18 vital tips to help you start over in a relationship

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Have you and your partner decided to give your relationship another try? Congratulations! Love is indeed lovelier the second time around.

And, if you want this ‘reboot’ to last for good, then you need to follow these 18 vital tips to help you start your relationship over.

Let’s begin.

1) Reflect on what went wrong…

If you want this chapter in your relationship to flow smoothly – and last – then you need to identify what went wrong in the first place.

Why did you go your separate ways, to begin with?

Was it because of the lack of communication?

Did you put work above your relationship?

Or did somebody cheat?

Whatever the reason might be, you both need to identify it. More importantly, you both need to reflect on why it happened.

Perhaps you didn’t listen to your partner’s cry for help.

Or maybe you worked too much that they found someone who gave them what they needed – communication, attention, and intimacy, among many other things.

By recognizing what went wrong – and reflecting on them – there’s a better chance that you both won’t do them again.

2) Apologize

If it’s your fault why your relationship went sideways, then you need to apologize for the things you’ve done.

Just put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to welcome back a partner who never apologized for what they did?

True enough, “never apologizing in a relationship is a sure way to risk losing it.”

Explains Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D.:

“Apologies re-establish dignity for those you hurt. Letting the injured party know that you know it was your fault, not theirs, helps them feel better.”

That’s why “Apologizing helps repair relationships (because it gets) people talking again. It makes them feel comfortable with each other again.”

Of course, when it comes to apologizing, you must do it sincerely (and not just because you want to crawl under their pants again.)

Take responsibility for the things you did.

Show regret.

Most importantly, make amends.

3) Enroll in a love and intimacy masterclass

When you’re trying to start over in a relationship, it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless.

You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.

That’s why I suggest you do something different.

It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.

In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.

As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.

We get stuck in awful relationships, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel horrible about certain things.

We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.

We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.

We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.

Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.

While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time. Better yet, he finally offered an actual, practical solution to my relationship problems (hint: it’s similar to yours.)

If you’re done with frustrating relationships, then Ruda’s message is one you need to hear.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Click here to watch the free video.

4) Forgive your partner – and yourself

Everybody makes mistakes. And if the supreme being can forgive, I don’t see why you can’t.

It’s good for starting over, after all.

According to psychologists Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera, Ph.D.:

“When we refuse to forgive, we leave ourselves open to the danger of ruminating about the event; this is especially likely to happen if the harm came from someone we regard as important to us.

As we rehash in our minds the episode that’s gotten us upset, we re-experience all the negative emotions, as well as, perhaps, some behavioral outbursts. No matter how much we replay the event in our minds, the hurt remains because the event can’t be taken back.”

Remember: the path to forgiveness starts with:

  • Acknowledging the pain/issues (which is why my first tip is to reflect on what went wrong.)
  • Making the effort – forgiveness isn’t passive.
  • NOT dwelling on the negatives (more about this next.)

5) Let the grudges go

It’s easy to forgive, but it’s not always easy to forget.

This is especially the case if your partner cheated on you or if they did not treat you right. Maybe what they did was so severe that it was enough for you to walk out that door.

And now that you’re both planning to rekindle the fire, I suggest foregoing the grudges you’re holding onto right now. If not, your relationship will just burst into flames once again.

As therapist Nancy Colier, LCSW puts it:

“The problem with grudges, besides the fact that they are a drag to carry around (like a bag of sedimented toxic waste that keeps us stuck in anger) is that they don’t serve the purpose that they are there to serve. They don’t make us feel better or heal our hurt.”

More importantly: “Our grudge morphs into a boulder that blocks the light of kindness from reaching our heart, and thus is an obstacle to true healing.”

That’s why it’s important to forgive and let it all go. Remember:

“To let go of a grudge we need to move the focus off of the one who ‘wronged’ us… When we move our attention inside, into our heart, our pain shifts from being a “something” that happened to us.”

Sure enough, nothing beats restarting a relationship with a light and open heart.

6) Accept that things change

Your partner may be spontaneous when you first started dating, taking you on trips on a whim. It’s one of the reasons why you fell in love with them in the first place.

But as they grew older, this aspect of their personality gradually mellowed out.

Don’t fault them for that – and blame this ‘change’ on your falling out.

See, the only constant thing in life is change.

You’re both growing older now, and the traits that used to spice up your relationship may be no more.

Sometimes, it’s for the better. That’s why accepting this will help you start over in your relationship.

Just think: should you and your partner become parents, you’d want someone you could 100% rely on, right? Not one who disappears all of a sudden because they want to go out on a whim.

