans are, they can be a helpful basis for rebuilding the foundations of something new.
The key thing here is not to get hung up on expectations, however.
They will only hurt you, and if you want your ex to fall back in love with you, he or she needs to see that you’ve truly become your own man or woman.
Wanting your ex back is fine.
Needing your ex back to feel OK comes off needy and gives off a lot of desperate, dark vibes.
Having future plans together is a wonderful idea, just make sure they’re adaptable and able to change.
14) Let jealousy go
Getting back an ex who lost feelings for you is all about accepting the limits of what you can control.
He or she has to come back of their own accord.
They may be into someone else or even unsure about how they still feel about you, or whether they even want to give you any of their time or attention.
It’s normal that you might feel jealous about them giving somebody else attention.
But I strongly urge finding a way to let that jealousy go.
The fact of not being in a relationship and being apart means that like it or not you don’t have an exclusive relationship.
Even if you start dating or sleeping together again, trying to push it back to exclusivity too strongly or too soon can blow up the whole enterprise.
Have faith that what is good and right will come together. Don’t focus on who else your ex might be into or sleeping with, it will drive you crazy and make you sabotage the comeback.
15) To be friends or not?
Many times, getting back together with an ex who’s not into you requires accepting an offer of friendship.
You’re reading this to get back an ex as a partner, not a pal.
So I get that the instinct would be to turn down friendship or see it as an L.
But if you want to get an ex back you have to actually accept being friends first if that’s what they want.
Because this is basically a pressure release valve.
It’s their way of removing any pressure in exploring whether they’d ever want to try again.
You don’t have to actually be just friends or get friendzoned.
But accept the offer of friendship and see it as what it is: a pressure release valve.
Will your ex really come back?
If you follow the advice in this article, the chances of getting your ex back are good.
The reason I started my advice with talking about going through the stages of the breakup is intentional, however.
It’s because you can’t get your ex back if you’ve never truly lost him or her.
You must go through the pain and the loss fully before you can ever hope to have another try.
If what you had is real and you rebuild your life in a non-codependent way, then inviting them back in can succeed.
Feelings can grow once again where only a husk and charred remains were left.
Keep the faith and don’t give up on love.
Feelings that you have for someone which are real and genuine don’t just go away or fade into nothingness.
Believe in yourself and the love you had while also moving forward in your life.
Your ex will see the momentum and energy you have and want to be part of that forward motion.