More often than not, relationships fall apart because one partner refuses to grow up. So be glad if they did!

7) Consult with a relationship coach

While this article explores the tips to help you start over in a relationship, it’s always helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

Relationships can be confusing and frustrating. Sometimes you’ve hit a wall and you really don’t know what to do next.

I’ve always been skeptical about getting outside help until I actually tried it out.

Relationship Hero is the best resource I’ve found for love coaches who aren’t just talk. They have seen it all, and they know all about how to tackle difficult situations like ‘re-starting’ relationships.

Personally, I tried them last year while going through the mother of all crises in my own love life. They managed to break through the noise and give me real solutions.

My coach was kind and took the time to really understand my unique situation. More importantly, they gave me genuinely helpful advice.

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.

8) Think about what you both value in the relationship

Granted that your relationship had its bad parts (you broke up, after all) I’m sure it has good ones too.

And that’s what you need to think about before starting anew.

What made you fall in love with each other?

Were you attracted to their fun-loving nature? Or did your thoughtfulness seal the deal?

Remember: these are things that got you together in the first place. You may have forgotten about them during the relationship, which is probably one of the reasons why things ended between you two.

Reflecting on the things you value in the relationship (romantic nostalgia) will not only strengthen it – it’ll help prevent another breakup from happening once again.

As one Psychology Today article goes:  “(When) Participants felt more romantically nostalgic, they also felt more connected to their romantic partner, more optimistic about their relationship, and less inclined to leave their romantic partner.”

9) Communicate mindfully


Communication is the milestone of any relationship. But if you’re starting over, it’s not just enough that you talk and listen intently.

If you want your relationship to succeed, then you need to communicate mindfully.

According to another Psychology Today article:

“Mindfulness in communication refers to processing what your partner is saying in an active and flexible way, showing sensitivity to the context (have they had a bad day, is the setting formal or relaxed), being open to multiple points of view, and having the ability to understand things in new ways.”

And to communicate mindfully, it’s crucial that you ‘fully arrive.’

According to Mindful, it’s all about “embodying an alert-yet-relaxed posture (that) has the added benefit of communicating to others attentiveness and respect.”

That means:

  • Placing your soles on the floor – whether you’re sitting or standing
  • Keeping your pelvis neutral
  • Elongating your spine
  • Keeping an ‘open’ facial expression

Likewise, you need to breathe with grounded curiosity. When communicating, breathe in feeling curious – and breathe out feeling grounded.

10) Compromise is key

Like most couples out there, you and your partner may have outstanding differences.

For example, they may be a morning person, while you function better during the night.

As such differences can take a toll on your relationship, you’ll need to learn to compromise – especially now that you’re both starting all over again.

See, butting heads may be one of the reasons why you parted ways in the beginning. And unless you want that to happen again, you’ll need to learn how to meet in the middle.

As psychologist Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. puts it:

“Compromise…does not mean giving up or giving in. It is a blending of hearts and minds.

Just being willing to compromise will encourage new ways of relating. The space you create allows you to change in ways you never imagined.”

So whenever you find yourself in a pickle with your partner’s varying ways, make sure to compromise and meet in the middle!

11) Pick your battles wisely

Even after doing the tips above, you could always end up settling into your old ways. Worse, it could be the old ways that led to your breakup in the first place.

So if you want your ‘renewed’ relationship to succeed, then you need to compromise (as I’ve said earlier) and pick your battles.

Reminds etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore:

“Healthy relationships hinge on a couple’s ability to know which issues are worth fighting over and which ones are worth letting go.”

In other words, it’s all about:

  • Fighting about truly important issues
  • NOT reacting badly – right away – to anything that pisses you
  • Staying calm
  • Choosing the right time to engage
  • Being careful with the words you use
  • Talking, NOT yelling
  • Solving the problem together

12) Focus on each other

More often than not, relationships fail because each party is no longer focused on one another. One may be too engrossed with work, while another’s attention may be solely on the kids.

And hey, you needn’t necessarily throw your work – or kids – to the wayside. They’re just as important.

What I’m trying to say here is you need to try and direct more attention towards each other – especially if you’re starting over in a relationship.

And this doesn’t need to include expensive, over-the-top gifts (though nobody’s stopping you from giving them so!)

Focusing your attention on your partner can be as simple as:

  • Speaking it out loud. Say ‘I love you’ out loud every time, all the time!
  • Communicating with them whenever you can. An ‘I love you’ text out of the blue will surely make them smile!
  • Establishing eye contact. When you talk to them, make sure to look intently into their eyes.
  • Making time for each other. Even if you’re extremely busy, setting your sights on your partner for a quick 10 minutes will show them that you truly care.
  • Knowing their love language. Are they more of a ‘physical touch’ person – or one who speaks ‘words of affirmation’? Even if their love language is different from yours, make sure to meet them in the middle.

13) Respect one another

Your relationship may have ended badly, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect your partner any less.

If you want to start over, then you should respect them even more.

Reminds authors Linda and Charlie Bloom:

“To have a great relationship, there needs to be a high level of respect on the part of both partners.”

A quick note though: respect is not just about not showing displeasure or contempt at your partner’s choices. According to the authors, it’s also a matter of:

  • Listening attentively to your partner
  • Speaking words of gratitude and acknowledgment
  • Catering to your partner’s style or eccentricities
  • Supporting their choices

14) Try to further improve yourself

Although it was your partner who caused the demise of your relationship, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you didn’t do anything wrong.

In some cases, it may be you who caused your partner (albeit inadvertently) to go over the edge.

For example, you may be too focused on work that’s why they ended up in another person’s arms.

So if you’re starting things over, you must try to improve yourself as well. The good news is you can easily do this by:

  • Being open
  • Being more understanding
  • Assuring your partner
  • Staying positive
  • Expressing your gratitude
  • Sharing tasks (and goals too, see number 16)
  • Being kind to yourself

15) Refresh your relationship

Although you’re technically resuming your relationship, you just can’t fall back into the old ways.

See, it may be this complacency that led to your breakup.

So if you’re looking to start over, don’t just go about like things didn’t go wrong. Remember: it did.

That’s why you need to treat your relationship as if it’s a new one.

For example, go on fine dining dates like you did when you were newly dating.

Go on hiking trips and explore the trails you planned on visiting before.

Needless to say, refreshing your relationship can help re-spark the romance you may have lost along the way.

16) Create a shared goal with your partner

I get it – you and your partner have your own thing. But if you want to start over in a relationship, you should consider creating a shared goal with them.

After all, a report shows that “People do better psychologically when they are working towards something — even if it’s stressful. And couples function better when they’re on the same page, working for the same ends.”

When it comes to creating shared goals, it’ll help to consider the things/areas that you both like. It could be all about gardening, traveling, eating out – sex even!

Once you figure this out, compose your goals in a way that they’re specific (e.g. in 12 months) and measurable.

Do take note of them – and see to it that you accomplish them at the given time frame!

17) Support their dreams

Maybe you think that your partner’s dreams are ludicrous and unattainable. And, even if they are, it’s your duty to support their dreams – especially if you’re starting all over again.

See, this pessimism may be one of the things that brought your relationship to an end.

Reminds Ayoola Adetayo of Pulse Nigeria:

“Showing support for (your partner’s) dreams and propelling them towards the achievement of every single one of them is undoubtedly going to mean so much to them. It will cement your place in their lives, hold down your spot in their history forever, even if things somehow fall apart for other irreconcilable differences.”

But remember: showing your support goes beyond just telling them that ‘everything is going to be okay.’

It’s also about:

  • Being emotionally available
  • Listening to all of their concerns
  • Truly believing in your partner
  • Showing physical affection
  • Stepping in (or up) as needed

18) Never ignore the red flags

It’s almost always love and butterflies when you start over in a relationship. That being said, you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to your partner’s red flags.

I know how much you want this relationship to work – that’s why you’re giving it another try. But if you continue to ignore your partner’s wrong ways, you’ll just end up heartbroken (again.)

If you find your partner going back to their old ways (aka the ways that led to your initial break up), make sure to let them know. More often than not, they may not be aware that they’re doing ‘it’ again.

“(It’s) an opportunity to pause, assess the situation, and decide if you should continue investing time in this person,” explains matchmaker Susan Trombetti.

And, in the event that they refuse to right their wrongs, I reckon it’s time for you to leave for good.

You gave the relationship a try. But unfortunately, it seems like it’s really not meant to be.

Final thoughts

Starting a relationship over can be tricky, especially if you parted on such bad terms.

That’s why it’s crucial to run over the things in this list. By putting in the effort (with the help of Ruda’s Love and Intimacy Masterclass or Relationship Hero), your relationship is sure to be better than ever.

As I’ve said in the beginning: love is lovelier the second time around.


24 undeniable signs of a true gentleman (complete list)

25 brutal signs of a selfish woman